BAKE! Tour Update

Finally catching my breath with a day off in L.A. after a busy couple of weeks.  Glad the sun finally appeared in “sunny California…”

The week before last I headed to Gaithersburg MD for a class at Francois and Patrice Dionot’s l’Academie de Cuisine.  Their recreational classes usually take place in Bethesda MD, ably run by their daughter Clarice, but that school is under construction.  It was a fun day and evening of some of my favorite recipes from BAKE! including my new favorite cookie, Lemon Ginger Squares, on page 197.  As soon as I get back to my home computer I’ll post the photo and recipe.

Next day was blogger time and I met with Jenna of  and Meaghan of for a fun chat and plenty of insider info on the DC baking scene. Jenna took the “Nick among the pumpkins” photo Nick
when I dashed into a supermarket to pick up some hazelnuts for the next day’s class at Sur la Table in Arlington VA.  But before that I had a superb dinner at Ris Lacoste’s fabulous restaurant Ris on P Street.  She even agreed to share her fabled onion soup recipe for my next book…

I guess I unpacked and packed again, but it’s a bit of a blur, but I did land at LAX last Tuesday afternoon and then I headed to my friend Alan’s for a great dinner and a relaxing evening.  Wednesday I had lunch with Kristin of The Great American Bakery Hunt at – check out her post about our fun lunch.  That evening I met Amy Pressman, one of the founders of The Bakers Dozen for a great dinner at Canele in L.A.’s Atwater Village.  The following day I did a Viennese dessert class for the Cordon Bleu Culinary College’s alumni association at their impressive 2,000-student-strong school in Pasadena.  Here’s a glimpse of the proceedings:  Cordonbleu3

Two more classes at Phyllis Vaccarelli’s Let’s Get Cookin’ in Westlake Village and I headed back to L.A. for a spicy Thai dinner at Jitlada where owner Jazz worked her magic once again.  We all felt what one critic described as “a thousand fire ants partying in your mouth.”  The jungle curry of spareribs was among the hottest foods I’ve ever tasted outside Thailand.

Off to Texas tomorrow for my annual Central Market run and another report mid week…