Soft Power Wakes Up Americans

*My review The Gut Punch that is Soft Power is featured OnStage Blog http://www.onstageblog.com/reviews/2018/5/21/review-the-gut-punch-that-is-soft-power. Here’s a longer version with a different title and photos –

While sitting one row behind Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly), I looked over to see his expressions throughout the opening night performance of his latest musical Soft Power. He seemed very pleased. Hwang has had great luck and success at Center Theatre Group, where he premiered Pulitzer Prize finalist “Yellow Face” and his Tony-nominated revival “Flower Drum Song.”IMG_4075

Reading the program, I learned Hwang’s premise about how the Chinese see Americans took four years to develop, before it was presented to the Center Theatre Group Los Angeles. It’s an eye-opener that will have you squirm in your seat with the truth of his prose.

Conrad Ricamora plays a Chinese executive Xue Xing who comes to America to help China gain Soft Power. He meets with DHH (an acronym for David Henry Hwang), a Chinese-American playwright, played by Francis Jue (also in M . Butterfly on Broadway). Since China is a nation that increasingly has a lot of hard power and is becoming a superpower of the 21st Century, Xing is now seeking Soft Power to develop cultural influence to enrich international relations. 

Michael Henry Hwang was inspired to write “Soft Power” after seeing the classic American musical “The King and I.” Ricamora starred in the show on Broadway and his appealing singing voice shines also in Soft Power.IMG_4078

The show opens as a comedy, not a musical, as DHH and Xing sit in the office of Hollywood Dragon Media pitching a television show to be shot in Shanghai, China. 

Xing tells DHH “Don’t think like an American, think like Chinese.” He also questions why China has never made a #1 movie. DHH states “China tries to control their image, but it comes off fake. In America we show our flaws. Americans show the good and bad to gain Soft Power.”

One way Xing will produce this show is if his 27 year old girlfriend Zoey (Alyse Alan Louis) can have a role.

The next scene is Xing and DHH going to a Hillary Clinton fundraiser at the Center Theatre Group’s staging The King and I. Xing admires the good-hearted U.S. leader. Standing near a “I’m ready for President Hillary 2016” sign, Xing tells DHH that he met her and appreciates how she is open to positive relations with China. “She believes we can learn a thing or two from China,” says Xing. “I told her China believes in global warming, because we believe in science.” It’s the first of many slaps to our current government policies. 

Months pass and the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election results. Xing is shocked to learn Clinton lost and believes Democracy doesn’t work.

When DHH is stabbed in the neck while walking down the street in Brooklyn (this horrific act actually happened to the playwright), he loses blood, stumbles and goes into a dreamlike state. 

This when the music amps up and we learn how China can gain Soft Power through the delivery of a musical through the Chinese view of the future. IMG_4076

The musical fantasia opens with set designer David Zinn’s China Airlines airplane touching down to fly Xing to Hollywood. Before leaving, his daughter Jing says “I hear in America everyone carries a gun, even children,” (Tragically after seeing Soft Power, I woke up to learn a 17 year old boy in Texas brought two guns to Santa Fe High School, killing 10 people and injuring 10 others). Jing has a beautiful melodic voice as she sings “Papa I’m afraid. I’m scared for you in America.” Guns are displayed and mentioned often. Two truthful lines that sent chills throughout my body include “You can’t force your mentally ill in America to give up their guns…not even the police can take guns away from the mentally ill.”

Collaborating with Hwang in lyrics and music is Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home), she believes musicals are a great delivery system to impact an audience. Their songs are good, however not so memorable that I hummed any bars on the drive home. The finale however did get people up on their feet, raising their arms in the air as if we were all attending a gospel revival.

