LA Phil Spectacular Upcoming Fall 2015-16 Season At Disney Hall

The creative arts are a great way to celebrate special occasions and inspire your senses with loved ones.   As summer comes to a close it’s time to start planning entertainment for 2015-16 season.  There are several upcoming events for Fall 2015 and Winter 2016 to choose from at the L.A. Phil Disney Hall, including classical music, arts, latin music & holiday performances.  The LA Phil 2015/16 season  Walt Disney Concert Hall  has classical concerts, jazz, world music, holiday programs, and more, featuring performances by Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as acclaimed artists from around the world.  Great programming for daydreamers and thinkers.

LA Phil La Santa Cecilia

 

This season’s highlights include:

  • Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic joined the Simón Bolívar Orchestra of Venezuela for the Immortal Beethoven festival, a highly anticipated taking place September thru October.

LA Phil Buika

  • Exciting programs such as La Santa Cecilia • Buika,  Eddie Palmieri • Chucho Valdés: Irakere 40, and a tribute to Mercedes Sosa.  I’ve seen La Santa Cecilia in concert several time and she is an amazing artist.  You don’t want to miss it.
  • Deck the Hall holiday concerts like the Holiday Sing-Along, Holiday Organ Spectacular, New Year’s Eve with Natalie Cole and more.

I’m looking forward to taking my family to Walt Disney Concert Hall LA Phil.  There are too many great artists to choose from.  Buy your tickets now and enjoy yet another season of incredible music at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

xoBesos!

Eva Smith Tech Life Magazine

Alex And Irina Bring Their Comedic Duo And 16 Poodles To Ringling Bros Circus XTREME

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME in Southern California.  The circus is guided by Ringmaster David Shipman and pushes the limits of excitement to feature over 100 artists and performers who redefine the word extreme in everything they do.

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The 145th edition has several unique acts including an Xtreme Sports display featuring Bungee Skydivers, BMX freestlyle riders, energetic parkour performers, trampoline acrobats and slack like gymnastic tricks, a Comedic Duo and mixed animal act and more.

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME in Southern California.  The circus is guided by Ringmaster David Shipman and pushes the limits of excitement to feature over 100 artists and performers who redefine the word extreme in everything they do.      The 145th edition has several unique acts including an Xtreme Sports display featuring Bungee Skydivers, BMX freestlyle riders, energetic parkour performers, trampoline acrobats and slack like gymnastic tricks and more.

 

 

Alex & Irina “Dogs of the City” Interview

I interviewed  Irina of “Dogs of the City” Comedic Duo and Mixed Animal Act.  Alex and Irina have spent several years creating acts never before seen.  They are the first comedians to work with animals.  Their performances are full of comedy, animals, magic, tap dancing and dynamic athleticism.   Alex and Irina take the audience on an adventure to explore and discover the world of extreme circus through artistic acts and comedy.

Alex was born in Moscow in a working class family. His uncle was a circus clown and Alex was excited when he saw him make his actions. “It looked good and my eyes were open to the possibility of opportunities in the circus, “said Alex.    Soon after, Alex traveled to Ukraine to attend an elite professional circus school which  was hard and included several competitive students. He excelled and was invited to Nikulin Circus, where he impressed the director and was immediately hired as an artist.

Interview  with Alex and Irina of "Dogs of the City" Comedic Duo and Mixed Animal Act

Irina and her brother, were born in Moscow, are second-generation circus artists, and follow  in the footsteps of their famous father and animal trainer. “As a child, I wanted to have my own act” reflects Irina. While touring she admits, “I can not remain in one place for long; I think there is nomad animal in my blood. ”

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Alex and Irina met while acting in circuses. She was performing her act with monkeys and Alex was a clown.   After several years traveling, Alex decided to pursue his own creative performance and was looking for an assistant. Alex and Irina have not been apart since then, 15 years ago.   Alex and his partner have been  recognized by fans and teammates with several awards.

Despite their success, Alex and Irina returned to Russia to create a new animal act.   They spent several years training poodle puppies. Once the act was complete, they performed with his family working with the Moscow State Circus. During this time, Alex, who understood the importance of acquiring new skills, studied at the Russian Academy and ended graduating with a degree in Circus Production.   The couple then decided to take their performance with 16 poodles to America.   The comedic acts has traveled around the world including Germany,  Japan, Korea, Norway, Sweden and France.   Their passion for American culture and movies is so strong that they named their poodles after famous actors.  The youngest poodle is 3 years and the oldest is 7.

International award winning entertainers, performers and artists, Alex and Irina have 2 daughters, Alexandra and Valentina.   Their daughters are always with them and have a school and nursery that travels with them from city to city.  They also give their children as much as a normal life as possible in between shows by spending time as a family touring the city.   Her teenage daughter is 16 and wants to be a beauty and fashion blogger and  Youtube channel sensation.

