Experience Raw: LA’s Latest Healthy Gourmand

For those in Los Angeles, we were introduced to a great company called Experience Raw, founded by  raw food chef, Kirsten Gum. Passionate about health, organic food, and conscious living, she started her business because she was determined to experience life fully and wanted to help others get there too. Kirsten credits her zest for adventure and endless amounts of energy to her daily food choices, personally experiencing the healing powers of raw foods and conscious cuisine.As the creator and owner of Experience Raw, a full-service transformational eating and lifestyle business, she’s made it her mission to enrich lives through conscious cuisine. Kirsten believes that when we connect with our food, we connect to our bodies, our souls and the Earth.KirstenGum_07

Not only is she a certified gourmet raw food chef and instructor, she’s also an outdoor enthusiast, a yogi, a cyclist, a world traveler and an internationally recognized journalist and television host. You may even recognize her from the Travel Channel show, Treasure Hunter, where she got down and dirty to search the globe for Mother Nature’s gemstones. Here are some of the amazing offerings that I’m sure to check out when I’m back in Los Angeles!

Private Raw Food Services
From one-on-one raw food instruction to health-conscious shopping trips and pantry revamps, Experience Raw will help put you on the road to wellness.

Personal Chef Services
Experience Raw now offers exclusive any time any where services for those with time restraints, busy schedules and special needs.

Traveling Chef Incentive Program
Bring Experience Raw to your own community — anywhere in the world — by becoming an ER Ambassador. You’ll become part of their team and build and strengthen the raw community. Oh, and you’ll earn a little cash to boot!

Cleanse Support: Liquid Delivery
They want you to succeed. No matter what type or style or intensity of cleanse you’ve decided on, Experience Raw serves the local Los Angeles area with fresh juices, smoothies, tonics and teas, right to your doorstep.

Catering
Experience Raw is a full-service operation! No job is too small (privates) or too big (large groups).

Online Transitional Support
Let them become your best supporter and inspiration with daily check-ins via email or Skype, meal plans, shopping lists and anything else you need to succeed.

Recipe & Product Development
In the ever-changing world of all-natural products, adding some new twists and dishes to your arsenal of marketing can be a great way to generate business. Original recipe creation, photos and videos can offer your customer a new way to look at your brand.

Menu Consultation & Creation
Offering conscious cuisine is more mainstream than ever as society tries to clean up its eating habits. Success for your business comes when you can provide specialized treatment for your customers’ health needs.

And… they have several classes in Santa Monica STARTING NEXT WEEK so get on it, my beautiful Angelenos!

raw food
March 29th:

RAW Thai Dinner Party
6:30-9:30pm

April 3rd: 
Raw Chocolate Truffles
10am-1pm

April 5th:

RAW Med. Dinner Party
6:30-9:30pm

April 6th:

Fermented Foods
6:30-9:30pm

April 7th:

Raw/VEGAN Nut Cheeses
5pm – 8pm

To Register for classes:

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Austin’s Top Travel Picks with SmartUSA

Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon

Ginny’s Little Longhorn Saloon

We love a good travel video about as much as we love a good, eco-friendly ride. So, smart USA is launching a new travel series, customNATION, hosted by Camille Ford (from Travel Channel’s Food Wars) and Comedian, Christian Finnegan. The series follows the duo as they road trip through great American cities in various smart models, exploring unique and under-the-radar destinations favored by locals. Over the course of the next few months, customNATION will release videos featuring Austin, San Francisco, and New York City for the traveler looking for more than mere tourist attractions.

The series kicks off this week with ten brief segments featuring Austin hot spots, just as the nation’s biggest tech, music and film lovers have finished up SXSW. While in Austin, Finnegan and Ford visit Ginny’s Longhorn Saloon for some unusual bingo, discover urban legends at the Driskill Hotel, and experience “life-changing” brisket at Franklin BBQ.

