Catching Up

I recieved a lovely e-mail the other day. Marce at Pip in the City noticed I haven't been posting as frequently and wrote to check in on me. What can I say? Things have been a little crazy lately. Although the end is in sight, over the next 6 weeks, I'll be blogging even less. Bear with me...I'm working my way through a number of commitments.

So what have I been up to?


Employment with Benefits

I started a new job about a month ago. I'm now working for a publishing company that produces two magazines and has a significant online presence. While it's not food-related, I am learning a lot about the inner workings of a successful magazine. I've had the pleasure of proof reading both magazines before they went to press (this takes hours, and luckily was broken up over two days). I now look at magazines in a whole new light. The amount of work that goes into a typical magazine is truly impressive. Since the magazines I'm working on are industry-specific, I've also been in a learning "bootcamp"--trying to grasp the lingo and get up to speed. I've been reading mountains of information for hours each day. Just when I get to the bottom of my list, someone clears their desk...and finds more for me to read. (I'm secretly loving it!)

Food Lover's Get Down

I still have one foot deep in the food world. So on top of the new job, I've done a little consulting for one of the local magazines...and brainstormed for an upcoming Food Lover's issue. I've been working with a couple writers...sharing ideas, contacts, and whatever else they need from me. (To give you an idea of magazine timelines...all this is for an issue due out in August.) With the direction they're going, that issue is going to be a great reference for the inside scoop on Seattle's Food Scene. More on that later.

Back at the restaurant

Bookings for the slew of summer season events have begun, so I've been working with the chef to figure out his appearance schedule.

What else?

May 14th - we'll be hosting a dinner with Marco Pierre White--the youngest chef to ever be awarded three Michelin stars. This London-based chef has stable full of fabulous restaurants...and a newly released book, "The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef ". This event is held in conjunction with the Seattle-based Kim Rickett's Book Events...and you can read more about it here. The dinner is nearly sold out, but if you want in on the action, contact Union for reservations.

May 17th - Noted cheese authority, Laura Werlin, will be in town for the Cheese Festival. For the kick off, Chef's preparing a meet & greet and a fabulous dinner with Laura. Stay tuned for more details.

Fundraiser on Orcas Island

I've been booking for an event in June. Picture a cooking class with noted chefs in the pristine San Juan Islands. This is my idea of heaven! All the chefs are in place...and we've got some superstars on the horizon: The Herbfarm's legendary Jerry Traunfeld, Pacific Northwest authority Greg Atkinson, James Beard Award-winning author Crescent Dragonwagon, and Seasonal Cornucopia's esteemed Becky Selengut. I'm so excited about this line up! Watch the calendar for more information & registration information.

Early June, I'm heading up to the islands for a site visit to meet with the official event organizers. The chefs will be arriving later in the month, but on this trip, I'll be checking out the venue on their behalf. (Working off-site presents a number of potential challenges and it's best if we can get most of the hurdles figured out ahead of time.) While I'll take any excuse to head out to the islands, gilding the lilly, I've managed to squeeze in dinner at the legendary Christina's Restaurant. (Work does have its perks!)

Bookings and Beyond

That previously mentioned James Beard award-winning author, Crescent, is a good friend of mine. I'm so excited she'll be here for the event out at Orcas Island. While she's in town, we've also managed to book her for several speaking engagements, workshops, and tastings. (Events open to the public will be listed on the 30 Boxes calendar on the right.) For her visit in June, she'll also doing a bit of reconnaissance. You see, Crescent's latest book is due out in August. This fall, she'll be heading out on a nationwide book tour....with a stop here in Seattle. While she's in my corner of the world, I'm working with the publishing company and the local notables to make sure she's at some amazing venues. Crescent is one of the most compelling, dynamic women I've ever met...and I can't wait to spend some quality time with her. With any luck, we'll manage to mix a healthy dose of work AND play!

My good friend Shauna over at Gluten-free Girl is also gearing up for her book tour. I promised to work a little magic for her on the national level. It's a work in progress...and I can't spill the beans just yet. But let's just say...wherever you are in the world, it's likely you'll be able to catch the interview on TV. I'll stop right there. That's all I can say...and it's killing me!

What else? Saturday I leave for a work trip. Vegas, baby, Vegas! While I don't expect to spend much time outside of the conference facilities, with any luck, I'll be able to stick my face in the least for a little while.

As if things weren't crazy enough, I just booked two catering gigs over the next couple weeks. I'm up to my eye balls in gluten-free menu planning for my friend Lisa. She will be competing in the National Master's Swimming Event and afterwards, Lisa's hosting a party for all the athletes...catered by yours truly! I haven't hit the panic button, yet.

A Little Something for Me

I signed up for a five week class at the Henry Museum called the Ancient Cities of Asia. The class is taught by a professor at the University of Washington and we're covering Madurai, Varanasi, Angkor Wat, Beijing and Kyoto. Here's the official blurb: Visually resplendent and architecturally captivating, sacred cities of Asia are rich in political, religious, and cultural history. Their spaces, iconography, and uses open windows into ways of thinking, believing, and feeling quite distinct from everyday Western life. This course will explore the architecture and cultures of five World Heritage sites from South to East Asia.

Okay, so there's the lowdown on what I've been up to lately....and what's on the horizon. Bear with me while I work my way past the slew of events. I'll look forward to catching up with you all soon!

P.S. For those of you following the saga of The Waffle Man...I just heard from him. He'll be here in June. :) (Yes, this warrants a smiley face!)