It’s harvest time of year! And the nice folks at Veuve Clicquot brought me out to Paris/Reims once again for harvest ~ and blame it on Tasteologie, with food on the mind, i just had to share with you some of the yummier side of laborious grape picking Veuve style! For the look at the whole Harvest process, check out these pics from last year. And this year we had cheeky, chic black Harvest Staff tee shirts ~ most amusing of course was watching how the fashionable crowd immediately took to our limited resources out on the vineyard to start cutting them up with grape cutting shears to personalize them… so browse on to the next page to see a peek at what the food is like throughout the day… a slight twist on what “real” harvesters eat throughout the season…
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It’s the details that get me… like, given the option to have breakfast “Placed in your hatch” while at Hotel Tremoille in Paris ~ how can you NOT select it? And it’s AMAZING! So from the outside of the room, there are two doors, the main one you go in, and a half width one that’s just mysterious. From the inside, there’s a door next to the main door that opens to what feels like a closet with some shelves… Well, come morning, you hear a door open (which could be next door!) and then a light knock, and that’s it. It was like waiting for santa to come. Then you run over, open the HATCH, and suddenly, there it is ~ breakfast!
Ah, the simple things in life. So amusing, had to share! Also, it looks like your shoes and laundry may be deposited like that as well… check out pics to make sense of what i’m talking about on the next page!
Just in case you don’t know where to start ~ since we’ve been quietly working on Tasteologie for ages trying to figure out exactly what type of food content fits the NOTCOT lifestyle… there are already over 1300 posts of things we love in there! SO, here’s a roundup of some of my favorites to get you exploring.
p.s. here’s a hint: you can toggle between GRID (normal!) view and Individual Post view by clicking the post number!
p.p.s. can you believe those ravioli looking creatures on the bottom left are really deep fried beer?
This could easily be a post about amazing photographs of seemingly endless dinner tables trailing off into breathtakingly magnificent landscapes… in fact, i have a hard time just getting past the images you’ll see on the next page enough to tell you why, beyond the table imagery, Outstanding In The Field is SO spectacular! (Quick side note: How fun is their LOGO?) The main image above is at County Line Harvest, Petaluma, CA ~ the swing just makes me smile.
Ok, but moving beyond the beautiful images of endless tables… (You can see plenty more of that on the next page too!) A friend of mine was telling me about these a few months back, but i had forgotten the name, and just discovered the website tonight! Outstanding In The Field hosts incredible farm dinners, bringing together farmers, celebrated chefs, and eager diners alike. From humble beginnings of “farmers dinners” in Santa Cruz hosted by chef and artist (whose work you definitely know if you’re reading this!), Jim Denevan in the summer of 1998… which coupled with his brother, Bill, a “pioneering organic grower in California was one of those farmers that brought his ingredients and his story to the restaurant.”… evolved into dinners on the farm! Now, over a decade later it has grown into a series of traveling around the world hosting Farm Dinner events as well as private events. Are you hooked yet? I’m seriously bummed right now that the remaining Los Angeles dinners are sold out already… perhaps we will need to think about a NOTCOT private dinner? Let’s discuss that more in the comments though… for now ~ go fall in love with the images on the next page!
Alessi released their new Fall-Winter 2010 product collection. Our favorites in the collection are “Tea Matter” tea strainer and tea caddy by Alan Chan and “Scoiattolo” nutcracker by Andrea Branzi. Lately, been working a lot staring out the kitchen window ~ laptop open, with a background of dozens of birds happily chirping away and squirrels racing in and out of the yard barking at each other… so when the new Alessi press kit came across the table, perhaps its not so surprising that the birds and squirrels ended up being the designs that grabbed me first! Take a peek at close ups of both on the next page!
There’s nothing that says comfort food ~ like walking down the street and smelling that fresh apple pie in the air… as we strolled through the new Milano Salone design area, Ventura Lambrate, suddenly there was the smell of apples baking wafting through the air… and adorable signs promising “fresh pies + coffee + hot butt” ~ the adorable team of Public Pie from the Netherlands was out making fresh little apple pies in muffin trays in one of the courtyards! And they looked so cute, i had to take some pics for you! (Sadly, we found it just after a huge lunch, so didn’t get a chance to taste!) Take a peek at the fun branding, pie making, and experience on the next page!
