02 October 2009

big sur extravaganza

It's finally here: the big sur books are out! #1, which was actually released in June, is the ‘Big Sur Bakery Cookbook’, and #2, which is coming out in a few weeks, is ‘My Nepenthe’. Both with completely different stories, both about a mile away from each other on the ocean side of highway one, 26 miles south of Carmel. One of my favorite things to do is drive south with Tim, comfortable without talking, music playing, my bare feet on the dashboard, looking at the water. Then we go on a big, sweaty hike and end up drinking a big, cold beer / eating a basket of fries on the deck of Nepenthe. When the sun goes down, I look at the water again and I try to imagine what it would be like to be all by myself, in the dark, in the middle of the ocean. Totally terrifying or totally liberating, nothing in between.

29 August 2009

Letters from Argentina, round two

It's winter here in Argentina, yet a nice 75+ degrees every day. I packed the wrong clothes and I'm sweating all the time. Things are much more relaxed this time around, and I can actually experience what I'm shooting, cherishing that extra half hour of sleep every night. Here's my 8 steps of success:

1 - Don't think about it, just shoot.
2 - Loosen up.
3 - Drink Malbec.
4 - Life is too short, eat the chocolate and shut up.
5 - Life is too short, eat the blood sausage and like it.
6 - You're your own best friend and treat your body like it's the best thing that's ever happened to you.
7 - Sleep.
8 - Repeat.

06 May 2009

Letters from Calabria

Today is my first day back from Italy, and I'm fighting a bad case of jet lag. I shot up and down the southwest coast, otherwise known as the beautiful unknown Calabria, for a book about, what else, the food of Calabria. Let me tell you, I've never eaten more food or better food in my life. Everything is so simple and so fresh, it puts "fresh and organic" in this country to shame. I'm so frustrated that I don't have access to unpasteurized cheese right now and I don't know how anyone in their right mind could come up with something so tasteless and stupid. One of the highlights of the trip was shooting a shepherd making fresh ricotta. He scooped a bit off the top of the giant black pot over the fire, put it on some homemade bread, and that was my breakfast. I almost passed out; it was too good.

18 April 2009

Letters from Argentina

Just returned from a seven day book assignment about local culture and winemaking in Argentina. I've never visited Argentina or South America for that matter, and now I'm considering selling everything I have and buying a goat farm in the mountains in Salta. Honestly. I am in love. I never knew that stressing out grape vines and forcing them to grow in a seemingly uninhabitable location will make the wine taste even BETTER. I now have so much more respect for vines, and compared them to crazy artists: when one is put in a stressful situation to create an art that makes them extremely uncomfortable or what they aren't used to, the result can be the most beautiful thing you've ever seen (or tasted).