Thursday, August 29, 2013

2nd Annual "Voyages Into the Unusual" - Hendrick's Gin Launch in LA & upcoming tour dates

Los Angeles, CA (West Hollywood Today) 

Photos & facts by Karen Ostlund

 2nd Annual "Voyages Into the Unusual"-  Hendrick’s Gin Launch in LA - upcoming tour dates & Hendrick’s  cocktail recipes.
At Carondelet House in LA The “Night of the Iguana”
“Small-batch gin hand-crafted in Scotland, with an infusion of cucumber and rose petals”

 The undeniably peculiar Hendrick's Gin is already on tour for its second annual "Voyages Into the Unusual" event series, which features a wide variety cast of characters, delectable tipples and curious enjoyments.

The Voyages tour kicked off in Houston on May 21, and moved to Austin, May 29th and reached Los Angeles August 20-21st) at Carondelet  House, located  at 627 S. Carondelet street.


 In three weeks the tour will continue to Chicago, IL (Sept. 18-19), then Boston, MA (Oct. 7) and it will conclude in Philadelphia, PA (Oct. 23).
The eclectic band, “White Ghost Shivers”.

 "Voyages Into The Unusual"  gives the curious and cavalier the opportunity to interact with the world as Hendrick's sees it, while allowing guests to try specially-crafted Hendrick's cocktails.

The unique setting in each city is transformed into a highly unusual Shoppe of Curiosities outfitted with a grand Explorer's Lounge and a full-scale Apothecary Shop.


The 11 botanicals of Hendrick’s Gin: lemon, orange peel, orris root, chamomile,
 juniper, caraway, yarrow, cubeb berry, elder flower, angelica root and coriander.
“Night of the Iguana”: 
1 ½ parts Hendrick’s Gin
1 part celery juice
½ part fresh lemon
½ part simple syrup
1 cucumber wheel
ground sea salt
ground cubeb berry

Guests are entertained all night as they voyage into the unusual with a cast of characters including: a botanist that demystified the eleven botanicals found within the Hendrick's bottle, a chemist that takes guests into the Apothecary Shop, and live music  throughout the night by the eclectic band, “White Ghost Shivers”.


"Traveling Punch" tasting under the skirt
“Traveler’s Testament”:                                          
1 ½ parts Hendrick’s Gin
¾ parts Rooibos tea
¾ parts raspberry syrup
1 tbsp toasted coconut
1 part cold sparkling water

The eleven botanicals of Hendrick’s Gin are: lemon, orange peel, orris root, chamomile, juniper, caraway, yarrow, cubeb berry, elder flower, angelica root and coriander, which blend together  to a chorus of flavors.

The botanic function is to set the stage for a duet of infusions mixed with rose petal and cucumber.

 An array of tipples are served, from the signature Hendrick's & Tonic to more complex creations such as the "Traveling Punch," which will be modified to reflect the best local and seasonal ingredients each city has to offer.

“Traveling Punch”:                                     
The Hendrick's beast inside the cage hand you a
 "Traveler's Testament" when you buzz the chain
1 part Hendrick’s Gin                                     
¼ part of crème de mure
¾ parts of fresh lemon juice
1 part blackberry sage tea
1 dash Peychaud’s bitters
¼ part simple syrup
1 part chilled soda water
1 ice block, 1 sage leaf, 1 blackberry
& 1 lemon wheel

"Hendrick's is not for everyone. It attracts genuine free-thinkers and those who gravitate to the odd and exquisite," said Joanne Birkitt, Hendrick's Gin Senior Brand Manager. "We truly are inspired by imagination and that is demonstrated in every aspect of 'Voyages Into The Unusual”.

The hand inside the wall delivers a Hendrick's Gin & tonic,
but may also catch you, if you stand too close.
About Hendrick's Gin and William Grant & Sons:
Hendrick's is the most unusual gin that has taken the world by storm since it was first introduced, thanks to its unique flavor -  a  blend of eleven botanicals, as well as the signature infusions of cucumber and rose petals.

