Hollywood on the Potomac
It’s a good thing that Matthew Wright has Urban Cowboy good looks, swagger and an Aussie accent – otherwise we’d probably skip an invite to a backyard barbecue at his place in Australia – you never know what you’ll run into. According to Wright, who was the guest of honor at the Residence of Australian Ambassador and Mrs. Joe Hockey, that would most likely include wildlife, reptiles, snakes, and anything that crawls and slithers.
“Growing up,” he told Hollywood on the Potomac, “I was into fishing and just loved getting out there and catching a lot of deadly snakes when I was about six……..brown snakes. That sort of drove mum a little bit mad; but she taught me right from wrong when working with wildlife. We had our own farm animals, but she didn’t like me dealing with the deadly ones that were always present as a young kid. We lived in Papua, New Guinea for about nine months and I was off with the locals there catching sea snakes. These are some of the deadliest snakes in the world but you don’t have fear when you’re a kid. She understood that and tried to keep me safe and keep me away from it all so we did a few deals together. I could have my own pet snakes that weren’t deadly if I would stop catching. So it’s pretty much from that drive I had when I was a kid just growing up that it developed into bigger and better things. Now I collect crocodile eggs and fly choppers for four months of the year. That’s just finished now. I think I did my last few days last week. Other times of the year, I’m catching and I’m moving large crocs throughout the northern territory.”
The occasion for the celebration at the Ambassador’s residence was Season Two of Nat Geo WILD’s Outback Wrangler……that would be Wright. “It‘s our own production,” he told us. “We did the first season with Nat Geo of Outback Wrangler and the second season as well. But now we run the production; so myself and Nick and Ash, who are business partners. are in the middle of filming the third season. Nat Geo has partnered with us to do that production as well.”
According to Democrat political operative Al From, Campaign 2016 isn’t the only year for nasty politics. Crashing the Party, directed by David Sigal, will hold its World Premiere at this year’s Annapolis Film Festival on Saturday, April 2 at 2:15 PM at St. Anne’s Parish House in Maryland and you’ll be surprised at the similarities.
After three crushing defeats in the presidential campaigns of the 1980s, the Democratic Party was brought back from the brink of extinction with the candidacy and election of a then little-known Governor Bill Clinton. Featuring exclusive interviews with President Clinton, Al From, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Haley Barbour, Dick Gephardt, Tom Brokaw, Paul Begala, and many others, this is the riveting inside story of the exceptional people and transformative ideas that revived the Democratic Party.
“I think it’s important to eat good food and to socialize at the same time; it just goes together. I think that’s one thing that we have lost in this country – to eat together and share our secrets and share what we think during the day especially with kids,” Austrian born restaurateur Nora Pouillon told an enthusiastic culinary group who were invited to dine at the Residence of the Ambassador of France, Gérard Araud. “I grew up going to the Lycée Français and I cannot thank the French people enough for introducing me to the right way to eat. In school, we were served a 3-course meal. You learned to sit at a table of 8 or 10, not only to eat properly with a knife and fork, but also to have a conversation with somebody you might not really like.”
“It was a wonderful education because not only did you have to peel an orange with a knife and fork, but you had also to say, ‘What are you doing this afternoon?’ and ‘Who are you?’ By having this conversation,” she added, “at the end of the meal you found out that this person is somebody like you.” Nora is the owner of Restaurant Nora in NW Washington, DC; a pioneer and champion of organic, environmentally conscious cuisine; and the author of My Organic Life: How a Pioneering Chef Helped Shape the Way We Eat Today. (see our interview with Nora and video below)
Pouillon is a favorite of the First Lady for her healthy menu choices and was acknowledged by Debra Eschmeyer, Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign and senior White House Policy Advisor for Nutrition. “To the Department of Agriculture, to the Department of Health and Human Services, to everything that folks are doing at convenience stores to the biggest stores in the United States to ensure that families have health care products, we thank you,” said Eschmeyer. “On top of that, the first lady has used every tool at her disposal including digital media to making sure that all parents are changing the school food, ensuring access to healthy food for everyone.”