The Fairy Tale…The Picture Storybook

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Remember the movie ‘Pretty Woman?’   Remember, Vivian’s line (Julia Roberts) when she looked at Richard Gere and said, ‘I want the The Fairy Tale...The Picture Storybookfairy tale.’  Well, I GOT the fairy tale–that is for a rabid foodie who’s never been formally trained and who always has dreamed of learning from a real chef.  That was my fairy tale.

How do you document a fairy tale?  How do you create a storybook of pictures that convey candidly a once-in-a-lifetime experience?  Here’s what you do!  You team up with a talented creative photographer and videographer duo–Brent and Barbara Bingham of Brent Bingham Photography!  

It’s hard to capture the magic of what happened in the past couple of days in words and here on paper.  To bring you up to speed on this adventure–I entered a contest sponsored through Campo Viejo wines of Spain.  I won said contest.  The grand prize was a celebrity chef coming to my home to cook a multi-course dinner for 10.  Celebrity chef?  Anthony Sasso of the Michelin-star NYC eatery Casa Mono Bar Jamon.

For almost 16 hours, Brent and Barbara, cameras and videos in hand, followed Chef Anthony, me and my dinner guests from the beginning to the end–in other words from the time that we got up in the morning to go shopping…farmers market, grocery store, fish monger, boutique butcher, and, yes, even WalMart…then on to carrying in the groceries, organizing the kitchen, starting the prep work, setting the table, cutting fresh flowers, uncorking wine and letting it breathe, gussying up and getting ready for a big evening, welcoming guests, and finally devouring the many courses prepared and served by a Michelin-star restaurant chef–yes, Brent Bingham Photography was totally amazing!

Come along with me and experience, even vicariously, my fairy tale–here’s ‘The Picture Storybook’~



  1. This looks amazingly fun! What an experience.

    • OK, Grubarazzi! I’ve been to your blog…been to your Pinterest…and I’m in love w/you already!! We share so much in common beyond food…awesome!! Thanks for coming into my fairytale dinner! xo Ally 🙂

  2. Baby girl, you look lovely in all of these, Beth also looks great and everyone looks like they had one hell-of-a-good ol’ Southern time!

    • LOL, Scott! I think we slightly overwhelmed the NYC chef…he was not expecting to have such a great time…yes, there’s nothing like Southern hospitality!! Thank you for sharing in our raucous weekend!! 🙂 Ally

  3. Ally my love your personality and passion just shines through in these photos! Love love love…what a fab experience to have and your home looks divine!


    • Oh, Beverley!! I thought I saw you in the living room looking thru the pictures!! It’s nice to have you visit and share in this phenomenal experience…friends like you make it even more magical!! xoxo Ally

  4. Really great memories you’ll have for years! Love them all!

    • Tonya! I felt like Cinderella…at least I didn’t turn into a pumpkin at midnight! None of us hit the rack until almost 3 a.m.!! What a great magical time…thank YOU for sharing in this fairy tale xoox Ally

  5. Thoroughly enjoyed the photos, your beautiful home and the accompanying story describing your day! Congratulations, once again on winning such a beautiful dinner with Chef Anthony! It looks like a fairy tale day! Yes, Ally, dreams do come true! ♥

    • Sharon…I thought I heard you in the L.R. looking thru the picture book!! It was quite an event…beyond my expectations, for sure…I only wish the entire foodie universe could have been there, but, alas, not so…thank you for taking the time to come into my fairy tale! xox ally

  6. Absolutely Awesome story and pictures!!! 🙂

  7. Funnest. Seriously, Ally! I am so thrilled for you that you won and that you had such a fantastic time!! I loved looking through the Fairytale book of pix, too. Your passion and enthusiasm just shine right through!

    I also cook barefoot most of the time; it keeps me grounded. 🙂