Thursday, September 29, 2011

Smart Gals Sip – Libby, Nicole and Rebecca

(Pictured l-r, Libby Einhorn and Nicole Davenport)
My niece Nicole invited me and my hubby to have birthday brunch with her and her best friend, Libby Einhorn, at the Four Seasons Sunday and it was really nice, but probably not worth the $350 it cost for the four of us. Getting dressed up and mingling with the upper crust was sort of cool, and the panna cotta, eggs benedict and prime rib were delish, but the shrimp was mushy and had obviously been frozen. Bottom line, the company and setting were the best parts.

Libby is a super cool Petroleum Engineer for Eagle Rock, a small, local oil company in Midland, Texas. She also volunteers at the YWCA four nights a week teaching Aerobics, Spinning and Kickboxing.  I can totally picture Libby bossing West Texas redneck roughnecks around out on a rig location. We’ve come a long way, baby! She was lots of fun and what is funny is that although Libby’s been to Austin four times, this is the first time she’s ever really stayed in Austin. She explained that she always flies into Austin to go to Lake Austin Spa, catching the shuttle at the airport, going straight out to the spa, and reversing the process to go home. I never cease to be amazed at how many Very Smart Gals there are out there!

My niece by marriage/divorce, Nicole Davenport is my x-sister-in-law Freida Kay Noelke Davenport's daughter (see her profile under “My Friends”). Nicole worked for years in television production in NYC, but decided about 5 years ago that being a chef was her true calling, and has spend the past few years sweating in a kitchen and loving it. Her most recent claim to fame is an appearance on TLC’s B-B-Q Pit Masters, a TV reality show that pits BBQ cooks against each other.  I’ll never forget Nicole’s line in the show (sitting in her Marathon "White Buffalo Bar "cowgirl shirt and big-brimmed cowgirl hat), “I didn’t come all the way from Texas to get my ass kicked by a bunch of hippies.” When I told her I thought that was hilarious, she said, “Oh, that was in the script. They told me to say that.” So much for “reality” TV!

Monday night she and Rebecca Rather (pictured), of Rather Sweet Bakery and cookbook fame, came over for happy hour and dinner, and ended up spending the night. Can you believe I had the cajones to feed two chefs?  Rebecca began her career as a private caterer in Houston, before moving on to become pastry chef for Houston restaurateur Tony Vallone and his group of restaurants. After apprenticing with Daniel Leader, she worked as executive pastry chef for research and development for Schlotzsky's Bread Alone cafés. In 1999, she started her own business, Rather Sweet Bakery, in Austin. In 2001, she moved the bakery to Fredericksburg. She has been featured in Texas Monthly, Gourmet, Ladies' Home Journal, Food & Wine, Southern Living, Chocolatier, and Saveur, where she was among Saveur's 100 favorites for 2003.
Rebecca and Nicole are cooking up a new restaurant in Fredericksburg and want to throw a party for the Very Smart Gals, so you may be getting an invite soon!  Wouldn't it be fun for all the Very Smart Gals to finally meet!

We insisted that Rebecca try out my outdoor shower, so I snapped this photo (right). I may put up a sign that says “Rebecca Rather Bathed Here. “ We had fun talking about horses and food and men and food and men.

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