The founder and CEO of Virtuoso Member Bluefish in Los Angeles, CA talks about the beauty of panang curry, the craziest client request he’s fulfilled and his favorite place that’s frozen in time.
What’s your favorite restaurant and why?
The cheeky answer is the next one. I get bored easily and like to travel the world and try new food. The real answer is a tiny Thai restaurant just off Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. It was a locals restaurant. There are so many restaurants you try as a foreigner that are very posh. When we spoke to locals, we asked where’s the most authentic local haunt? There was nothing pretentious; it just had good food. I always like the panang curry. It’s gorgeous.
What’s the most unusual client request you’ve ever had?
An Australian client wanted to race cars in the Mojave Desert. He told a few friends and they told a few friends. We set up a private event for 12 people with five supercars: a Mercedes McLaren SLR, a race Porsche, a race Ferrari, a Lamborghini and a Jaguar race car. Each car was worth about half a million dollars. That was pretty exotic. They practiced in the morning with a professional race driver. In the afternoon we brought out the speed guns – as soon as they hit 200 miles an hour, they brought the car in and took out the next one. The following day six of them went up in an L-39 military training jet. Two military jets did a mock dogfight over the Southern California coastline. Two people at a time went up for about 40 minutes each. The Australian screamed like a 12 year old at a Justin Bieber concert.
What destination have you visited more than any other and why?
Probably Palm Springs. It’s like in a time lock: the architecture, the people, the pace of life. Any travel expert knows you spend all your time flying to cities that all blend together, but when you go to Palm Springs it’s just locked in the ’60s. It’s just an hour and a half away from me in LA so I can escape and spend the weekend there. We probably go there half a dozen times a year.
What’s a surprising thing few people know about you?
People think I’m incredibly interesting but the people that know me know I’m incredibly dull. I love spending time with my family at home — my wife, my three kids, my two old English bulldogs and a Shih Tzu. I love cooking shows and barbecuing things.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Getting married to my childhood sweetheart. I met my wife when I was seventeen years old in London, married her and then traveled the world together. She’s gorgeous, so that’s the easy bit.
Where’s your next trip?
Italy this summer with my family. We’ll probably concentrate on Venice and heading down the Amalfi coastline. We’re going there because my wife told me we are. We’ve been all over the place but that’s one location we’ve never been to. So that’s why we’re going.