Left Turns

by jenna on November 1, 2009

I don’t even know where to begin. This day has been C-R-A-Z-Y and I’ve eaten more food than…I don’t even know. Don’t judge when you see the below pictures—I’m blaming it on the circumstance and the time change.

Where did I leave off?! I don’t even know. But somehow Adam and I ended up on quite the adventure post-church, scaling from Santa Rosa to Napa to Bodega Bay and then to Armstrong Woods.

Ladies and gentleman, here’s what you can do with a tank and a half of gas, good music, a rubber chicken and a few left turns….






Stopped for some eats…..my fisherman’s stew was enough to feed a family of six. Plus an IPA.




(don’t worry, I have enough leftovers to feed myself for a week. It’s AWESOME!)


Okay, so we actually had to rush to get back into town because……….

We had to attend an event with Kevin and Eli of Top Chef!


So it goes.


The big surprise of what I’m doing tonight, tomorrow night and the next night is nothing more than hanging out with Kevin and Eli, Murphy-Goode and Dirty South style, here in Healdsburg. The guys are good friends of Hardy’s and this three day event has been in the work for months now….we’ve all been SO excited!


Tonight was the cocktail party at the Murphy-Goode tasting room and then afterward, I headed out with the guys to attend an exclusive 10 person dinner up on the Terra a Lago vineyards. I kept pinching myself, don’t worry. Is this really my life??!!




We stuck Rocky’s pro Sigma 1.4 lens on my Rebel and I quickly became obsessed…..the food pictures were INCREDIBLE!

(vegetarians beware…our dinner was Intense with a capital I)





Kevin and Eli did not cook tonight….we were treated to an absolutely fabulous meal prepared by the amazingly talented Kendall Jackson chefs, Ryan and Eric. Tomorrow night Kevin and Eli are cooking at Hardy’s house! Some down home Southern cookin’!



Dessert of apple tart….I had a few bites + crust πŸ˜‰


Homemade grappa? Wheeeeeewwwwww


Terra a Lago, how I love thee.



Woooooooahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh food coma. And dare I say it’s just beginning??! Tomorrow night, like I said, is the chicken wing night in Hardy’s back yard and then Tuesday night I’m going to a 7 course formal dinner prepared by both Eli and Kevin again at Relish culinary. I swear, my life is normally NOT like this.


I’m off to journal in the bathtub……because at this point, I’m not sure what else to do with myself.


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{ 102 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan November 1, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Those pictures look good! I am so jealous of all the delicious food you get to eat.


Mastering Public Health November 1, 2009 at 11:03 pm

All right, now, I’m not a vegetarian, but — c’mon — that plated pig-head is *ΓΌber* disturbing. Just saying. But, you’re right, your life is very exciting! What a whirlwind weekend all around. Say it isn’t Monday….


Mastering Public Health November 1, 2009 at 11:08 pm

All right, now, I’m not a vegetarian, but — c’mon — that plated pig-head is *ΓΌber* disturbing. Just saying. But, you’re right, your life is quite exciting! This weekend has been a whirlwind all around. Say it isn’t Monday…..


Tania November 1, 2009 at 11:13 pm

OH MY GOD!!!! Seriously??? Seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE Kevin!!! That man is TALENTED!!! Hug him for me PLEASE!!! (and take a photo of it too if you can) Let him know he has lots of fans in Toronto!!! Sooooooo jealous…..but insanely happy for you! :)


nic November 1, 2009 at 11:26 pm

Sooooo jealous!!! Those two are amazing!! Enjoy every second of it!! I’m eager to see what they are cooking up!!
Oh yeah and please tell them that they even have a Fan in Switzerland!!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ Have a good day hun! Hug n.
Ps: lots of well wishes for your ankle!!


