My first hard-core rock star crush happened when I was twelve years old. All I wanted was Peter Frampton to “Show Me the Way”. To what or where I wanted him to lead me I wasn’t sure, but I was certain I wanted it. Not only did I sleep with the “Frampton Comes Alive” album cover every night, but I obsessed about him so much that I wanted to LOOK like him.
On a weekend visit to my grandparents house in San Marino, I succeeded in talking my grandmother into letting me get a perm. Unfortunately she took me to a local beauty school in Pasadena, and the outcome was not even close to the tousled, carefree ringlets on the glossy photo I kissed goodnight. I was a half Japanese, half Scottish girl with an AFRO. It wasn’t pretty. Enough said.
I still have that “Frampton Comes Alive” double album (from 1976). As a matter of fact I still have ALL my favorite albums from my childhood, which is pretty amazing considering the fact that I moved no less than eighteen times before settling in my current home, here in Studio City. Some of the moves were global: Okinawa to California (when my parents divorced), Maryland to the Virgin Islands (during my first marriage to an airline pilot), but most of the moves were throughout California, and it really is a miracle that my delicate record collection survived at all.
Even the two albums I brought from Okinawa (in 1972) are still intact, although they’re now so shabby I finally placed them in protective plastic sleeves. “Peter Pan” and the soundtrack from the film “Oliver!” always take me back to our home in Takahara Heights. I can listen to them on my iPod of course, but there’s nothing better than popping open my battery-operated Japanese record player and spinning vinyl with a cocktail or two.
Looking through my old records over the weekend, I had to laugh at some of my “favorites” way back when. Some of the more embarrassing 33′s I’ve held on to are albums by Leif Garret, Shaun Cassidy, Andy Gibb and the “love of my life” at fifteen, General Hospital’s own Dr. Noah Drake, aka Rick Springfield. Two of my multiple vinyl collections that I’m MOST proud to have, are Elton John and David Bowie.
As I entered high school, like most of my girlfriends, I crushed on Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth and Sting. A few of the bands I still listen to on a regular basis are the Pretenders (Chrissie still rocks), X, Motley Crue, Poison and of course, “classics” like the Stones, the Clash, and the Runaways.
I was eighteen when David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” was released, and drove my big sister crazy playing “Modern Love” every morning for an entire year. Not only did I listen to the music, but I also grew up playing piano and writing my own songs. This passion for music is now shared with my husband Peter, who I thank on a daily basis for teaching me how to play guitar, and with my niece and nephews. For my 40th birthday, Peter even rented out the world-famous Whisky-a-GoGo so I could have a “rock star” fantasy party. It was amazing.
Growing up, there wasn’t anything more exciting than watching my favorite musicians on stage, but these days I get that same happy rush when I spend time with some of my favorite chefs. I get a little star-struck even, whether it’s watching Vinny & Jon at Animal, chefs Voltaggio* and Vigneron in the open Rojo kitchen at Bazaar, or even strolling from chef to chef at the recent Taste of the Nation event. Call me a “super chef fan” or a groupie even… I don’t care because I’m having so much fun!
To me, chefs ARE ROCK STARS, and the restaurants (at least the ones with open kitchens) are my favorite type of THEATER. The food they create is ART, and I’m just one of the the lucky fans who get to devour each tasty NOTE.
On July 8th, I had the pleasure of attending what I am calling, the BEST DAMN GIG in town. LudoBites (at Breadbar on Third) starring the immensely talented, (and super hot) ROCK STAR Chef Ludovic Lefebvre.
LudoBites is described as “a guerrilla style pop-up restaurant event… that teams up with restaurants that only have breakfast and lunch service… LudoBites will move to a new space every few months, similar to an artist exhibition”.
My friend Charles made the 7:30 reservation for the four us: myself, husband Peter, Charles and his partner Robert. When my friend Bob saw me tweeting about my dinner plans that evening, he called and asked if he and his boyfriend Andrew could join us for what Peter called, the “Food Rave”.
The six of us were giddy after we were seated at the table closest to where Chef Ludo would be working. The setting was surprisingly intimate, and right off the bat, Krissy, Chef Ludo’s beautiful wife made us feel comfortable and welcome. Come to think of it, rock stars always have gorgeous model wives don’t they?
Throughout the evening we went about ordering almost everything on the menu. I THOUGHT we had tasted every main dish, but in fact we missed one (the duck) which I’ll have to order on my next visit. I tried to pick out my favorite bite of the evening, but I couldn’t. Even the lavender honey butter was phenomenal!
Like a well-crafted piece of music, everything Chef Ludo prepared simply ROCKED MY WORLD. Hopefully I’ll be able to score a few more “front row seats” at LudoBites before the tour ends in August.
What we ate:
LudoBites at Breadbar
thru August 22, 2009
8718 West 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310 205 0124
Dining Date: 7/8/09
Check out his gorgeous book, “Crave”
*Chef Michael Voltaggio (formerly at the Bazaar) is now working at The Dining Room, Langham Hunginton Hotel
With a few of my favorite Chef Rock Stars