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This was the beautiful view of the rose gardens as we arrived at the NetKal Gala event….. gathering of Asian Americans in entertainment.

Styled by my favorite fashion designer Linda Loudermilk of all time, plus…she’s all about luxury eco! Makeup and hair by the best artist ever, Dorit Genazzani.

The beautiful Lisa Ling (Oprah Winfrey Network, Our America) and her husband Dr. Paul Song.

Bryan Tee from Fast and the Furious. I can count all of 2 Asian actors in film. At least they’re representing! Yeah.

From the TV show Dexter, actor C.S. Lee. Okay, this makes 2 Asian actors…one TV, one film, so far. I can think of one more Asian male from TV. Hopefully, you can too.

The NetKal Gala was held at USC at the Annenberg Center.

The event was catered by my friends at Good Gracious Catering. I met Pauline and Joanne at Sunset Magazine’s annual Celebration weekend event last spring, where I was invited along with Chef Rick Bayless (Frontera), Candace Nelson (Sprinkles), and Govind Armstrong (8oz Burger). So impressive they included vegan raw along side these TV celebrities.

The food was presented beautifully. And, my friends hooked me up with a vegan meal, of course!

Check out this space, there was a pool and water fountain in the center. It was cold that night though. The ladies were all freezing in their cocktail dresses. I had my coat on for dinner. Dinner was accompanied by performances by 3 Korean pop stars. Sort of made me giggle. USA and Korea entertainment is very different. An incredible event. And great conference the following day with discussions and inspiration for ways to encourage more diversity in the media. Some said it’ll take a few years. I’m not holding my breath though….

Thank you Nathan Nowack for these gorgeous photos. Please visit Nathan Nowack for more photos from this event.

 

Today was Day 3 of food prep at the Test Kitchen. My GastRAWnomique molecular gastronomy inspired dinner is just days away. Chris Ochs and Josh from SunFood personally delivered a ton of superfoods. Diane Paylor and I were elbow deep in cacao. And Top Chef Alex Reznik was cold smoking my cashews for me.

To cold smoke, Alex uses a smoking gun packed with chips to push smoke into a sealed container of raw cashews. The cashews absorb the aroma of the smoke, but stay raw. Pretty cool. No pun intended.

Restaurant Mo-Chica’s Ricardo Zarate and I making Cheddar Kale Chips.

Richi helping me set up 8 Excalibur Dehydrators. These are my favorite dehydrators, and they come with Paraflexx reusable non-stick sheets. Thanks for sending them over to me Excalibur! So much love from the community, sponsors have been super generous and include: Excalibur, Sambazon, Earth Circle Organics, Sunfood, Gold Mine Natural Food, Frontier Natural Products Co-Op, Big Tree Farms.

Chef Seth Greenburg at the Huntley Hotel Penthouse Restaurant invited me into his kitchen where he shared with me some of his favorite molecular gastronomy techniques.

Chef Seth and I compressed melons and cucumbers, and put chemicals into water and fruit puree to create popular spheres or ‘caviar’. We even made ‘noodles’. See what could be done using chemicals got my creative juices flowing thinking about ways to create similar effects without chemicals, and instead 100% natural and raw.

Test Kitchen brings together the best Chefs in LA, and has become much like a think tank where Chefs share their creativity, ideas, and time. Great energy in this space! Chef Christian Page, a locavore sourcing his ingredients locally and seasonally, is to the left of the photo, and is about to open Daily Dose Restaurant in downtown LA in mid Dec.

The weekend before Halloween, Tami Erin and I went to Monster Massive in downtown LA. It’s a huge 40,000 person rave. I think it was probably the hugest party I’ve attended, and it was packed. I won’t bother posting up photos of the crowd, just imagine a sea of people dancing up a storm inside a huge sports arena.

You won’t normally find me at such a high energy event, but since Moby personally invited me, I wasn’t about to miss it. I have to admit, I had a great time. I love dancing, it’s one of my favorite pastimes, great exercise, and Moby rocked the house. I’ve never seen a DJ jump up onto the speakers to dance while spinning records. He had so much energy, a testament to his healthy vegan, whole food, and heavily raw food diet. Moby had the crowd going nuts, they loved him, as we all do.

japan town los angeles, ca

Living in the center of Los Angeles, I walk and ride my bike around my neighborhood, rarely drive, and hardly ever make it downtown. Saturday, I decided to explore downtown LA. I started at by USC at the California Science Center and watched the new Hubble 3D IMAX. It was incredible to see images Hubble captured, and I recommend everyone to go see this film. It’s only 45 minutes long.

Next, I visited a new (to me) Japan Town mall in downtown LA where I stumbled upon a really cool bookstore and an Asian grocery store. I stocked up on my sea vegetables: Arame, Hijiki, Nori, and picked up a bottle of Yuzu (orange paste with green hot pepper). Sea veggies cost much less at the Asian market than at a natural food store. I even ran into an old friend who lives in Santa Monica who happened to be shopping downtown too.

The photo above was shot at dusk, so the sky is an amazing blue color. I’m learning that dawn and dusk are the money shots for architecture.

Los Angeles at night

I was with Benny, an amazing photographer who’s photos are found on many of the architecture magazine covers out there. Benny Chan’s aerial photo series are printed huge, maybe 10 ft tall, if I had to guess. Standing in front of the images makes me loose my stomach as if I was really flying up in the helicopter with him. Read about Benny’s show in the LA Times.

Benny’s been inspiring me to shoot dusk and nighttime city shots, especially from the top floor of high rises. You can even find the crescent moon in the photo above. It was a beautiful city scape on a warm LA evening.

On the way home, I stopped off to visit my friend Kato Space who was hosting an old school house party in Hollywood with special guest DJ Garth, from the Wicked Crew in San Francisco. I love dancing. Besides the prior evening at Pink Floyd, I hadn’t been out dancing for months.

Dancing directly raises my level of happiness and well being. It’s a spiritual practice for me to let go and to feel the flow. It was so much fun, but way past my bedtime.

Ani's feature in KoreAm Journal

Ani's feature in KoreAm Journal

I met up with the photographer and writer in downtown Los Angeles, at the City Hall farmers’ market. I’m always game for exploring a new market. And this was a great reason to venture downtown.

Ani's feature in the KoreAm Journal

Ani's feature in the KoreAm Journal

Ani's feature in the KoreAm Journal

Ani's feature in the KoreAm Journal

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