May 28, 2016

A Visit to The Huntington Botanical Gardens

If you’re ever in or near Southern California, I encourage you to visit the amazing Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino - they’re simply exquisite.

American railroad magnate, Henry E. Huntington, purchased the property in 1903. At the time, it was a working ranch with citrus groves, nut and fruit orchards, alfalfa crops, a small herd of cows, and poultry. Today, the estate is home to more than a dozen spectacular botanical collections spread across 120-acres. Among them are the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Chinese Garden - all wonderfully planted and maintained by 40-gardeners, curatorial experts and more than 100-volunteers.

Earlier this month, I flew to the area for some media appearances and business meetings, but had just enough time to also tour The Huntington Botanical Gardens. Here are some of my photos. I wish you all a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend, as we celebrate summer and remember those who died while serving in our country's armed forces.



May 27, 2016

Preparing the Plants for Skylands

For me, every Memorial Day weekend signals a significant change of seasons. It is traditionally the weekend I go to Maine, to my home called Skylands, to plant the outdoor urns, pots and planters. I take more than 100 tropical and exotic plants from my Bedford, New York farm to fill the many pots there for summer enjoyment.

This week, my outdoor grounds crew worked hard to prepare the plants heading north for the season. It’s a tedious task, but well worth the effort to see the Skylands terraces full of color and plant life once again. Enjoy the photos…

May 26, 2016

Another Great Friends of Hudson River Park Auction Dinner

If you could plan the ultimate culinary experience, who would you choose to prepare it?

For two auction winners of the 2015 Friends of Hudson River Park annual gala fundraiser, the prize was a dinner for up to 20-guests made at the venue of their choice by Momofuku’s Chef David Chang and myself. And all for a good cause - the maintenance and care of the beautiful Hudson River Park in New York City.

David and I both sit on the Friends of Hudson River Park board, and we were thrilled to participate in the auction again this year. Earlier this week, we hosted and prepared the dinner for 18-people. It was held at my Bedford, New York farm. David and his team prepared two of the three course meal. It included dishes inspired by his famous Momofuku restaurants. My staff and I were responsible for the table setting and the dessert. It was not only an excellent feast, but a very fun and charitable event.

Enjoy these photos.