Travis Rice Goes On A Legendary Mission in Interior BC

The plan was simple enough: Travis Rice, accompanied by three of the world’s best out-of-bounds boarders were to head deep into the Interior of British Columbia to score some goods and scope some terrain. But with any good plan comes a curveball. Sometimes said off-speed pitch is a blessing and sometimes, a curse. In this instance, it was indeed the former, and the end result was one of the most epic lines ever ridden on a snowboard.
Rice was accompanied by fellow Mervin team riders Austen Sweetin—an all-terrain ball of energy exploding inside the frame of a snowboarder, Robin Van Gyn—one of our sport’s best and most accomplished big mountain riders alive, and Blair Habenicht—a rider who is hard to put into words due to the fact that the majority of his time is spent deep in the Mt. Baker backcountry where he is single-handedly reinventing the art of turning in powder. The crew was epic and the locale was even more so, as they loaded up into the heli and set out into the forest seeking adventure.

Pillow Talk in British Columbia

The terrain in the Interior of British Columbia is arguably the best in the world and the same can be said about the snowpack. According to Travis, “The unique thing about BC is the type of coverage and how much variability there is in the rock and the geology. It bridges this harmonious gap between the Rockies and Alaska. It’s unique because you get a somewhat coastal snowpack and you’re a thousand kilometers from the coast. You have these big mountain ranges that get a snowpack that sticks to them and for someone like me coming from Wyoming where it’s very rocky, I’m like a kid in a candy store because it gives me confidence. You just have to be a little smarter and more defensive about how you’re riding where I’m from but not so much in BC.”

There were two missions within one. First and foremost, it was a Mervin team trip to gather photos and video, but on the back end, it was a chance to check out a little something that Travis has had in the works for a few years now. Twelve years ago, Rice created an event called The Natural Selection—an off-piste all-mountain freestyle event with the best riders on planet earth. He hosted the inaugural event at his home resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. In the years to follow, Natural Selection would evolve and eventually head north to…you guessed it, Interior British Columbia. More specifically, a powdercat lodge known by every snowboarder on the globe: Baldface. Just last year, Rice officially announced that the Natural Selection was officially back, but this time, it has evolved again into a full-fledged tour rather than a one-off winter event. The second stop of the Tour will take place at Baldface again, so the crew accompanied Travis to take a peek at the course while scoping other terrain in the

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Legendary Charlie Trotter’s sous chef Reggie Watkins, ‘backbone’ of kitchen for 25 years, dies at 64

For 25 years, Reginald Watkins was the backbone of one of the most famous kitchens in the world, the acclaimed Charlie Trotter’s in Lincoln Park. While a stunning roster of chefs passed through the restaurant throughout the years, Watkins remained a constant, working as the primary sous chef — and kitchen confidante for owner Charlie Trotter — until he left the restaurant in 2011, a year before it closed for good.

Charlie Trotter, Margalita Chakhnashvili posing for the camera: Chef Reginald Watkins, right, holds a sign honoring his former boss Charlie Trotter, center, during a ceremony naming a portion of Armitage Avenue as Honorary Charlie Trotter Way in August 2012.

© Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Chef Reginald Watkins, right, holds a sign honoring his former boss Charlie Trotter, center, during a ceremony naming a portion of Armitage Avenue as Honorary Charlie Trotter Way in August 2012.

On Monday night, Watkins died at age 64, of unknown causes during a visit to the emergency room in his home city of Chicago, after having spent the last several years working and living in Louisiana.


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Following news of his death, many former co-workers from Trotter’s and beyond shared heartfelt memories and regards on social media about “Chef Reggie,” a man they remembered as being tough but gentle — and a necessary guide to help young chefs survive what was a notoriously demanding kitchen environment.

“He was a legend in his own right,” said his daughter, Lerita Watkins.

“He was a real icon at that restaurant,” echoed chef David LeFevre, who worked two stints at Trotter’s kitchen between 1995 and 2004.

The Los Angleles-based LeFevre was among a long list of former co-workers who shared tributes to Watkins earlier this week, along with Grant Achatz, Bill Kim, Giuseppe Tentori, Sari Zernich-Worsham and plenty more.

“My dad was in love with cooking, working, being amongst his peers who also shared his love with being a chef,” Lerita Watkins said. “He kept in touch with so many of those people that he trained. He did.”

Born and raised near 35th Street and King Drive, Reggie Watkins was raised by his mother and grandmother and lived in the city for almost his entire life. In 1987, he responded to a newspaper classified ad seeking kitchen help, which led to his meeting Charlie Trotter, who was looking to open a restaurant. The ad had published for the first time on that date, Trotter’s son Dylan said, and Watkins was the first person to respond.

“When he first met my dad, he was just going to lie and be like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ve cooked before,’” Dylan Trotter said Watkins recently shared with him. “But then when he saw my dad and saw his face, he was like, ‘I knew I couldn’t lie to this guy. I had to tell him the truth.’ They just had the connection right off the bat.”

