A La Carte

See Todd Reed’s diamonds in the rough today at I. Gorman

July 29, 2011

“The first cut is the deepest.” Of course, Rod Stewart was singing about love. When it comes to raw diamonds, Todd Reed, internationally acclaimed jewelry designer believes the most perfect cut is no cut at all.

Award-winning Todd Reed cabochon aquamarine and diamond cuff (Photo by: Todd Reed) Award-winning Todd Reed cabochon aquamarine and diamond cuff

Reed was in town Thursday evening for a special preview of his award-winning designs at I. Gorman, the family owned and operated Washington D.C. contemporary jewelry business since 1981. And today, Friday, July 29, meet Todd Reed at I. Gorman from 11:00 am to 5:30.

It’s no surprise that Adam Gorman and Todd Reed discovered each other. “Todd has become a good friend,” Adam explained, “We’ve been working with him for five years. It’s exciting to able to introduce our D.C. customers to his amazing designs.”

I. Gorman has been traveling the world to bring the best new designers to Washington. As Adam told us, "People are responding. Our engagement ring business is booming because people are exploring  contemporary design."

Todd Reed shows diamond earrings (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Todd Reed shows diamond earrings

As Reed told The Georgetown Dish, “I started at 17 and for 23 years have been expanding the boundaries of what people consider jewelry.”

The first contemporary designer to work exclusively with rough diamonds, in 1992 Todd Reed forged the way of "the raw elegance movement." With the "perfect geometry" found in the natural, uncut diamonds, Reed pairs high carat recycled gold and other precious metals.

Thursday evening at I. Gorman (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Thursday evening at I. Gorman

Nicole Gorman and Barbara Meyer wearing Todd Reed designs (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Nicole Gorman and Barbara Meyer wearing Todd Reed designs

Winner of many prestigious international jewelry design awards, Reed's work is featured in museum collections. Self-taught, this goldsmith and jeweler sources ethically mined and socially responsible diamonds throughout the world. 

Todd Reed raw diamond ring (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Todd Reed raw diamond ring

I. Gorman is at 1133 20th Street NW. Tel: 202.775.8544


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Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm part two: the inn

July 28, 2011

Farm-to-Fork, the Loudon County celebration of locally grown food and wine, was well underway when I visited Clyde’s Willow Creek Farm. Here, the distance from farm to fork is a mere ten minute walk up the hill behind the restaurant complex. After an enchanting morning with Farmer Tim, it was time to check out the inn.

I know first-hand what private events manager, Melissa Carroll means about the best part of her job. “It’s seeing the twinkle in peoples’ eyes as they come in here. Everyone, all ages.”

Trellised patio (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Trellised patio

Clyde’s Restaurant Group bought a number of antique timber buildings in the early 1980’s with no particular plans, so they disassembled the structures and put them away in storage.

When the opportunity presented itself to build a new restaurant, Clyde’s Group CEO, John Laytham (who started with the company as a bartender), conceived  its design in collaboration with the Weather Hill Company and Rust, Orling Architects.

Audobon prints hang in the main dining (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Audobon prints hang in the main dining

What makes visiting Clyde's Willow Creek Farm such a magical experience (besides the brilliant reconstruction and exquisite landscaping) is its collection of museum-quality American antiques and art displayed throughout the four main dining rooms and bars.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Nineteenth century carriages hang from the ceiling of the Carriage Bar, and you can find the complete collection of Original Havell engravings of John James Audubon’s Birds of America featured in the front dining room and adjacent bar. Two beautiful sleighs are poised outside the entrance, and Santa’s is stored in the farm's barn.

I caught up with general manager, Paul Fox in his favorite place, the Samuel French Room in the main building. As he told The Georgetown Dish,” The two most important people are the customers and the employees. Work is fresh, no two days the same.”  Fox started his Clyde’s career at Old Ebbitt’s Grill as a busboy. "Laytham is a restaurant genius." Paul continued, "We’re a destination and a neighborhood place.”