“This is my life.  We love what we do.  We consider our dogs part of our family and want everyone to walk away from our performance happy and with a smile. “, says Irina.   Alex and Irina hope to have the same success in America as they have had in Russia.  Their international success is evident by their talent, passion and hard work and the desire for their daughter to follow in their footsteps in the field of entertainment.

 

Plan Your Trip

Ringling Bro and Barnum & Baily Circus is coming to a town near you.  Make sure to check out their website, Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Presents Circus XTREME for locations near you.  The circus is currently in California with shows in Los Angeles, Ontario, Anaheim and San Diego.

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If you plan to attend the event, make sure to go to the Preview which starts about 1 hour before the event.  At the preview you can meet the performers and artists before the event and get autographs from your favorite entertainers.   Ringling Bros XTREME circus is unlike any circus performance you will ever see so make sure to get there early to enjoy the Pre Show festivities.

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My favorite performers were Alex & Irina and their 16 poodles, Tabayara Maluenda a six-generation Chilean circus performer who knows how to build trust with tigers, the BMX bike riders, the Danguir Troupe and Mongolian Marvel.

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Current Locations & Ticket Prices

A N A H E I M
WHEN: Friday, July 24 – Sunday, August 2
WHERE: Honda Center – 2695 E. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806
**All Anaheim shows include both the Animal Open House and All Access Pre-Show

SAN DIEGO
WHEN: Thursday, August 6 – Sunday, August 9
WHERE: Valley View Casino – San Diego
**All Anaheim shows include both the Animal Open House and All Access Pre-Show

TICKETS: Prices range from $20, $25, $30, $42 (VIP), $70–$80 (Front Row)*
Opening Night tickets are only $15 each (not valid for VIP/Front Row seating)
*Prices vary between weekday & weekend performances

See You At The Circus XTREME!

Eva Smith Tech Life Magazine

SoCal Summer Guide – Fourth of July Celebrations

Fourth of July Celebrations are the perfect events to get together with family to bond and celebrate our nations freedom and federal holiday, Independence Day.   The Fourth of July is also the most popular day for grilling across the country with Memorial Day in second place.  According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, more than 14,000 firework displays will brighten  the skies of the country on the Fourth of July.

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Our perfect Fourth of July event kicks off with the parade and local Fourth of July festivities.  If you are planning a similar day, we recommend that you head out to the fourth of July fireworks destination immediately following your local parade to allow enough time to find the perfect spot and celebrate with family prior to the fireworks.

Make sure to prepare food, water and lots of sweaters as the day will get cooler towards the evening.

Here is a list of our favorite places to check out the fireworks and have a safe & great time.  Whether you are planning a traditional day at the park or looking for a fun day under the stars with lots of activities our Fourth of July event guide has everything you need.

 

4th Of July Celebrations In Southern California

 

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Big Bear  –   Big Bear Lake’s Fireworks Spectacular starts and will explode at 7,000′ reflecting its shower of brilliance over Big Bear Lake on Friday, July 4th at 8:45pm.  Big Bear Lake Fourth of July celebrations has abundance of events, recreation and activities.

Canyon Lake –  Skipper’s Island. Fireworks at 9pm.

CarlsbadRED, WHITE and BOOM spectacular fireworks at Legoland.  Don’t miss Fireworks set to a patriotic musical tribute beginning at 8:30 p.m. with great viewing in designated locations throughout the Park. Throughout the day, kids of all ages can enjoy live musical performances and participate in all-American family picnic games, like water-balloon tosses, burlap sack races, family build challenge and LEGO Hamburger relay.  Purchase tickets at Legoland.

ChinoPLEASE NOTE: Event is on July 3. Join the City of Chino for a fun-filled fourth of July Spectacular in Chino on July 3 with family and friends.  This year’s festivities will kick off at 3pm with carnival rides, games, food, music, and fun activities for the whole family.  Help honor Chino’s Service men and women at 7:00 p.m.  Enjoy a live performance by the band “Ravelers” at 7:30 pm; a spectacular fireworks show will signal the end of the evening at 9:00 pm

Chula Vista –  Various City of Chula Vista Fourth of July events throughout the day.  To see the fireworks attend the Port of San Diego’s “Big Bay Boom Fireworks. Prime viewing locations include Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North and South Embarcadero, Marina District, Seaport Village, and the Coronado Ferry Landing.

City of Orange -PLEASE NOTE: Event is on July 3.    3rd of July Celebration at Modena High School  include games, entertainment, food from local non-profits and musical performances and fireworks show.  Tickets are $7 per person.

Claremont –  The City of Claremont’s Fourth of July Celebration culminates with an fireworks show and a live concert featuring Classic Rock band – The Answer!  The City of Claremont’s fireworks show has developed over the years and has become one of the biggest and best shows in all of Los Angeles County! The 20+ minute show is fully synchronized to music and electronically fired.  The Concert is presented by the DoubleTree by Hilton Claremont.  Check link for ticket details.

