A Taste of the Big Leagues

Last week, I Twitter-teased my New York City adventures, and I say tease because with only 140 characters to work with each time, the sentence ends before the juicy stuff can even begin. I’m a talkative, expressive sort and being concise and to-the-point just doesn’t jive with me. And yes, I know I can abbreviate my words to try to make everything fit in, but inevitably tweets like this, “dnt rly thk ths hr sty is wkg 4me, lkng lk elctrctd jlyfsh. frtd bcuz hded 2 nyc tmow dnt hv tm 2 get hr exts, btr go shpg 2fnd a big hat.”

And if you understood my creative license on shortening words, you must be smoking some garlic buds too.

So, I wanted to expand on the how/what/when/where details that got me buying a ticket to NYC to leave 2 days earlier, being held hostage by a asshole cabbie driver, a very exciting meeting, hanging out with some of the coolest food writers/bloggers/videographers in the city and then headed back home within 48 hours.

On my last trip to NYC, I got to hang with the fabulous gals at Brooks PR, who handle publicity for superstars like Cat Cora, Guy Fieri and Katie Lee Joel. Yeah, talk about big time leagues! After the meeting, I felt that while totally flattered, I wasn’t quite ready for that kind of  exposure yet, because while they can get me supersized media exposure, I was still missing a piece of the puzzle. Namely, an agent, someone who would create income generating opportunities. Because what good is being featured in, let’s say, Bon Appetit Magazine,  if I didn’t have something big and massive to promote? Yes, my cookbook that comes out in October is huge for me, but it’s just a blip in the cookbook world.

Then last Friday, I got an email from the William Morris Agency that they were interested in meeting me. Apparently Brooks PR had urged them to contact me, as they felt that I was a promising star. The moment that I got that e-mail, you could’ve heard me hoop ‘n holler from 3 miles away. Not only did I knock down a glass of orange juice but apparently I scared even the hermit crabs so much that they both dug holes and buried themselves in the sand.

So the date was set for the following Thursday, and I immediately bought a ticket to NYC (and by the way, fares are so inexpensive right now it’s crazy. My  last-minute round-trip tix  from FL -> NY was only $220!) My very generous friend, Mark let me crash at his place and off I went on my trip with sparkly glittery stars in my eyes.

I think I’m going to leave the whole hostage taking cabbie story for another post, it was quite a harrowing adventure that I live-Tweeted, just in case the assdonkey cabbie killed me.  Yeah…the dramatic, nail-biting ride was pretty damn close to one of the freakiest things that I’ve experienced. And you bet I reported him.

There I go again, teasing.

Anyways, after Mark nursed me with 2 Bloody Marys, I was back to normal. Mark and I met up with Homesick Texan (by the way, she’ll be featured in Saveur Magazine’s June issue) at Momofuku Ssam to indudge in a 10-course chef’s choice meal. Totally healed all wounds.

Mark took this photo with my phone. A few too many Bloody Marys, eh Mark? Me, Lisa and Mark.

The next morning, I finished creating the demo reel that featured  some of my television segments and got ready to head out for the meeting. Being a true Florida gal, the only shoes that I really have are either flip-flops or heels, neither are really sensible for cool weather or long bouts of walking. Heels went in the backpack and flip-flops on my feet as I subway’d and walked my way to Avenue of the Americas.

Photo so blurry because I was fidgeting so much! If I had fidgeted any harder, I could’ve counted it as a workout.

It was an introductory meeting, and I think Mark and Josh liked what they saw. Well, fingers crossed, anyways. My publisher also sent over layouts of my cookbook for the meeting, and I was all giddy looking at them because it was the first time I had ever seen the pages in layout form. So the meeting  was about them getting to know who I was and my future plans… and me getting to know how they work with their clients and all of the fantabulous things they’ve done for their clients.

So now the waiting begins, they will meet with their team and discuss if I am either a good fit for the agency or a dorky dingdong damsel in distress who can’t even get a cab ride without getting held hostage.


I’ve gotten several e-mails from people on Twitter, concerned that I may be revealing too much, too soon. I know that they are only looking out for me, afraid that in showing my hand will give competitors and edge. Or  they are worried that if the meetings don’t work out in a successful deal, I would have to tell everyone the bad news.

I get that. I get that in a very competitive world (especially in the cutthroat food entertainment world) that I may be left vulnerable by revealing so much. But I wholeheartedly take this chance because of a couple of reasons.