Diana November 1, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Glad you’re having a good time! That sounds like a fabulous dinner. :)


Jennie {in Wonderland} November 2, 2009 at 1:46 am

Ok that pig head is disgusting and disturbing, but you did warn us! πŸ˜‰

I’m so happy that you’re enjoying your life right now. You deserve it. Those pictures of you are gorgeous! How do you get your bangs to swoop so nicely like that? ha ha. I love effortless swoopy bangs!!


Jen November 2, 2009 at 1:57 am

Jenna, I am just loooving living vicariously through your adventures and watching you become a true, legit NoCal foodie. :) I LOVE Kevin and Eli on this season’s show, so awesome you get to hang out with them! All I can say is live it up and enjoy all these crazy events that keep coming into your life. And keep taking good pictures for all of us.


Debbie November 2, 2009 at 2:05 am

You are a very lucky. I am pinching myself that I am reading this. I love top chef but this by far is my favorite seasons of top chef. The talent is amazing. Kevin blows my mind with his way of cooking and humility. I want details!!!!! How are they were in person? How is their food? Yes I am jealous and maybe slightly obsessed with chef’s that know how to cook.

I love last week’s episode of Top Chef where Kevin cooked a vegetarian dish for Natalie Portman. As soon as he said kale and mushrooms I knew he would win. That a good chef can good a really good hearty vegetarian dish rocks.

Yes you are very lucky. Enjoy every single second of this you deserve it.


haya November 2, 2009 at 2:25 am

whoa baby. kevin is TEH AWESOME. he is my favorite top cheftestant ever! hope he wins. he seems even more adorable in real life than on tv.

can’t wait to hear what you think of his food. glad you are having such a good time.


christie, honoring health November 2, 2009 at 2:41 am

What an amazing time! All of the photos are awesome! I can’t wait to see how the next couple of days unfold!


Katie S November 2, 2009 at 2:53 am

You got to meet Kevin?!?! Oh my gosh, Jenna… he is my favorite!! Is he as awesome in person as he is on tv?? Your life is too cool! Glad you’re enjoying yourself!


susan November 2, 2009 at 3:01 am

wow, it all sounds amazing!! love your outfit for the dinner too.


greenbean November 2, 2009 at 3:15 am

That is sooooo cool! You are living a foodie’s dream right now and you deserve it. I wish you didn’t feel judged or have to answer questions about your exercise or lack there of and how it affects your weight. Just enjoy yourself and continue to express the moderation and balance that you do everyday and have for so long.


Matt November 2, 2009 at 3:34 am

HOLY CRAP YOU ARE LUCKY! I am watching this season of Tp Chef and it is intense!


Jac November 2, 2009 at 3:35 am

nice food pics! and nice food!


Chelsea (Chelsea's Chew and Run Fun) November 2, 2009 at 3:40 am

Just as you didn’t know where to begin with your post, I don’t know how to respond! The word “Awesome” keeps coming to mind, but I feel it doesn’t do justice to the foodtastic day you had.

Also, random CA road trips are the best.


Paige@ RunningAroundNormal November 2, 2009 at 3:40 am

omg the chicken cracks me up! How lucky for you to attend that dinner! That’s SO awesome, Jenna.
And yeah – intense when I saw a pig snout! lol


Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 2, 2009 at 3:43 am

okay number 1 – your day looks super fun . . . number 2 – that pig head is scaring the crap out of me . . . number 3 – your new camera takes amazing pics!


Coco November 2, 2009 at 3:46 am

YOUR POST BLEW MY MIND. YOU LIVE THE LIFE I DREAM!!!! haha I am not going to be able to watch Top Chef on Wed. night without thinking how lucky you are! That’s amazing girl! Congrats!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is November 2, 2009 at 4:04 am

AHHHHH how awesome!!!!!! You’re so lucky!


Katy @ These Beautiful Feet November 2, 2009 at 4:04 am

Oh wow, my husband and I are jealous with a capital J. That’s incredible!! We LOVE Kevin..he’s our fave on Top Chef! I was actually on the MG website the other day and told a very disappointed husband that we were missing seeing Kev in Napa. Maybe that’s another push to get him to move there πŸ˜‰ ;). Looking forward to seeing the rest of your crazy week!



