Friday, January 15, 2016

Of Vinegar, Passion, and Chez Panisse

Tonight I had the honor of strapping on my red stilettos and slipping into a teal laced dress so I could proudly hang on the arm of a handsomely dressed Graham Klee Wiles-Pearson as we attended a highly esteemed awards ceremony at the Herbst Pavilion in San Francisco. In the presence of slow food movement founder, Carlo Petrini, chef activist and owner of Chez Panisse, Alice Waters, and philanthropist and advocate for sustainable agriculture and conservation, Nell Newman, Klee (of Spoiled Rotten Vinegar) received the well-deserved designation of Good Food Awards 2016 Winner for his elegantly formulated Blackstrap Vinegar.

I am immensely proud, and not at all surprised, that I am not alone in recognizing Klee's uncommon talent. I have witnessed his culinary magic as he weaves flavors together in the kitchen and have heard the praises from those tasting his works of art. His dedication to detail and honesty in his craftsmanship inspire me in my own endeavors. As a chef, he holds himself to the highest standard. Every plate is deliberately dressed to the nines. His perfectionism is steep; a ledge I occasionally have to talk him down from.

My pride exceeds this culinary celebration, though. I'm proud of US... CherKlee. Together, my love and I have trudged though some deep mud and, slowly, we continue to unearth our better selves. We share uncanny similarities despite obvious polarity in our life experiences. At our cores we are both raw, creative, and passionate misfits. We have the ability to bring out the worst and the absolute best in each other. I have felt us transform along our walk together. Our love has evolved and has produced profitable change. We took on an incredible challenge by choosing to do life together and have been amply rewarded. I am compelled to confess that I have fallen so deeply in love with this brilliant, beautiful man.

Congratulations my sweet love, Graham Klee Wiles-Pearson!