The most important reason is that I’m not scared of failure. I think I gave up the fear of rejection the moment I started this blog two years ago. This blog has always been part diary and part recipe sharing for me, and I totally embrace that the more I share, the more free than I am. Operating in a state of fear just makes life more complicated especially since every month I operate in a state of PMS for several days. It would drive my husband absolutely insane if we added any other frightful emotions to the mix. And honestly, between bitchilicious and fear, I choose the former.

So what if they don’t like me? Honey, another opportunity is just around the corner (and usually it arrives in a much bigger package!) Well that’s what I get for marrying a man who used to travel with Tony Robbins for seven years as a trainer at seminars around the world.


Another reason, a little more selfish reason is that now that you know, you all are going to hold me accountable for following through to make it happen. I know exactly where I want to go with my career. It’s a matter of timing (it’s important as a mother of two little boys)  but Scott and I have designed a life so that we are both very flexible with whatever happens, whether it’s his career or mine.

And I just know that in the eyes of the people most important to me, I’m always number one.


After the meeting, and I had a couple of hours to chill out before dinner with David Leite, author of Leite’s Culinaria (introduced to me by Traca, the queen of all connections.) So I walked over to Rockefeller Plaza and treated myself to oysters and Champagne to celebrate a meeting well done. Because I think that’s what positive thinking people do, right?

A lovely (but pricey! ouch!) treat at the bar at Sea Grill at Rockefeller Plaza.


Winner Announced!

Did you enter the Steamy Kitchen Scale Giveaway? My son, Nathan created a little video announcing the winner!

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Comments 41

  1. James in Beijing

    I only know you through your blog, but I cannot imagine anyone more deserving of success than you. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and your recipes, and thing William Morris would be crazy not to sign you up. But if they don’t for some reason, there’s other agencies out there who surely read your blog and see all the complimentary comments and will pick you up in a snap. Fear not!

  2. David

    If it doesn’t work out, you can always start a career as a beach-side masseuse. I think it could be very, very lucrative.

    You won’t have to worry about crazed cabbies, and no one will care what kind of footwear you’re wearing.

  3. Carole

    I just found your blog and have spent an embarrassing amount of time reading & exploring it this morning. You are a true genius. I can’t wait to try your recipes.

    Best of luck to you with the Big Leagues! Based on what I’ve read thus far, you are deserving. You already have a fan in me.

  4. Phoo-D

    I’m so happy that this level of opportunity is opening up for you! There really is no going back down the ladder from here- if WMA doesn’t work out another one will. You’ve got the chops girl and it is only a matter of time. We’ll all be cheering you during the ride!

  5. Justopia

    IMHO you’ve achieved success already. Happy family, beautiful blog with many followers. TV appearances. Club Med Insider. Finished cookbook! And now PR types coming after you!

    Sure, there’s more to do. More to come. More to say. Pie in the sky. Your positive attitude will help bring what you want to your life.

    It’s about dreams and hard work, which it appears you’ve got covered. Can’t wait for the next piece of news!

  6. Emily

    Congrats on your meetings I’m so excited for you!

    And also – “And honestly, between bitchilicious and fear, I choose the former.”

    I’m totally stealing that for my new blogcard.

  7. Laurin

    I don’t believe any competitor could get the edge on you! You’re an original and your no fear attitude inspires me. I’m looking to every kick-ass step you take. And consider me teased because I really want to hear the cab story.

  8. Susan C

    I love your fearless approach. Thanks so much for putting yourself out there and letting us watch you try . . . and ultimately soar.

  9. Amy I.

    Good luck Jaden! You’re an inspiration for me as a new-ish blogger. I appreciate you being so open, because 1) it’s interesting to hear about an otherwise enigmatic process and 2) your writing is so witty and conversational, it’s a joy to read anything you write. Sorry for the gush, I’m feeling sappy today 🙂

  10. StuffCooksWant

    Wow! Congrats on current success and good luck on future!

    Followed your tweets during the cab ride and couldn’t stop laughing at your descriptions of the ordeal. So funny.

  11. The Single Guy

    Wow, what an exciting time in your life Jaden! Even if things don’t work out (but I have a feeling it well!), just enjoy the ride because you don’t want to look back and not remember the little things.

  12. Esi

    Jaden you are so awesome! I am glad it all went well and I appreciate your open-ness and honesty about it all. Rock on!

