I am the kind person that always looks forward to my birthday. Are you?

This year was no exception. But I decided not to make a big fuss. It was not a special birthday although I think all birthdays are special and a time to celebrate our lives! I always try to treat myself to something unique on my birthday.   Saturday before the big day, I signed up to take a class during the New York Wine and Food Festival; and I enjoyed  an informative and fun afternoon learning about Spices by Lior Lev Sercarz.

This was a perfect way for me to celebrate since it’s always a party in my kitchen when I cook!

Spices and spice combinations are really what make a dish sing! Learning how to use spices can greatly enhance the flavor of any dish…



Lior brought 20 different spices with him and we each made our own spice combination. Then we made individual honey olive oil cakes and added our own spice mixture to them. Lior gave us each a copy of his new book The Spice Companion. What an incredible book…it explains each spice with photos, history and gorgeous photos. I hope you will buy one for yourself.

Afterwards, I stopped by the 94th St Pier for the Grand Tasting event and met some of my favorite Korean Chefs. And we spoke about Korean fermentation. Video coming soon. Their dishes were so creative as you can see by the photos. I learned that this spring we all be able to experience The Jang Festival in association with Chefs Society. Chef’s Society works through all aspects of culture in bringing Korean fermentation to the forefront of the culinary world. I don’t have a date yet but will let you know when I do.




The surprise came that evening when my husband and I walked into one of the intimate dinners at the Royalton for the Wine and Food Festival and who was sitting in the lobby of the Royalton Hotel but my son and daughter in law!

I thought I was hallucinating!

They flew in from Denver to surprise me and this was such a huge surprise! My husband keeps a good secret! The rest of the weekend, we celebrate my birthday together.

Now that’s the best gift of all!