Judith Leiber at MAD

Cecil Lemley and me at MAD

After a great brunch at Rober in Columbus Circle, New York City, our friend Cecil Lemley took us to the Judith Leiber exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD). They are both in the same building. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to go.

Judith Leiber has been in the handbag industry for 64 years. MAD actually displayed a timeline to show visitors how she became one of the most successful and respected designers in the ultra expensive handbag business. 

Her evening bags are considered pieces of art. They cost thousands of dollars and rich women collect them as huge status symbols. A Judith Leiber handbag is to be cherished. 

The exhibition was amazing because the collection on display really exemplified the gamut of her work. The color, the shape, the material and the structure of each handbag is still one of the most unique you will ever see. 

It makes you smile.

Eliot Hess photographed the bags. I did the timeline. It was an intricate cut and paste job to get every detail noted. I wanted you to see it all. 

  


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Architecturally Stunning 

Eliot and I went to see the Oculus today in New York City. It’s the glass-and-steel structure on top of the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. It’s quite magnificent. At first, I got a little dizzy because we entered the Oculus from the street level which overlooks the entire lobby of the building, I thought I was flying. It took me a while to adjust to the space. Once I did, I really enjoyed the entire experience. It’s a must see.

Photos by Eliot Hess 

Entertaining In Miami

Paul Aceto

I have wanted to introduce DigiDame readers to a friend of mine in Miami for a long time because he is becoming a big entertainment celebrity. Meet Paul Aceto, owner of Silver Spoon Events. I was lucky to meet Paul years ago because he is married to a former client of mine, Laura Vilberti of Gapingvoid, a corporate culture marketing company. 

Paul, Laura and son Luca.

You will be hearing more about Paul over the years because he is now the mastermind behind the best events in the greater Miami area. I asked him a few questions as a way for you to get to know him better and he was good enough to write out the answers.  

1-What kind of caterer are you?

I have always had reservations about being called a caterer. There is something about that word that screams down-market overcooked chicken and salmon to me. I don’t like to be labeled, because what we do at Silver Spoon Events,  is so much more than catering. We tagged the line, “Professional Culinary Services” because the service we provide is much more than just high quality amazing food. It’s about creating an experience for the client that is positive in every aspect so we get recommended over and over by their friends.

Our clientele is discerning and wants the best food and service. We cater to their needs – whether I am cooking fine cuisine or grilling for a BBQ. Every level has to be top notch – we like to exceed expectations!

2-What are the trendy parties these days?

Trendy parties these days are themed menus. We like tasting spoons, signature cocktails, and anything that makes the guests say, “Wow!!  I would never have thought of that…” Thinking outside the box is key. Also, the chef these days are the center of attention and tend to be just as important as the food presented.

3-What are the most popular foods for parties?

This is really subjective. All parties are different and depend on the client’s tastes. I really love when I get carte blanche so I can be as creative as possible in the kitchen. Small tapas style food reigns in Miami, so I like to recreate miniature versions of some of my favorite dishes such as: beef short ribs on polenta cake, salmon and hamachi crudo with a green apple jalapeño sauce, or beetroot gnocchi with gorgonzola dots.

4-What was the best party you ever catered?

There have been so many great events that I have had the honor to be a part of in my career. If I had to choose one, I would have say Penelope Cruz’s wedding to Javier Bardem in 2010. They were staying on a private island in the Bahamas. Words can’t describe the memories I took from this fantastic two- week charter. I had the privilege to get to know them and their families while wining and dining them.

The best part was when I brought out the sparklers on the 150 cupcakes I made in honor of the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament. I decorated the cupcakes in the Spanish Flag colors. I think the four hours I devoted in the middle of the night working on it was well worth it!

5-Who was your most famous client? 

If I told you I would have to kill you…only kidding , I have to sign a lot of NDA’s in my line of work so I can’t really discuss my clientele. I would say I have had the privilege to cook for some pretty amazing people, including movie stars like Penelope and political figures like Hillary Clinton. My current client is definitely one of the top celebs of the moment and a really wonderful person. Discretion is key in my work.

6-What was the most challenging party you ever hosted?