The gin was hand crafted in Scotland in miniscule batches by William Grant & Sons.

Hendrick's uses a marriage of spirits from a Carter-Head and Copper Pot Still, a combination that produces a divinely smooth gin that has both the required character and balance of subtle flavors. 
The talking rose

Since Hendrick's was first introduced to America over 10 years ago, it has gained widespread acclaim and received numerous awards, including a Double Gold medal at the 2012 San Francisco International Spirits Competition; 'Gin of the Year' at the Food and Wine Magazine Awards; voted 'World's Best Gin' by the Wall Street Journal and named "Distiller of the Year" at the 2010 Wine Enthusiast Awards.


William Grant & Sons, Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887.

Today, the super premium spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distils some of the world's leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world's most awarded single malt Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world's largest family-owned blended Scotch Grant's® as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendrick's® Gin, Sailor Jerry® Rum, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey and Milagro® Tequila.
The company's portfolio in the USA also boasts Stolichnaya Vodka, Hudson Whiskey, Clan MacGregor, Reyka Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Lillet, Montelobos Mezcal, Gibson's Finest, Monkey Shoulder, Art In The Age, The Knot and BOLS cordials.


Friday, August 16, 2013

LA Times' THE TASTE announces hourly schedule for Labor Day Weekend's Food Festival

Hollywood CA (West Hollywood Today)

Photos & facts by Karen Ostlund

Images are from The Taste 2012
Labor Day Picnic at Paramount – Archer Farms Gelato oasis
THE TASTE, Angelenos most popular “eat-drink” 3-days Labor Day food & wine festival is back at Paramount  Studios in Hollywood, Friday  August 30th  through Sunday, September 1st .

Esteemed chefs Michael Cimarusti, Sang Yoon, Nancy Silverton and cocktail chef Matthew Biancaniello will each join a member of The Times renowned Food staff,  to present one of the five distinctive events of THE TASTE’s Labor Day weekend festivities.
The events include 20 hours in total, divided in five times 4 hours sessions,  listed below.
Each of the five events, , will showcase the people, eats and trends at the heart of L.A.'s dining scene along with unlimited tastings and specialty cocktails.

Hourly schedule of daily cooking demonstrations, food & cocktail tasting:
Susan Feniger’s Street Food book-signing
Two weeks before THE TASTE, takes over Paramount Pictures Studios, the LA Times has announced the rockstar roster of chefs, bartenders and restaurants participating in the annual Labor Day weekend celebration of the Southern California culinary scene;
Opening Night Presented by Tequila Don Julio  
Friday,  Aug. 30th, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
The festivities will start on a high note with a special soirée attended by all TASTE event hosts and many of the weekend's participating chefs and bartenders. All will join the party on the backlot to enjoy a premium collection of tastings, distinctive cocktail and wine offerings as well as live entertainment. Restaurants will include Bagatelle, Bedford and Burns, Candela Taco Bar & Lounge, Carson House, Coco Laurent, Firefly, Fishing With Dynamite, La Sandía, Lotería Grill, Manhattan Beach Post, Pizzeria Mozza, Oliverio at Avalon Hotel, STK, Taberna Arr óz Y Vi, THE Blvd at Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

Alex Weiser, David Le Fevre & Ray Garcia w. host Russ Parsons
Field to Fork – Hosted by Russ Parsons, Times Food Editor, and Michael Cimarusti, Chef/Owner of Providence, Chef/Partner of Connie and Ted's;  
Saturday  Aug. 31st, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Spotlighting seasonal and sustainable dining, this event will feature demos by Ari Taymor (Alma), Sherry Yard (Helms Bakery), Ray Garcia (FIG), and Cimarusti, who will also participate in a panel, "Fish or Famine: Sustainability & the Seafood on Your Plate" with Parsons moderating. Wine experts will share tips for pairing the perfect glass with locally-sourced dishes at two tasting sessions. Participating restaurants include  Canelé, DOMA, Farmshop, good girl dinette, Hamasuku, Michael's on Naples, Momed, Mr Chow, Muddy Leek, Nobu, Pizza Antica, RivaBella, Sun Café Organic & The Curious Palate.