The rest is actual history. Watkins was famously hired as the first-ever employee at Trotter’s, running the kitchen from its first day until his last day in 2011. He and Charlie Trotter grew to be close friends, almost like brothers: “We always envisioned those two getting old together,” LeFevre said. (The restaurant closed in

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San Franciscans keep legendary Red’s Java House alive

There may be no building still standing in San Francisco that embodies the city’s working class roots more than Red’s Java House.

The beloved shack perched on the corner of Pier 30 has served the city its famous sourdough cheeseburgers and cheap beer since 1955, and despite all the chaos of 2020, it’s not stopping anytime soon.

“San Franciscans own Red’s,” owner Tiffany Pisoni tells me, as we sit out back in the shadow of the Bay Bridge. “It’s an institution. I may have purchased it 11 years ago, but it belongs to the city.”

That back patio feels like an oasis of normality from another era right now. Situated between the looming bridge and a giant COVID-19 testing center that looks like it’s dropped in from a disaster movie, Red’s is somehow weathering the storm.

“I thought: We’re going to survive this, we’re going to show San Franciscans that we’re not going anywhere. No matter what.” Pisoni says. “It’s been an amazing feeling knowing that people are coming out and want to keep this place going.”

The tiny diner that veteran Chronicle writer Carl Nolte once called “the Chartres Cathedral of cheap eats” remained open even through the darkest days of the pandemic, that has seen over one hundred S.F. restaurants permanently close.

Red’s shifted to take-out through April and May, but now diners can order inside and take their $10.47 hamburger and beer lunch combo to the tables on the back deck over the water.

The restaurant gets its name from the pair of seafaring redheaded brothers who bought the place in 1955. Pisoni became the third owner, after taking over the restaurant in 2009.

“My father, an engineer, was working on Pier One at the time, and he said ‘I heard buzz that Red’s may be for sale, just go check it out,'” she says. “So I did … and I walked away. A month later he convinced me to check it out again.”

Red's Java House owner Tiffany Pisoni outside her restaurant in San Francisco, California on Sept. 10, 2020. Photo: Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE / SFGATE

Photo: Douglas Zimmerman/SFGATE

Red’s Java House owner Tiffany Pisoni outside her restaurant in San Francisco, California on Sept. 10, 2020.

Pisoni was finally persuaded to invest in the historic spot.

“My thought was I could come in and change it, not the menu, but clean it up, and put my own touch on it,” she says.

“And did you?” I ask.

“I did not.” She laughs. “Within the first month I realized I wouldn’t be changing Red’s.

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Remembering Christian Liaigre, the Legendary French Interior Designer

a man standing in front of a store window: Christian Liaigre, the iconic French designer whose clients included Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, and Larry Gagosia, has died.

© David Lefranc – Getty Images
Christian Liaigre, the iconic French designer whose clients included Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, and Larry Gagosia, has died.

French interior design legend and entrepreneur Christian Liaigre, known for his romantic minimalist aesthetic and whose clients included Larry Gagosian, Calvin Klein, and Karl Lagerfeld, has died at age 77. We asked design-world luminaries to share their thoughts of Liaigre and the legacy he left behind.

“He was such a visionary. As a designer I have always been inspired by his work and loved incorporating his thoughtfully modern and timeless designs into many of the residential spaces I have designed. He cared so about the details, high quality materials, and craftsmanship. This is a huge loss for our community.” — Sheila Bridges, interior designer

“Christian’s passing is such a loss for the world of design. He had an incredible point of view that was distinctively his own. I was always inspired by his warm style and the way he could balance designs that were equally understated and impactful. I always thought of him as our generation’s Jean-Michel Frank and I have no doubt his legacy will live on for generations to come.” — Brad Ford, interior designer

“There’s a stillness to his aesthetic that’s welcoming and warm and his Île de Ré residence captivates me most. Like many of us, Liaigre’s living room table often doubled as his work area—a place where masterpieces were created. What a gem he was.” — Chanae Richards, interior designer

“Although widely known for his hospitality design, Christian Liaigre was among the most influential and widely copied designers of furniture and residential interiors of the 20th century. His artful distillations of forms inspired by Brancusi and Ruhlmann popularized luxurious materials in forms inspired by African sculpture and Art Deco. His powerful palette of neutrals set the tone for what consumers wanted for many years, and still looks fresh today.” — David Duncan, lighting designer

“Many designers help move us along, only a few move us forward. Christian Liaigre did just that. He understood the dignity of the design process and the responsibility of designers, architects, and craftspeople to keep evolving.” — Jeffrey Bilhuber, interior designer

“Christian was a dear friend and a lovely soul with incredible taste. He is a master in creating elegance and comfort with impeccable style. We will miss him and his genius but his work will endure far beyond his lifetime. My family is fortunate to live in a home he designed every day. Thank you, Christian.” — Wendi Murdoch, entrepreneur and client

“Christian Liaigre marched to his own drum creating a seamlessly integrated environment that was both minimal and enriched at the same time. Never distracted by pyrotechnics, he created spaces and the components of spaces that stand the test of time. We all still look up to him and thank him for his stewardship and understanding of what’s important—and above all what’s human.” — Lee F. Mindel, architect and interior designer

“Liaigre is somewhere in

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