I've got no shortage of material this week. I'm in gorgeous Charleston, SC, at the Personal Chefs' Network 2008 Symposium. I arrived on Tuesday evening, and after sharing a late-night meal with fellow chefs from across the US and Canada, we hit the ground running today with a fantastic presentation by Denise Vivaldo of Food Fanatics. Denise is not only an incredibly talented chef, author, food stylist and teacher, she is also a RIOT. I was sitting next to the videographer, who had to step away from the camera numerous times because he was laughing so hard at Denise's material, much of which includes some inside (very inside) stories about the famous people she's worked with over the years.
In the photo (taken with my BlackBerry; I forgot the camera.... grrr), Denise (in the blue apron) is preparing a "roast" chicken for it's close-up, showing us some of the secrets of food styling and photography. Chef Karla Billdt of Arizona is assisting. And who's that looking in from the doorway? Oh, it's Anne Willan, founder of the famous French cooking school, LaVarenne. She's in town to talk to us tomorrow, though she joined us today for an impromptu discussion of food magazine covers as well as gas station food in America vs. France. You had to be there!
Tonight we're having a clam bake poolside and receiving our Goodie Bags, which have detailed agendas for the next two days and some surprises. I'll report back again soon.