February 8, 2010 Family , Miscellaneous , Travel

I've been away a while. I know. I know. It's been too long. Instead of groveling and trying to explain my absence I thought I'd make a list about what's gone on since I've last blogged... events, trips, gifts, purchases... whatever. If it's awesome and it's happened in the past couple of months its on the list.

(These are not in order of importance, just the order that they came to me.)

Cyndie and I went to New York... again. I don't think I need to explain to you again my love for New York City and more specifically Manhattan. Now I know I haven't seen the whole world, but, I've seen a lot of it and I can say with some degree of certainty that New York is my favorite place. I know it's not for everyone but for me and Cyndie there's nowhere better. The city, central park, the shopping, the restaurants... I love it all. This was actually the first time that Cyndie and I had gone to New York just for fun. Every other time I've had work there and while we always have a good time when I'm not working it was nice to not have anything but fun on the schedule for our trip.

Also it was our 10 year anniversary.

TEN YEARS!

I can't believe we've been married that long! Here are a few pics I dug out from our proofs from our wedding photos. Don't judge, it was 1999! Sorry the scans are so bad.

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And here we are now, this was in December in New York.

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Which brings us to food. Our favorite thing to do, aside from going to New York, is go to really great restaurants. In the past two months we have eaten some incredible meals.  I could go on and on about them but there's probably only a few of you out there that would care so I'll just list a few of them.

DBGB. Super Chef, Daniel Boulud's less formal restaurant near the site of the famous old CBGB club in the East Village. Incredible burgers, amazing house made sausages, great beer list.

Jean Georges. Wow. One of New York's five Michelin 3 Star Restaurants. Incredible

Gramercy Tavern. I've heard about Gramercy Tavern for years and in December while we were in New York we totally lucked out and scored what is one of Manhattan's toughest reservations. It did not disappoint.

Animal. A sweet restaurant in West Hollywood that is a vegan's worst nightmare. Luckily I'm no vegan.  Pork Belly sliders, chicken liver toast, veal breast, rabbit legs... even the desert had bacon in it! Mmmmmmeat!

A16. San Francisco's famous restaurant that specializes in not just Italian food, but food from the Campania region of Italy. You have to respect a restaurant that is that focused on what they do. Its easy to try to be all things to all people and end up doing nothing well. A16 does and few things and is the best at them.

And finally the culinary version of Mecca... the place all foodies aspire to eat... perhaps the most famous restaurant in the world...

THE FRENCH LAUNDRY! This was Cyndie's Christmas gift to me. I had a wedding last weekend up in the Bay Area and Cyndie thought ahead two months ago and scored us a table. It was without a doubt the best dining experience of my life. Trying to come up with enough superlatives to describe this meal is futile. I'll probably devote an entire blog post to the meal so we'll save the details for later.

Christmas! As I said, we've been married for 10 years now and this was Makenzie's 6th Christmas and we've always been with our extended family. And while that's always been great we chose, this year, to spend it alone and create our own traditions. So this year it was just the three of us and it was awesome. We definitely missed our families but it was so much fun making things up as we went, creating traditions that will hopefully last for a long time.

I got a new camera. Not really that exciting but its always fun to get new toys.

I got a Sous Vide Supreme! This is way more exciting than a camera... at least to me. We've been getting into cooking amazing food at home and this machine has allowed us to take dinner to a whole 'nother level. We had some friends over last week for a dinner party and I made shortribs that had been cooked for 72 hours! Oh my gosh, they were amazing.

Weddings in San Diego, Hollywood and Dallas and San Francisco. Those blogs are coming up soon, I promise.

Finally, I got a book that is so incredibly inspiring. Its not a photography book, or a business book, it's about a chef named Ferran Adria who is, by many accounts, the best chef in the world. What's inspiring about this book is that it takes you through a typical day with him. He's someone that has dedicated his life to being creative. Not just making food, but creating something that's never been made before. His restaurant is only open 160 days a year because he needs the rest of the time to create. Every day the restaurant is open the first 9 hours of the day is dedicated to creating new dishes. His diners are served between 28 and 36 courses and every course a diner is served is put into a database so that if they come back to the restaurant in the future they will not be served the same dish. The have hundreds of notebooks filled with thousands of dishes they've created, not one of them something the diner will have ever seen or been served before. The 205 days a year the the restaurant is closed is spent developing new processes to make food. Inventing machines and tools if necessary to facilitate the making of whatever dish the have in their heads. That kind of commitment to creativity is just astounding to me and is really inspiring as well. I want to put that much effort into being creative for my clients.

So now you're caught up! I promise it won't be 2 months before I blog again! :)


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[February 8, 2010] Rachel Perry said:
I was going through my blogroll and was surprised to see one from you! It sounds like you've had a great couple of months!
[February 8, 2010] Sarah Smith said:
What is the name of the book that you mentioned? My husband is an avid cook and it sounds like something he would LOVE. NYC is my favorite place in the world and I am lucky enough to live only a 2 hour train ride away :) Next time you visit be sure to visit the Spice Market in the Meatpacking Disctrict - get the sampler - it will blow your mind!
[February 9, 2010] jenberry said:
so excited you're back. i think a refreshing break is needed at times. sounds like you opened your senses up to new awesome things. Basically i'm jealous.
[February 9, 2010] Natasha said:
I love it! Welcome back! SO cool to know another photographer who is as much of a foodie as we are. :)
[February 9, 2010] Brad Peters said:
good to see you back on the blog! Thanks for not giving it up! Glad to read you're doing well.
[February 11, 2010] caroline said:
We missed ya! Also, I'll be heading to New York next weekend for a portrait lighting workshop (at least, if weather allows). Been looking for some things to do/places to eat recommendations. So thanks :D
[February 11, 2010] chipgillespie said:
Dude, I'm so dang proud of you for rocking the requisite 1999-hip-young-minister gotee!! You're my freakin' inspirations! Nay -- you are the wind beneath my flippin' wings, man!! : ) And congrats on 10 years!
[February 14, 2010] marco said:
duuuude the sous vide... I wan't one just so I can be a Voltaggio brother.
[February 14, 2010] Heather Kloster said:
Congrats on 10 years!!! And OMG, Chef Adria's book sounds delicious. Must check it out.
[February 18, 2010] Hayley said:
your wedding was cutting edge for '99. and now with all your fancy cooking skills, i'm not sure if we want to have you over for dinner. i wouldn't want to make you anything ;)
[February 21, 2010] Karli Tanner said:
Glad you are back and everyone is doing well. Tell the girlz I said hi! Congrats on 10 years of happy marriage!
[February 25, 2010] HARRISON STUDIO said:
awesome! congrats you two!