Paul Fox, Melissa Carroll and Tim MacLean (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Paul Fox, Melissa Carroll and Tim MacLean

After Diana Chappell made me a fragrant Mojito (inspired by tasting the chocolate, pineapple and mint julep mints on the farm), I was ready for lunch.

Mike La Manna, executive sous chef (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mike La Manna, executive sous chef

Fried purple fairy eggplant with smoked tomato marinara and Pecorino Romano (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fried purple fairy eggplant with smoked tomato marinara and Pecorino Romano

Fried green tomaotes with herb goat cheese (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Fried green tomaotes with herb goat cheese

Sorrel and herb salad with grilled shrimp (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Sorrel and herb salad with grilled shrimp

Roasted garlic and basil quiche with cucumber salad (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Roasted garlic and basil quiche with cucumber salad

Summer vegetable gnocchi (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Summer vegetable gnocchi

Blackberry semifreddo with linden verbena shortbread created by dessert chef, Amy Harper (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Blackberry semifreddo with linden verbena shortbread created by dessert chef, Amy Harper

When they build the guest bungalows I requested, I'll never have to leave.

Daily calendar of  farm produce hangs in the kitchen (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Daily calendar of farm produce hangs in the kitchen

For part one, my visit with Farmer Tim, click here.

Clyde's Willow Creek Farm  is at 42920 Broadlands Boulevard in Broadlands, VA.  Tel: 571.209.1200

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

 

 


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Open space, no wood s'il vous plait

July 27, 2011

When you find a Bulthaup kitchen, an Alessi toilet not available in the U.S., a Waterworks bathtub, an Italian bathroom sink that drains from behind the basin, and walls covered in Calcutta marble, you must ask: Who lives here?

Wednesday evening at an open house to celebrate the completed renovation of a duplex condominium on 31st Street, we found out.

Bruno Lassus (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Bruno Lassus

Turns out, it’s a barefoot man with an infectious grin and clear blue eyes who knows exactly what he wants.  For that, he turned first to Bulthaup. “I’d known Bruno for six years when we did his kitchen, general manager, Alison Tilley told The Georgetown Dish. “We did the kitchen and introduced him to Christy Schlesinger, and the rest is history.” Schlesinger Associates Architects, that is.

As Christy says, “Bruno is unique and the best client. It was a nice melding of similar styles and vision.”

And that vision? Bruno Lassus explains, “I like open space and no wood” His grin widens. “You see, my grandfather made wood furniture in France. We had so much of it …” Pressing for more explanation, “I like the cold of  stone …” A few choice pieces of red gum tree wood custom cabinets, but otherwise, stone and tile and marble prevail.

As 42 Degree Catering prepared elegant appetizers in the kitchen, guests enjoyed the view. Developer Greg Rooney, vice president of The Bernstein Companies said, "This is exactly what Georgetown needs."

Alison Tilley of Bulthaup (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Alison Tilley of Bulthaup

Classic modernism. Corbusier black leather sofas, Norman Foster dining table, large red abstract painting by contemporary Vietnamese artist. Sound by Bang & Olufsen. Bruno points proudly to the 1980’s speakers he had rewired from 220 to 110 U.S. voltage. What you don’t see is a television. Another grin, “I haven’t had one for 30 years.”

Norman Foster dining table (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Norman Foster dining table

“I like to make people happy,” Bruno said when I asked him what he does.  Eventually I learned Bruno Lassus began his professional life as a medical doctor, then a dentist.  Now, vice president at 3M Cogent Inc. conducting bio-metrics around the globe. Add photographer and kayaker to his vitae.  And it was two years living in a tropical rainforest where he learned the joys of going barefoot. The better to enjoy all that cool marble under foot.

Bang &Olufsen speakers and Corbusier sofas (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Bang &Olufsen speakers and Corbusier sofas

Italian sink with rear drainage (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Italian sink with rear drainage

 


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