Milken Institute

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I had the great privilege to be chosen to do a book signing for the Milken Institute Global Conference a few weeks ago. They had a gorgeous walk around “Wine Tasting Passport Night” at Two Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills. Copies of Vanilla Table, wine tastings and little tastes were offered at the iconic Jimmy Choo right there on Rodeo Drive – it was VERY tempting to try on a pair or two! Michael Aust from Barnes & Noble Santa Monica helps with books as I chat with Milken speakers and guests. An absolutely delightful evening!

The Milken Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs and improve health. We do this through independent, data-driven research, action-oriented meetings and meaningful policy initiatives. 

East Coast Vanilla Adventures



Finale bow of all the Gala Dinner Chefs, assistants and support staff. Much applause to the very entertaining hosts Carla Hall of The Chew and Gail Simmons of Top Chef. Three team secret ingredient chef throw down. Anita Lo’s team won first two and Sherry Yard’s team won hands down making 2 cooked dessert dishes in 20 minutes! The lovely Chef Lynne Ryan serves.


Beautiful ladies Rochelle Huppin and Barbara Lazaroff pose for the camera at #WRC2015. Surbhi Sahni of Bittersweet serves her modern Indian inspired dishes.


Two inspiring pastry chefs Claudia Fleming and Sherry Yard. Michael Crowell and Lesley Hill from Hawaii. They provided fresh heart of palm for the Hearts of Palm & Papaya Salad I was preparing for the appearance later today at the Time Warner cable channel - The Woman’s Connection.


The lucky person Natasha getting the last copy of Vanilla Table Book signed by Chef Natasha.


Post taping tasting with Barrie-Louise Switzen from The Women’s Connection.


Penn Station. Training up the coast next stop Boston.


Gill and I dine at Back Bay’s Mistral – yes that is actually a pizza!


First of the season pea ravioli in roasted chicken broth and divine salmon!




Off to the Coop at Harvard and VT is in the front window! A warm intro in this most hallowed hall that is Harvard … had a few piano and singing lessons in this most revered University! Harvard grad student Alexa all grown up sits in on the vanilla talk.



I always wanted to go to MIT – and here we are Vittorio Paone and I surrounded by vanilla, lavender and books in the café bon appétit at MIT. NormanVan Aken’s Spicy Pineapple – Vanilla Marinated Fish and my Crispy Cornflake Chicken from VT are a hit!




Exciting buzz at Volante Farms in Needham where I teamed up with Meagan McNeill of Nashoba Valley Extract Co. who makes local bespoke pure vanilla extracts. Resisted the scratch donuts and bakery treats but had to take a photo! Head chef Todd gave us a tour and taste of the 80 local cheeses, handcrafted cider syrup and countless local products at Volante. Gill and I finished our visit with a few hero sandwiches so worth the wait!

Omnivore Books on Food


A clear crisp San Francisco day. Looking for a latte I wandered into Samovar Tea – had the most gorgeous handmade Chai warmed in large beaten copper pots. Daniel explained the nuances of each blend of tea and sampling the turmeric, pepper and licorice blend I was invigorated!


Lunch at the iconic Zuni Cafe on Market Street – each dish perfectly served, seasoned and eaten, I cannot wait to return!


Omnivore bookstore originally a butcher shop in the 40s still has the massive scale overhead and the redwood lined cold room which is truly 10 degrees cooler than the shop. Now a cookbook treasure trove  tucked into every nook and cranny, Omnivore celebrates new and antique food books from the Pitcairn Islands to New York, Iceland and London! A foodie must visit destination!

Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

Thanks to all who visited the Vanilla Table at Santa Monica Farmers Market on April 8, including Heilala Vanilla who had vanilla beans displayed. Special thanks to Laura Avery and her super assistant Ben!


Top Left (clockwise): With good friend and Chef Malika Ameen visiting all the way from Chicago – Here with Chef Josiah Citrin, Chef/Owner of the two Michelin Star Award winning restaurant, Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica. You can find his recipe in Vanilla Table as one of the legendary chefs who contributed to the book that is all about Vanilla! – Here with Rochelle Huppin who decorated with her vintage tablecloths! A Chef contributor to Vanilla Table.

Madeleine’s Cake Boutique Event

Come and join International Chef, Natasha MacAller for a delicious evening of tastings and talk about all things Vanilla! With its fragrant and captivating scent, it is a must-have in every kitchen, and the ways it can contribute to your dishes are endless and often surprising. Vanilla Table is a culinary celebration of all things vanilla. From sweet to savoury, she will share her experiences and take you on a journey to discover the many wonders of one of the most amazingly versatile ingredients in your pantry.

Lisa Martini, Director, Madeleine's Cake Boutique
Lisa Martini, Director, Madeleine's Cake Boutique

Monday 23rd March6.30-8 p.m.Madeleine’s Cake Boutique 397 Upper Richmond Road West London, SW14 7NX

To reserve a place, please contact Lisa Martini in store or call: T: 0208 878 6194 M: 07787 600 329

Free parking is available at Waitrose opposite for a limited time period.

Waterstones Picadilly London Event

Come hear International Chef, Natasha MacAller talk about all things Vanilla! With its fragrant and captivating scent, it is a must-have in every kitchen, and the ways it can contribute to your dishes are endless and often surprising. Vanilla Table is a culinary celebration of all things vanilla. From sweet to savoury, soup to nuts, Natasha will share stories and take you on a journey to discover the many wonders of one of the most amazingly versatile ingredients in your pantry. You will taste a few sweet and savoury treats!

Tuesday, 17th March • 6:30 p.m. In the Mezzanine Cafe at Waterstones Piccadilly 203 - 206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

To reserve a place, please contact the store on: 020 7851 2400 or email

Vanilla Table Cover Final UKPLC_UK_CS6.pdf