Interview with Susan Feniger

AE: Street is inspired by your love of street food across the world. What’s your favorite travel destination?

SF: India has been the place I love. I feel like I have another life there. I love the people. I love the food, I feel like it influenced the direction of the food I love to cook. I just got back from Vietnam which was fantastic. Total food trip; eating on the street for six days straight. I really loved it.

AE: Street has been extremely well received. Are you thinking of opening Street in other locations?

SF: Yeah, actually, we are thinking about it. We aren’t there yet, but that’s the hope. We are doing Border Grill at LAX.

AE: I’ve been to Street several times and you are always there. Do you secretly live in the back closet?

SF: It’s a new restaurant so I try to be there a lot. I try to spend my days at Border Grill and Ciudad, and my nights at Street, and maybe then stop by Border Grill again.

AE: When do you see your partner, Liz?

SF: Never! Last week I didn’t see her at all. We stay up really late. I get home at 11:30PM or 12AM, and we’ll sit outside and have a cocktail and go in the hot tub. We don’t go to bed until at least two [in the morning] and then our animals are in our faces by 7AM. We both stay up late and get up early.

AE: So basically you don’t sleep.

SF: Nope. She’s wonderful, because she’s so supportive and she’s a great writer and director. She’s really creative and has this great business mind. I run everything by her and she’s really opinionated, like me. She filmed all the recipe testing we did at home. All the footage is on the website,

AE: This is furthering my theory that you are a closet actor. I see that you were also on Sabrina the Teenage Witch?

SF: Ha! Oh, yeah, uh, oh, that was … I can’t remember a line! I’m totally comfortable teaching, but I can not remember a damn line.

AE: So you are participating in "Simply diVine," which benefits the LA Gay and Lesbian Center. They are a great organization. Have you worked with them before?

SF: I’m on the board of the Center, which is the most amazing board ever. I just feel like the board does such great work.

AE: Tell us about Simply diVine.
SF: I co-chaired this with David Bailey. It’s just one of those great painless fundraisers. I think this is year number four. We’ve got incredible restaurants doing it this year. It’s great every year, but particularly so this year.
It’s at 2 Rodeo, [in Beverly Hills] which is easy to get to — easy parking — it’s beautiful outside.

What’s great is that you get to taste all this great food. You don’t have to sit at a table. You can walk around, hang with friends. There are, like, 16-18 different wineries and 17 different restaurants. The restaurants include Border Grill, Ciudad, Street, Jar, Lucques, Umami Burger, The Grill, The Bazaar, Josie. It’s great restaurants. There’s a vodka station. There are tons of fantastic wineries. Plus, we have margaritas from Border Grill.

Feniger with Simply diVine Co-chair, David Bailey

AE: You had me at vodka station.

SF: It’s a really great way to spend a Saturday night. You can come for an hour, you can come for three hours. A lot of times, fundraisers can be painful.

AE: Are there speeches?

SF: Minimal.

AE: Perfect.

SF: There’s a quick live-auction with four or five items. We have a package from Italy, private cooking classes, wine tastings, the Border Grill taco truck will come to your house and do a party for 25. There’s a wine country package with a private jet to Sonoma.

They are all great packages and we make that part go very quickly. It’s so great to be able to do a fundraiser where people come, have a great time. And if you were to go to those restaurants, it would cost more than the tickets cost anyway.

Simply diVine!:  A Summer Soirée for the Senses takes place on Saturday, August 21 in Beverly Hills. For more info, check out the official website.

Pages: 1 2

Tags: , , , , , , ,