Stella Artois, Leffe & Hoegaarden beer booth,
let you keep the beer-glass

Flavors of L.A. – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, and Sang Yoon, Chef/Owner of Father's Office and Lukshon. Saturday,  Aug. 31st, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
An homage to everything that makes the Southland a world-class dining destination starting with a compelling look at "The Power of Pop-ups" led by Gold with Gary Menes (Le Comptoir), Craig Thornton (Wolvesmouth) and Nguyen Tran (Starry Kitchen). Cooking demos from Yoon, Brooke Williamson (Hudson House/The Tripel), Bryant Ng (Spice Table), Josef Centeno (Baco Mercat/Bar Ama) and a mixology session with Robin Chopra (Coraz ón y Miel) will round out the locally-flavored programming. Participating restaurants include 800° Degrees, Angelini Osteria, Border Grill, Bulgarini Gelato, Chakra Indian Cuisine, Chichén Itzá, City Tavern, Mayura, Meals by Genet, Pinches Tacos & Wood & Vine.

Mariachi performances outside Hoy Café
Labor Day Block PartyHosted by Noelle Carter, Times Test Kitchen Director, and Nancy Silverton, Chef/Co-Owner of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza, and Founder of La Brea Bakery;
Sunday  Sept. 1st, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
This end-of-summer bash will offer an inside look at barbecue with "Going Whole Hog: Tales from Masters of Competition BBQ," a panel led by Carter that features Ryan Chester (The Rub Co.), Sylvia Curry (Lady of Q) and Neil Strawder (Bigmista's Barbecue).

Attendees will also be treated to cooking demos from Silverton and Fred Eric (D'Elish), and Times Columnist Steve Lopez's crowd-pleasing Firehouse Cook-off. Participating restaurants include BOA Steakhouse, Bibigo, Brite Spot, Café Gratitude, Coni'Seafood, Freddy Smalls: Bar & Kitchen, Got Kosher?, Haven Gastropub, Juan's Restaurante, Kings Row Gastropub, Pizzeria il Fico, Pono Burger, Rosebud Cakes and Waffles de Liege.
BOA’s beef filet a popular choice among meat eaters
Cocktail Confidential – Hosted by Betty Hallock, Times Deputy Food Editor, Jessica Gelt, Times Food & Night Life Writer, and Cocktail Chef Matthew Biancaniello, Los Angeles Cocktail Chef;         
Sunday Sept. 1st, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Blurring the lines between cooking and bartending, the final evening will center on a farm-to-glass craft cocktail demo presented by Hallock, Gelt and Biancaniello. Taking it a step further, some of L.A.'s boldest pairs, John Sedlar and Julian Cox (Rivera) and Kuniko Yagi and Brandyn Tepper (Hinoki & the Bird), will share their inspiration for food and drink combinations. Participating restaurants include Chi Lin, Cliff's Edge, Jitlada, L&E Oyster Bar, Manhattan Beach Creamery, Mexikosher, The Pub at Golden Road Brewing, Stella Barra, The Cake Mamas, The Corner Door, The Counter, The Park Restaurant, Worldwide Tacos and Zengo.

Chef Marc Boussarie from The Counter - famous for
its burgers

Los Angeles Times THE TASTE is produced in association with Best Events. 
Sponsors include Cadillac, Icelandic Glacial, Stella Artois, Svedka and Sysco.



Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"America's Next Top Model" celebrated their 20th cycle, Guys & Girls w/Guess Fashion show

"America's Next Top Model" kicked off Landmark Cycle 20, Guys & Girls, with a special screening from upcoming episodes & a Guess Denim Fashion show.

