Thankful for Purple Pie

As we are now a week from Thanksgiving and finalizing exactly what we are going to cook and feast on for the holiday of thanks (myself included), I can’t help but share what I plan to serve for dessert at my Thanksgiving dinner. First, a little background. Obviously, I love vegetables. In fact, for a few Thanksgiving dinners in the last decade, I prepared and served more than 10 (yes, 10) different vegetable dishes. Admittedly, 10 was probably a bit much. In the last few years, my daughters, Alex and Sophia, have joined me in my cooking adventure. So it’s become quite fun to hang out in the kitchen while preparing dinner. Each year we make a few family favorites—roasted root vegetables and Stokes Continue Reading

The influence of my dad

About a year ago, I received an email from a former childhood neighbor, Steve, who asked why I never talked about the influence my father had on me growing up. My dad, Al Caplan, was a force to be reckoned with. His mom died when he was 13 and he caught a freight train from Chicago to move out to California when he was a teenager. Then he joined the Marine Corps. He was underage when he enlisted, and there was no Internet to verify his date of birth. After … Continue reading

I’m sorry it’s 85 degrees today

Yesterday morning I made a phone call to a client in Pennsylvania. As part of the conversation, I asked about the weather. “Cool and raining” was his answer. I apologetically told him it was going to be 85 in Southern California. What I didn’t tell him was that I was going to be trekking throughout the citrus groves of the Citrus Variety Collection at the University of California Riverside (UCR) later in the day. At 8 a.m., my colleague Dorian and I got in my car, and by 9 a.m. … Continue reading

Turning your passion into a business

Last week I wrote about my recent trip to the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Held by the National Association of the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), this show brings together many foodies, producers of artisan foods and buyers, and many others. For many, it’s also a show for reuniting with old friends in the food business. As I headed down the last aisle on the show floor around 3 p.m. that Sunday, a big smile came over my face. I saw my long-time friend, Paula Lambert, of the Mozzarella … Continue reading

I left my heart in San Francisco

This past weekend I took my youngest daughter Sophia, on her first business trip. Each January, the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) holds the Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco. I like to attend this show — even though they don’t typically have any fresh produce — as many of the newest foods and food trends start here. Since the show starts on Sunday, I decided that Sophia and I would fly up on Saturday morning and spend the day touring the … Continue reading