Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Last Sunday, I lost a dear friend who was my foodie buddy, a partner-in-crime, and my chaperone through the world of southern cooking. In between juicy gossip, most of our conversations centered around food (as it should be). We talked endlessly about menus, bbq, cake vs. pie (we both vote pie) and spent one glorious day at the Hollywood Farmer's Market when we went to a book signing by celebrity chef/book flogger Anthony Bourdain.

In tribute to his life and the love of food we shared, the day he passed I went out into a beautiful day to eat good food, lose myself in a crowd, and cherish our friendship.

First stop: Pedals Cafe, which is at the bottom floor of the elegant Shutters Hotel, where you sit close enough to the Santa Monica boardwalk to risk getting run over by randomly unsteady tourists on rollerblades. When my soul needs rejuvenation, I naturally gravitate towards the ocean to opened up to be a gorgeous day, with broad sunshine and a light breeze accompanying my lovely brunch. The service is always crisp and professional, and they sensed my melancholy mood and took care of me, without being overly gooey and fake. I had corned beef hash made from scratch with poached eggs, and the most lovely fruit bowl ever. (It had better be lovely for $15, but I digress.) Lastly they offered the most elegant doggie bag I'd ever received, seriously.

Next stop: a trip to the Getty museum, a place of beauty,peace and tranquility, with stunningly thoughtful architecture offering breathtakingly unique views of Los Angeles. One of the exhibits was a French silversmith who specialized in intricate scuptures that sat atop food service pieces. For example, atop a silver soup tureen, there were delicate molds of an ortalan (small bird eaten whole!), a cauiliflower, a truffle, cabbages and pears all carefully constructed to lie next to each other to simulate a table centerpiece. Clare, with his eye for artful decoration, would have loved that.

Last stop: my neighborhood Lilly's Cafe, where the warm and friendly staff took care of me and I got my favorite steak frites, dunking my frites into mayonnaise, Euro-style, to the horror of other patrons. I love that Lilly's gives you the same great tableside service when you eat at the bar. It's so very French. A shout out to the very kind people I met that night, and especially to the hostess B who offered a shoulder among other things, to lean on.

I'll miss you dearly Clarence.


scribe_girl said...

I just found your blog today, through Colleen Cuisine's site. I clicked on one of your comments.

My young adult niece has had multiple food allergies since childhood, and has recently become quite phobic about food and alarmingly thin. She will only eat a pasta dish that she makes, every single day. Thank you for the links and ideas. I just subscibed her to Living Without magazine.

Didn't mean to say all of that. I'd planned to pass along my condolences for the loss of your friend. I know it doesn't change what has happened, but I hope knowing that you may be helping my troubled niece will bring a bit of joy to your day.

Food Allergy Queen said...

Hi Scribe Girl. Thanks for your note! Please please please try to talk to your niece about her eating habits, in a nice way. One big reason -- which is confirmed by my allergist -- if she keeps eating the same thing without variation, she can eventually become allergic to that one item! Also, some people who are food allergic also get phobic about ever deviating, which is not good either. Tell her of your concern and let her know she is not alone.

Luckily, only one or two of my allergies are life-threatening. But if your niece wants some tips on how to expand her menu safely, I'm glad you're getting her Living Without which helps the feeling of isolation. Also, please send her my email, which is if she wants to talk. I'm (slowly) working on cookbook that will hopefully help others who find themselves stuck and frustrated as well. I was just thinking yesterday that I should post more subsitution tips, because I've amassed quite a few already.

And thanks for your condolences for my friend. I'm putting together his memorial service, which will have a lot of his favorite foods, so that is making me happy.

Colleen Cuisine is one of my buddies, so I'm glad you're reading her blog. She is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry about your loss.


Leslea from Allergy News