Napa Goes on Tour to Los Angeles
I return to Napa with a new-found respect for Los Angeles. What a great time I had with fellow Napans Taylor and Toponia from the Fatted Calf, thanks to our really fine hosts at Cube. Cube is an unusual food palace on La Brea. It's a restaurant, prepared foods and provisions sanctuary with some wild wines and one of the best cheese and salumi selections I've ever seen. It's run by an incredible team of food lovers, headed up by Alex Palermo. I always say "the fish rots from the head" when I meet poorly run companies or governments. Alex is proof that the opposite is also true. Alex is so excited about food and wine, it's impossible not to catch his infectious attitude. Alex's ace in the hole is the lovely Rachel Sheridan, who is a buyer without equal. She picked Rancho Gordo out years ago, long before we were really ready to offer our products at retail but she pushed and we all won. Our trip started from Napa on a rather private, rather fabulous jet. Isn't it funny how time flies when you're drinking champagne up in the air with good friends? Anticipation! Alex Palermo looking rather dandy in someone else's specs. Once in LA, we toured the facilities, rested and then enjoyed the incredible food from the kitchen at Cube in their newly finished wine cave. There was a long community table that held about 18 comfortably as we enjoyed course after course of grand eats with even swankier wines. The next day was the big Pork and Beans party at their downtown warehouse facility, on the roof top. What a great time. I met a lot of my longtime Angeleno customers and made lots of new frends. I also had friends from high school come as well as friends from the various jobs I've had throughout my life. It was like old home week. Looking rather "chido" with Chef Erin The master at work. For anyone that was drinking beer, I offered them our salty sour xoconostle strips. Was I a little pushy? Maybe. But they asked for more! The music and food were excellent and the whole afternon passed in a pleasant blur that is now a memory.The proceeds from the event went to Cube's foundation to help get kids to eat real food. I think I ate and drank a wee bit more than is good for me. Now it's back to bad supermarket sandwiches and hunting for coins for parking meters. But for one long weekend I felt like something between a rock star and a movie star, thanks to Cube.