Category Archives: Lifestyle

Backyard Pizza Party!

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I met Gaby a few years ago on a trip through Chile and then later we were travel companions again through Brazil. We bonded over Pisco Soursred lips, and avocados (Gaby is VERY serious about them). I taught her the term “on brand” as a way to get in or out of any situation, and she taught me that slutty brownies are the greatest thing on Earth. Gaby is that west coast girl I fantasize I could be- healthy, fit, tan, on it, bikes everywhere, doesn’t drink eight cups of coffee a day like I do, and makes the most amazing food on the internets.

When she found out we were heading west to LA this week she called up her best friends and creative soul mates: food photographer Matt Armendariz and food & prop stylist Adam Pearson and threw together a backyard pizza party in our honor. Knowing that Ecco Domani pairs well with pizza parties, Kevin and I brought over a mirage of wines by Ecco Domani to pair with the different style pizzas from the red Merlot to the Pinot Grigio and ended the night sipping on the sweet prosecco by the outdoor fire.

Being a New Yorker, anytime I get to go to someone’s freestanding home is thrilling, and this backyard setup was one of the best I’ve ever been to. Matt and Adam have been working together for 10 years as a photography & styling duo for multiple cookbooks and industry giants such as the Food Network and in the new media world for places like Gaby’s site. Aside from curating a beautiful historic 1920′s Long Beach Home, running a successful studio that banks on editorial style and natural light, they were also married seven years ago on the first day same sex marriage became legal in California.

Cooking, eating, and hanging out with three major foodies comes with a bounty of tips and new recipes to update your traditional pizza. Pizza is one of mine and Kevin’s favorite at-home meals which typically occurs on Sunday night paired with a bottle of red wine and Game of Thrones. Of course it would be different taking this pizza party out west with old friends and new. Matt and Adam set up a pizza topping station where you could customize your own pie while we all hung out, caught up on our world travels, enjoying that perfect LA weather with our California sun kissed skin.

It’s nice to be reminded that the best things in life are shared memories with friends over good food and great wine. I hope this inspires you to have your own pizza party with friends or family and try out one of the recipes below and, of course, any pizza can only made better with a bottle of Ecco Domani.

 {PS- I brought one of my old Polaroid cameras some impossible film to take some instant party pics, the kind you can hold on to and rediscover one day in an old shoe box. You’ll see some of the moments developed below!} 

Scroll down for new recipe ideas and pizza cooking tips Adam & Gaby!

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For your pizza party, arrange jars of a variety of ingredients for guests to mix and match their favorite flavors and try to add some surprises such as roasted corn, jalapeño, green onions and soy-rizo (soy version of chorizo!).

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We always make our own dough, it’s so easy and makes the whole pizza process even more fun. Gaby’s recipe for homemade pizza doughContinue reading…

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Penumbra Foundation

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A couple of weeks ago I attended a weekend workshop for the 2nd time at Penumbra Foundation, the center for alternative photography. The subject this time around was on the platinum palladium printing process, something which I had been wanting to learn for years. I am absolutely obsessed with what they are doing here and keeping alive the history of photography in a hands on approach. Actually, the reason THIS nude shoot finally happened though we had been talking about it for months, was because I wanted to take these classic female form shots into the darkroom specifically to be printed this way.

In addition to workshops, they also have a studio you can rent, darkrooms, a tintype studio, and lecture series.

Here are a few snapshots taken by new friends I made that weekend I asked if I could share with you all to see into the magic of Penumbra.

{above image by Carl Weese || below images by Tom Grill}

Prenumbra_Foundation__02   Continue reading…

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Behind The Scenes

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For the past couple of months Kevin and I have been working on the video for the Tiffany CT60 launch that took place last Thursday at the Tiffany 5th ave. flagship store. The concept to the video was to shoot four dynamic and influential New Yorkers and take a glimpse inside their New York Minute.

