Okay, I will admit that we have only been subscribing to Sunset Magazine for a mere two months and yet I am already in love. Usually it takes much longer than that, just ask my husband. But, each issue is jam packed with amazing adventures that I want to have, delectable recipes that I need to cook and flourishing plants that should be in my garden. Half the pages in my two issues are now earmarked for future bucket list explorations. This is the one magazine I wish didn’t come monthly, so I had time to savor.
As I was creasing over the 58th page, there was an ad for the Sunset Magazine Celebration and this was the perfect reason for Peter and I to play hooky from our restaurant. Besides, all the things I adore were going to be there; gourmet food samplings, jammy red wine, lush succulent gardens, inspirational travel booths and, most importantly, celebrity chef Rick Bayless.
We parked at the Facebook Campus to be shuttled to the event and I simply couldn’t resist “checking in on Facebook @ Facebook”. If this celebration would have ended with a tour of these FB offices, my life would be complete. After a quick ride, we walked through the Sunset gates, were handed a catch-all bag for the goodies to come and sensory overload immediately set in. There were booths galore; mushroom farms, bee keeping, purified water, hot dogs and the list goes on and on…
Our fist stop was to the wine & beer section (no comments…please). For $10 each we received a commemorative glass, two drink tickets and one free Bloody Mary shooter. We started there, even though I despise tomato juice (and…yes I am Italian). Peter graciously offered to drink mine…so generous. There were lots of wine vendors, most of which would give you tastes for free and only take the ticket when you decided on a much “larger” pour. The winner for me was the Frolicking Frog Red Blend from Paso Robles and I used both my drinks tickets on this fruity, rich libation. We proceeded to visit every booth and saw everything from ceramic dog bowls to garden stakes to an entire Etsy craft section. This was a pure oversupply of bucket list potential. Everywhere I turned there was something to add to my list; grow my own mushrooms, wear a beekeeper suit, make paella, meet a celebrity, etc.
The highlight of the day was that Top Chef Masters winner, Rick Bayless, would be giving us a cooking demo and we were sitting front row. Don’t even ask how we got there, but hair pulling may have been involved. As he came out onto the stage the shrill of a group of, not-so-teenage, ladies was piercing, they must have used all their drinks tickets already. He politely ignored their cries to “look here”, “smile” and “marry me”. That last one was not from me, I swear. Bayless proceeded with the task at hand, teaching the audience how to make guacamole and ceviche. We were all stunned that he would be preparing something so simple as guacamole, but within the first two minutes nobody questioned his tactics. He is like a walking encyclopedia for Mexican food and went through every detail of preparation and the products he used. If you departed not learning something about guacamole then you might want to start thinking about having your own cooking show.
There was one question that Rick didn’t answer in his lecture and Pete could not leave without a resolution. Unfortunately, Pete didn’t want to ask it (scaredy cat) and made me do it. But, he did video tape it:
On our way out, the editor of Sunset Magazine, Katie Tamony, stopped us to say she had seen us enjoying the cooking demo and asked if we were having a good time. Are you kidding? I just sat front row at Rick, Pete won a cool gift pack at the demo (I forgot to mention that), I still have half a glass of the richest red wine and now the editor of Sunset Mag wants to know if I am having fun? This was one of the best events we had ever been to, the staff had been amongst the friendliest we have encountered, I have a bulging bag full of souvenirs and all I want to know is “when can I pre-purchase tickets for next year?”.