If there’s one thing I love, it’s a good cocktail party! Descanso Gardens has been coming up with some really innovative and intimate events, and their latest, Movers & Cocktail Shakers was the kind that puts the fun back in fundraiser.
Held at the historic Boddy House, we celebrated the era of the home through cocktails of the times, headed up by bar director Sean Naughton of LACMA’s Ray’s & Stark Bar. Three handcrafted cocktails told the formative story of the martini and old fashioned through their common ancestor, the martinez, the construction of prohibition-era sours, and the original recipe of the mai thai with hand-pressed almond syrup. Sean told the story of each drink, including interesting info about the ingredients, and gave great mixing advice. After each demo, he taught one volunteer how to make the drink again, so we’d really learn them.
Talking aged gin & the martinez
Vintage cocktailing kit
Putting the twist on the martinez
A new york sour
To give some real retro flair to this event, we designed a lockup using period typefaces and used photos of the Boddys as a nod to their home. It’s always fun when you get to depart from current branding to develop a themed look for an event, and this one just happens to be an era I love!
i was escaping the early-season heat on the patio last night with a friend, when i realized that maybe it’s time i combine my love for making snacks and drinks and my love of patio sitting with friends into one thing: patio season!
here’s how it works. choose a morning coffee [10:30am] or evening happy hour [5:30pm] appointment, tuesday, wednesday or thursday. tell me when you’d like to meet and what you’d like to talk about. if it’s open, i’ll make the drinks & snacks, you come over and we chat. about design, about business, about ideas, about food stuff–whatever, up to 2 hours.
i’m interested in connecting with old friends, colleagues i don’t see often enough and meeting new people. we’ve got the shade of the loquat tree and a nice breeze. pick a slot and let’s hang!
so, like i said, on sunday i took a condiment class at the poketo store as part of their new series of workshops. our instructor in the photo above, zach negin, is telling us about great books for homemade fermentations. he’s a co-founder at sono trading company whose product, the mustard, i was introduced to at my first artisanal LA event. so cool to see small, handmade food companies making success happen. zach talked about using only natural ingredients, cooking with lard, and highly recommended sandor katz’ books, so we are totally on the same page, food-wise.
we were 15 people, set up around 3 long tables covered with vinegars, syrups, herbs & spices. we had basic instructions and some mixing implements. yet, in a mere 3 hours, we flavored and blended our own mustards, chopped chilis and prepped sriracha to ferment for a week before finishing, seasoned and blended a lacto-fermented ketchup, and cooked up a vegan worcestershire sauce—all with time to spare for a tasting of some of sono trading’s “in development” creations with complimentary wurstkuche fries from next door. what a fun day!
i made a yellow mustard with lots of red flavors, including some red fruit vinegar, pomegranate molasses and cassis syrup. we all made notes about our flavor profiles so we could possibly try to recreate them again, or compare with future recipes. i can see that mustard on its own is a pretty exciting world of possibilities. i can’t wait to try some variations on my own, but i’ll try to eat this up first so i don’t end up with a fridge full of mustard.
poketo has a great write-up here. they were gracious hosts, keeping our equipment clean, visiting and saying hi to each of us, giving gift bags [!] and offering a discount on same-day shopping [of which i took advantage]. they announced that the next class will be about kimchi, so i know i’ll be watching the site to make sure to get in.
i’m both honored and excited to be a panelist in aiga’s blueprint: freelance on march 28 at nextspace in culver city! we’ll be talking about running our business and share the realities of what it’s like to run your own show. this panel is full of great voices in the los angeles design scene, and best suited to designers or related creative professionals who have been curious about starting their own firms and want the scoop from a range of professionals spanning 5 to 20+ years in business.
i’m embarking on a pretty heavy schedule in the coming months, so i decided to prepare with a bunch of food ahead of time. one of the downfalls of feeling busy is i often justify eating things i shouldn’t because i my perception is that i don’t have time to stop working and cook a meal. while i know this isn’t true, i still fall for it, so instead i’ve stocked the fridge with healthy snacks and prepared foods i can quickly assemble into meals. i love me a good food prep day!
here’s my contribution from the eclipse on sunday. i don’t have any fancy equipment, but we did rig up some reversed binoculars and poster board to watch the transition. i like the color shift that’s happening here.
i knew we were supposed to use pinhole technology to refract the eclipse into viewable form but what i hadn’t expected was that any abstract pinholes of light would create the same shape on shady walls everywhere!
last week, i said my final goodbye to my cat ray, who is at the far right in this picture. he was a really sweet cat who unfortunately suffered kidney failure, though he outlived all the vets expectations. this scene, of cats crowding each other on the bed, was always funny to me whenever it did happen. each of them, too close for comfort, would claim a patch of space on top of me while i try to take some sort of picture of what’s happening. this was the last time it would happen, about 2 weeks ago. it’s only something that happens when there are 3 competing for space, somehow there’s always room for 2. here’s to remembering 16.5 years with a great cat.
looking forward, i’ve got the busiest holiday season i’ve had in years. somehow i manage to find people who are energetic and motivated not to sit still for even a minute, so the fun far outweighs the overwhelm. for that reason, i’ll only be heading out to one event this week: saul bass: a life in film and design, free at the hammer on tuesday.