BluRuby at LA Times Book Festival
I spent the weekend volunteering for kitchen duty at the bookfest in UCLA. There were several well known chefs promoting their cook books, some of whom are TV personalties like Ted Allen (from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy on Bravo), Dave Leiberman and Iron chef, Cat Cora (from the Food Network), and the ever popular Martin Yan. Barbara Fairchild (who generously gave each of us a signed copy of her Bon Appetit Cook Book to show her appreciation for our assistance - how fabulous is she?!?) was there as well as Lidia Bastianich (luvd her pasta dish!!!), the really suave Govind Armstrong and Nancy Silverton. I have to say it was quite a weekend, a lot of hard work and self doubt, but all good learning experience. But the highlight of it all for me wasn't so much meeting all these celebrity chefs, it was spending the weekend with my new friends, the girls from the Homegirls Cafe .
Nancy, Liz a.k.a. Sunshine, and Mariana are these young, hard working gals representing the Homegirls Cafe. They were invited to the festival, along with me, by their mentor, Maria Rodriguez (who also is a friend of mine) to experience what it's like to work in a professional kitchen environment. It was a bit of a rough start for all of us in the beginning but we all sucked it up and did our jobs the best we can. And I think we faired pretty darn well and I would not have lasted the weekend without these ladies. They're such good role models for their peers and all young women and I have nothing but well wishes for them in the future and I plan on visiting their cafe real soon. I just need to finish 2 weddings next month then my schedule will be FREE AND CLEAR! FINALLY!!!
So, here are some of the pictures we took at the festival.