 Hollywood CA (West Hollywood Today) Photos & story by Karen Ostlund
Creator Tyra Banks
The CW Network's reality hit, "America's Next Top Model" celebrated their landmark 20th cycle with a gala celebration featuring Tyra Banks and the guys and girls of the current cast at the Supperclub, located at 6675 Hollywood Blvd last Wednesday, August 7th.
left, rapper The Game (JT Taylor) w.
Ken Mok, co-executive producer America's
Next Top Model

The America’s Next Top Model team coed with Cycle 20, which premiered the week before, August 2nd at The CW Channel.

This is the first ever America's Next Top Model cycle to feature both male and female contestants compete for the coveted title.


Creator, supermodel and executive producer, Tyra Banks, of "America's Next Top Model" continues to be a fan favorite, with audiences eagerly awaiting this season's addition of male models into the competition;
 -“When I approached TV channels about doing this show, they discouraged me, telling me 'models are considered stupid, and there will not be much dialogue in a TV show”.
-“I have today proved the opposite with 242 episodes” Tyra continued.
Guess fashion show of Cycle 20 models
Style Fashion Week partnered with America's Next Top Model for this special launch event, with a sneak peek of upcoming episodes, and help from creative consultant  Johnny Wujek.
Female Cycle 20 models dressed
in Guess

The event featured  a special Guess sponsored runway show of Cycle 20 models, Guys vs. Girls. 
America's Next Top Model - American reality television series and interactive competition, first premiered on May 20, 2003.

It originally aired on UPN, whose merger with The WB created The CW in 2006.
(3rd from left),Tyra Banks posing on stage with the models
The program is on its 20th cycle, and features contestants compete for the title of "America's Next Top Model", providing them with an opportunity to begin their career in the modeling industry.

Previous winners: Sophie Sumner · Lisa D'Amato





Monday, August 12, 2013

Destination Luxury presented “Shanghai 1930s” Birthday Celebration w/Sue Wong Fashion

Hollywood, CA (West Hollywood Today) 8/12/2013

Photos & facts by Karen Ostlund
left, Celeste Thorson & David Christopher Lee
welcomed guests to their birthday celebration
Destination Luxury (DLX) presentedShanghai 1930” to celebrate the birthdays of David Christopher Lee, Editor in Chief of Destination Luxury & Celeste Thorson last Thursday, at the W Hotel's Station Living Room. 

Luxury’s TV host also announced David Christopher Lee's new position as contributing Editor at Large for Phoenix Magazine, which is a Chinese Luxury & Lifestyle magazine, printed in both Chinese and English. The summer issue features "At home with Lisa Ling", best known for "Our America with Lisa Ling" on The Oprah Winfrey Network.

“Enter the old world of vintage Shanghai, sip on cocktails as the W Hotel Lobby is transformed into a celebration of Chinese Luxury” was their motto. Guests were encouraged to “dress to impress”; gentlemen in suits and women in 1930’s inspired cocktail attire or traditional Chinese dresses. 
left, designer Sue Wong arriving w friends
DLX is an online magazine that focuses on the luxury market. Its mission is to capture the most exclusive of places and events in alluring, inspiring images and videos.

“It’s a way to help clients increase their brand’s awareness, exclusivity and desire what to buy” said Editor David Christopher Lee.

The magazine's cinematic films help to establish emotional connections with the luxury consumers, as they take viewers on a memorable journey.
SGVCCA group performances
Sue Wong's models wearing Shanghai 1930's



8 - 9 pm: Red carpet arrivals & cocktail hour with sponsored alcohol by Tequilla 88 ultra premium, ​ Sacacuento Mezcal, ​ and Vina sympatica (sparkling wine)

  9 pm: Dragon & Lion dancing performances to begin promptly, by

10 pmSue Wong fashion presentation featuring Jazz Singer Nicolette Holman
& fashion showcase featuring Danielle DuvaleJacqueline DepaulJudy LyMakaha SugitaDanielle Korman & Olga Aleksa K.

