An Ugly Box With A Beautiful Gift

Sparkling ribbons and paper swathed the holiday season with excitement, expectation and surprise.  Tenderly, I removed each ribbon so that it could be reused–a sentimental and frugal habit. Then like my grandchildren, I ripped through the colorful wrap and held my breath anticipating the moment I would hold something special purchased or made for me by someone I love. A gift card for my favorite clothier, grandchildren smiling in a framed photo, a box of French cookies, a book, fragrant lotions and a shiny []

It’s Trite, But Winning Top Chef Isn’t “Everything”

Author’s note:  This is a continuation of a series of blogs about the experience of watching my daughter, Chef Dakota Weiss,  make her way through Bravo TV’s Top Chef Texas, currently airing on Wednesday nights.  Check for updates at bottom of post. “June Gloom” also known as a “thick marine layer” that typically hangs over California’s coast during June, lasted most of the summer.  It was the kind of summer when I wore fleece instead of gauze while Dakota, in the hellish []

Top Chef Texas–Dakota’s Sauce Sinks and Gazpacho Flies

Ah, it’s holiday time in LA. Lit like drunken fireflies, 50-foot yachts cruise the harbors at night. Steaming sweet tamales delight the air above a Los Posadas procession on Olvera Street. Scientology Santa greets menorah lighting Santa in Hollywood. Ice skating hotel guests, in shorts and tank tops, slip, spin and slide on synthetic ice in the 70-degree sun over the pool at the W, Westwood.

My Top Chef Cheftestant Kid Plays With Food

Author’s note:  This is a continuation of a series of blogs about the experience of watching my daughter, Chef Dakota Weiss,  make her way through Bravo TV’s Top Chef Texas, currently airing on Wednesday nights.    Early in Dakota’s career she worked under the chef de cuisine at The Mansion at Turtle Creek in Dallas.  There she met and observed celebrity chef Dean Fearing. This was a natural transition from her time with chef Mark Miller and his chef de cuisine,  Jeff []

Chef Dakota Weiss & Her Top Chef “Mother Effin” Snakes

Author’s note:  This is a continuation of a series of blogs about the experience of watching my daughter, Chef Dakota Weiss,  make her way through Bravo TV’s Top Chef Texas, currently airing on Wednesday nights. Spring break at Scottsdale Culinary Institute gave my daughter, Chef Dakota Weiss, now a Top Chef Season 9 contestant, time to stay with us in our northern New Mexico log house in the middle of an apple orchard.  Beautiful place.   True to the Top Chef public relation []

Desensitized To The Homeless In Front of Me

There was time to waste while waiting for my train connection last Saturday.  The sun shot rays of warmth thru the cool November air that gently wiggled the Glendale city flag above the old rail station.  Hurried commuters voided the busy weekday space and I, along with five others, sought time-killing amusements while our Amtrak connection worked its way north. A man, in decent clothes (from what I could judge from my distance), sat two benches down.  He seemed engaged in a []

Foodie Factors’ Future Top Chef Daughter

Dakota’s cheftestant introduction video on Bravo TV’s Top Chef Season 9 website should not send me into some kind of crazy swirl of overly sweetened chocolate and caramel sugar high, but it does. The premier countdown is on. Oh good Lord, what will I do if I hear Tom Colicchio tell her, “Please pack your knives and go?” What will I do if she’s in the final three or less?