I was recently invited to an event hosted by Verizon at their destination store in Santa Monica. It is unlike any Verizon store I’ve ever been to. For one thing, it’s huge. The floors have that beachy kind of vibe that fits in well with the Santa Monica population. We are, after all, quite near the ocean.
I was impressed.
I had never been to a store event and didn’t quite know what to expect. Seeing the preparation and the lines of staff on hand to help was impressive and reminded me of some of the great kitchens in Italy where I grew up and made my career. Perhaps you have seen a certain episode of Anthony Bourdain’s popular show where he and Daniel Boloud visit Paul Bocuse’s restaurant in Lyon, France? If not, watch it and be impressed. The armies of waiters working in perfect synchronicity are beautiful to watch, almost as beautiful as the food. What does that have to do with Verizon you say? Well, the perfectly trained Verizon staff moving like a well-oiled machine in perfect harmony and efficiency reminded me of those types of waiters. It made me homesick for the smallest moment. It also made me remember when I had the opportunity to work with the great Bocuse but didn’t accept it. Regrets? No. I came here instead, to this country of much greater opportunities and it has been pretty great all things considered.
I was impressed not only with the incredibly efficient staff and Lindsey from Verizon, who was lovely but with the design and layout of the store. Frankly, I was a little overwhelmed by it all. Luckily for me, I got to take a tour of the store with the wonderful team of Max and Brian, who really know their stuff. They stopped and explained each section (I was really taken with the touch screen walls to compare devices on), took the time to answer all my questions and those of my tour companions. I even had specific questions to ask about using a GoPro in the kitchen and they quickly had a solution for me. Yes, I will probably buy one, along with the chest strap so that I can create cooking videos. Stay tuned for that.
The event was loaded with vendors too and at each table, I learned more about products. Samsun, Mophie, Spec, Fitbit, LG…I may have forgotten a few because I’m still reeling from all the information. I dallied a bit by the Fitbit table because I certainly could watch my health and weight. As a chef, tasting everything can pack a little on in the stomach area. I stay active and busy, but a little extra help is always welcome. Another thing that fascinated me was the smart home products. Max and Brian spent a while showing off some cool features (I really liked the lock that runs on an app) and of course, I wanted just about everything they showed me, especially the drones. Why would a chef need a drone? I don’t know, but I want one. Surely there’s a reason to keep one in the kitchen…perhaps to bring me delicious little bites of dessert like the ones that were served at the event.
I am grateful to the incredible staff from Verizon as well as the vendors who took so much time to put together a great event. I met other lovely people like Gina Stark, Sara Hawkins, Chris Fleury and a few others. It was a wonderful event and I was so inspired by all the red, that I’m making strawberry risotto with prosecco tomorrow.