10:30 pm: dancing, beats by DJ Christian B

Guests arriving
SGVCCA dance group


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blondie's Chris Stein presents "Hell in the City of Angels" photo exhibit

West Hollywood CA (West Hollywood Today) 8/10/2013

Photos & story by Karen Ostlund

left, drummer Clem Burke, Debbie Harry, Joan Jett & Rodney Bingenheimer
 Morrison Hotel Gallery
“Hell in the City of Angels” is Blondie’s guitarist Chris Stein new photo exhibit  featuring Stein's photography of some of the most classic rock n' roll icons in history including Debbie Harry, lead vocal in Blondie, Richard Hell, Sting,  Iggy Pop, and The Ramones.
Many of the images are related to Los Angeles.
"I'm excited to be putting my pictures up at Morrison Hotel Gallery in LA. This is my first show since the 80's!” said Chris about the exhibit.

Chris Stein
The preview was yesterday, and Chris Stein got support from rocker Joan Jett, Rodney Bingenheimer, Debbie Harry & Clem Burke also featured in his photos taken in the late 70’s.
Joan Jett was this year's SSMF honoree, and played live at the House Of Blues in West Hollywood. She got help on stage by KROQ's Rodney Bingenheimer on guitar.
The exhibit is open to the public today Saturday, August 10th, and located at the Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood , 1200 Alta Loma Road.


Christ Stein started taking photographs in 1968. During his last years at the School of Visual Arts in NYC he began hanging out in the early downtown rock scene. In 1973 he met and began working with Debbie Harry and together they founded the band Blondie.
KROQ's  DJ Rodney Bingenheimer in front
of Stein's photo of him from the late 70's

The band was a pioneer in American new wave and punk scenes of the mid-1970s. Their first two albums contained strong elements of these genres, and although successful in the United Kingdom and Australia,

Their debut album "Blondie" (UK No. 75 & AUS No. 14) was issued in December 1976.

In September 1977, Blondie bought back its contract with label Private Stock,  and then signed with Chrysalis Records. The first album was re-released on the new label in October 1977



Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. By 1981, the band had achieved several hit singles including "Call Me", "Atomic" and "Heart of Glass" and became noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles incorporating elements of disco, pop, rap, and reggae, while retaining a basic style as a new wave band.

Poster of Blondie in the late 70's
 Chris was always taking pictures of the milieu that surrounded Blondie and was lucky to be on the inside and mingle with many of the pioneers of the new wave and punk music scenes. His intimate photographs of Debbie Harry have helped establish him her as an international icon.

Co-owner of Morrison Hotel Gallery at Sunset Marquis Timothy White said, “Chris Stein is rock and roll royality in every aspect of that word. He was at the forefront of a movement. He and Debbie Harry were a part of a movement that created some of the best music of the decade, but what he created as a photographer, with her as his muse, really stands out with as important imagery, which we identify with for that period of time and the people associated with it. It’s a big piece of music history and an exciting part of the exhibit.”

Sting w Debbie Harry and Ramones, Chris Stein photos
So what happened after Blondie’s brake-up,  
after the release of their 6th studio album “The Hunter"  in 1982?
Deborah Harry continued to pursue a solo career with varied results after taking a few years off to care for partner Chris Stein, who was diagnosed with pemphigus, a rare autoimmune disease of the skin.

The band reformed in 1997, achieving renewed success and a number one single in the United Kingdom with "Maria" in 1999.

Blondie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, and is still active together today.

Their ninth studio album, Panic of Girls, was released in 2011, and "Ghosts of Download",  is to follow to be released this fall 2013.
Morrison Hotel Gallery at Sunset Marquis Hotel in West Hollywood is open 7 days a week, 10am-10pm.




Monday, August 5, 2013

FIDM's Emmy Nominated Costume-Design on display thru October 19th

The 7th Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibiton will stay open thru Saturday October 19th, 2013

Los  Angeles, CA  (West Hollywood Today) 8/5/2013

Photos & story by Karen Ostlund
left, Emmy Academy Governor Betsy Potter, Emmy nominated
Costume designer
Ellen Mirojnick & President CDG
 Mary Rose
The FIDM Museum at  919 South Grand Avenue downtown LA,  is right now celebrating the creativity and artistry of television costume design.