Coronado –   My family attended the City of Coronado Glorietta Bay fireworks every year during my childhood.  It’s a spectacular event.  Fireworks start at 9pm.   There is other activities including a parade, 5k run/walk, Coast Guard demonstration and more.

Del Mar  – Del Mar Fairgrounds Fourth of July Spectacular starts at 9pm.   There will also be lots of rides, food, Hometown heroes parade and Navy band performance.

Fontana – After a couple years off, the Fourth of July festivities at Fontana High school are back.   The main stage entertainment starts at 5pm.  Enjoy face painting, stilt walkers and dance the night away with your family.  Tickets are $4 per person. Check link for ticket details.

Hollywood – Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular with Smokey Robinson at the Hollywood bowl.  Purchase tickets at ticketmaster.

Lake Arrowhead – Lake Arrowhead Lake 9pm.

Lake Elsinore – Patriotic Parade of Lights followed by  Fireworks in Lake Elsinore.  Boaters may purchase tickets for $10 to view fireworks on the lake.

Long BeachAquarium of the Pacific  Fourth of July BBQ.  You can view Queen Mary Fireworks from Aquarium of the Pacific.

MenifeeCelebrating Independence Day in Menifee on June 27 at Wheatfield Park.   Check the local events for Riverside or Temecula for celebrations on July 3 or July 4.

Moreno Valley  – The parade starts at 10:30am-12pm.  City of Moreno Family Fest kicks off at 2pm at Morrison Park.  Fireworks start at 9pm.

Murrieta – There are no Fourth of July events planned.  Check the local events for Temecula.

Pasadena – Rose Bowl.  Purchase tickets.

Perris – The City of Perris will host their Fourth of July festivities at the Auto Speedway in Perris.  The event is free to residents.  Event starts at 3pm.  Fireworks start at 9pm.  Event FREE to Perris residents.

Redlands – The City of Redlands will celebrate the Fourth of July festivities at Sylvan Park.  Parade starts at 10:30.  The University of Redlands will host the annual fireworks extravaganza with a live show and entertainment. Fireworks start at 9pm.

San Diego –  Port of San Diego’s “Big Bay Boom Fireworks. Prime viewing locations include Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North and South Embarcadero, Marina District, Seaport Village, and the Coronado Ferry Landing.

San Diego – Celebrate the Wonder Fireworks at Sea World.

San Ysidro – City of San Ysidro presents Fireworks at Larsen Field at Cesar Chavez Park.  3-10pm

Riverside –  The Fourth of July aerial fireworks show will be celebrated at La Sierra Park Fireworks.

Temecula – The City of Temecula Fireworks spectacular kicks off when the park opens at 9am and Fourth of July Festivities start at 2pm.  The fireworks start at 9pm sharp.  Music broadcasted on KATY 101.3.  There will be a lot of Food Vendors and Kids Fun Zone.  Handicap parking is limited and first come, first serve.  Arrive early to secure a parking spot.

VictorvilleSan Bernardino Fairgrounds Fireworks start at 9pm.

Inland Empire Food Festivals | Tour De Fork At Victoria Gardens

We’re excited to support the 3rd annual Tour de Fork at Victoria Gardens on Thursday, June 11th.  I am sharing the event to support local cuisine and nonprofits.  The Tour de Fork at Victoria Gardens will benefit two local charities, including Rancho Cucamonga Community & Arts Foundation and Rancho Cucamonga Library Foundation.  100 percent of the event proceeds will go directly to these organizations.

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The event provides participants with a great way to enjoy local cuisine and give back to charity.  2015 Tour De Fork event tickets are now on sale.  Tickets are limited to the first 500 people, and must be purchased prior to the event date. Each ticket entitles a guest to unlimited food tastings, as well as five alcoholic beverage tastings.  The theme for the event is EAT, DRINK and GIVE BACK, a great way to encourage others to give back and support local cuisine.

 

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Im looking forward to tasting the menu for N7 Creamery, King’s Fish House and Crepes de Paris.  Can’t wait to taste all the yummy food & spirits.

Ticket pricing is as follows:

  • $40 per ticket if purchased at the Rancho Cucamonga Cultural Center Box Office
  • $42 per ticket if purchased online via paypal
  • $50 per ticket if purchased the week of the event

For event details, participating restaurants and to purchase tickets online visit: Victoria Gardens Buy Your Tour de  Fork page.  You can also RSVP and follow the event on Victoria Gardens Tour de Fork Facebook event.