Smart For Two

Smart For Two

So, in case you didn’t get your SXSW on, click here to watch the Trailer or visit the customNATION Premium Channel to watch new Austin episodes and to check for upcoming episodes in San Francisco and New York!

www.customnationtv.com

The Claremont Hotel Berkeley’s Spirited Four Course Dinner

The Claremont Hotel at Night

The Claremont Hotel at Night

Oh, we sure love the Bay Area… who doesn’t?? So, we wanted to fill our Bay Area friends and travelers in on The Claremont‘s new four course spirit dinner. A bit about this awesome property: it opened all the way back in 1915 and is located in California’s Berkeley Hills. Like a castle nestled in the hills, the hotel has almost 300 rooms and suites, state-of-the-art fitness facilities, a pool, tennis courts, an incomparable 32 treatment room spa, and an award-winning food & beverage program. Sold yet? Here’s more. In addition to The Meritage restaurant specializing in bringing the wine and food experience together with a menu of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, The Paragon Restaurant & Bar offers hand-shaken libations complementing a menu of relaxed contemporary American cuisine.

The Paragon

Outside Dining at The Paragon Restaurant

With this in mind, you don’t want to miss out on The Paragon Restaurant & Bar’s celebration of craft distillation on Tuesday, March 26 with a four-course dinner featuring a range of St. George Spirits. Established by Jörg Rupf in 1982 as an eau de vie distillery, St. George Spirits has now grown into a diverse operation that makes a range of craft spirits.

St. George Distillery

St. George Distillery  (this is where spirits are transformed, guys)

 

The St. George team takes an artisanal approach to all of their spirits by working on copper pot stills that give them tremendous command over the distillation process. The artisanal approach results in high-end products that are some of the most well-respected and highly praised on the market today. Why does this matter? Because dishes will be paired with carefully crafted St. George bourbon, absinthe, gin and eau de vie.

How about a date?

A room at The Claremont... in case you want to sleep it off

A room at The Claremont… in case you want to sleep it off

The St. George reception starts at 6:30 p.m. with an East Bay Ti Punch entrance cocktail followed by dinner starting at 7:00 p.m. of select spirits paired with a menu prepared by Chef Marcos Sanchez. The four-course menu includes:

  • The California Waldorf Salad – Apple, Thai basil, fennel, toasted pine nuts, arugula and lemon-champagne vinaigrette with a ‘Hemingway’ (Absinthe Verte, Sparkling Wine)
  • The Jail Bird – Smoked quail, pecan-cornbread stuffing, wild mushrooms and ‘Breaking & Entering’ BBQ sauce accompanied by Breaking & Entering Bourbon and Claremont Cobbler (Breaking & Entering Bourbon, orange slice, Luxardo Cherry, Luxardo Liquer)
  • Trifecta – ‘Dry rye’ grilled salmon, ‘Botanivore’ pickled cucumber and ‘Terrior’ Crème Fraiche with a choice of a traditional gin martini three ways (Dry Rye Martini, Botanivore Martini, Terroir Martini)
  • Perfect Pound Cake – Lemon-orange pound cake, drunken ‘Aqua Perfecta’ raspberries and vanilla mascarpone with a ‘Raspberry Fountain’ (Raspberry Eau de Vie)

The St. George dinner is priced at a reasonable $69 per person and is available for patrons 21+ only.

Sorry, kiddos, but this one is for adults only!

http://www.Claremont-Hotel.com

 

 

ReVitalistic by Vanessa Williams… Who Knew?

revitalistic

My latest secret obsession (well, not so secret now, eh?) is, you won’t believe it… Vanessa Williams’ ReVitalistic Re-Start Skin Serum. It’s sold on QVC, but I was sent some product to review for my blog and was surprisingly impressed. Normally, I’m skeptical about a celeb skincare line, but this serum smells delicious and doesn’t clog my pores.

Consistently rated 5 out of 5 stars, 89% of reviewers also said they would recommend the product to a friend so, apparently, I’m not alone.

The product glides on, works great under make-up, and a little goes a long way. People also claim that they don’t need a moisturizer, anti-aging cream, and primer as this can replace all of them. I happen to agree. It manages to moisturize and nourish without the need for extra product to slather on. As someone who travels frequently, that’s, perhaps, it’s biggest selling point. More room in the suitcase for local gifts and souvenirs!

ReVitalistic by Vanessa Williams retails for $68 and can be purchased on the QVC website here.

The Hotel de Paris St. Tropez Has Opened!