Justy2003 November 2, 2009 at 4:16 am

What an amazing day! I love Top Chef and am totally jealous that you got to meet Kevin and Eli…and will get to eat their food!


maria November 2, 2009 at 4:21 am

How amazing is this life you are leading? Just remember to take the time to enjoy it and breathe it all in. :) You are so blessed.


Beth @ Getting By, Dreaming Big November 2, 2009 at 4:22 am

Wow – what an awesome day!!! I can’t wait to hear about the meals cooked by both Eli & Kevin!! Enjoy the next couple of days of foodie heaven!


Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope November 2, 2009 at 4:26 am



tc November 2, 2009 at 4:37 am

Oh wow, I loooove Kevin from top chef–that’s so awesome you got to meet him!


Ashley November 2, 2009 at 4:40 am

Kev is my favoriteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! you are living the dream life my friend!


Abby (Abbys Vegan Eats) November 2, 2009 at 4:45 am

Beautiful pics.. great food and good company! Couldnt ask for anything better! :)


Nicole November 2, 2009 at 4:56 am

WoW, what a life!! You were definitely right when you said intense! It looks like it was a lovely setup with good food and good company! I’m looking forward to reading about more of your adventures about to unfold in Cali!!


alex @ happy go lucky November 2, 2009 at 5:01 am

Amazing day- I love that the soup was served in a POT! you know that’s a dangerous portion!


leslie November 2, 2009 at 5:02 am

omg, kevin is one of my favorites this season. possibly my favorite! i’m super jealous right now, but really happy for you and the amazing opportunities you’re living through right now. it’s a lot of fun to read about, and even more fun to be living, i’m sure!

ps: loved your post yesterday about your ankle/ weight. your attitude is perfect, you show every day that food is one of life’s pleasures, and every post you do that cements all that puts such a smile on my face.


Mallory November 2, 2009 at 5:12 am

get. out.

kevin and eli + delicious food and wine?!?!?!
blondie here in wisconsin is soooo jealous (but sooooo excited for you!!)
soak it up girl and enjoy every minute! :)


Kristen November 2, 2009 at 5:14 am

Um WOW! I’m so jealous about the Kevin and Eli business. Food Network Canada shows Top Chef- so we’re a couple of weeks behind but this week’s episode is when Kevin won the “Pigs and Pinot” challenge and I thought of you when his prize was to be a guest chef at next year’s event in Healdsburg.
Enjoy the next few days, I’ll be living vicariously through you for sure!


Estela @ Weekly Bite November 2, 2009 at 5:22 am

You are one lucky lady! Enjoy every minute :)


Erica November 2, 2009 at 5:32 am

OMGOSH, OMGOSH, OMGOSH!!!! I LOVE Top Chef! And Kevin is my faaaaaavvve! I SOOO hope he wins!!! Sorry for all the !!!!!!s, but I’m just THAT excited for you! Have a great time at your dinner tonight, and eat some for me please. What a fabulous, fabulous life you are living!! Enjoy darlin, you deserve it!!!

Love you and miss you!



Katie November 2, 2009 at 5:40 am

The pig is a bit disturbing! I am so jealous of your life! I love CA and Top Chef πŸ˜‰ I’m so glad you’ve found your place after such a hard year.


Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) November 2, 2009 at 5:44 am

Wow! What a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have the most fun life girl!!!!! Cute tattoo by the way – just noticed it now :-)


Andrea November 2, 2009 at 6:00 am

That sounds like an awesome time and more to come…. I am so jealous, I am love Top Chef and Kevin is my favorite!!!!


Andrea November 2, 2009 at 6:02 am

That sounds like a great time. I am so jealous, I love Top Chef and Kevin is my favorite!


Alison November 2, 2009 at 6:05 am

That’s awesome Jenna! So jealous!