 Director Leigh Silverman and choreography by Sam Pinkleton heighten the fun with the musical numbers. Most are reminiscent of the 1940s and 1950s Broadway hits “Singing in the Rain”, “Music Man”, and “Oklahoma” on up to current hip-hop culture. IMG_4079

One of lively scene is the Hillary Clinton (Alyse Alan Louis) number where she is dressed in Costume designer Anita Yavich sparkling red pant suit peeling away layers of clothing to reveal to a Wonder Woman outfit. Seeking to please everyone, she taps and twerks at a frenzied pace while standing in “America’s greatest restaurant” under the Golden Arches. It’s a little over-the-top, but then again, this is the Chinese perspective of America. 

Another is when the Xing goes to Hollywood and Vine and is confronted by a gang of cowboy attire thugs slinging guns. He states “I was kidnapped and killed and have only been here three hours,” while a group of female rappers look on. 

One of my favorite characters is the likable Asian-American thug, turned hero named Bobby Bob. Played by the talented Austin Ku, he has quite a presence onstage. IMG_4080

The intelligent writing by Hwang includes a lesson in the Electoral College process which stems from “In the early days, when it helped the voters keep their slaves.” 

Clinton fans will have sympathy for the defeated politician during the comedic pizza and ice cream gorging scene, while she mumbles she hasn’t washed her hair or changed her clothes in 10 days. IMG_4077

Xing cheers up Clinton while singing about “10,000 trees in China covering the walkways so green.” It’s another plug on how China is investing in clean energy, and trying to make a better life for everyone. 

Even though Clinton’s name is mentioned in Soft Power, Trump and Pence are never uttered, only implied as “The opponent doesn’t know anything about government and he hates China.” 

A somewhat disturbing scene is when Xing pays a visit to The White House. Inside are columns with Budweiser logos and government officials holding Winchester style guns and semi-automatics, while singing “Good Guy with a Gun.” An ensemble of Ivanka Trump look-alikes give an aside “This is the worst place for a girl” while being a decorative ornament on the arm of each gun slinging male. IMG_4082

Hwang slaps us one last time when these men sing “No American will throw away his gun.” 

To create a very unrealistic happy ending, Xing urges the American officials to “Lay down your pride, lay down your guns” and join China in building a new Silk Road with other countries focusing on clean energy. When asked “how did you get the Americans in the White House to do that?” Xing replies “They just needed someone to go in and say STOP IT!” I wish it could be that easy.

In the end DHH wakes up in the hospital bed believing that he was stabbed in the neck because he is not American enough. He feels a fake, not Chinese and not American. The police don’t find the attacker, and he feels he was targeted for his appearance. 

Louis has one last beautiful solo about how we have the power to change. “How can I turn my back to democracy? People can be wise enough, just enough, good and big hearted enough to lift us up somehow.” The audience raises their hands, and as the house lights go up, its one of those awesome moments in theatre.

Soft Power is filled with truth, romance, laughter and cultural confusions with hints of America’s tumultuous future, seen through the lens of an East-meets-West Broadway style show. It’s not perfect, however it’s message is timely, loud and clear “STOP IT NOW!”

Soft Power runs from May 3 – June 10, 2018 Ahmanson Theatre. To get tickets: https://www.centertheatregroup.org/tickets/.

My Top 10 Flavors of LA

While attending an all-inclusive food, drinks, cars and fun festival at the CBS Studio Center Back Lot, I first admired some classic cars by the Television Motion Picture Car Club, before finding my Top 8 favorite food and beverage destinations.IMG_3985 Set at the CBS Studio Center, this is the back lot where some of the most beloved movie and television shows were filmed, including Father of the Bride, Dr. Dolittle, Gunsmoke, Seinfeld and American Housewife. Here are my Top 10 favorite tastings:IMG_4015

  1. Best Savory & Sweet dish Oak Smoke BBQ boneless rib bites. Boneless baby back rib meat on top of corn bread and maple butter. Private catering and delivery, supper clubs, and local pop-ups. https://oaksmoke.la.IMG_4028
  2. Most Unique Artisanal Ice Cream – Wanderlust in Los Angeles. The ice cream made is inspired by Travel. They served a Sticky Rice + Mango from visiting Thailand. It’s made with housemade rice milk, coconut cream, swirls of Alphonso mango. This is dairy free and vegan. The second flavor is Ube Malted Crunch inspired by an American Filipino upbringing. This ice cream is made by malted milk, purple yams, crunchy malted milk pieces. Both were served with a Ube waffle cone crisp. Four locations in Los Angeles – Venice, Atwater Village, Tarzana and Smorgasburg LA – https://www.wanderlustcreamery.com