The most challenging event I ever hosted was not a single event but multiple events on the same day. During Art Basel, in Miami. I had three events a day: 1 gallery event, 1 corporate cocktail event, and the third, a Hillary Clinton political fundraiser. The food and staff were not the big issue. I was running around like a headless chicken in Miami traffic to get to all three and make sure everything ran smoothly. I am blessed with the best team in Miami. Some of my staff have been with me for over seven years. 

7- Who have you cooked with and what have you learned from that person?

Michelle Bernstein is the reason I moved back to Miami from Naples, FL. She was an inspiration to work for at the legendary best restaurant in Miami at the time, Azul. I will always be grateful that I learned from the best. No matter how busy we were in the open kitchen at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, she always knew how to charm the customers. Attention to customers is as important as attention to food.

I also learned a lot from Micheal Roux, legendary chef from the Waterside Inn, London and also the signature chef for all of Celebrity Cruise lines. He was a guest chef in 2006 Food and Wine festival. At the time, I was the sous chef at Casa Casuarina (the Versace Mansion on Miami Beach). I got to spend a week with the man, cooking breakfast for him every day. I picked his brain and tried to soak up ever tidbit of knowledge I could. He was a very calm, wise person who always made you think. He taught me how to problem solve. He signed his book “How to make eggs 365 different ways” for me by saying “From one great chef to another.” Amazing!

I also worked with Masaharu Morimoto, the Iron Chef on TV. The thing I admired about him was his perfectionism and consistency. He asked me to tie 375 perfectly cut and blanched asparagus tips with a chive ribbon. If one was not done right, they were no good! Perfection takes hard work and repetition makes perfection.

Eric Ripert, is one of my favorite chef’s of all time and one that I respect the most, not only because he holds a 3-star Michelin at his Le Bernardin, but because he never sold out and instead focused on doing one thing extremely well. It has always been about the food to him. He is also the one who inspired me to get out of working just in restaurants and explore the joy of bringing my cooking skills into people’s homes.

Gargiulo Vineyards hosted a $25,000 per plate charity event (in Naples, Florida). Chef Ripert was the guest chef in charge. I was honored to cook next him. I was also asked to pickup the honorary guest for the Food & Wine festival in Naples. It was none other than the late Robert Mondavi. He is one of the kindest people I have ever met and told me to follow my dreams. That was the most inspiring day in my culinary career.

8- What’s in your future?

There’s a saying in Italian: “Il mio sogno nel cassetto.” It means “the dream in my drawer.” You keep one dream locked up until it’s the right time to take it out…mine is to eventually have a little place of my own somewhere with enough land to grow my own food. I want to cook for people and make them feel at home and happy…bliss! 

We love you Paul. 

Facing Old Age 

 “I’m angry that it’s almost over.”

That’s the famous line (at least for me) from Sheila Nevins, the executive who has been in charge of HBO’s documentaries for over 30 years. She was recently interviewed by Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” about how she feels at this stage of her career. 

You can see very clearly that she is not happy that her career is very much behind her. There is no talk about Nevin retiring soon, but you can tell that the thought of it is really upsetting. She loves her life at HBO. 

When Stahl asks Nevin to describe how she feels she says, “I’m angry. It just seems unfair.” Like many people her age she wants to work forever. There are those who can’t wait to retire, and then there are those who fear it. 

There’s no right, or wrong on this subject. It’s just what a person wants to do. I feel Nevins’ pain. I hated watching her hurt. She was brutally honest.

Stahl is 75 and Nevins is 78. They both look great, but it probably takes them longer each day to make themselves appear younger than they really are. We just finished watching “Feud” about Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon). Heartbreaking as well. 

If I was a true positive thinking person, the spin on this blog post would have been, “How wonderful it is that they all had such long, wonderful careers.” No, that’s not me. My take is, “We want more!” 

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Airbnb For Cars

I was amazed to learn from my girlfriend Dana, that when she wants to rent a car in her hometown of San Francisco, she uses a service called Getaround. Just like Airbnb, people are privately renting their 🚗 cars in an on-demand car-sharing app. 

Dana said people are renting cars from a Prius to a Tesla, all from a smartphone. They are renting cars for a few hours to a few weeks. It’s all up to the arrangements made between the owner and the person renting.

