In addition to writing about food, I also put myself in bizarre situations with chefs and food figures. It's like my drug. Here are some of my favs.
1) Worked the red carpet for Lee Schrager's SoBe Food Festival Cookbook party and Barneys NY "Have a Foodie Holiday" window unveiling (thanks for my mentor, Rochelle Brown, of Powerhouse Productions). I interviewed celebrity chefs and industry bigwigs. Paula Deen wore electric blue contacts that matched her scarf. Marcus Samuelsson was in a rush, but a real darling. Donatella Arpaia was really cold (it was rainy), but looked fabulous in a gold one-shoulder mini. Bourdain flew by and I had a ball goofing it up with Jonathan Waxman. I will have a video clip of this at some point, which I will share with you.
2) Gave tickle seeds to Wylie Dufresne. You can't buy the seeds or leaves anywhere. The buds are out there, but are expensive. It all started when I gave Wylie some tickle stew in a Ziploc bag. Though I'm still amazed he ate it, he asked for more, calling it "other-wordly."
3) Got kissed by Rocco Dispirito's Mamma. This was maybe 10 years ago, when The Restaurant was still on. Her cheek was so soft. All those meatballs did something right.
4) Ate lunch with Tim Zagat at Jean-Georges (with a guest appearance by JG himself). This was when I was interning there and before the AOL Time Warner building was built. Jean-Georges was like Tim's cafeteria. The second we sat down, the waitstaff brought him his favorites: burnt toast and Arnold Palmers. And at the end of the meal, my goodness... the desserts.
5) Gave a Pierre Herme macaron to Emeril Lagasse. We were on a flight back from Paris to New York. I had no carry-on luggage, just a box of the best macarons in the world. About an hour before landing, I offered him one. He picked a yellow macaron (not sure what flavor), and next time I ran into him, he told me it was delicious.