DOING GOOD DEEDS IN DIFFICULT TIMES

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Last night, in conjunction with President Obama’s State of the Union Address, Pasadeana’s Bar Celona Restaurant hosted a large gathering of Pink Slip Mixers.  Begun by an unemployed gentleman, Edwin Duterte initially intended the gatherings as a “community of unemployed people, gathering to empower one another and to utilize social networking for the purpose of employement.”  For over a year, Bar Celona has hosted these events as a means of giving back to the community.  Owner Jack Huang has donated the space, the vast electronic capabilities of the space and the professionals to control and maintain them, as well as the staff and complimentary beverages (non alcoholic – it is a job fair!) to serve those in attendance.

As President Obama’s speech was expected to cover employment as the primary topic, the media swarmed the event.  With coverage by CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and KTLA, every local television news agency arrived to cover the event.  Clips appeared immediately on CNN, running throughout the evening, as local coverage continues to appear today.  Although the media coverage was extensive, the real winners of the night were those that brought themself to the event, making a strong statement to themself, politicians, and prospective employers.

Those attending the event ran an educational gamut from PhD to restaurant applicant.  The success of Pink Slip Mixers lies in the ability to empower the unemployed to take positive steps in changing their momentary circumstances.  Bar Celona is proud to sponsor this event each month, with many friends and previous customers arriving each month.  Hopefully, each of these guests will return to Bar Celona soon to celebrate the offer of new, exciting employment.

DCPR is likewise happy to offer our services gratis each month to this very worthwhile organization, with the hope that all of the friends and business associates that we have discovered through Pink Slip Mixers soon find themselves gainfully, and happily,  employed!

For more information, or for a schedule of upcoming events, please visit Pink Slip Mixers.

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Wexler’s Southern Inspiration Doesn’t Stop with BBQ

When everything goes right, it’s easy to overlook the preparation and care that went into making a great meal a great dining experience.  But when I left Wexler’s Friday night, it was all I could think about.

It was my friend’s birthday, and he wanted us to choose the restaurant. Good food and a good wine list were a given, but he did have one request, “Pick a place where we can have a good time.” 

Really? That’s a lot of pressure. Good food, good wine, not a problem in San Francisco. But a good time too, can you order that?

Actually, my friends and I generally have a good time wherever we eat, but sometimes it’s in spite of the restaurant. But Friday we didn’t just have a good time, we had a great time, and that had as much to do with the quality of the food as the enthusiasm and passion of Wexler’s staff.

Wexler’s southern-inspired style isn’t limited to the food. From the minute we arrived until we left, everyone from the hostess to owner Matt Wexler, seemed genuinely happy we were there.  Restaurant 101? Maybe, but how often do you walk away from a restaurant and feel like that?

Wexler’s style is professional, but casual. No one was rushed, including the customers, and everyone, even the other tables, all seemed to be having a good time.

And why wouldn’t they? Chef Charlie Kleinman’s barbecue inspired dishes didn’t disappoint. Table favorites—BBQ Scotch Eggs, poached, rolled in a breadcrumb batter with smoky bits of pork, and deep fried so the yolk stays runny; Lamb Meatballs with a smoked rouille; Smoked Short Rib, Wexler’s Plate of Pork, and the Inside-Out Rootbeer Float with Humphry Slocombe rootbeer ice cream.

Plate of Pork, Short Rib, and Trout

Plate of Pork, Short Rib, and Trout

Wexler and Kleinman’s light touch for southern comfort, both front of house and in the kitchen, are an invitation to a good time.

Birthdays are fun!

Birthdays are fun!

Wexler’s is located at 568 Sacramento Street in San Francisco and is open for lunch Monday – Friday, and dinner Tuesday – Saturday, www.wexlerssf.com.

Rootbeer Float!

Rootbeer Float!