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Participating restaurants include

Slater’s 50/50

Luna MMK

Blaze Pizza

T.G.I. Friday’s

Crepes de Paris

Lucille’s BBQ

P.F. Chang’s

Corner Bakery

Williams-Sonoma

BRIO

Paul Martin’s

CPK

N7 Creamery

Islamorada

Shakey’s Pizza

No Clue Craft Brewery

Firestone Brewing Co.

Dale Bros. Brewery

Hangar 24

Wicks Brewing

Joseph Filippi Winery

REV Brewing Co.

REV Winery

San Antonio Winery

Wine Tailor

Wilson Creek Winery

Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  I received complimentary tickets for me and a guest from Tour de Fork organizers.  All opinions are my own.

SoCal Travel Guide – Temecula Winery Getaway Tips

There are many things to do in Inland Empire, but the jewel of the valley is Temecula Wine Country.  Temecula Wine Country is a little known secret nestled between San Diego and Los Angeles and offers a variety of options for a romantic getaway or a getaway with friends.  Whether you are a foodie and music lover like me or a wine enthusiasts, there is something for everyone to enjoy.   Out of town friends that have never visited the area before, always go home feeling like the have enjoyed a little bit of paradise.

I recommend the World of Wines event in March or Barrel Tasting Celebration during the month of November.  Each event includes wine tasting at over 30 wineries with gourmet food pairings.   The WOW events are a great way to visit all the wineries and discover  new favorite places.  If you’re visiting Temecula for the first time I also recommend a stop into Old Town with a visit to EAT Marketplace for brunch and Havana Kitchen for dinner.

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Wilson Creek Winery

Temecula Getaway Guide

If you’re planning a weekend getaway to Temecula Wine Country print this vetted list of favorite Temecula Wine Country destinations and prepare for a breath-taking weekend  of scenic views, great food and wine tasting.

Make sure to visit this page before making a trip again and again as I’ll keep adding additional tips & discounts when available.

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Leoness Cellars Winery

 

Temecula’s Best Wineries

Europa Village Winery – Europa Village is an elegant and charming winery.   The European style reminds you of an Old World European village with some modern flair.  Some of the best things about the winery include the wine cave, ample seating spaces and views of the vineyards.    The staff is very knowledgable and friendly and make you feel like a part of the family.  The Dans de Vin Artists Series and  Moscato wine is one of the favorite wines in the region.

Leoness Cellars Winery –  Founded in 2003, The Leoness Cellars Winery also known as “The Village of Dreams” cellars is located in the rolling hills of wine country.  They also have a great restaurant and tasting options.   The White Merlot is one of the favorite Rosés in the region.

Miramonte Winery – Known as the hippest Winery in town, the Miramonte Winery is nestled on top of a hill overlooking the Temecula wine country! Some of the best features of the winery include the outdoor veranda, vintages, Live music and water misters.  The winery also serves several Mediterranean plates that pair well with your wine tasting.  The Miramonte Winery Sangria is also one of the finest Sangrias in the region. The owner is also very savvy with Social Media and you can find him online from time to time sharing his insider wine and entrepreneur tips.  Also, keep your eyes open for Mojo, the hippest dog in wine country.

Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Winery – The winery is located on an Italian Villa in Temecula Wine Country.  The history of the families wine make experience also dates back to Italy.  You will literally feel like you have been transferred into a small Italian Villa in Italy when you walk thru the winery.  The restaurant also serves an assortment of delicious salads and fries.  You can also purchase their signature olive oil, vinegar, marinara sauce and hot chili sauces.  The Moscato wine is one of the favorite.

Wilson Creek Winery – There are so many things to do at Wilson Creek, including concerts, picnics, lunch, tastings and dinner.  I recommend an early afternoon brunch at The Creekside Grill.   There are several delicious plates including the Cheese plate, Bruschetta and Gerry’s Reuben sandwich.   Make sure to get the mimosas any time of day.

 

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The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars – Pear & Gargonzola

 

 

Temecula’s Best Dining Spots

Creek Side Grill at Wilson Creek

E.A.T. Marketplace

Havana Kitchen

South Coast Winery – Vineyard Rose Restaurant

The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars

The Restaurant at Ponte Winery * reservations recommended

Broken Yolk

Temecula Wine Country Accommodations

The Inn at Churon

The Inn at Europa Villa

Temecula Wine Country Villa Chateau $399-$699 per night – sleeps 12

Temecula Wine Tasting Transportation

We recommend the all-inclusive day trip on the Grapeline Wine Tours.  The shuttle will stop at four wineries and includes a picnic lunch, behind the scene tours of vineyards and wine-tasting.

Temecula Wine Country Seasonal Events

March – Celebrate World Of Wines for 30 wineries.  The weekend events includes a self-guided wine tasting with gourmet food pairings for over 30 wineries.

September – Celebrate California Wine Month during the month of September 2014 with a SIP passport.  For $40 you get to visit 4 wineries. The SIP Temecula passport includes 4 wine-tastings at 4 separate wineries of your choice.  The discount is about 50% average cost of wine tasting prices.   Get your SIP  Temecula passport here and celebrate California Wine month.