The latest in the Dear NOTCOT guest posts… here’s one from my old friend, Jackson Stakeman, who just might become our food editor… if we’re lucky! He was kind enough to help attend what sounds like a delicious event, and being a professional photographer AND food connoisseur, his pics are looking awesomely scrumptious!
Laid out underneath the enormous iconic tree of the Santa Monica Fairmont Hotel, StarChefs held its annual Rising Stars Revue. Tables were laid out in a massive ring, and there was fabulous food and drink in all directions. Being there an hour just before sunset, there was a lot of running around trying to photograph everything before losing the perfect light.
The food was fantastic, these rising stars were picked for a good reason, there was lots of amazing tastes, and fun playful ideas as you went table to table. The surprising and minimalist cube sculpture above is actually Jordan Kahn’s violet sauce topped white chocolate cube filled with cream a sponge cake served on a white kitchen tile. Equally amazing was having the chance to experience such a variety of dishes and drink pairings all in one event. It was also a great opportunity to watch many of this year’s rising star chefs prepare these delicacies before my eyes.
Culinary interests aside, the plates were also especially NOTCOT worthy. All of the 13,000 plates were provided by Verterra, whose compostable disposable dinnerware are not only beautiful, but made from fallen leaves!
Ready to dive in to see my favorite dishes of the night? There are plenty more courses on the next page…
Popped by the Architizer launch party tonight at the A+D Museum (major work in progress going on across the street from LACMA) ~ and then the Cool Haus Ice Cream Truck came! And it was ice cream for dinner…Architectural ice cream! From Richard Meyer Lemon to Frank Behry and Rem “Coolhaus”… the imagery for the Cool Haus brand of architecturally inspired ice cream is adorable… sadly the ice cream cookie sandwiches are just normal looking… i secretly hoped for a plate with a fake lawn and a cookie sandwich shaped like a house… that i could then decorate with doors and windows of sugary faux-glass panes? Take a peek at the scene and the truck and my cookies and cream smooshed between oatmeal raisin cookies on the next page!
p.s. the paper is edible, they’ll even let you print your own logo on it… but just because its edible doesn’t mean it tastes good!
So, today was incredibly inspiring. Popped down to Oakley HQ in Foothill Ranch ~ and was quickly overwhelmed with everything from the beautiful view on the drive into the space… to the entrance… to the design studios… architecture… ejection seats… history… future… and secret bar… but, lets start outside. Between the Helipad and the Tank out front… POMEGRANATES! Tiny clementine sized pomegranates growing on the more adorable bushes lined the pathway between. And i was tempted to climb on the tank… but didn’t, and in retrospect, i’m now extremely curious what those little pomegranates taste like. But before we get inside the building… take a peek at at the fun outside Oakley.
How can you resist squirrels… on retro fabulous bodies… on a bag of not-crisps… holding sweet chillis? The graphics were just too irresistible not to buy a bag of the baked goodness when we were at Waitrose earlier. And then upon discovering their website, there are even MORE fun graphics, and the most adorable site as well. So take a peek at my Crips on the next page… pics of the bag and snacks themselves as well as a look at their beautifully laid out newsletter and site!
SO! Did the Virgin America redeye LAX-JFK ~ and even went for a window seat in hopes of photographing sunrise on the way in… sadly we got in SO EARLY, the sun hadn’t risen yet. So no pics of that… but on silly design details i couldn’t pass up… when they brought me the fruit and cheese plate - it had this adorable airplane salt and pepper shaker i had to share with you! It’s like the toy in the cereal box… only instead of cereal, it was with the fruit and cheese… Anyhow! It’s cute, check out more pics on the next page…
Fusion Brands’ FoodPod ~ i ran into it at A+R and it was so odd, i couldn’t stop poking at it. Then i had to buy it. It’s another silicon creation from Fusion Brands to help in the kitchen… they are certainly creative with their ability to solve problems i didn’t even realize i had. Like keeping my veggies/eggs separate from other things, or together in the pot for easy removal… here you can fill the FoodPod with just about anything… and then you can dunk it into your boiling pot of water, and even hook the angler fish looking top to the lip of the pot for easy retrieval! lift and autostrain ~ unhook the cap, and your food is ready! See more pics of it on the next page!
Black and White. Angel and Devil. Fun illustrations. Hilarious how to on the back, showing how this egg topper (with the three little blades inside) can even double as a napkin ring (won’t it slice up your napkin possibly? if used right?)… and brain sperm logo. And it’s both the egg decapitator AND the holder. Genius. So of course you understand that i couldn’t resist this adorable german pair of Brain Stream Cregg & Cregg while in Stockholm… and i only just got around to testing them out ~ pictures of the experience and details on the next page!
Andy Bell is probably one of the awesomest people i’ve met in 2009 (yay, sdcc?) ~ and his red and blue sushi’s sit sadly in their boxes by my desk inspiring me daily. So you can only imagine how ridiculously giddy i’ve been photoshopping the behind the scenes pics for this feature where he gives us a look into not only how they came to be, but also a chance to giveaway one of the much coveted GREEN O-NO SUSHIs!!! Before they are even available (you can buy one in january, but you’d better be quick!)…
So if you’re ready ~ go see the making of feature as well as details on how to win one of these awesome little guys + some stickers too on the feature page!
p.s. we got a sneak peek at the green ones at SDCC
Let me level with you. It was my birthday and i totally tried to take the day off a little. Got some extra sleep. Went for a walk and caught up with a friend on the beach ~ a beach walk complete with ice cream and taco truck tacos (in that order of course!) ~ did super chill dinner and… met up with Linhchi for the most ridiculous microwave experimenting we’ve done in a while… People claim i’m hard to shop for, but really you just have to keep in mind that i’m pretty easy to amuse? Besides, this little as seen on TV number even has CORE FUSION TECHNOLOGY!!! (Ok, so to me, it feels more like magical gravity weighing down on my poor explosive marshmallow) AND she brought adorable marshmallows that are products of israel covered with adorably anthropomorphized illustrated mallows that would make the sanrio crowd squeal. The cuteness does make it easier or harder to consume them (depending on how you react to the cuteness!) Impressive? Their mallow jumping and squishing the barcode. LOVE IT. But i digress… we microwaved up a few of these babies, watched them mushroom up, and then the MICROSMORES machine (read: plastic container with weighted platform on a stick that you don’t even get to PUSH) did its thing, making magical smores. Now if only there was some liquid smoke or fire involved in the process, you’d truly recreate the campfire smore experience…. ok even then, a bit is still missing, but that didn’t hold us back from sticking whatever else we could find in there!
I know i have SO many things i want to post and show you that i’m behind on this week (that life balance thing kicked in ~ you understand, right? this week life won a bit more than usual ~ but don’t work, workaholic me will be back, and might need some assistance, but more to come on that soon perhaps)… but figured we should start with the fun crazy stuff first… anyhow! Check out these awesome marshmallows and the MICROSMORES magic on the next page… good times!
NOTCOT Field Trip? Posted The Grilled Cheese Truck earlier this week on NOTCOT.org, and when we noticed it was going to be on this side of town for lunch, simply had to pop out to see what all the commotion was about. (Also, i have a soft spot for grilled cheese... and their logo reminds me of The Magic School Bus... i half expected to see Ms. Frizzle pop out to take us on a cheesy adventure)... With website, twitter, and facebook page (like many of these social media savvy specialty lunch trucks) the updates were constant as their precise location kept changing down to the minute, and we finally found them at the Los Angeles Fine Arts & Wine Storage Company parking lot, only half an hour into it and quite the line had already formed, inescapable scent of delicious greasy cheesiness omnipresent. Even CBS news was there tasting and shooting away... With a mix of your classic grilled cheeses, to your gourmet grilled cheese (add in mac+cheese, bacon, avocado, bbq pork and more) ~ and even dessert options (marshmallows, nutella, bananas) ~ as well as tomato soup shots and more ~ it was hard to choose! As with all of these specialty twitter happy lunch trucks, the lines are long, ordering seems to be the bottleneck, and it seems best to meet up with a bunch of friends to hang out with in line... also, go early! Because depending on zoning/landlord regulations, they can usually only stay put for a limited amount of time, so not everyone will get fed! So take a peek at more pics of both the truck and the food ~ this is the first time i've peeked INSIDE the truck! And since it took quite a while to get the food, and i promised to get Linhchi back to her house by 1:40, we shot the food pics in the car (sometimes at red lights)...
was reading up last night on this Lunch Truck Phenomenon that seems to be sweeping the nation lately ~ some fun resources to note: Find LA Food Trucks and California Taco Trucks (run by dan's old boyscout friend, Cyrus Farivar!)
While fun and amusing ~ i think overall, if i'm going to spend an hour+ at lunch with friends, i'd rather do the sit down thing ~ but good times, and a fun chance to catch up with some old friends!
From an im conversation right now, we've decided that when the process of getting the food and hanging out with friends is a lot of the fun... where is our champagne and oysters truck?
Sometimes you desperately run around the city all evening, desperately hunting for an open restaurant after having two drinks at the ice bar for "breakfast", almost genuinely considering buying 7-11 food, tweet for help, call for suggestions, and almost everything that comes up is closed... then you stumble upon the adorable red cozy outdoor section of Grodan, and peek into a stunningly ornate dining room that smells delicious... and there it is. Froggies! Everywhere! On the menu... embroidered on the napkins, on the door - a simple red silhouette of a frog! (Yes, i now know Groda means Frog in swedish)... but the most intriguing instance of this little red frog i encountered was as i sipped my water... there it was on the bottom of my glass! And it looked so fun with its reflection and prismatic colors projected on the table... I had to share... and i'm so tempted to make mini vinyl stickers to apply to the bottom of my glasses to surprise people when i get home... see more of the pics on the next page!
On awesome design that they clearly had far too much (or just enough?) fun with... how cool is this Yelp Elite Metal Lunchbox and Thermos?!?!?! In fact, Michael Ernst, an ex-Yelp-team-er who worked on the design project and sent this awesome gift over even took that main picture up top ~ emailing, "I actually went to a gravel pit in my tiny hometown of Minocqua and asked if I could shoot this there. The guy who ran it was utterly confused at my request. I wanted it to look like another planet." ~ how coudl i not use the pic after a story like that??? So take a peek at more close ups on the next page ~ its the details that will really get you chuckling at your screen...
Far more exciting than design week, everywhere i went i heard "You HAVE to go get ice cream at Selfridges!"... which seemed bizarre until i found out about the Icecreamists, and now i must tell you, "You HAVE to go get ice cream at Selfridges!" Before i get into the space and concept itself though, their The Infamous Sex Pistol Ice Cream deserved a post all on its own... "Natural stimulants & Absinthe Ice Cream. A classic Fior di Latte or Milk Ice Cream blended with Ginkgo Biloba, Arginine and Guarana for blood flow and energy. Scented with a gentle infusion of citrus zest. Topped with a shot of La Fee Absinthe. Strictly only one per person. Served with a complimentary Icecreamist badge." The London Paper deemed this the "Viagra Ice Cream"... but realizing that the absinthe was served out of an iv drip, i simply HAD to order it. Also, this ended up being breakfast with a friend, so a little pick me up didn't help before a full day of shopping in the saturday high street crowds. To take a look at the process and the cocktail itself, check out the pics on the next page! More to come on The Icecreamists soon!
and while i don't normally love absinthe, this was rather delicious...
On unique experiences, i was invited to a lovely intimate dinner at the LeBasse Projects gallery in Culver City prior to the opening of their Edwin Ushiro "Softly Encompassing the Womb" and Ryuichi Ogino "Idealistically Hypocritical 3" shows this weekend ~ where they essentially set up a dining table in the midst of all the artwork, and invited a few of us to dine with the artists and gallery owners and discuss everything from the art, to the mythologies and stories behind the paintings, to twitter/facebook/luddites, to hypocrisy, to ghosts, and so much more. I also couldn't help but get constantly distracted at the stunning pieces on all sides to stare at... gorgeous body of work from Edwin Ushiro as always. And having a chance to really spend time with the pieces up close was great, the larger pieces are just breath taking, and so beautifully layered with such evocative palettes. Take a peek at the scene, and some of the pieces up close on the next page!
While the sdcc preview night doors open in just a few minutes ~ i couldn't resist taking in the view and doing a little photoshoot on the hotel coffee table to show you Andrew Bell's amazing O-No Food Company Sushi toys that just launched with limited edition Blue 150 colorway (only 150 pieces) for sdcc... Luckily the Dumbrella crew snuck me in early, and gave me a chance to see what pre-comicon is really like (constant forklift dodging!)... BUT back to the matter at hand, while i got excited about these Sushi guys when they were NOTCOT.org #22670 ~ they are even better in person! And their stumpy little arms rotate... their eyes swap... and he's strategically placed his name on them too. Anyhow, see the pics of them on the next page... i even tried to put SOME of their tentacles back on...
So i'm in San Diego ~ wandering the gaslamp district, and for the first time i'm actually STAYING in the gaslamp (i've lived in sd for years in so many different places, but never really stayed downtown much)... and as soon as i was cruising towards the convention center white picket fences caught my eye ~ then i saw the big Cafe Diem sign! (Yes! the fictitious Eureka cafe) And cardboard cutouts of the Eureka cast! And huge Syfy logos.... and had to swing back over. (Unfortunately the Cafe Diem main sign had JUST fallen over when i got back with a camera, so perhaps an update with that later!)
So as far as marketing/sponsorship opportunities go ~ i'm impressed! Last year there was a Eureka ice cream truck ~ and this year they really stepped up the food serving idea and took over a cafe across from the convention center. The branding is impeccable as expected... from the picket fence, to the signage, to the purple gumballs, to the backs of all the counter seats, coasters, and more... and brilliant idea as far as fun places to have Syfy meetings? Or meet for drinks? or have parties? And talk about a captive audience, it's still a fully functioning cafe... Love the versatility of branding a full service space. Take a peek at more pics on the next page!
What's next? Will we get to explore a life sized S.A.R.A.H?
As promised in the last post about the Arta Barware goodies ~ while making lemonade we cut open one of the largest (nearly softball sized?) lemons from the top of my tree ~ and we were surprised to find that the seeds had started sprouting! Not knowing this was possible, i immediately started rethinking those old wives' tales about how swallowing a seed would make a tree grow out of your head.... and while talking to someone else, i started thinking of the plant based villains from Darkwing Duck too (embedded videos on the next page if you need to catch up on Dr. Bushroot and Spike)... Anyhow, the seeds have now been planted, will see what happens to them, but not before taking some pics to share with you!
I'm no botanist. Is this normal?
On really fun packages to receive ~ Ben & Jerry's sent over some of their new Flipped Out ice creams. Basically they are like ice cream upside down "cakes" ~ you peel the top, flip it over, and stick your thumb in to push them out onto your plate, and within moments they get a little gooey and fudgey... honestly its more fun/yummy than it is pretty. There is brownie, peanut butter cup, and cookie dough ~ peanut butter and cookie dough were def the best! Strangely of our panel of 3 ~ brownie was not living up to expectations!
BUT, for the SUPER fun part, it came packed in a big styrofoam container with DRY ICE! So as we unboxed, ended up playing with the dry ice for a bit until it was all gone! So some silly videos of that were inevitable... check out a look at the unboxing, dry ice playing, packaging, and more on the next page!
Perhaps the coolest random goodies yet... Ford & Ching (Previously FordBrady, but Brady has moved on and Ching has joined Ford) ~ while at Dwell on Design this morning, i got a branded marshmallow in a box ~ a very cool little wooden box cut to perfectly fit a single marshmallow. A marshmallow i couldn't bear to eat until i had thoroughly photographed it to share with you! (As it was publishing, i devoured it. it was delicious.) While i hate to admit it, i was far too excited by the adorably cool boxes and chatting with both Ford & Ching that i don't have the name of the awesome wood loving designer behind the boxed mallows, but i'll be back there tonight and quite a bit this weekend, so i'll come add that later... but first things first ~ check out the awesome branded mallow in a box on the next page!
UPDATE!!! The awesome woodiness is by Andrew Riiska ~ and his blog has some fun behind the scenes look at his gorgeous tables as well!