IMG_4069

3. Best Seafood – Gasolina Cafe – Sandwich de Camarones made with shrimp, tomato aioli, guindilla, peppers, pickles and onions on mini brioche buns. 21014 Ventura Blvd. Woodland Hills (818) 914-4033. IMG_40064. Winner of Healthy Water – detoxwater. It’s a premium line of bioactive aloe water enhanced with electrolytes and vitamins. At only 30 calories per bottle, it delivers the clinically proven benefits of pure aloe vera juice – an ingredient known to support healthy digestion, immune function, nutrient absorption and improved skin elasticity – detoxIMG_4005

5. Best Pulled Pork Sandwich on a Hawaiian bun at BARREL & ASHES in Studio City. Executive Chef: Rory Herrmann. 11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City (818)623-8883. IMG_4018

6. BREWYARD Beer Company won my favorite beer. It’s a new micro-brewery in Glendale, California specializing in a new category of Lagers known as “Common” Lagers. 906 Western Ave. Glendale (818)409-9448 – brewyardbeercompany.com. 

7. McConnells Ice Cream wins Best Ice Cream Sundae. They have four brick and mortar locations and sell their pints in most major grocery stores. Their innovative flavors are made with natural ingredients. https://mcconnells.com/

8. Best Indian Cuisine at Bollywood Bites. They have two locations – Westwood and Sherman Oaks. They also have a food truck and catering. Known for their delicious Bombay dishes. 1051 Gayley Avenue, Los Angeles, (310)824-1046 and 13355 Ventura Blvd. Sherman Oaks, (818)855-1718. IMG_40509. Best Cook. Eat. Shop. BLVD Kitchen served great Pickles, Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies and Chocolate Crispy Treats – BLVD. Kitchen. This restaurant in Sherman Oaks is also a Cooking School offering a variety of fun cooking classes for all ages. 13545 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks (844) 454-2583. http://www.theblvdkitchen.com

10. Prettiest Cakes and Fun desserts CAKE BASH. Executive pastry chef and owner Karla Peguero brings a unique twist to classic desserts and introduces new flavors. 17246 Vanowen St, Lake Balboa (818)578-3085.

IMG_4045

Every year, Flavor of LA aims to recognize and support a local charity that works to improve the lives of Angelenos. For the Second annual event they selected L.A. Kitchen. The organization believes that neither food nor people should ever go to waste. They reclaim healthy, local food that would otherwise be discarded, train men and women who are unemployed for jobs, and providing healthy meals to fellow citizens – www.lakitchen.org.

Tart Restaurant in the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel

A great sTART of the day is dining at the upscale farm-themed TART filled with country farm decorations and an array of Southern-inspired dishes.

The restaurant is a fun spot to gather friends and have a few drinks. On weekends, TART offers a brunch bubble service that includes a $25 mimosa kit with a bottle of Champagne, orange juice, peach purée and mixed berries. Bottomless bloody marys are very popular too, and the restaurant offers two options – regular and smoky chipotle bloody marys. For michelada lovers, TART combines a Bear Republic Pilsner with bloody mary mix on ice for their take on the classic Mexican cocktail.IMG_9176

We sat on the elevated wood patio, by the “Wet n’ Wild Pool Warrior” plaque where names of those brave enough to dive into the Farmer’s Daughter pool before eating received this title, along with a discounted brunch.IMG_9179

We started with chef Aloise Kieffer’s biscuit basket served with jam, honey and butter. The warm, flaky rolls, complemented by the sweet spreads, were a perfect start to our meal. Next, we ordered a breakfast sandwich layered with Danish bacon, lettuce, heirloom tomato, avocado, onion confit, fried eggs and mustard aioli on griddled country bread. It was savory and delicious.