November  – Annual Barrel Tasting Weekend.   Visit over 30 wineries for a fun-filled self-guided Food & Wine adventure in Temecula Wine Country.  Purchase tickets at the Temecula Growers Annual Barrel Tasting or an all-inclusive tickets with transportation to Grapeline Wine Tours Annual Barrel Tasting.

Temecula Wine Country Discount Tips

If you’re looking for a luxurious experience at reasonable prices also check-out Travel Zoo Temecula Wine Country offers  for huge discounts on afternoon wine tasting tours, spa treatments and more.  Travel Zoo discounts typically need to be purchased in advance so plan accordingly.

 

I hope you enjoy your stay in beautiful Temecula Wine Country.

Cheers!

Eva Smith Tech Life Magazine

 

Exclusive Interview With Chef Javier Plascencia At Harrahs Socal

Updated 7/5/2015 with Bracero’s opening date.

Chef Javier Plascencia is one of Mexico’s most celebrated chefs.  Born in Tijuana, Mexico Chef Javier Plascencia owns and oversees 8 restaurants in Tijuana, Ensenada and San Diego.  He is a world traveler and enthusiastic advocate of Baja California’s Mediterranean cuisine.    He proudly uses the freshest local ingredients in his modern surf and turf modern cuisine which is influenced by his travels, culture and heritage.

Interview With Chef Javier Plascencia

I interviewed Chef Plascencia at Harrah’s Latin Food and Wine Festival where over 30 restaurants and 30 wineries celebrated Latin wine, food, culture and music.   We enjoyed the green chorizo sopes and savored the delicate coconut water aguachile of hiramasa (yellowtail amberjack) with coconut cream, edible flowers and coconut.

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Chef Javier Plascencia’s green chorizo sopes, peas, cabbage, raddish and a touch of cilantro

At the end of the month Chef Plascencia will also be opening a new restaurant, Bracero Cocina in San Diego, California.  Read on to learn about Chef Javier Plascencia cuisine characteristics, his family’s historical restaurant and new restaurant influences:

 

Can you tell us about some of the ingredients in the green chorizo sope?

Well we use braised pork for “texturity” and they feed that pork. He eats a lot of figs. He eats a lot of avocados and fruit.

It’s free range?

It’s free range pork and he drinks a beer every day. It’s a special kind of breed that my friend raises in Escondido. It’s in the sope with pickled cabbage and radishes.

And what inspired this dish?

I wanted people to taste green chorizo. A lot of people have never seen or heard of it. It’s very popular in central Mexico. In Toluca we eat a lot of green chorizo. I took inspiration from the fondas in Tijuana. We have lots of fondas where you can go and have a taco or tostada.  It’s sort of  like tapas, but in the Mexican way. So you can go and have a taco or tostada or eat menudo or pozole.  It’s like comfort food, usually run by family. And usually a lady will be cooking.  That’s how I grew up.  I love that food.

Harrah's Latin Food and Wine Festival -  Interview With Chef Javier Plascencia

I was observing you guys when you were preparing the dishes during Harrah’s Food and Wine Festival.  Your team works together like a rhythm.

When you are cooking you have to be well-organized. If not, the end product won’t be the same and won’t taste the same. It’s almost like an orchestra. You’re the director but everybody knows what they are doing.  All the guys that you see here today are from a cooking school and they’ve been with me for several years. They all learned how to cook with me. 

What influences your cooking?

The place where I come from is like being a kid in Disneyland. We have so many good ingredients around in Baja California, the Sea of Cortez, and the Pacific Ocean. We have people making cheese and olive oil too. And that’s all in Mexico. But we also have this side of California as well where people make so many excellent products. And most of it’s the same because the weather is the same. If you taste my food you are going to taste a lot of flavors and contrasts.

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Chef Plascencia’s Yellowtail coconut cream with edible flowers and coconuts.

What features characterize your food?

I do a lot of surf and turf the modern way. I think that’s staple cuisine. But I also work with the freshest ingredients that you can find. I work with the whole animal. I don’t just buy the loins or the ribeye. I buy the whole thing because you can make stocks and chorizo sausage.  I buy the whole animal and we make tons of things. One of the things I make is beef cheek tacos. We may take the cheeks to make tacos de cabeza. It’s mostly cheeks. We use the tongues. We use the tail. You blend everything. My father even eats the eyes.

How does it taste?

It’s amazing. The cheek is the most flavorful and tender meat of the whole animal. People don’t realize that. It’s just really really tender.

At the end of the month Chef Plascencia will be opening a new restaurant, Bracero Cocina in San Diego, California.  Read on to learn about Chef Javier Plascencia, his cuisine influences, his family history and his new restaurant.

