November 20, 2007

Whoa, Vegas. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many cranes in my life—it was like a cross between Berlin and Dubai. I'll be doing a jetsetter recap soon, but one highlight was attending the Michelin launch party and meeting the charming (and three star winning) Joël Robuchon—here’s a pic with yours truly plus Jean-Luc Naret, the Director of Michelin Guides. The party was a who’s who—even Thomas Keller was there. Another highlight: our four-hour (plus) dinner at Guy Savoy was so memorable—and chef was actually in the kitchen that night. What an experience, but I am officially on a strict diet (and a budget) for the next month. Random star sighting: a slightly scruffy Luke Perry at Planet Hollywood (where I was staying).

The chef-star sightings continued—an hour after landing at SFO, I got home, dropped of my bags, and hopped on over to the AIWF (American Institute of Wine and Food) dinner for Anthony Bourdain at E+O Trading Company. The tall and skinny cowboy-booted surly-talking Tony was actually seated at our table (lucky us) so we got to listen to him riff and rant on some topics ranging from why he won’t go to Burma (refuses to support the country while it's under its current regime) to life as a newly non-smoking dad while we scarfed on some dishes, like stuffed pig trotter. Sharon Nahm (E&O), Alex Ong (Betelnut), Chris Cosentino (Incanto), and Tim Luym (Poleng Lounge) prepared the family-style feast, with a spread of desserts by Boris Portnoy (Campton Place). Guess who made the trotter?

Speaking of feasts, for those of you still deciding what to drink with your Thanksgiving dinner (and I imagine there are some of you will mostly drink your dinner), I wanted to link to this wino article Carl Grubbs wrote last year. Cheers.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving—I adore this holiday for so many reasons. I am very grateful for so many things, and one of them is your support (and kindness and enthusiasm). I thank you, and wish you all the best.



P.S. Oh, and it wouldn’t be a week without the latest addition to “Hi Helens”/heavy upper arm jargon. This came in from a reader: prosciutto arms.