The new exhibition opened last Tuesday, and it features more than 120 costumes from 15 popular television shows, selected from a variety of television genres, episodic series, movies and mini-series.
7th Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design spotlights the work of talented Costume Designers, Costume Supervisors, and Assistant Costume Designers.

The exhibition's open hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-5pm, and free to the public.
Costume designer Tom Broecker "House of Cards"
Netflix w Mary Rose
The exhibition was organized by Mary Rose, costume designer and president of the Costume Designers Guild, and  executive board officer of CDG  since 1994.

The 2013 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony will be held at 4:00 p.m. PT at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles, September 15th 2013.

Two hours of highlights from the 2013 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards will air from 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on the new FXX network, September 21st 2013.
Mr. Selfridge, ITV/PBS, costumes by
James Keast

EMMY nominated highlights from the show;
Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick from Behind the Candelabra,
HBO in front of her costumes


Behind the Candelabra, HBO  by Costume Designer Ellen Mirojnick. She is nominated for the 2012-2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Costume Design.
Michael Douglas is playing  Liberace.


Costume Designer Joe Aulisi from Smash, NBC flew from NY
 to the opening at FIDM

Smash, NBC by Costume Designer Joseph G. Aulisi. 
Actors: Dancer Sean Hayes as Terry Falls, Kathy Fitzgerald as Actor #3, Megan Hilty as Ivy Lynn, Dancer Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright, Megan Hilty as Ivy Lynn,  and Jennifer Hudson as Veronica Moore.
Downton Abbey,PBS by Costume designer
Caroline McCall



Downton Abbey , PBS by Costume Designer Caroline McCall, nominated for the 2012-2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Costume Design. Michelle Dockery plays Lady Mary.
Nick Verreos, Project Runway w Barbara Bundy,
 Director FIDM
in front of Downton Abbey's costumes
Ane Crabtree, Costume Designer Rectify, Sundance Channel



Costumes of Game of Thrones HBO

Game of Thrones, HBO  by Costume Designer Michele Clapton, nominated for the 2012-2013 Emmy Award for Outstanding Costume Design. 
The actors:  Lena Heady as Cersei Lannister, Finn Jones as Loras Tyrell, George Georgiou as Razdal mo Eraz, Patrick Malahide as Balon Greyjoy, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Clive Russell as Brynden 'Blackfish' Tully, Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark.

Ring of Fire, Lifetime

House of Cards, Netflix by
Costume designer Tom Broecker

Ring of Fire, Lifetime by Costume Designer, Rhona Meyer. Actors, Linds Edwards as Carl Smith and Jewel Kilcher as June Carter Cash.

House of Cards, Netflix by Costume Designer Tom Broecker.  Actors: Robin Wright plays Clair Underwood, Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood and Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes.
Parks and Recreation, NBC by Costume Designer
 Kirston Leigh Mann

Parks and Recreation NBC  by Costume Designer Kirston Mann.  Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope.

Costumes from Vegas, NBC

Vegas, CBS  by Costume Designer Kathleen Detoro.  Sarah Jones as Mia Rizzo, Carrie-Anne Moss as Katherine O'Connell,  the Showgirl.

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, will take place this Sunday, Sep. 22, at NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in downtown Los Angeles, and will air exclusively on CBS, live coast-to-coast (5 p.m. PT, 8 p.m. ET).

For the first time ever, music legend Elton John will perform on the Primetime Emmy Awards stage, September 22nd.

The multi-Grammy Award winner's performance will pay tribute to the late, world-renowned performer Liberace, whose HBO biopic, Behind the Candelabra, is nominated for 15 Emmys this year.

John’s performance will accompany the previously announced appearances as presenters by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, who are nominated in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie category for their roles in the film.