To round out our meal, we ordered a bowl filled with fresh berries on top of yogurt, honey and granola. For a more traditional breakfast, I recommend the eggs Benedict served with crispy country potatoes.IMG_9156

On May 25 starting at 5 p.m., TART will host a barbecue celebration to kick-off the Memorial Day weekend. Kieffer will prepare classic barbecue fare including chicken, farmers market beef sausage, baked beans, mac and cheese, cornbread, and grilled veggies. Beverages include happy hour cocktails and frozés from the lemonade stand. The event will also have live music for guests to enjoy.IMG_9153

Once you experience TART for the first time, you will keep coming back to the farm often. Brunch begins daily starting at 7 a.m. $$ 115 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, (323)556-2608.

Summer Fun at La Quinta Resort & Club

When director and writer Frank Capra arrived to La Quinta Resort in the 1930s with his wife Lucille, he worked on his script “It Happened One Night.” The film went on to receive an Academy Award. The beauty and tranquility of the resort brought him inspiration and luck in his writing. He and his wife returned for many winters while he discovered new creative prose for “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “You Can’t Take It With You”, “Mr Deeds Goes To Town” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Capra fondly called La Quinta the “Shangri-La of Screenwriting.”

IMG_3608
Frank Capra Casita

I’ve been told that he found his creative inspiration staying in the San Anselmo casita. Since Capra and his wife Lucille spent many winters at La Quinta, the resort has honored the 450-square-foot cottage The Capra Suite. It offers the luxurious Waldorf Astoria bedding on a king-size bed, among authentic Spanish-style detailing, a wood-burning fireplace, cozy sitting room and over-size windows. Nearby is a special memorable bench with their names on it too.

Word spread about this desert playground and soon Gretta Garbo drove twenty miles beyond Palm Springs “to be alone.” Clark Gable as well as, Presidents Taft and Eisenhower and some of the weatlhiest families including the Crockers and the Vanderbilts vacationed at the resort built in 1926.

IMG_3533-2
The view and pool from Starlight Casita #246

Many of the historic casitas, and newer suites, villas and vacation units are surrounded by green lawns, flower gardens or clustered around one of the 41 pools and hot tubs.

During Mother’s Day vacation we stayed in an elegant Starlight casita #246. Walking up a flight of stairs we approached a secured door. Opening it with our room key, we unlocked the door and were transported to a private lounge patio with a large conversation couch, cocktail table, dining table with four chairs and outdoor fireplace. It’s ideal for morning breakfast, napping in the afternoon, and sitting outside in the evening to stargaze while the fireplace is aglow with small flames.

IMG_3417

Inside our casita offered a King-size bed with Waldorf Astoria sheets, a fireplace and sofa that can be converted into a bed. The double sink bathroom has a deep soaking tub and seperate shower. There is a small bar with a refrigerator and self coffee service. The Mexican accent tiles give the casita character and a custom design.IMG_3444

To elevate my Mother’s Day I had a 3:30 p.m. facial appointment at the 23,000 sq. ft. luxury La Quinta Spa. My aesnitician Joy pampered me for 80 minutes. Besides facials other treatments include Body Renewal, Sun Worshipper Rituals, Mommy-to-Be Offerings, a variety of massage experiences and skin care treatments.

The next morning we woke up and rented the resort’s bicycles for a four-mile paved bike path ride along the Santa Rosa Mountains. Rentals are available near the Tennis Pro shop. The resort has 23 hard and clay court tennis courts. There is also a large fitness center, bar and cafe by the main family pool.IMG_3519

Working up an appetite, we dined for brunch at Adobe upstairs at The Plaza across from the resort’s entrance. Fountains, flowers and a Mission Bell are in full view when dining al fresco. Guests were enjoying tableside guacamole and salsa and Adobe Grill’s famous margaritas. Executive Chef is Marco Aguilar makes a delicious chicken mole, Taco Salad, Sopes Benedictos and chile relleno.  We finished with a delicious bread pudding dessert served with dried fruit and mole ice cream. IMG_3551

For those looking to get away and just chill, La Quinta Resort & Club is one of the best  for mental and physical therapy.

