Two important events took place at the Scottish firm William Grant & Sons in 1962. David Stewart was hired as an apprentice, and cask #5576 was filled with newly distilled whisky from The Balvenie Distillery. Although Scotland and its namesake spirit have a long and glorious history, the country hadn’t even begun exporting single malt Scotch at the time. Stewart rose through the ranks and became a Malt Master for the company (which owns distilleries including The Balvenie and Glenfiddich), nosing more than 400,000 casks of whisky through the years, while that single barrel matured. Many of Stewart’s techniques working with single malt whisky, such as aging the spirit in two different types of barrels, became industry standards, and he earned numerous accolades while that oh-so-special European oak sherry hogshead continued to age, mellow and evaporate.
Fifty years later, Stewart has become a consultant to the company, and that cask was finally bottled. We were lucky enough to attend an event at Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills honoring Stewart’s fifty years of contributions to the Scotch whisky industry as well as taste the whisky that was five decades in the making.
There is a wine for every season, so it made perfect sense that this year’s Domenico and Ice Bucket Selections Tasting was hosted at the seasonal Park Avenue Autumn where the menu changes four times a year to highlight the flavors of Winter, Spring, Summer and now Fall. The Domenico Selections portfolio is centered on local Italian wines derived from regional grapes produced in family owned vineyards. The results are balanced, versatile vintages with good acidity and fruit. Their versatility makes them great candidates for pairing with a variety of cuisines and culinary flavors.
Ice Bucket Selections, established in 2008 by wine writer Todd M. Wernstrom, imports worthy vintages predominantly from California, Oregon, France and the still often-overlooked Hudson Valley region. The focus revolves around local, family owned and operated wineries that employ the purest and most authentic wine production methods.
The heavens were threatening, but blue sky prevailed over clouds high above the hills of Malibu where The Food Event by Los Angeles Magazine was held this past Sunday. At Saddlerock Ranch — home to Malibu Family Wines and producers of Saddlerock and Semler Wines — thousands of diners queued up to try the latest creations from more than forty LA-area restaurants washed down by wine, beer, vodka, Veev, and even Sri Lankan spirits!
We certainly didn’t get a chance to try every dish, but our favorite was David LeFevre’s sword squid from Manhattan Beach Post (M. B. Post) served over fava beans. We also enjoyed smoky fried chicken from Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, live prawn from The Royce at the Langham, lamb chops from The Strand House, squash blossom tamales with mole from Malo and Más Malo and adobo short rib tacos and smoked camechana — a spicy Mexican seafood cocktail made with shrimp, scallops and halibut — from Public School, which will be opening soon in Culver City after a successful downtown launch.
One of Germany’s national holidays is the Day of German Unity (Tag der deutschen Einheit). It has been celebrated since October 3rd, 1991. It commemorates the anniversary of the German unification in 1990, a highly important event not only for Germans, but also the rest of the world.
As I was in Los Angeles that day, I attended the reception held by Consul General Dr. Bernd Fischer and his wife Mrs. Jutta Fischer. “The day of unification is one of the happiest in the history of the German people. Germany’s political miracle and the country’s unity also laid the foundation for the unification of Europe, all which would not have been possible without the help of the United States,” declared Dr. Fischer.
Walter Baker’s eye for creative versatility has kept him among the forefront of fashion design for over two decades. Trading in his finance career for the spotlight in fashion, he launched his first line, “WALTER,” in 1991. His designs seek to uphold the principles of “confidence and style” that he believes define the interconnectivity between women all over the world. Dresses with soft lines and intricate feminine prints as well as constructed jackets with an industrial look are signature styles in the WALTER collection. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week held at the Lincoln Center in New York City featured Walter Baker’s W118 Spring 2013 Collection at “The Box.” Baker’s latest line consists of an eclectic blend of colors, styles and cuts ranging from energetic island, urban, tribal and psychedelic-inspired prints to bold color block patterns. Soft, flowing fabrics that drape dominate along with form-fitting but relaxed cuts. The overall style? Versatility with flair.