Jenny November 2, 2009 at 6:09 am

Looks absolutely amazing! I have never been to California so jealousy is streeming from all the way in new york right now! How do you get to do things like this?


Stephanie November 2, 2009 at 6:13 am

You are living a dream! :) The pix are gorgeous


Beth @ DiningAndDishing November 2, 2009 at 6:14 am

Man, good food and celeb chefs – how amazing is that!?! Very jelous of your weekend adventures. Can’t wait to see what the Top Chefs prepare!


Jeannie November 2, 2009 at 6:19 am

Oh my goodness… that is AWESOME!!! I absolutely love both of them and hope they make it to the finals. They both just seem like fun guys to hang out with. Can’t wait to read more about the 3 day event! Enjoy it all!!


Marlow November 2, 2009 at 6:20 am

AHHHHHHH!!!! Kevin is my FAV!!!! You are so lucky!! Look how cute he is in that picture!!!


LindsayH November 2, 2009 at 6:20 am

AHHHHHHH I love Kevin!!!! I think he is my favorite Top Chef contestant ever.


Katie November 2, 2009 at 6:21 am

lucky duck!!! kevin is my favorite on the show!


Mellissa November 2, 2009 at 6:21 am

A life of good food and wine is a good life!


Lu November 2, 2009 at 6:22 am

That sounds like a blast! Can’t wait to see the posts.


laura dishes November 2, 2009 at 6:25 am

What an amazing day! I love your necklace… and the room that you guys had dinner in is beautiful!


Marcia November 2, 2009 at 6:26 am

OMG I am so jealous! I love Top Chef! And I have HUGE love for Kevin that has just grown and grown over the season. (It started with deciding to drop out of/not go to MIT…I am an engineer, and also a foodie, and I am totally down with that. Special place in my heart for geeks.) Kevin for the win!

I am living vicariously through you. Can’t wait to read all about it. If I didn’t have a job I’d totally crash that party.


Kath November 2, 2009 at 6:28 am

I think the pig head is cool :)

You are cool too Jenna!!


brandi November 2, 2009 at 6:29 am

wow, that’s awesome Jenna!!! What an amazing opportunity


brandi November 2, 2009 at 6:29 am

wow, that’s awesome Jenna!!! What an amazing opportunity


MMiller November 2, 2009 at 6:35 am

WOW! We are all living through your posts! And it is all worth the couple pounds youmay put on in these few days! But how awesome is your life right now!?!?! Are they taping any of this for the show?

Make sure you keep up on your journal entries….you will want to re-read these posts over and over! You will be looking back and smiling thinking, remember when…!

I think we all want your life right now!


Laura November 2, 2009 at 6:37 am

Kevin and Eli, representing my Atlanta! Love them! Glad you are having such a great time!


Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats November 2, 2009 at 6:40 am

OMG Kevin!! I love that guy – and it’s just insane to me that he is only 26…incredible!! Can’t wait to see what else they’ve got on tap for the rest of the week!


Jess November 2, 2009 at 6:43 am

You deserve every second of this, Jenna! Take it all in and enjoy!


Gwen November 2, 2009 at 6:44 am

SO COOL! They are two of my faves left in the competition! I think Kevin could take it all! And I would never judge your food, just drool over it! :)


emily November 2, 2009 at 6:48 am

Your necklace is stunning! Do you mind sharing where it’s from?


Laura Scholz November 2, 2009 at 6:53 am

So fun! I love Hardy (and am just a tad bit jealous of his adventures!). Enjoy your meal tomorrow night. We are so lucky in Atlanta to have such talented chefs!


diana(mymarble rye) November 2, 2009 at 6:55 am

ZOMG. I loveeee Eli and Kevin! Those are my current favorites on Top chef. You are living the life! don’t let ANYONE judge you!


Ed Thralls November 2, 2009 at 6:56 am

Nice job, Jenna! Can’t wait to see what you think of some southern cuisine from A-town!

p.s. please teach Slaughter how to hold a wine glass! ; )


Angela November 2, 2009 at 6:56 am

WOW! Kevin is my absolute favorite on Top Chef this season. What a great job you have!