 

When did you know that you wanted to be a chef?

I grew up in my parent’s restaurants. They own a chain of restaurants in Tijuana and this past month it turned 47 years old.   Giuseppis is a chain of pizza restaurants. My father opened the first pizzeria in Baja California. He was the one who invented the Mexican pizza.

What’s different about a Mexican pizza?

The story is that my father opened a Giuseppis and it was very successful because there were no other pizza places. My father was the pizza guy. My grandmother made the sauce. And my mother was the cashier. It was a very small place. It only had three tables. It was mostly to go. They worked like that for many months and they were eating pepperoni pizza every day because they were so busy and tired. But one day my father opened a can of jalapenos and put some refried beans instead of tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese and chorizo and bacon. That pizza became really popular with his friends. The clients started asking for it and now it’s their best seller in the restaurant.

You’re opening a new restaurant soon in Little Italy in San Diego. Can you share some details?

At the end of this month. It’s going to be called Bracero. It’s a tribute to the Bracero workers that worked the fields. We thought there was a story to be told. Whenever we open a restaurant we like to tell stories. We wanted to give some history to it. We found the Bracero story very interesting. We met a couple ex-Braceros and they’re living the American Dream in Napa Valley. They’re winemakers. We went to Stanford University and they had a lot of letters and photographs and stories.  The restaurant will open on May 27th. July 8th.

Will your restaurant have Braceros all around it?

Yes.

Does travel inspire any of your cooking?

Yes. I don’t travel to go to museums or the beaches, I travel to go eat and find ingredients and markets. I don’t go shopping, I go shopping for food.

What do you want our reader to know about Mexican cusine?

I want people to taste and learn about Mexico. Here in California or in the United States, when you think of Mexico you think of tacos, burritos, or nachos but Mexico has many regions and every region has different flavors. I want people to look into that. The region of Oaxaca is very different from the region of Veracruz. They can use the same ingredients but the flavors at the end are very different and unique. Everybody cooks differently. I want people to know that. And I want people to not buy store bought tortillas. They’re awful.  Go find a good tortilleria or make your own. It’s not that hard. It’s very easy and you’ll have fun doing it. Once you have a good tortilla, you’ll never go back to eating that sh*t!

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I’m excited about what Chef Javier Plascencia is doing for the food scene in San Diego and Baja California.  Chef Plascencia’s love of his culture and heritage is evident in everything he touches from the savory baja mediterranean cuisine menu-style, his plating and creative restaurant concepts.  For additional information on the grand opening visit Bracero’s Cocina website or Braceor’s facebook page.

Harrah’s Latin Food and Wine Festival featured world acclaimed cuisine and wines.  For a full list of wines and restaurants visit Harrah’s Latin Food and Wine Festival.

 

Buen Provecho!

Eva Smith Tech Life Magazine

Harrah’s Resort | Latin Food and Wine Festival

Southern California Harrah’s Resort is hosting their 2nd annual Latin Food and Wine Festival with over 10 restaurants and 34 wineries on May 2 from 2pm-6pm to celebrate the rich history of International wine and cuisine. The day will be filled with tapas and wine tasting and live entertainment that includes Spanish Guitar with Flamenco Dancers, Cumbia, Latin Pop, Mariachi and Latin Jazz!

California’s love of Latin wine dates back to the 18th century when missionaries planted the first vineyards.  Join Harrah’s for a journey through wines of the region to celebrate the history through wine tasting and Southern California inspired cuisine.

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Chef Javier Plascencia will also be preparing savory tapas-style cuisine during a live-demo. Chef Javier Plascencia was recently named among the Distinguished Bajacalifornians of 2013 by the State Government, and included in the list of “50 people that are transforming Mexico” by Quien Magazine, both for his work in promoting the people, product and culture of Baja California.

 