My review of La Quinta Resort & Club was featured in JustLuxe – Celebrities flock to Luxury La Quinta Resort & Club

Nurturing your Mind, Body & Soul

Recently I had the opportunity to meet Lady Carole Bamford, the founder of England’s forward-thinking Daylesford Organic Farm Shops. She has three shops in London, as well as a Cookery School, the Daylesford Cottages, The Wild Rabbit pub, the Haybarn Spa and the Bamford line of clothing and natural bath, body and home products. IMG_3317

She traveled with her husband Sir Anthony Bamford to Malibu, California to visit their daughter Alice Bamford at her mountain and ocean view One Gun Ranch for a media tour of her book Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm. Alice describes her biodynamic ranch as “The Wild West Coast surrounded by nature that elevates the spirit,” I thought it was more like the West Coast Downton Abbey. A long wooden table was beautifully decorated and set for twenty guests out on a lush lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A staff of seven poured sparkling and rose’ wines from Chateau Leoube an organic vineyard in Provence, France. Others came around with big wooden bowls filled with salads made from fresh organic ingredients. While we sat under the warm sun, Alice introduced her mother.IMG_3345

“I grew up enjoying the fruits of the land on Daylesford Organic Farm in England (a 1500-acre estate near Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds. “Mum harvested her organic garden while I was in a pram,” said Alice (who is pregnant with her second child). Growing up, Lady Bamford prepared dishes from the fresh produce harvested from her gardens. This fond memory inspired Alice to continue the tradition for her own family. Meeting celebrity realtor Ann Eysenring, the duo purchased Guns & Roses drummer Matt Sorum home with acreage. “Without healthy soil, one can’t grow healthy plants,” said Alice. So she converted the acreage into a biodynamic, sustainable farm that grows nearly 50 different crops. “All living things on the farm are reused and recycled back into the land,” said Alice.

As soon as Alice’s gardens were thriving, she wrote a book with Eysenring  – “One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living.”  Alice inspired her mother to share her own beautiful story titled Nurture. Published by Penguin Random House, this beautiful 300-page guide to living and eating mindfully is filled with exquisite photos, seasonal recipes and an inspiring story of Bamford’s ideas and principles to a conscious, mindful way of life.IMG_3294

Forty years ago, Lady Bamford noticed her crops were thriving, but her roses were dying. When she asked one of her gardeners why? He told her he was spraying a new product named Roundup. Carole thought it might be protecting her crops, by killing weeds, yet what is it doing to our environment?”

Desiring to feed her family healthy food, Lady Bamford’s farm became one of the most sustainable farms in the UK; a model of traditional, responsible farming by following organic principles. Her willingness to take such a risk has resulted in an unexpected, yet enormously fulfilling career for Lady Bamford, with the farm leading to the growth of a brand of sustainable food. “I was looked upon as a slightly strange woman,” said Lady Bamford. “With organic, how can we afford not to do this” She explained how pesticides damage the soil, plants, animals and people. We can all make a difference. “One way is to buy organic. It may be more expensive, however, the cost of illness costs a lot more.” Another way is to eat less meat. “I have four restaurants in London, and have a No Meat Monday policy because as we know, cattle are bad for the environment,” said Lady Bamford.

Determined to change the way we think about our food and our environment, Lady Bamford reminds the readers of her book that mindfulness is the key to a happy, well-lived existence. “We all need nurturing because we all live a crazy life.” Nurture is filled with delicious seasonal tried-and-trusted recipes that were created at Daylesford. There are a spring green minestrone soup and a pannacotta with poached rhubarb, blood orange, and ginger. Try the roast salmon, peas, bacon and braised Little Gem from her summer selection. There are pickled blackberries and red cabbage with chicken liver in autumn, and the bone marrow and barley risotto created for winter. IMG_3336

Before leaving Lady Bamford said, “I hope my book helps empower readers to reinvent the way they eat and exercise, as well as rejuvenate their minds and bodies.”

