The soundtrack to my life might be David Bowie’s Fashion. I can’t help humming it, and trying to remember the lyrics as I write this.

Jewels pictured with Twiggy in a London Times article
I lived for dressing up, forever mimicking some character I admired. When barely eight, I became enthralled with Twiggy staring out at me from the covers of my mother’s fashion magazines. I wore white go-go boots with short trapeze dresses, and snuck black eyeliner to school. I’d paint on lashes like Twiggy’s, then wash it all off before coming home. My teacher told my parents, who quickly confiscated the offending make-up until I was at least thirteen.
Des Moines, Iowa was hardly the fashion Mecca of the world. All the more reason I longed to be different. As luck would have it, I grew up in a retailing family. Bill Blass and Halston were guests in my home as a child. They would come to do trunk shows at Younker’s flagship store in Des Moines, while I studied their models every move – from how they applied their make-up to their swagger and posture on the runway. I wanted to wear exquisite clothes too!
The blue jean rebellion years with my Grandmother

Yes, I did go through a rebellious stage in my teens when I refused to wear anything but faded old jeans and t-shirts – my hippy era. It drove my parents crazy (which was precisely the point). That’s probably why I have a strong aversion to jeans today. It’s kind of like dieting on nothing but the polyester of salad, iceberg lettuce, for so long that you just want to gag when it is placed in front of you again.
I traveled with my father on buying trips to Europe, and pleaded with him to turn Younkers into the midwest version of Biba’s where Art Nouveau met Rock and Roll on Kensington High Street. The hippest department store on the planet, ever! I still have my treasured burnt orange bathrobe with marabou feathers from that trip to London.
Gerard Depardieu
Rocking the Alaia with Gerard Depardieu on set in Paris

My mind remembers crazy things, like when Janice Dickinson stole a taxi from us in the pouring rain after a fashion show in New York. Little did I know at the time, it would be Janice that got me my first runway show in Paris with Azzadine Alaia a few years later. Life is funny that way.
Wearing Max & Co Christmas Eve 2009
The wardrobe budget of personal chef compared to a pop star’s wife is significantly different, but then style can’t be bought – it evolves as you do throughout life. A few of you asked me to write about some of the designers and events that influenced my sense of style over the years. I’ll be examining that aspect of my personality and how it translates to my food periodically over the next few months, but in the meantime…

Golden Beets with Pencil Thin Roasted Asparagus and Almonds, topped with Truffle Tremor Cheese

… here is a guaranteed gag-free, simply divine salad I had at Jar (Executive Chef/Owner Suzanne Tracht) last Friday night. What a simple, clean, yet delicious way to dress up the salad doldrums. The cheese is absolutely insane! Why not mimic this salad in your own kitchen? If you can’t obtain the cheese (I think you have to purchase restaurant size orders, but Cypress Grove Chevre may be able to direct you to a gourmet shop carrying it), try using a good soft goats cheese and drizzle with a little white truffle oil and a pinch of sea salt.

What ingredients do you use to add style to your salad?

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