Participating Restaurants

Aquí es Texcoco

Cocina Vallarta Escondido

Cocina del Charro

Mi Guadalajara

Bracero Cocina – Chef Javier Plascencia

Tempo Urban Kitchen – Chef Jorge Cueva

La Querencia – Chef Miguel Angel Gurrero

Acapulco Mexican Restaurant Y Cantina

El Torito Cantina Autentica

Culinary Arts Institute from Tijuana – Chef Javier Gonzalez

Participating Wineries – Region

Tinto Figuero – Spain

Halter Ranch – USA

Emilio Lustau Sherry’s / Lustau Fine Selected Wines – Spain

Vina Herminia – Spain

La Rioja Alta – Spain

Torre de Oña – Spain

Jed Winery – Argentina

Lagar de Cevera – Spain

Bodegas Aster – Spain

Bodegas Mauro – Spain

Giró Ribot – Spain

Beso de Vino – Spain

Bodegas Peique – Spain

Sierra Norte Pasión de Bobal – Spain

Ferdinand – USA

Maldonado Vineyards – USA

La Mejorada – Spain

Capita Vidal – Spain

Orin Swift Cellars – France

Neyen – Chile

Bodega Gimenez Riili – Argentina

Hacienda La Lomita – Mexico

Totol Winery – Mexico

Cloudline Family Cellars – USA

William Hill Estate Winery – USA

Heitz Cellar – USA

Mirassou Winery – USA

Belasco De Baquedano Winery – Argentina

Poggio al Tesoro – Italy

E&J Gallo Winery – Spain

Baron Balche – Mexico

L A Cetto – Mexico

Bodega Iniesta – Spain

Bodega La Remediadora – Spain

harrahs-latin-food-and-wine-festival

Ticket Details


VIP tickets start at $150
and allow you a full hour of private access to all wineries, a private celebrity chef demonstration and tasting, a commemorative gift, and a reserved lounge area.

GA tickets start at $75 and offer you unlimited tastings from local celebrity chefs and wineries and a commemorative gift.

Designated Driver tickets start at $30 and allow guests to taste all of the cuisine and enjoy the live entertainment.

Latin Food & Wine Festival Package
Enjoy special pricing when you stay for the evening. Choose from a two-ticket or four-ticket package:

Two tickets and your choice of room accommodations starting from $399/nt.

Four tickets and your choice of room accommodations starting from $499/nt.

 

Additional Information

For additional information visit Harrah’s Latin Food and Wine Festival.

Cinderella Red Carpet World Premier

JCPenny invited me to attend the Disney Cinderella Movie Red Carpet premier in Hollywood, California as a VIP guest.  It was a spectacular event with a glam ball, private pre-reception ball in a huge enclosed victorian renaissance ball themed decorated tent, live music, food, dancing, trumpeters and revelers on stilts welcoming guests.  We also viewed the world premier of the Cinderella movie.

My fairy godmother (JCPenny) sent a horse drawn carriage (Lincoln Navigator) for me and I was whisked away to the VIP JCPenny glam ball to prepare for the evening festivities.     We arrived at the glam ball where all the princesses gathered for refreshments, hair and make-up touch-ups and accessory styling to complete our princess look before our presence was requested at a private pre-reception at El Capitan theatre.  I saw Princess Katherine, Princess Jill and Princess Sylvia looking as lovely as ever in their gorgeous gowns and JCPenny accessories.   We were also showered with lots of kindness from prince charming, refreshments and well wishes as we prepared to depart to the ball. It was a magical experience.

JCPenny Cinderella Glam Ball

Princess Eva Smith, Princess Katherine, Princess Jill and Princess Sylvia at the VIP JCPenny Glam Ball

 

My good-hearted fairy godmother also provided makeup and JCPenny accessories at the glam ball.  She touched up my makeup and gave me a natural look with smokey eye shadow, black eye-liner and red lipstick.   She also provided me with a lovely sparkly black crystal clutch and earrings to put the finishing touches on my red carpet look.   The fashionable crystal clutch was the perfect size for my iPhone and charger and met my techie needs during the premier.

JCPenney Sponsors The World Premiere Of Disney's "Cinderella"

JCPenny clutch put the finishing touch on Princess Eva Smith’s red carpet look

After the glam ball prince charming escorted me to the private pre-reception ball at El Capitan theatre for a walk on the red carpet.  On our way to the red carpet it started to rain, but there was nothing to worry about because our fairy godmother gave us umbrellas and within a couple minutes she waved her wand and bibbity bobbity boo it stopped raining!

As we entered the red carpet pre-reception trumpeters and revelers on stilts welcomed us to the festivities.   I enjoyed the live quartet, live ballroom dancing, sword fights, food & wine and silhouette artists.  It was truly an amazing experience.

Eva_Smith_Cinderella_Red_Carpet

Princess Eva Smith walking the Cinderella premier red carpet

 

Cinderella Red Carpet

Princess Eva Smith with revelers on stilts

I also had the opportunity to celebrate in the festivities at the Cinderella premier and see several movie stars I admire including Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Octavia Spencer, Josh Gad and Grumpy Cat.

Eva_Smith_Cinderella_Red_Carpet_Lincoln_Navigator

Heading home before midnight on a horse and carriage (Lincoln Navigator)

After the festivities, my horse and carriage arrived in time to get me home just before midnight!  I look forward to watching the Cinderella movie over and over again, especially on March 13 when it is released in theaters nationwide.  Cinderella will always remind me of this magical day sprinkled with pixie dust.

So Thankful to  JCPenny & Disney for a spectacular night!  I didn’t lose a shoe and look forward to sharing the interviews with the cast of Cinderella tomorrow.