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AN EVENING WITH RUTH and the future of food writing

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DCPR spent a glorious evening basking in the glow of Ruth Reichl, the last Editor of Gourmet Magazine, before it was folded by Conde Nast Publishing.  (Ms. Reichl has also served as food critic for The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and has written several food based novels, all of which DCPR has devoured!  She also dined NEXT TO US at the opening of the 4star Bastide, at which time we joined the ranks of her worshippers and admirers!) She was joined onstage by Pulitzer Prize winner (and local demi-god to every food blogger within earshot of his LA Weekly column) Jonathan Gold, his wife, journalist Laurie Ochoa, and LA food evangelist/restaurateur, Evan Kleiman.  I could have listened to them all night, humorously recalling the seventy years of Gourmet magazine.  Of course, even before we were allowed into the auditorium, the grim reality of the demise of Gourmet was obvious: The majority of those in attendance constituted a (to be polite) “very mature audience.”  Much like a restaurant that refused to change over the years to attract a younger audience, Gourmet appears to have suffered a similar fate.  Although panelists stated that circulation had never been higher, blaming instead the loss of advertising dollars, the age of this audience was startling!  Curiously, the fact that food bloggers hold Mr. Gold in such high esteem, it was even more obvious that so few of them arrived to hear him speak of “the glory days of the past.”  In fact, I have attended many such panel discussions, and rarely are they filled with young food bloggers, unless they are specifically targeted at the “future of food writing,” which every food blogger prays will somehow return as a viable profession.  From the tone of last night’s discussion, however, that is unlikely.  Ms Reichl recounted the tale of one of her young editors that left Gourmet to work at the Food Network Magazine.  In taunting his former co-workers, he stated “This is why we are the future and you are toast.  There are only six of us at this magazine, and there are more than sixty at Gourmet.”  Incredibly, Ms Reichl was quick to agree.  Those days, sad as it may be, are gone.  Forever.  As is Gourmet magazine.  And, although one guest after another would ask – almost in a state of celebrity worship –  if she would ever consider returning to Gourmet if the opportunity arose, Ms. Reichl eventually conceeded that the future of food writing will only be found in “other mediums.” 

Although all four guests on the stage last night are among the most revered by the food community, including myself, last night’s Gourmet event was a reminisence of an era in journalism that no longer exists, or struggles to survive.  What is the future?  Ask any food blogger.  There are now dozens and dozens of them in Los Angeles alone.  And they are multiplying. Even the DCPR website includes a list of blogs which is embarrasingly outdated.  And that is from a company that loves to read blogs, and does so daily.  We meet new bloggers at every event, and we often invite them to our own.  Many are anonymous, which leads us to suspect that they are created by either public relations firms or restaurant industry professionals.  (We completely ignore anonymous bloggers with no contact information.   The same goes for anonymous Yelpers, chowhounders, and blog commentors!) And yet, with the newfound ability for anyone to critique, review, and chornicle their daily meals (as well as a pictorial representation of every thought, inspiration, and ingredient that went into them), we jokingly conclude that there are now TWO reasons NOT TO COOK:  1)  There are professionals trained to do it for you.  And 2) It’s easier to go to a restaurant and read about someone else’s cooking adventures on a blog.  And honestly, their’s probably tastes much better than ours ever would have, had we actually attempted to prepare a meal. 

Of course, blogger restaurant reveiws are a completely different matter…  And on that note, (to be polite) we simply suggest that you find a couple of blogs that are well written, that include lots of pictures to make you salivate when you have missed dinner, and  that display a CONTACT ME tab,  in which they both communicate with readers and happily accept criticism and praise.  Then, just relax and let them do all the work.  ….much like a great chef, in fact!

So, in a sad farewell to Gourmet magazine, we say “Bon Appetit!”  (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)

 

Watch the full Gourment video HERE, courtesy of Zocalo Public Square.

 

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HOLLYWOOD EAST? The Stars Shine Bright At Pasadena’s Villa Sorriso – AGAIN!

NOW WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT!!  OUR FAVORITE FOX TELEVISION STARS TURNED OUT FOR THE TELEVISION CRITICS TOUR IN PASADENA LAST NIGHT!  The kids from GLEE, House, Bones…EVERYONE WAS AT VILLA!  DCPR was especially happy to see  Cherry Jones (of “24″), who happens to also be a Memphian!

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THE LIDO DECK Joins the DCPR Client Roster

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THE LIDO DECK OPENS IN NEWPORT BEACH, CA

Casually Elegant Dining Returns to the Waterfront

(Newport Beach, CA) With waterfront views of one of the world’s most beautiful, tranquil ocean harbors, multi-million dollar yachts, as well as the playground of Southern California’s rich and famous, THE LIDO DECK has quietly debuted in an intimate space that cradles this pristine waterfront. 