  13. Judy

    I love that you keep it real Jaden! Awesome post on an incredible whirlwind of a trip. Keeping my fingers crossed that all turns out the way it should!

  14. Patsyk

    Jaden – that is awesome! I hope you have great news to share soon! You are already a fabulous star, so it’s just a matter of time for the rest of the world to figure it out.

  15. Andrea

    I am so excited for you! You have all the right stuff, and it’s great that you are getting noticed for all your hard work.

  16. Haley W.

    Jaden, you KICK ASS!

    There, I said it. And one day, I’ll be recording you on my DVR, reading your magazine, and using your Steamy Kitchen brand santoku knife in my kitchen. And maybe, if I get really lucky, you’ll hire me on as your assistant. 😀

    I love that you are being open about your efforts. I respect that. It’s why so many people really connect with what you write and what you do.

    Keep us posted! I am rooting for you!

  17. Jen Yu

    Go lady! I think more than anything, I wish you happiness. So for starters, stay away from that cabbie. But mostly, it’s about attitude and priorities. I’m keeping fingers crossed that things will go your way. xxoo

  18. Tartelette

    I don’t think you are revealing too much or it’s too late and my brain can’t read between the lines. If anybody deserves all this, it’s you! From the moment I found your blog til now, I have always said “yeeha!”. You take me for a ride and I can’t wait to see what’s next! Rock on babe! At least I’ll be able to say “hey! I twit with her!!”

  19. Veron

    hey, it’s nice that you take us along for the ride…and I don’t mean that cabbie hell that you just went through! Exciting things happen to people who have no fear!

  20. Barry

    First off, congratulations! (Love the “Sixteen Candles” style photo with your friends). You deserve everything you’re getting. After all, who the hell put in all the (fun) hard work?

    As for this “sharing too early” business, part of the reason why we read your blog is the openness. That and the use of profanity (for emphasis). So, just be you the rest will fall into place.

    As I’m sure your husband remembers, “make it a great day!” 😉

  21. threemilechild

    I will be so, so unsurprised when I see you with your own show on Food Network. I will tell my family, “That’s the one whose blog I won the saffron on!”

  22. Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food.

    I like your attitude and sharing everything and taking chances and risks. That’s’ what I love about yours and other blogs. It’s a real life story. It’s not all perfect and glossy like a magazine. I love hearing about the challenges, difficulties, problems and overcoming them (of course) instead of only hearing the success stories without the process that lead to them. Because most people reach success after working very hard and having ups and downs on the way. Many people don’t like to share the down moments which creates a stress on others to be perfect all the time and zero tolerance to “losers”. I hate this about our culture of winners versus losers. There’s so much in between.
    The most important part is to work hard, learn from mistake, and continue.
    I’m sure you will succeed this way or another.
    Good luck to you!
    I look forward to seeing you at the conference in Seattle!

  23. Grifola frondosa


    Sheesh, I would have thought that you were bound for William Morris in Hollywood.

    Can’t you see it now – the entourage following Jaden.

    1. Hair and Makeup team.
    2. Publicist (like you really need one)
    3. Personal assistant (1 to begin with, then ?)
    4. 2 Nannies for the boys
    5. Personal chef – because who’ll have time to cook anymore?
    6. Driver (thanks to your experience with NY cabbies)

    Not bad for starters, huh?

    Now, you’ve got time to plan the cookware line, the next cookbook, the color coordinated tableware for your home collection line.

    Food products, oriental specialties, specialty gourmet stuff…

    WTG Jaden !!!

    Yes, we knew her when.

  24. Paula Maack

    How exciting!!!

    My fingers are crossed for you, sweetie. Best of luck!!!

    I look forward to terrific news! Either way, you are a star, and I will still offer you a spot on my upcoming show. Of course, if William Morris reps you, I’ll probably have to fight over you. 😉


    ~ Paula

  25. Chandara

    Hi Jaden!

    I’m a long-time reader, but first time commentator! I absolutely feel in love with your blog for your candid-comedic-everything goes approach to letting us into your culinary world. I have full faith that you will rock the socks off of William Morris and if not, then they don’t know a good thing when they’ve already met you! Your courage and bravery to embark on this journey absence of the fear of failure is remarkably admirable and I can’t wait until your cookbook comes out!

    Are you going to do a book-signing in the SF area when it does? You have many fans here in CA!

    🙂 Best of luck!

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