Hotel de Paris St. Tropez

Hotel de Paris St. Tropez

Viola… The Hotel de Paris St Tropez has just opened in the heart of Saint-Tropez. So, for those seeking a sexy jaunt to the South of France, you’ll get 52 rooms & 32 suites of awesome. Amenities include:

  • “Suffren Café by Georges ”, a French brasserie orchestrated by the 3-star chef Georges Blanc
  • Rooftop terrace with clear-bottom pool suspended 15 meters above the atrium
  • Spa “My Blend by Clarins”
  • “The Roof”, Lounge bar with caviar & Champagne
  • Lobby Bar & landscaped patio
  • Access by plane
  • Nice International Airport (90 minutes)
  • Hyères – Toulon Airport (60 minutes)
  • La Môle – Saint-Tropez Airport (25 minutes)

And here’s a sweet secret Special Opening Rate…

$375/night

Buffet Breakfast and Taxes are also included.

Valid from March 23rd to May 7th, 2013

You can say ‘Merci’ later.

http://www.hoteldeparis-sainttropez.com/

Hanging in the Arctic with Canada’s Amazing Inuit

The Inuit of the Arctic

The Inuit of the Arctic

When I talk about the arctic it’s usually in relation to me complaining about how cold it can get in New York City or some frosty metropolitan center. It’s sorta my humorous West coast take on what normal people call ‘seasons’. That said, for those who want to do the arctic well, Canada’s arctic offers visitors a glimpse into a different life; spectacular scenery and wildlife; a sense of timelessness and an experience that will last a lifetime.

We like this brand new tour series called “A Touch of the Arctic”, offered by The Great Canadian Travel Company, because it features the opportunity to spend two, three or four nights in a traditional Inuit community.  This is enough time to explore the area, learn about the cultures of the region, meet local peoples and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of these remote villages.

An Inuit Fishes

An Inuit Fishes

The programs have no organized day tours, although they may be available in the communities (and arranged locally), to allow each participant to customize their own Arctic experience. Accommodation is in the comfortable and welcoming Inns North properties, each owned by the local co-operative. The Inuit communities are not used to many tourists –they are simply home to a small and tightly-knit group who will be happy to talk to you of their lives, their land and their culture. Life in the north runs at its own pace, and operates on a very different wavelength; which is a great part of the fascination of these villages. A tolerance of the northern lifestyle will add immeasurably to the enjoyment of your northern expedition.

An Inuit Hunter

An Inuit Hunter

The communities offered:

Kimmirut lies on the southern coast of Baffin Island and is home to just 400 people. It is a “new” community, first settled in the early 20th century. There is evidence of habitation of the Dorset people from thousands of years ago. Kimmirut prides itself on its warm, friendly people, traditional way of life and indigenous culture.

Qikiqtarjuaq lies at the northern end of Auyuittuq National Park, and means “Big Island”. The area is rich in wildlife, whales, walrus and narwhal, and offers spectacular scenery. Enjoy the walking trails, watch icebergs in the Davis Strait, rock climb or simply enjoy the community of 470 Inuit who call this village their home.

Pond Inlet is one of the major tourist attractions of Baffin Island, and offers visitors ample opportunities for wildlife viewing, including the spectacularly rich birdlife of the region. Local tours may be arranged through the co-op to see the ice floe edge, and learn about the remarkable wildlife of this region.

A Killer Whale spotted in Repulse Bay

A Killer Whale spotted in Repulse Bay

Repulse Bay lies on the Arctic Circle, and visitors to this traditional community will be delighted by the wide bay, the wildlife, the hikes and ancient settlements.  You can take a tour of the Arctic waters of Repulse Bay to look for narwhal, orcas, bowhead whales, seals and possibly polar bears. The community is renowned for its excellent artists, especially for its carvers who work in bone, ivory and stone.

Pangnirtung, an old whaling village, is an iconic destination lying at the southern end of Auyuittuq National Park and has been a favorite for tourists for many years. Pangnirtung has achieved an international reputation for producing high-quality traditional arts, as well as printmaking and weaving. The tour to this community will allow you the chance to enjoy magnificent scenery, and learn some of the history of the people of this fjord village.

Programs are priced from $2427 – $4006, depending on community and length of stay and include round trip air from Ottawa or Winnipeg to the community; 3 nights’ accommodation (4 or 2 nights in Repulse Bay); and all meals. The programs also operate year round.

The Great Canadian Travel Company also offers a 3-day, 2-night trip to Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut (population 6,000) for only $1499 per person, including accommodations and round trip air from Ottawa or Montreal.

http://www.greatcanadiantravel.com/canada-nunavut-touch