Eva-TFL

#CyberMonday Deals by Women Owned Small Businesses

Happy #CyberMonday ! Don’t forget to support online businesses today! Here are a few suggestions of places to shop if you are looking for ways to support online businesses:

Chef Alejandra Schraders's Seasoning Blends

 

Small Business Recommendations


1. Chef Alejandra Seasonings – Chef Alejandra business was inspired by her desire to find natural, certified organic non-GMO spices and seasonings. Here seasoning are also certified paleo.  My favorite seasoning are the Ginger love curry and Cocoa-mon because they give vegetables, rice and meats an amazing flavor.  

I recommend the full combo pack, but if you want to get started try the Ginger love curry and check her blog for a delicious Cauliflower recipe. Use: CYBERMONDAY for 15% off and FREE shipping

Website: www.alejandraschrader.com/store/

2. Full Circle Fibers – Angela sells amazing hand-made items for yourself or as a gift. She is a very talented young lady. Santa told me I’m getting a scarf from her.  Use coupon code: GIVETHANKS to get 20% off a purchase of $10 or more. This coupon can be use on in-stock items and on custom-made items. It expires 12/7/2014.
Website: www.etsy.com/shop/fullcirclefibers


3. California Tea and Coffee Brewery – The owners are tea experts and have an online store and have been in the tea business for over a decade.   They really are the world’s best tea connoisseurs.  May I recommend the Milk Oolong or Jasmine green tea.
Website: www.caltcb.com


4. Tina Steinberg Designs – Tina’s personlized jewelry is unique.  There are never 2 pieces that are alike.  When you buy a piece from her it will leave you with a lasting impression and story to share with friends. May I recommend the Love Touch design for a memorable gift for mom or dad.
Website: www.tinasteinberg.com/


5. Ilaments Jewelry – Illaments Jewelry is designed by a very talented Latina designer.  Her jewelry are statement pieces. Check it out and thank me later.   Cyber Monday/Week Discount code: xmas14 and save 20% off.
Website: www.ilaments.net


6. Crafty Chica Shop – Latina artist, novelist, speaker, instructor, product designer has a beautiful shop.
Website: craftychica.com/shop

 

Happy Shopping!

Eva-TFL

Cooking With Chef Alejandra Schrader’s Seasoning Blends and Curried Cauliflower Recipe

I recently attended Chef Alejandra Schraders’s Seasoning Blends launch.  It was a gathering of fellow chefs and friends who support and enjoy Alejandra’s healthy cooking.  We tastes several meats, vegetables and small plates made with love and her delicious seasoning blends.  I really enjoyed the savory flavors of the Curried potatos, Cocoa-Mom Dark Seasoned chicken and curried Cauliflower Alejandra made with her natural seasoning blends.  The Seasoning Blends contain non GMO organic spices and are made with high quality ingredients  in Los Angeles, California.  Alejandra was inspired to create the spices by her love of global cuisine, bold flavors and healthy cooking.

If you are looking for a healthy nonGMO alternative to generic spices you purchase in the stores consider buying Chef Alejandra’s Seasonings and enjoy the natural flavors of global cuisine with every dish.

To celebrate the special occasion, Chef Alejandra also shared her secret Curried Cauliflower recipe with me to share with my readers. Make sure to visit the store and Cook Global Eat At Home for more delicious recipes, including the Cocoa-Mom Dark Seasoned chicken.  I’m looking forward to making healthy cuisine with Alejandra’s Seasoning Blends!

 

Chef Alejandra Schrader Seasoning Blends

 

Un abrazo with Chef Alejandra!

 

Chef Alejandra making Nothing but Love Tostadas!

 

 

We loved Chef Alejandra’s Cocoa-Mom Dark Seasoned chicken

 

Chef Alejandra’s Signature Sachon Roasted Beef Sandwiches made with Love!

 

Thank you Chef Alejandra for a Superb meal!

 

Chef Alejandra’s Curried Cauliflower Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • ½ medium brown onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp Alejandra’s Gingerlove Curry
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Black pepper

 

Preparation

 

Preheat oven at 425° F

Cut cauliflowers into florets. On a large, rimmed baking sheet plate cauliflower, onions, raisins, Gingerlove Curry, coconut oil. Toss to coat evenly; season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 

Roast, tossing occasionally, for about 30 minutes until cauliflower is tender but still firm and edges are a bit crispy (you may leave for additional time to achieve desired level of doneness.)

 

Chef Alejandra’s Healthy Tip:

  • Get your cauliflower ON! This hearty vegetable is delicious and I’ve also learned that it provides a great deal of nutrition–from omega-3s and vitamin B to antioxidants like vitamin C and manganese. Oh, and It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and for helping with heart disease and cancer.
  • Spicy does not mean hot. Spices will help enhance the flavor of your food and will also provide plenty of good stuff like disease-fighting antioxidants. Spices can make cauliflower a rock star, infusing this mild dish with flavors that you will love!

 

 

¡Buen Provecho!

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