Way back when, hotelier Leona Helmsley was charged with tax evasion and she became Public Enemy #1. A clever ad campaign lured guests back with the line… “Say what you want, she runs a helluva place!” That’s the way I feel about Los Angeles. I don’t know why, but I used to harbor suspicions about the place, that it was all just a big phony…

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Wow! The latest numbers are in! So far over $11,000 have been raised for the Red Cross to help the victims of the earthquake in Kashmir. There are fabulous prizes to be had, and you could win any of them for a minimum donation of just $5. There’s a historic walking tour of New York’s Chinatown, a day with Michelin-starred chef Stéphane Molé of Les…

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Tiny little heads of cauliflower, no bigger than a dolls-head. These were the most colorful I’d ever seen in magnificent shades of vivid purple and deep orange. Although America is known as the land of HUGE food, these tiny baby carrots are tender and very sweet. My first week as a cook at Chez Panisse, I spent a few hours peeling a case of them…only…

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To Whoever This May Concern: I apologize for stealing your Sharpie® during my current book tour. As you can see, I couldn’t help it. It started with the one I borrowed when booksigning in Virginia. But somewhere between there, and San Francisco, my obsession went horribly wrong. But you see, we don’t get Sharpies® in France. And I just couldn’t resist yours. Your Sharpie® was…

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Sonoma County

Just a short drive across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, Sonoma County is a gorgeous winemaking region about an hour north (unless you’re me and have a horrible sense of direction and get lost…then it will take longer.) But once you arrive, you’ll find that Sonoma boasts world-class cheesemakers like Ig Vella who makes Sonoma Dry Jack, a hard grating cheese whose exterior…

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Menu For Hope

My other girlfriend Pim has organized a wonderful auction to raise money for victims in Pakistan and India of the recent natural disaster. As the chilly winter approaches, international aid is necessary and vital to the people of these regions.

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In case you’d like to read a first person account of my Holiday Chocolate Baking class in Seattle, Gluten-Free Girl came by to visit and posted about it at her site And Sam posted about my class (and proposal) at Becks & Posh in San Francisco as well. Seems like I’m leaving a few broken hearts in my wake!

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I have to admit that this is my “Little Black Dress” that many women…and perhaps a few men (since I’m from San Francisco), consider their multi-purpose, never-fail-to-impress sexy black number hanging in their closet. I’m normally wary of recipes that call themselves “The Best” since often you make them, and they ain’t all that. But of all the chocolate sauce recipes I’ve tasted over the…

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