London Calling

It was always my parents dream to go to London for their honeymoon. Their marriage has lasted for 28 years (and counting!), but they've never made it to London. My boyfriend spent his semester abroad in London. My favorite city abroad during Semester at Sea was Hong Kong (an Asian twin to London). The city of bangers and mash (how could I dislike this combo?), polo (I ride), tea (I'm an old soul) and Kate Middleton (enough said) is calling my name! Not so long ago during a cooking show audition I was asked, "Which Food Network chef do you most relate to?" Pushing my prejudgements aside and ignoring my inner chef criticism, I shared my culinary role model ... Ina Garten. "Give me a nice Jewish man and stick me in East Hampton!" was how I responded. The horror on the producers' faces was enough to tell me, "Pack your bags, this is the end of your audition." HA! I'm not sure if it was the fact that I had spoken so truthfully or that they were shocked at my choice, I assume the former. What can I say, Ina is the only person on reality cooking TV I wholeheartedly love. In her words, "How easy is that?"

Growing up in the catering world, I worked in a specialty food store/catering company/deli during high school and always found that my calling was more of an "entertaining" rather than a chef. Swap my chef's coat for a tattered apron and opt for family style service instead of plated courses. I can whip up a party for 50 using ingredients in my parents house on the spur of a moment, and have been known to do so. Plus, Ina always has a supply of Veuve in her fridge, can you say she's a lady after my own heart?

How does this tie into London? Well, Ina and my (whoops! her) husband Jeffery recently taped their trip to London, sharing their favorite destinations. I can't help but oogle Ottolenghi and it's marvelous selections of Mediterranean food is enough to stop you in your tracks. Given the chance, I'd probably spend hours in here.

Borough Market is a given for any foodie. As is holing up in a pub. Pints at breakfast anyone? Done and done. Shopping is a must (if funds allow) and even though my inner New Yorker skepticism for anything "touristy" screams, "Don't get on the red bus!" ... I might just have to.