I love authenticity. It’s very important to me to have everything mean something especially when it comes to shooting real people and talking about New York City. We started the process by extensively researching each of the four guys and making a list of specific questions to ask them about their history with the city, their approach to personal style and how they spend their time in New York. We interviewed each of the guys for about 45mins, taking notes on their favorite places to eat, shop, walk, live, and why, then wrote outlines for the videos based on their answers. We shot them at their favorite time of day in NYC which serendipitously built out a perfect day from morning to night. We had them move through the city the way they do on their own, and had them style themselves how they wanted. This was their story, after all. How we choose to spend our time, much like style, is a very personal thing.

We shot everything on the RED Epic with Canon’s new CN-E 35mm T1.5 lens,  used a Cinevate Atlas slider for moving shots, Gitzo tripod for stationary shots, and then hand held in between. When shooting Marcus Samuelson at his Harlem restaurant Red Rooster we used a Litepanels Astra light for illumination in the kitchen shots and a California Sunbounce reflector at all other times. The best new addition to our workflow was using a 7″ SmallHD field monitor. Unlike a large monitor which we use in studio, this allowed me to be close to both Kevin and the subject and made directing while being on the move so much easier.

Here a a few behind the scenes shots taken over the course of our 4 day shoot by our studio assistant Diana and some of the stories that come with shooting such dynamic personalities on the streets of New York…

Below, shooting Alexander Gilkes at one of his favorite restaurants Sant Ambroeus in Soho. For one of Alexander’s “in my New York” shots, we wanted to show him at work as an auctioneer. I have  never been to an art auction before and this one at Phillips was particularly exciting as he was auctioning photography. Everyone from Avedon to Penn and more contemporary photographers like Hiroshi Sugimoto. A high part of the evening was this Helmut Newton selling for just shy of a million dollars. Also, Alexander is married to fashion designer Misha Nonoo, a friend, CFDA incubator designer, and creative collaborator

Behind_The_Scenes_Tiffany__NY_Minute_03 Behind_The_Scenes_Tiffany__NY_Minute_04 Continue reading…

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#TiffanyNYMinute

When Tiffany & Co. approached us about shooting four influential New Yorkers to launch their new line of watches, Tiffany CT60, named after founder Charles Lewis Tiffany, I felt right away drawn to the project. First, I would get to know four inspiring, hardworking, visionaries that aid in the character this city is built upon. We would have intimate conversations about how we spend our time in this great city we call home and just what does a New York minute mean to them. Which each passing beat of time we measure into fleeting seconds, how much can you accomplish in a NY Minute? To celebrate the launch of Tiffany CT60, let’s spend some time together with these four astonishing New Yorkers.

Check out the video as we spend a day in each of these guy’s New York Minute…

Nick Wooster

free agent

“In my New York Minute I carry the trait of many New Yorkers by being able to do more in 60seconds here than in any other place in the planet. I pack so much into one min to make each second count.”

Nick_Wooster_01 Nick wears Tiffany CT60 Calendar Watch in 18k rose gold on black alligator strap

Alexander Gilkes

Auctioneer and Paddle8 Co-founder

“In my New York Minute I leave my fear of failure and embrace New York’s entrepreneurial spirit that is so deeply entrenched into the fabric of New York and our desire for self improvement and betterment. Salvador Dali said: If it doesn’t exist in New York, it doesn’t exist.”

Alexander_Gilkes_02 Alexander wears Tiffany CT60 3-Hand with white soliel dial on black alligator strap

Victor Cruz

wide receiver for the New York Football Giants

“In my New York Minute I bring the same drive and passion I put on the field to my time in New York. A true New Yorker pulls up their boots no matter what, you just do what you got to do.”

Victor_Cruz_03 Victor wears Tiffany CT60 Chronograph in stainless steel with blue soleil dial

Marcus Samuelsson

Chef, Author and Restaurateur

“In my New York Minute I remember why I came here, to be at the center of the culinary world, to feel the energy and be inspired by the artistic communities and ultimately spend my time having everyday experiences you can only find in New York to reinterpret into what I create”

Marcus_Samuelsson_04 Marcus wears Tiffany CT60 Chronograph in 18k rose gold with brown soleil dial on brown alligator strap

#TiffanyNYMinute



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