Todd Selby is a character. One of those characters that you want to have as a close friend. Not only is he an amazingly talented photographer but he is also a wonderful storyteller. I’ve been a fan for years and when I heard he was going to have a book signing with James and Caitlin Freeman, the founders of Blue Bottle Coffee, at the SFMoma, I was almost beside myself. My ideal morning consists of sipping a Blue Bottle drip while reading the latest post on The Selby or his column in T Magazine.
I stood in line to get my book signed like a googly eyed teenager waiting for J Bieber’s autograph. I didn’t really care. Todd Selby is one of my artistic heros and the Freemans are at the top of the coffee scene that is spreading like wildfire throughout the nation.
Todd kicked off the discussion with a colorful slideshow from his latest travels, briefly touching on his most memorable food moments. I could feel my wunderlust starting to flow when he described this tiny little farmhouse on the side of the Cartizze hill in Valdobbiadene, Italy. Nestled in the Prosecco vines, the farmhouse has a view that any restauranteur would jump at. The most interesting fact about L’Osteria Senz’Oste is that no one works there. No head chefs, no waiters. Just a simple little refrigerator stocked with Prosecco, Italian cheeses, salami and bread. You help yourself and leave the money in the cow piggy bank. The fridge is stocked daily with goodies handmade by a few locals.
Next up were the Blue Bottle masterminds – James and Caitlin Freeman. I have heard a few interviews with them on various food podcasts, but this was my first chance to hear them live. They are such a rad, inspiring couple. Both had major career changes inorder to dedicate themselves to what they love, coffee and desserts. 2012 was a busy year for Blue Bottle. They did some massive expansion and opened up four shops in New York. What amazes me most about these two is how humble they are. This fact makes it easier to hand my $5 to the cashier for my drip coffee.