I asked Dana why she rented cars from Getaround as opposed to Hertz or Avis. She said Getaround usually has an available car within a few blocks from her home, she can use a car for an hour or two, and she gets to pick a new type of car each and every time she rents. I was truly astonished by the whole concept. I couldn’t understand why car owners would want to rent their automobiles. The app explained car owners can make thousands of dollars a year. 

With that in mind, expect a whole new industry to pop up.


Color Me Red 

Amy Errett, founder of Madison Reed


First Day Of Color

The Color Red Fades Fast

 

Shhh, I color my hair. Even though I’m a natural redhead, I have been coloring my hair for more than 25 years. Truth be told, I know, you know, that I dye my hair. 

I look for grey hairs in the big magnifying  mirror I use every morning when I apply my makeup. I used to snip the grey hair out of my head as I saw them. Now, there are just too many to snip. I have to go to the salon every four weeks to get a complete dye job.

My hair coloring routine has recently changed thanks to Facebook. I finally ordered the Madison Reed Root Touch Up kit.  I ignored the hundreds of Madison Reed ads on Facebook for a long time.  I finally decided to try the oil-absorbing powder which covers roots and greys.

The powder actually stays in my hair until I shampoo it out. It is formulated with a triple care complex of keratin, argan oil, and ginseng root to help hair lock in color. The powder formula does not require drying time and is available in a mirrored compact and wide brush for application.

I have to say, the powder is amazing and I don’t have to rush to the hair salon as often as I did before. It’s very easy to use and the results are just what I wanted. 

Coincidentally, the New York Times did a story about Madison Reed and the founder today.  I didn’t know the company was so big. Click here. The timing was perfect for all DigiDame readers to know more about this company. As they say, timing is everything. 

“13 Reasons Why” Is The Most Tweeted Show of 2017 

This is about the power of Twitter. The social media platform has become the official  barometer for all entertainment shows. Yes, there are other monitoring services but Twitter is probably the most accurate and the quickest reporting method.

“13 Reasons Why,” a Netflix streaming show, generated more than 11 million tweets since its debut on Mar. 30th.  Those are incredible numbers. No other program came that close.

Variety magazine reported the whole story, “13 Reasons Why” is a teen series based on a YA novel. The plot involves a suicide. Its executive producer is Selena Gomez. She has one of the  biggest Instagram accounts.  

Oh, to be young again! 
 

A LA Casting Agent Goes Wild

Click here to see Katerina Cozias’s Internet Show.  

The photo of Marki comes from E News.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. This video is totally X-rated. There is no nudity, but the language is as vulgar as you can possibly get. Why am I showing it to you, you ask? 

This is a slice of life that most of us will never get to see. That’s a good thing. As crazy as I am, I just couldn’t keep up the barbs and fast-paced behavior. I may be loud, but I’m not fast. 

Our client, Katerina Cozias of LA 40 invited Marki Costello, granddaughter of Lou Costello, of the comedy duo Abbott and Costello, to be on her Internet show  Marki is also daughter of a Beach Boys record producer, step-granddaughter of Dean Martin and goddaughter of musician Terry Melcher. Marki Costello is the definition of Hollywood royalty.

Other guests included – “Messy Model” Ashley Alexander and “GiveMeMora.com” blogger Nic Mora. 

Marki arrived late for Kati’s show, but was very comfortable dominating the conversation immediately. A lot of what Marki says is true, but how she says it makes you question whether you could ever keep up with her.  I would fall flat on my face. 

Marki’s long list of well known clients, and her staff of 15, is living proof that she knows what she is doing. E News said she works with Jason Kennedy,  CeeLo Green, Kelly Osbourne, Stacy Keible, plus, plus.

There’s no business like show business. Marki’s performance could have been all for the camera.  

Becoming Warren Buffett (2017 Documentary)


A new client of mine, who happens to be 70 years old, is starting a new business in the world of licensing. He used to have the biggest name in the business. Those days have been gone for awhile. Now, he’s back trying to see if he can build a new, powerful company all over again. 

He asked me if I saw the Warren Buffet documentary? He wants to run his new company the same way Buffet ran his, lean and mean. I was amazed that there was a documentary on one of the richest guy in America and I never saw it. 

Forbes says he is worth about $74 billion. Buffet is now 86 years old. He is giving most of his money away to charitable causes. How beautiful is that? Watch the documentary to witness a simple, but remarkable life.

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