By now you probably know I am obsessed with Julie Lee’s work…cause I talk about it all the time. I even asked her to contribute to my new cookie book (she did!). We chat on the phone from time to time and catchup on email, but we pretty much have one of those online long-distance relationships…we’ve never actually met before. So, when I knew I was going to LA for a friend’s celebration (congrats, Bob) I knew just the person to call to host the first-ever Los Angeles For Reals Meals!
Julie’s guest list couldn’t have been a cooler mix…Erica Chidi (doula/chef/creator of The Mama Circle), Anjali Prasertong (dietician-to-be/food writer), Joy Claire (streetwear queen), Nadine Wells (artist/outdoor bad ass), Suzanne Hall (editor of The Chalkboard), and Kristina Meltzer (designer/creator of 100 Layer Cake & 100 Layer Cake-let). I was in heaven. Not only was I already a fan of a lot of these women, but I learned so much from them during the lunch. Erica filled us in on placenta smoothies being all the rage (!!) and I got some great web tips from Kristina and Suzanne (they’re pros). These LA-women embraced this snowy-vortex-Chicago-girl with such love that I wanted to stay all day.
And the food! The food was just unreal. Julie’s menu was full of hearty plant-based dishes: Beet & Blood Orange Mimosas, Winter Salad with Citrus, Fennel, and Apple, Grilled Kabocha with Harissa & Mint, and White Bean Confit & Wild Mushroom Toasts. I’ve literally thought about how I could recreate those mushroom toasts just about everyday since the lunch. I’m not kidding.
I knew LA was one of my very favorite cities on the planet, but this lunch proved to me just how much I love it. Even more than ever. Between the fresh veggies from Julie’s market to the welcoming and warm vibe of her guests…I can’t wait to go back and do it all over again. Anyone in LA want to host the next For Reals Meals? Let me know. I’m in.
See lots more of Julie and her work on Julie’s Kitchen.
P.S. One of Julie’s guests was a former Babes In Plantland. See who!