On the flight from New York to San Diego I went through my itinerary knowing that this was going to be the insanity part of the Insanity Tour. In my carry on suitcase I had I had 7 days of clothes, 7 plates for the chefs to use and my tripod. My cameras were in my backpack. I arrived in San Diego at 12:00, rented a car and drove the 100 miles to Escondido. Chef Patrick Ponsaty’s restaurant was beautiful. After shooting the 4 dishes I drove another 100 miles to The La Jolla Beach Club. Bernard Guillas is the exec chef there. I was there in time for high tide. The restaurant is on the beach and the waves are high enough to hit the windows. It’s actually one of the reasons people come to the restaurant. I stayed at the hotel there and left at 6:30 in the morning for Rancho Mirage.
I took the scenic route through the desert that was beautiful. I think it was about 150 miles. Chef Bruno Lopez was the exec chef there. I felt like I could work at this resort if I needed a job.
Back in the car and another 150 to the Anaheim Hilton where Exec Chef Frederic Castan had to deal with Disney Land being a few blocks away. The chef had arranged for a room at the hotel but when I arrived they were sold out except for the Presidential Suite. Very nice but I arrived at 9pm, had no company and was leaving at 6 the next morning. My only thought was wondering who slept in the bed.
The next morning it was off to the LA Airport. I was using Waze for directions (only the second time I’ve used an app for directions). It told me to get in the left lane to get onto route 405. I was obedient and followed the directions. I notice that it was the car pool lane but there were other cars with only 1 person in the car. I was going 60 miles an hour and watching all the other lanes no moving. I finally had to stop for traffic and looked to my right out the passenger window. There was an LA motorcycle Cop. Typically handsome and impeccably dresses. I had to pull off the freeway to a shopping center parking lot. I told him that it was only my second time to use this direction thing on my phone that told be to get in the left lane. He asked me “did it say to stay in the left lane?” I told him I was on my way to the airport for a 9:00 flight and he actually let me go without giving me the $300 ticket.
I flew to Portland Oregon and was picked up by Exec Chef Philippe Boulot.
I did my thing there and taxied it back to the airport for 2 flights to Bellingham Wa where it was getting cold. In order for me to get 7 days of clothes in my carry-on with everything else I didn’t have anything very warm to wear. I stayed in a hotel.
Eric Truglas the Chef/Owner of EAT, his intials (his middle name, that I can’t recall starts with an A). Eric is the renegade of the MCF. Both his arms are tattooed. His chef/partner at the time had a lot more tattoos. They wanted to take me to the local tattoo artist so I could get one too. I almost agreed. Almost!
That afternoon I caught a flight to Los Angeles. Rented a car and stayed at The Beverly Whilshire. Yes The Beverly Whilshire!
Follow me closely now. I shot Thomas Bellec, Eric Branger, Michel Blanchet in 3 different locations, then went back to the airport and flew to San Francisco. That night I stayed at my cousins house.
The Left Bank Restaurant was my only stop that day where I photographed Chefs Joel Guillion’s and Fabrice Marcon’s dishes. I stayed at the Parc Central Hotel in San Francisco.
I rented a car and drove to Half Moon Bay. The drive there and the resort were spectacular. I worked with Xavier Salomon and spent the night there.
Back to San Francisco for another crazy day. Roland Passot, Laurent Manrique, Gerald Hirgoyen and Claude Le Tohic were on the schedule.
I was on my way home.