travelogues for... people & parties

A Giant Celebration

After the Giants won the world series. Again. On Sunday night…we took to the streets like proper San Franciscans so we could dance, take turns wearing a giant panda head, posture, pose, laugh, share a bottle of jack, collect high fives from strangers, and celebrate with our fellow city-dwelling fans. We saw a lot of love and high spirits…but not any vandalism or major destruction. Yes there were some fires in the street, but they were contained and police were plentiful.

Here are some iPhone snaps from the evening…






Foie Farewell

Xanthie and Scott hosted a lovely farewell to foie just before the California ban took effect.

The weather was lovely and the foie even lovelier.

Of course, we started with cocktails.

X made a torchon. And as with all foie dishes, this took 3-4 days prep before the unveiling. But, my what a lovely unveiling it was.

She topped slices of foie gras with Muscato d’Asti gelee and served with brioche toasts, caramelized onions a swirl of balsamic creme and various salts.

Lucky, lucky us.

After our grand parting to foie was over, we mourned it’s loss with steak and sautéed tomatoes, salad, a cheese course, and finally a sabayon for dessert. It was a lovely fête and proper sendoff indeed.



Slow Food San Francisco, Golden Glass Event

Slow Food San Francisco put on a fantastic event last weekend to launch Slow Wine and celebrate the wines and foods of Italy. If you weren’t there, I’m sorry. But here’s a taste of what what you missed…




Salute per Tutti: Bottling our Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir




A Bridal Shower for Eddiemae

I loved being asked to photograph the bridal shower for my friend, Eddiemae. It was a lovely afternoon, a lovely setting, and all the ladies had such a great time together.  I just wanted to hang out with all of them into the rest of the afternoon instead of going home when the event was over. What a wonderful, beautiful group of women.  The wedding in Mexico, is sure to be quite memorable. Congrats to Eddiemae and Colin!

le Diner San Francisco

Or, as I like to call it, Dinner en Blanc.

Somehow, I was able to wrangle up an invite to the inaugural White Dinner in San Francisco, based on the famous one that takes place in Paris every year.

I could only bring four guests, per the rules. So I was joined by Jonathan, Xanthie and Andy.

Throughout the week, and up to it, we all speculated where our dinner might be held. My thought was in front of City Hall. A grand monument? Check. A public place in which to cause a bit of a spectacle? Check. Picturesque? Check. Enough space for 1000s of white-clad guests convening for a civilized elegant dinner, then departing as mysteriously as they appeared leaving no trace? Check.

But I was wrong with my guess.

At about 4:00pm the evening of the event, the location was finally disclosed. So we packed up our gear and headed over to the beautiful old bandstand in Golden Gate park between the de Young Museum and the Academy of Science.

We brought our own chairs, tablecloth, food, cutlery, dishes, glassware, table decor and dressed appropriately–everything all in white.  As we walked from the car to the scene of our dinner, we wondered how big the affair would be…300 hundred people? 1000 people? No one I talked to around the city, apart from my guests, had heard of it.

Apparently some people had heard of it. In fact, 3400 of them did.

Perhaps the greatest stroke of luck of all that night was the cooperative weather. It was an unusual, lovely balmy night in San Francisco. Eating outside, and being in Golden Gate Park after dark–let alone doing both at the same time–is not often the most favorable choice in a city where fog is a cliché.

Finally, at 7:00, the start of dinner was signalled by the ceremonial napkin wave.

Xanthie made an incredible Tomato Tarte Tatin. Which we enjoyed immensely along with an array of charcuterie and fromage, heirloom tomatoes, quiche, salad, pâté with baguette and of course the obligatory bottles of Crement Rose. Jon brought a special treat–a bottle of Weingut Knebel Riesling, which we shared with our table-mates.

All in all, it was a lovely affair. And I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would. Some people really took their table seriously and set up grand floral centerpieces with lovely silver and china. Others, smartly, had strands of white christmas lights strung about, giving their tables a warm cozy glow. Everyone seemed to bring a smile and a sense of sweet conviviality to the night.  So we wandered around, bare-armed and bubbly in hand, relishing the spectacle and glad to be a part of it.