Evan Thomas November 2, 2009 at 6:56 am

That’s beyond cool! I love Top Chef. I don’t get it in my dorm so I always tivo it when I go home


Jenna November 2, 2009 at 6:58 am

wow jenna! you truly are living the life :)


Brynn November 2, 2009 at 7:04 am

SO EXCITING!!! I think Kevin is taking the title. Their food will be awesome!


MLT November 2, 2009 at 7:09 am


I just love reading your blog! I’m not a regular Top Chef watcher, but I caught an episode yesterday at the gym where Kevin wins a Pigs and Pinot challenge and his prize was to guest chef in Healdsburg…of course I immediately thought, that would be so cool if/when he gets to meet Jenna!
I had the great fortune to live in the Norcal area, not too far from Healdsburg for a few months this summer and I can’t wait to go back…it’s beautiful there and I’m glad you are taking advantage!
By the way, I love that grey sweater dress you have on and the necklace! Is it old navy?


katy November 2, 2009 at 7:10 am

So cool!! Enjoy it!


Hil November 2, 2009 at 7:25 am

That all sounds amazing! I’m another definite Kevin fan. Does he remind anyone else of a younger version of Art Smith?


Amy November 2, 2009 at 7:29 am

Love your sneakers! What are they? I want them!


jenna November 2, 2009 at 8:02 am


Puma! :)


Angela Leone November 2, 2009 at 7:31 am

I love following your blog……
I am so happy that you are feeding your soul and following your heart! LIVE YOUR DREAMS…….and you are! you are so lucky.


ShutupandRun November 2, 2009 at 7:32 am

What a great life. Every pound gained is well worth it (if you gain any…). To gain weight eating Cheetos and twinkies is not the same as to gain weight eating gourment food prepared by amazing chefs…just my two cents.


Carmen November 2, 2009 at 7:34 am

Jenna, thanks for sharing your stories. This is your normal life now….


Amanda (two boos who eat) November 2, 2009 at 7:39 am

That is so awesome Jenna!!! How fun!


Cuts and Curves November 2, 2009 at 7:40 am

OH MY WORD!! I love Top Chef!! It’s my favorite show. I am insanely jealous. That all sounds incredible!


Olga @ Healthing It November 2, 2009 at 7:55 am

I tried being more jealous but I couldn’t. That’s SO COOL!


Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries November 2, 2009 at 7:55 am

Hahah when I first saw this title in my reader, I immediately thought to Zoolander and how he couldn’t turn left (or was it right?)…

Everything looks amazing. And, if I were you, I’d also be constantly pinching myself and asking myself IS THIS MY LIFE? You are very blessed chica


Whit November 2, 2009 at 7:57 am

Amazing with a capital A. And I LOVE your shirt with the pearls. Super cute.


Hardy Wallace November 2, 2009 at 7:58 am

Jenna! Great shots. Thanks a ton for coming out with us last night! What an amazing night! This week is only getting better!


mary ann November 2, 2009 at 8:08 am

Umm…. dream come true much??!!! I can’t think of anyone who seemingly deserves it more (from what I gather about you from your blog). But those two are my FAVES right now on T.C. Both talented, funny and cute as buttons. I live at home too Eli!! hehe. While I do feel the slightest bit jealous, I’m more so really stoked for you that you got this uberific opportunity. I can’t wait for pics of tonights din!


Fitzalan November 2, 2009 at 8:09 am

I don’t know if I have been this envious of someone else in A LONG TIME! I am obsessed with Top Chef and I literally spent all day yesterday lay on my sofa catching up on the last 3 episodes of this season.

I cannot wait to hear your recap of the two of them cooking at Hardy’s. I plan to live vicariously!

