It's been a while since I wrote about my friend, Guillermo Payet, who is pretty much fully recovered from a very bad hit-and-run accident last April. Now that he's feeling better, I've been happy to invite him on excursions, our most recent being the Pork and Beer dinner at the Big Sur Bakery on Sunday night. Justin Severino* and two other chefs produced a multi-course extravaganza that was finger-lickin' good...and the band, Sex Farm. (Don't worry, it's safe for work: only a link to Spinal Tap lyrics, which I assume is where they got the name.)
Guillermo is pictured here with the pig noses that graced each table setting.
* Justin's pork products (cuts, sausages, patés, etc.) are sold at farmers markets in the Santa Cruz-Silicon Valley area weekly. You can check his market schedule here.
A couple of weeks ago, I got a message (too late, alas) asking me if I could photograph him, as a Certain Magazine was considering him for inclusion in their article about the world's Hottest Bachelors.
Well, he made it. They sent a photographer, Just Loomis, who'd worked with Helmut Newton for ten years. He spent the day with Guillermo, who had to lie in ice-cold tide pools for hours, but the result was totally worth it. At least, the photograph was worth it. The printed text, alas, is a different story.
Someone from the magazine interviewed Guillermo for TWO HOURS, and all they could manage to mention about him is this: "HOW HE'S GREEN: I wash my hair with handmade soap. Sometimes I even brush my teeth with it. I like to keep chemicals away from my body."
And "DATING NO-NO: I've had girlfriends who wear a pair of jeans once and wash them immediately. I'm like, "You're polluting the water and wasting electricity."
Seriously. All the good work this man does—he is in a very small pantheon of personal heroes I have—and they make him sound like a patchouli-doused hippie. (What do I have against patchouli? Go to the downtown farmers market on Wednesday, and try to escape the clouds of the stuff, or the bongos.)
Anyway, he's the greatest guy.
We had a beautiful drive down the coast to Big Sur on Sunday. Breathtaking, really. I've heard so much about the Big Sur Bakery from Justin, who regularly characterizes the chef, Phil, as "one of the best people I know."
I don't have a list of courses, and the room was too crowded to allow for a tripod, so most of the photos didn't come out. However, the first taste of food we were served was this amazing salami with a balsamic-onion jam that took three days to cook.
At dinner, we sat with Jim Dunlop and Rebecca Thistlethwaite, of TLC Ranch (they raised the pigs we were eating). Jim told us that the Big Sur Bakery bread was the best he's ever eaten: "Becky and I ate an entire loaf, with just butter, one night."
If you ever get down to Big Sur, I can't recommend this place enough. Phil and his wife, Michelle, came up from Los Angeles. He worked at Joe's in Venice, Campanile, and Melisse. His wife worked at Campanile and the La Brea Bakery. (That explains the bread, huh?) The owner, Michael Gilson, is also clearly a great guy: the staff and patrons were all relaxed and happy.
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Anyway, go get a pedicure or something and find the Hottest Bachelor's magazine, so you can see Guillermo's bare chest, absorbing sub-zero water temperatures that gave him a cold. (That's okay, his sexy voice, with the musical Peruvian accent, is even sexier when it's a little husky.)
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” — Pedro Calderon de la Barca
Thanks for visiting.
EDIT: a note from our "Places to Avoid" file...don't eat (don't spend money!) at Ol' Factory Cafe in unscenic, unhappening Sand City, California: home to the Big Box Stores like Costco and Home Depot. Morgan Christopher, the self-proclaimed "keeper of the golden shovel" should stop following around after elephants and clean up after himself. (See Emily, I told you I can snark. I have good reason to snark here, though. Google this blog for "wanker.")