For further information on Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm by Lady Carole Bamford, visit

https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1113383/nurture. Available also on Amazon Books.

This article was featured on JustLuxe on May 15, 2018 Lady Carole Bamford

Pixar Fest at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure

The biggest Pixar celebration is now at both Disney Parks in Southern California. This summer is even better for visitors at Disneyland and California Adventure as the parks are decorate in red, yellow and blue and offering so many fun Pixar experiences.IMG_3058This is the first time that Disney Parks are celebrating Pixar Fest honoring some of the most beloved stories and characters from Pixar Animation Studios throughout the resorts. IMG_3066Throughout the parks are special creative themed food and beverage options that will appeal to every family member.

New popcorn containers are available in blue Sully (Monsters, Inc.) holders. Beverages can be sipped in his pal Mick Wazowski drink containers, or keepsake Nemo or Dory Tumblers.IMG_3101Other beverages include Mich-Helado made with iced cold Amber beer with spiced tomato and lime sorbet, topped with Tamarindo and Tajin. Another is a Sandianada made with two scoops of watermelon sorbet layered with fresh watermelon chunks and Tamarindo sauce and Tajin seasoning. Beer floats are made with Henry’s Hard Soda, Coney Island Hard Root Beer or Guinness Extra Stout.

Tasty treats include orange and white striped cotton candy that is Orange Cream or Sour Lemon flavor. Churros are served regular, Cocoa churros or Carrot Cake rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with a raisin-carrot cream cheese frosting. Pretzels include regular, salted and a Yodeling Cowgirl pretzel.IMG_3160-2At California Adventure the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats opened serving delicious Lemon, Chocolate and Vanilla non dairy soft serve. Guests can also enjoy Pixar Pier Frosty Parfait, a snow capped lemon dipped in white chocolate and a root beer float.

Merchandise and Souvenirs include fun Pixar hats, shirts, bandanas, clothing, and colorful souvenirs.

New at California Adventure is the rebranding of Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier. Be sure to visit the Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar preview pier. Meet on of the designers and see how the Pier is going to be enhanced with some of your favorite Pixar characters. The pier area should reopen at the end of June. IMG_3186Right now, the Toy Store Midway Mania is one of the only rides open. There is a FASTPASS distribution kiosk to secure a time to enjoy this popular interactive ride. Other rides open include Silly Symphony Swings, Goofy’s Sky School, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Golden Zephyr and The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.

During the afternoon and evening there are Pixar Play Parades through Disneyland Park featuring Pixar’s favorite characters. In the evening is a parade with more than one million colorful LED lights and catchy tunes at Disney California Adventure. Mickey Mouse mixes his creative imagination with Tinker Bell’s enchanted pixie dust during Paint the Night”.

A nighttime spectacular at Disneyland is a multimedia show with pyrotechnics fireworks and a dazzling projection show. It’s choreographed with memorable Pixar movie music from 19 Pixar films. Projections are displayed on iconic park locations including Sleeping Beauty Castle in Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular.

Other entertainment include meeting Pixar Pals at Paradise Gardens Pavillion in California Adventure. To learn more, get the Disneyland app at http://disneyland.com/maps.

Mother’s Day Gift – Nurture by Lady Carole Bamford

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet Lady Carole Bamford, the founder of England’s forward-thinking Daylesford Organic Farm Shops. We sat down at her daughter Alice Bamford and Ann Eysenring’s One Gun Ranch in Malibu. Alice fondly calls her ranch and biodynamic farm “The Wild West Coast surrounded by nature that elevates the spirit,” I thought the day reminded me of The West Coast Downton Abbey! (You can meet Lady Bamford on Mother’s Day at her Sunday book signing from 11am-1pm at One Gun’s store, The Ranch at the Pier.)