Owned and operated by chef husband-and-wife team Don Schoenburg and Christi Carter, THE LIDO DECK recently opened to private philanthropic events, with lunch and dinner service offered daily beginning this week.  Official Grand Opening Celebrations will be held on February 3, 2009.

Chefs Don and Christy have together built a culinary career that began with their own restaurant in Key West, Florida – The Sugar Plum Fairy – an intimate space that opened as a stage for Christi’s pastry creations, eventually expanding into a beloved neighborhood gathering spot, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The winds of Hurricane Wilma, however, forced the couple to close shop, returning to rebuild their lives and careers amongst friends and family in Southern California.

The couple is perhaps most recognized as the Executive Chef & Executive Pastry Chef for Tradition by Pascal in Newport Beach.  During the couple’s tenure, the classic French dining room was consistently rated as the #1 Dining Destination in Orange County for more than a decade.  Chef Don handled lunch and dinner menus and the execution of kitchen duties throughout the multi-restaurant empire, while Christi became synonymous with creative dessert creations, including an entire branch of special occasion cakes and pastries.

Don was tapped by the Patina group as Executive Chef at the Orange County Center for the Performing Arts, serving specifically as Executive Chef of Leatherby’s Café Rouge.  With intricate tasting menus, Chef Don received widespread acclaim for his house made cheeses that were featured on cheese carts and throughout his menu.

Now arriving full circle, the couple has once again opened their own restaurant, an intimate space located on the waters’ edge of the elite Newport Beach marina.  With three separate dining areas, the primary dining room boasts tall, tufted white leather booths that wrap the tiny space with a sense of warmth.  Just steps away, tables line the deck overlooking the harbor, with breathtaking views of the world’s most luxurious private yachts and sailing vessels.  An attached bar that opens to the water, as well as a private dining room complete the set.

Menus include an iconic House Specialty, the Chef’s infamous ‘Elk Burger’ – a mix of ground elk, caramelized onion, remoulade sauce, lamb belly, wild boar bacon, duck egg, tres leche cheese, and grilled romaine.  Dinner menus span an elegant gamut of starters – ‘Duck Confit Crepes,’ ‘Braised Pork Belly,’ and ‘Sweetbreads,’ to entrees selections of ‘Sautéed Barramundi,’ ‘White Bean Ratatouille,’ ‘Pan Seared Day Boat Scallops,’ and ‘Marinated Tenderloin of Venison.’

 THE LIDO DECK is located at 3420 Via Lido

Newport Beach, CA | 92663

www.TheLidoDeckRestaurant.com

For reservations, please call 949.673.9500 or visit OpenTable.com

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Just imagine...Sitting on the water, waching the yachts float by, and enjoying this Duck Confit Crepe!  IT'S COMING SOON!

Just imagine...Sitting on the water, waching the yachts float by, and enjoying this Duck Confit Crepe! IT'S COMING SOON!

DAN COX for public relations begins the new decade with a thrilling roster of new clients, as well as an expansion to the restaurant rich capitol of San Francsico.  We are fortunate to welcome SF Account Executive Jamie Sammons, who begins with us this month, following an extensive career in public relations, marketing and technical writing.  A savvy dining fanatic, Jamie has made San Francisco her home for well over a decade – a spectator to some of the most talented chefs and ingenious restaurants in the world.  Please feel free to visit the “ABOUT” section of our site to learn more about Jamie’s professional experience.

DCPR just completed the hugely successful opening of Pasadena’s ix tapa Cantina.  Utilizing Facebook, twitter, and our own blog, we hosted a one month celebration that culminated in one lucky winner of a trip to Ix Tapa, Mexico (CONGRATS to Albert D!)   We will be doing the same for the opening of a romatic, upscale dining room in Newport Beach this month, as well as new projects in downtown Los Angeles and the east side.  We will be bringing the news of these exciting opening projects in the upcoming days and weeks.   As well, we will be unveiling an altogether new, interactive web presence that incorporates many modes of social networking and mainstream media.  Until that time, please FOLLOW US and FRIEND US.  Better yet, give us a PHONE CALL (323.481.0983) or shoot us an email (DAN@DANCOXPR.COM)  and LET’S MEET FOR DINNER!  After all, the joys of meeting over a table are really what we are all about!

Thank you for visiting. CHEERS to a Happy & Successful New Year! 

Dan Cox & Jamie Sammons

 

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