After nearly six years of drought, this past winter seemed to prove the 1972 Albert Hammond hit song true: “It never rains in California, but... it pours. Man, it pours.” Among the areas slammed by the wettest season on record was the stretch of mid-coast Highway 1 called Big Sur. In recent years, social media has helped turn this idyllic spot tucked between redwood forest and Pacific cliffsides into an international destination.
Cassidee Dabney was, in her own words, “geeking out.” Dabney, who runs the kitchen at The Barn, the haute dining room at Blackberry Farm, was far away from the idyllic resort where she works in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. She was spending a late March weekend in Carmel, California, cooking at GourmetFest, a four-day party thrown by the Relais & Châteaux hotel group, of which Blackberry Farm is a member.
On a night before Valentine's Day, the Victoria's Secret in Manhattan's Herald Square was dressed up in pink Cupid's arrows. Visitors from around the world were shopping for holiday lingerie. A young Japanese tourist named Ayano checked out a pair of black pajama bottoms printed with tiny white hearts, whose label read "40% modal."