IMG_3345

Bamford grew up 40 years ago enjoying the fruits of the land from her mother’s  Daylesford Organic Farm in England. “Mum harvested her organic garden while I was in her pram,” said Alice (who is pregnant with her second child). Carole prepared dishes from the fresh produce, which has always been a fond memory of Alice. When Alice moved to California 10 years ago, she continued the tradition for her own family. Meeting celebrity realtor Eysenring, the duo learned that former Guns & Roses drummer Matt Sorum was selling his home with acreage. “Without healthy soil, one can’t grow healthy plants.” said Alice. So she converted the acreage into a biodynamic, sustainable farm that grows nearly 50 different crops. “All living things on the farm are reused and recycled back into the land.” said Alice.

As soon as Alice’s gardens were thriving, she wrote a book with Eysenring  – “One Gun Ranch, Malibu: Biodynamic Recipes for Vibrant Living.”  Alice inspired her mother to share her own beautiful story – Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm.

IMG_3317
Lady Carole Bamford with her husband Sir Anthony Bamford and daughter Alice

Published by Penguin Random House, this beautiful 300 page guide to living and eating mindfully is filled with exquisite photos, seasonal recipes and an inspiring story of Bamford’s ideas and principles that have brought her to a conscious, mindful way of life for over 40 years.

Alice Bamford introduced her mother by saying “On a hot summer day in 1976, my mother had me. While pushing me in a pram, she would stop and tend her garden. When she noticed her crops were thriving, but her roses were dying, she asked one of her gardeners why? He told her he was spraying a new product named Roundup. Momma thought, it might be protecting her crops, by killing weeds, yet what is it doing to our environment?”

IMG_3296

Desiring to feed her family a better way, Carole’s farm became one of the most sustainable farms in the UK; a model of traditional, responsible farming by following organic principles. Her willingness to take such a risk has resulted in an unexpected, yet enormously fulfilling career for Bamford, with the farm leading to the growth of a brand of sustainable food. She owns four farm shops, including three in London, as well as a Cookery School, the Daylesford Cottages, The Wild Rabbit pub, the Haybarn Spa and the Bamford line of clothing and natural bath, body and home products.

As we sat down to a seasonable table for brunch  Alice told us “the stars are aligned today. I am so happy and proud of my momma. She is a credit to the world.”

Carole Bamford stood up with pride talking about how Alice is so special. “While she talks about gardening together and being together, it was the inspiration for her to purchase One Gun Ranch in Malibu. Not only did she become a gardener herself, but she went organic and then one step more – biodynamic. “It wasn’t easy 40 years ago having an organic farm. I was looked upon as a slightly strange woman,” said Carole. “With organic, how can we afford not to do this” She explained how pesticides damage the soil, plants, animals and people. We can all make a difference. One way is to eat less meat. “I have four restaurants in London, yet have a No Meat Monday policy, because as we know, cattle are bad for the environment.”

IMG_3336

Carole is determined to change the way we think about our food and our environment, while also reminding her readers that mindfulness is the key to a happy, well-lived existence. “We all need nurturing, because we all live a crazy life.” Whatever we do, Carole stressed “Buy organic, it may cost a little more, however the cost of illness costs a lot more.”

The delicious seasonal tried-and-trusted recipes in the book nurture have been created at Daylesford. There is a spring green minestrone soup and a panna cotta with poached rhubarb, blood orange and ginger. Try the roast salmon, peas, bacon and braised Little Gem from her summer selection. There is pickled blackberries and red cabbage with chicken liver in autumn; and the bone marrow and barley risotto created for winter.

For further information on Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm by Carole Bamford, visit

https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/1113383/nurture

Nurture: Notes and Recipes from Daylesford Farm – which helps empower readers to reinvent the way they eat and exercise to rejuvenate their minds and bodies. 

%d bloggers like this: