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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

And Finally ...

What could I possibly add to what Colton and Brian have already said about our California adventure? Here are a few memorable moments from my point of view.

Tue the 18th:

While hurriedly putting all the suitcases into the trunk of the awesome Protege, I for some crazy reason decided to put the car keys in the trunk and close it -- brilliant! Luckily, Colton calmly informed me that you could pop the trunk from inside. Whew! What a relief. I thought I had ended the trip before it even started. I'm sure Colton and Brian will get a lot of mileage out of this for years to come.

The amusement that Colton and I had at watching the, "trying to look so sweet and innocent", Brian as he sat in the airport security getting the whole security check. I guess he looked a little suspicious.

Trying to explain to Colton and Brian "how great Southern California really was" as we crept along the 405 toward L.A. in an area that even I had to admit was not the most scenic; and having them keep saying to me with their little smirks that "I'm sure it really was a great place to grow up."

The taste and feeling while eating the most sublime carrot soup at Lucques.

Entering the La Brea Bakery. Nancy Silverton has been someone I have greatly admired and respected for over a decade. I have made dozens of her recipes and followed her rise as she has become one of America's greatest pastry chefs. To finally visit her bakery where it all started was truly amazing.

Eating at Mozza's where the music really is loud just like Mario, and the pizza dough is really great, and having my 5 year old daughter Sophie call during dinner and hearing her demand as loud as she could over the music "Why is that music so loud? Come home right now!"

Wed 19th:

Off the plane straight to Berkeley (Colton driving like Colton - seat belts recommended) for lunch at Chez Panisse. For me the desserts are always so amazing. I am surprised and delighted by the perfect peach and raspberry crisp. The unsweetened vanilla panna cotta was perfectly balanced with a huckleberry sauce. The chocolate mint ice cream (made from steeped mint leaves) -- a taste so pure and satisfying. Brian's remark after the meal was simply, "I am so happy now." Isn't that what it is all about? Bringing a little bit of joy to people in this crazy, messy world.

After an afternoon of hunting down a few of our old chefs, eating some pastries, watching Colton and Brian inhale burgers at In 'n Out (I don't know how Colton can eat so much), we had a few minutes before dinner so I persuaded the boys to take a quick trip to the beach. It was windy, and cold, but it was beautiful and magical. Just taking a few minutes to watch the waves, smell the ocean and daydream is something that fills me with hope and happiness and peace for the future.

The look on Colton's face as he watched the most perfect pizza being made and baked in the wood fired oven at A 16. Nothing is more fun than to listen to Colton when he starts talking about food and what it means to him. His passion just pours out; it is truly inspiring.

Thurs 20th:

Eating breakfast at the Grove, pastries at the Boulangerie and then straight to Pizzetta 211 where we had the most amazing heirloom and cucumber salad. Crammed in the corner of this tiny 16-seat restaurant (which was packed) -- it was unbelievably good.

Following Colton and Brian around downtown exactly 15 paces behind them. I for some reason could never keep up with the Olympic speed walkers.

Being truly blown away by the Ferry Plaza Building. So much great food.

Hearing Brian state how much he appreciated our waiter at Zuni, who had disappeared on us, when he returned, honestly told us that his friends had come in and he was talking to them. That is the kind of servers we want no excuses, just integrity.

I look forward to seeing you all - old friends and new - at the pizzeria.

Let's share a meal.


Anonymous said...

sounds like an awesome trip.


i really am sweet and innocent dude

Colton said...

Nice work J-Mcrae