Happiness Awaits


Melissa November 2, 2009 at 8:10 am

WOW live it up girl! How FUN! Kevin is my #1 favorite on Top Chef!! I would love to be in your shoes right now! You’ll have to tell him how much we all love him! hehe πŸ˜‰


Fitzalan November 2, 2009 at 8:12 am

I don’t know if I have been this envious of someone else in A LONG TIME! I am obsessed with Top Chef and I literally spent all day yesterday lay on my sofa catching up on the last 3 episodes of this season.

I cannot wait to hear your recap of the two of them cooking at Hardy’s. I plan to live vicariously!


Denise November 2, 2009 at 8:19 am

Sounds like an amazing day!!


Joelle (The Pancake Girl)) November 2, 2009 at 8:22 am

Hahah that chicken is too funny and random! And that pig head- geez louise! Glad you’re having so much fun on the best coast!


Kailey (SnackFace) November 2, 2009 at 9:04 am

WHAT! OMG Jenna, this is insane! You’re life is CRAZY! Hahaha what an amazing night. Cannot wait to read about the rest of the nights!


Suzanne de Cornelia November 2, 2009 at 9:32 am

LOVE Stinson Beach/Bodega Bay, etc. Terrific dinner look…how very Princess Grace of you!


Simone P:T November 2, 2009 at 9:45 am

OMG, “culinary boner” right now!!! (to quote Andrew of Top Chef a couple seasons back). I am obsessed with Top Chef, prob because I am a food studies major, and have only ever met Spike from Top Chef NYC. I was sitting behind him on the train from DC to NYC a few years back and chatted it up with him for a good hour. Great guy! That being said, wish I could add Eli and Ran to my Top Chef “I know you” list. Can’t wait to hear more about it!!


Rocky Slaughter November 2, 2009 at 10:08 am

hahahahahaha. Val is lighting up in the background.

Where are the pictures of me in the cellar! Don’t you know that’s the most important part?


Fattie Fatterton November 2, 2009 at 10:40 am

SO jealous!! I totally love Kevin!! I hope he wins!


Cynthia (It All Changes) November 2, 2009 at 11:43 am

Oh my super duper jealous. Those guys are my favorite on the show. I would kill (not really) to eat some good southern food. Enjoy every bite!


Sarah (Oc2Seattle) November 2, 2009 at 12:11 pm

So weird seeing pics of my sis and bro-in-law on your blog! Hope you had a good time and got to hang out with Jen and Dave.


Vanessa @ Chic and Charming November 2, 2009 at 12:25 pm

You made me hungry….well, except for that piggy head. But, thanks for the advanced warning. πŸ˜‰

I also like the sign on the front of the vineyard that stated “Wine is like bottled poetry,”

Sweet pictures! I also think your hair looks very pretty too. :)


andrenna November 2, 2009 at 2:10 pm

Jenna! What a fun night! If you ever need a date to one of these events, drop me an email! I’m only 45 minutes away. πŸ˜‰ Take care!


Kerri November 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Looks like you are having a blast- it looks and sounds like so much fun- and I’m sure the wine and food are spectacular! Too bad my visit was a week early!
Kerri (dirty’s sister)


Danielle November 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm

What an amazing experience! You look so incredibly happy that I’m nearly brought to tears seeing you in pictures – and I swear that I don’t mean that sound as creepy as it seems!

ENJOY your life and all of the amazing experiences that come your way :)


Lele November 2, 2009 at 7:46 pm

I think your blog comments just predicted who’s winning fan favorite, hah!
But yes, I second/third/hundredth everyone else- Kevin’s food is SO RIDICULOUSLY DELICIOUS LOOKING! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU GET TO EAT IT!


Funky Lady November 3, 2009 at 6:59 am

I love Kevin from Top Chef. He is so freakin’ cute and truly has a twinkle in his eye. You are a very lucky lady!!


Cora White October 19, 2012 at 7:47 am

I love Murphy Goode wine. The fume is my true love but I am going to try the red you gave a shoutout to.


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