how I met wolfgang puck

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Abridged version

I went to Spago and he came out of the kitchen and it was awesome.

Unabridged version

I woke up at 4 a.m. to meet the winemaker (Ted) and the marketing gal (Dana) at the Santa Rosa airport, take the 6:25 a.m. flight to L.A., grab a quick breakfast and arrive at Spago by 10 a.m. to set up for the final library tasting event.

But our flight was delayed until 7, which became 7:30, which became 8:15. And then eventually our flight was cancelled completely. And since we were flying out of Santa Rosa, which only has one flight to LAX each day, we had to jump in the car and haul ass to Oakland in time to catch a 10 a.m. flight.

We had about an hour to make the drive.

Picture this car ride: I was in the driver's seat, weaving in and out of traffic and trying not to get into an accident because I do not want to be the Pubber Who Killed the Winemaker. (No library tasting is worth this.) Meanwhile, Ted was texting his wife and erupting in sporadic fits of laughter because really, what else can you do in this situation but laugh? And Dana was in the backseat, frantically attempting to reach the company travel agent -- who wasn't at work yet -- to make sure we'd have tickets for our new flight.

And the clock was ticking away.

We were just north of Novato when I got a call from my boss telling me she had gotten approval for us to use the company jet.

And suddenly, our travel nightmare ended. I turned the car around, and we drove back up to Santa Rosa, parked at the private air field and boarded a Pilatus. (I really, really want to be a billionnaire one day, so I too can have my very own Pilatus with its leather seats and baskets of snack foods and lovely pilot named Bruce who offers to have sandwiches waiting for you on the return flight.)

And within 15 minutes of getting on the plane, all three of us were asleep.

We made it safely to L.A. and arrived at Spago with five minutes to spare. The tasting and lunch went smoothly. (It was exciting -- every seat was filled, which isn't something that happens often in L.A. -- trade and media are notoriously jaded in this market.)

And I got to meet Wolfgang Puck. He came out of the kitchen, and it was awesome.

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