Flying from snow covered hills in Colorado to blossoming trees in California, was a joy. Not to mention, to bask in Santa Barbara's charming, seemingly Feng Shui perfection. Mountains in the back, water in the front, makes this seaside town a pleasure to spend time in, no doubt live.
One of my best friends, Kim Schiffer, invited me to come and teach Moroccan cooking classes. Kim traveled with me to Morocco in 2006. A talented chef and one of the most generous women that I know, Kim has a nurturing way with food and a great disposition. Her catering company called 'Fresh Foods', has earned her a great reputation, not only for pulling off a wedding of 400 like it was a piece of cake, but also for putting on fabulous dinner parties. Her friend, Valerie Rice, was inspired by this and consequently took her own love of cooking more seriously and decided to increase her education by bringing chefs to her own door. I was impressed with her set up; a home learning environment with a fabulous kitchen, sweet garden and great wine cellar in neighboring posh, Montecito. Valerie calls her gatherings as well as her blog,' Eat-Drink-Garden.' Subscribe and see who's on next. The chef before me was my dear friend Benedetta Vitali from Ristorante Zibbibo, in Florence.
Spending time with Valerie walking through her garden and talking to her about our mutual passion for food was just what I love to do. We had a great time sharing stories, hiking the hills and shopping at the market to get ready for the class. By the time her friends arrived, I had become one as well. I love to teach, especially when their are enthusiastic students, which is not hard with an 'Omar Sharif' in hand; a cocktail that I co-created to 'open' the senses for our Moroccan journey.
Here is a short and sweet video of our class. A big thanks to Kim and Valerie for making my trip so deliciously enjoyable.