Los Angeles and Burning Man

So I am so sorry that it has been so long that I have posted a blog. At the moment I’m in my car heading north on I-15 towards THE BURNING MAN Festival. My bestie Chris AKA Doug Jacobson is typing this as a dictate.

But first things first… Los Angeles! I arrived on L.A. on Monday from a beautiful 2 day drive from Dallas. I had a series of meeting in L.A. with T.V. folks all of whom were very friendly, helpful and optimistic. That’s all I can say, but I am in the first stages of formulating an incredible project that will take me into the homes of Amazing people across the nation. Stay tuned for more info….

I was also excited to reconnect with Masterchef contestants Tracy, Adrien, Ester, Alejandra. We ate together, cooked together, made Youtube videos together (coming soon) and had an amazing time.

Thursday morning I drove to San Diego with my old college roomie David Utley. Who is an Art Director for T.V. and Movies in Hollywood. We met up with college friends Nate & Sandy, and their friends Mark & Elaine. I have known Mark and Elaine for several years and they are two of the most fascinating I have met. The live in an architecturally stunning home on a mountain in San Diego and their lot is filled with fruit trees, wood fired ovens, scenic views, and best of all CHICKENS!!! It was great to play with their chickens. It made me miss the 12 hens I had in my backyard for 2 years before the city took them away from me.

Over the next 72 hours I cooked and cooked and cooked until I almost dropped. I spent more than $1500 on groceries, preparing 18 meals for the 17 people in our camp at Burning Man.  Food is always my contribution to the Burning Man Experience.

Let me take a minute to describe Burning Man. Chances are, you’ve never heard about it. If you have heard of it chances are you’ve heard all the wrong things. Burning Man is an annual event where 60,000 people go into the remote desert of Northwest Nevada and build the perfect city.  During the week of the event, this city called Black Rock City, (named for the massive dry lakebed where the city is built- the Black Rock playa), is one of the largest cities in Nevada. Espousing Utopian ideals, everything in this city is FREE for the entire week, money is not allowed. Each of the city’s inhabitants is expected to contribute what they can to make the city a comfortable exciting and inspiring place to live. If you are a millionaire you might bring a restaurant or bar or sponsor a massive art project. If you are a broke student, but are good at giving massages, your contribution may just be giving out free massages. The city is diverse with many different religions, ideals, and races. But the ultimate goal at Burning Man is to prove that every individual can express themselves freely and fully, and still live in peace and harmony with their neighbors.

Burning Man is the most inspiring, exciting, warm, open place in the world and I eagerly await the Labor day weekend on which is occurs every year. Because of Masterchef, I was not able to help plan our camps infrastructure and logistics this year like I normally do. But at least I’m able to contribute by cooking the meals. Burning Man takes place in the high desert and you don’t eat as much as you think you will. Our breakfasts and lunches consist of light grazing on pasta salads, beef jerky, dry fruit and nuts. Each Evening we share a big formal meal together the 6 meals for this year are: Mexican Bean Soup with green chili corn bread, Pad Thai with Spring rolls, Pasta Bolognese, Pork Tamales with Chili Verde w/ Beans and rice, smoked brisket sandwiches with potato salad, and finally the Pot Luck…

Our camp is called “Camp Pot Luck.” It was inspired by an event at last year’s Burning Man. Near the end of the week we had lots of food left over, mostly Mediterranean foods like Hummus, Tabouli and Babaganouj, which is a dip made of smoked eggplant. We spread out all our leftovers on a table and walked up and down our street inviting neighbors over to eat with us. It started with 5 guests, and over the course of an hour grew to more than 50. People were telling stories, singing songs and chatting with strangers from all around the world as if they were old friends. So this year we have planned extra food and named our camp with the pot luck theme with hopes of playing a bigger part in contributing to the Burning Man community.

If Chris and I make good time, we will arrive at Burning Man at midnight tonight. As the event is in the remote desert, I will not have access to email or phone until Sept. 5th. So, for the next week bring a little Burning Man into your own life. Talk to a stranger about something other than the weather, bake some muffins and give them to a homeless person. or don’t be afraid to sing out loud to yourself at the Grocery Store with a smile on your face.

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