Perhaps I should start at the beginning of the end of the last blog post? So much has happened since then I can hardly catch my breath. The Nomad Chef celebrated its one year birthday on the 14th of February. But instead of having a dinner on Valentine’s Day as we did for our very first dinner as the Nomad Chef, I organized the celebration dinner around 2 friends who flew into town for the weekend from California. They deserved a great party, and that is exactly what we had! The Nomad Chef: no-Mad Men (and crazy women) themed dinner was amazing. Everyone came dressed in their beautiful 60s personas. Beautiful women and gorgeous men sipped whiskey sours and raspberry Soho Mojitos. I’m told the highlight of the evening was the steak au poivre (incredible marbled filet mignon from Jack O’Shea’s butcher at Selfridges), that we nearly burned down the house with as we ignited the brandy! The evening ended at around 1 am, when those of us remaining shot over to Camden where we danced into the wee hours of the night. February 14th was also Alex Berger’s (our wonderful entertainment for the night) album’s (Snow Globe) 1 year birthday as well. What a great night of celebrating both of our birthdays!
We had our Chinese New Year’s dinner on the 2nd of February. At the dinner I met Daniel Bucher. I had no idea he was a professional chef, a molecular chef no less! Glad he didn’t tell me until after the dinner, at which point he mentioned that he was having a pop up dinner in Berlin on the 25th of February. Would I like to come? Hell yeah I wanted to come. A complete stranger invites me to a dinner in an unknown location in Berlin… that epitomizes the fun and spirit of this secret dining experience. Lucky for me a Spanish friend of mine was moving to Berlin 2 days before, so I’d have someone to go with. I got the date wrong and ended up flying in just in time for the dinner… or so that was the plan. But in my excitement I left my passport at home and my boyfriend had to drive it to me in my Smart car, a little putt putt that didn’t putt nearly fast enough for me to catch my plane. So I took a 2 hour train ride to another airport, and finally arrived at the dinner at 10 pm. Perfect timing – the only thing I’d missed were the meat appetizers, and everything after that point was vegetarian. Perfect timing!
I love Berlin. It represents so many things, only some of which are visible whenever you see that amazing wall. Old world and modern fuse so seamlessly in this city brimming with creativity but minus all of the noise and traffic of London. Daniel’s pop up was difficult to find. After a few false starts, I found it through a courtyard on a street filled with galleries and up a glass lift. There was sign whatsoever of what I might be walking into. Daniel took the modern open plan office to a whole other level by building a movie studio like set filled with bistro tables and self made lamps, making this incredibly modern space feel cozy and intimate for the 40 of us who were there. The food is impossible to describe but mouth wateringly delicious. According to the chef, “The emphasis is not on the menus, but on the guests.” The guests were great and the experience was wonderful. I have now dubbed Berlin the California of Germany. There were so many hugs, and I was astonished to learn that Daniel had told people the Nomad Chef was coming all the way from London to dinner. I felt like a celebrity, but the honor was 100% all mine! He is a freelance chef and has very big plans for Pangram’s Kitchen. What is a pangram, you might ask? I had to look it up myself: it is a piece of text which uses every letter of the alphabet, usually in one sentence. Like this one: “Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs.” Daniel is my new friend, as are so many I have met in my Nomad Chef adventures.
Another adventure began in Berlin as well. I will tell you more about it as it unfolds. But here is the teaser – the Nomad Chef is on the road. I will be cooking Madrid, Los Angeles and New York. I am traveling with my friend Susana as I attempt to re-invent my life. Again. The Nomad Chef was the first step. The next will include a documentary I am making about how I survive the most difficult challenge in my life, my new life without my son, and how others bounce back from difficulty and achieve their dreams.Cooking has been my great escape and at the same time a healing potion. My son had a similar, but maybe even more intense relationship with food. And we both had travel in our blood. So what could be better than combining food and travel? On my trip I will be retracing some of the adventures of the original Nomad Chef, my son, while creating some of my own. And in so doing, I am sure my little buddy will be whispering recipes and encouragement in my ear. The Nomad Chef, my life and travels and this documentary are my hommage to him.
I look forward to posting little video clips here so you can follow our adventure. Next stop – Madrid. My road trip, road movie has begun. If you are in LA on the 26th of March, then join us!