Stories for: Interviews

Fashion, Food, Interviews, New YorkHave You Met Donatella?

Donatella Arpaia, that is. You may have visited one of her many numerous restaurants, seen her sitting next to Jeffrey Steingarten as one of the judges on Iron Chef America or recognize her as the winner of Meatball Madness, beating out chefs like Andrew Carmellini. She returns to the New York Food and Wine Festival September 29th to defend her title. We caught up with her before her meatball battle and next big project: the birth of her baby! Read on to see what pregnant chefs crave and her favorite munchies in New York City.

The Daily Obsession: Legend has it that you used to be a corporate lawyer before going into food. How did you decide to make the switch and why? Were you wrestled with indecision?

Donatella Arpaia: I grew up in the restaurant business and my father and brother are both restaurateurs so it’s in my DNA, but from early on I was encouraged to be a lawyer. I enjoyed the study of law but hated the practice of it. At the time I was living in a small studio above my brotherls restaurant, Cellini on 54th st. I was grabbing a bite at the bar when I saw my brother needed help because his hostess didn’t show up I got up and pitched in. That was it! I knew at that moment I needed to change directions. I struggled a bit because I studied so hard and a lot was invested in my education, but really, I had no doubt about the change of course I was about to embark on. I never looked back!

TDO: For many people, pursuing a career in food is a dream—what advice would you give to them for success?

DA: Food is a wonderful and exciting ride but many people have only a very limited idea of what the reality of this industry is like. It’s hard ! I recommend they work in area of food they are interested in to get a really good taste of the reality of this industry. You must be extremely committed and passionate to succeed. READ MORE

Food, Interviews, TravelServe Yourself- by Joe Yonan

Recently we had a chance to chat with Washington Post food & travel editor Joe Yonan who recently published the book Serve Yourself – a guide to cooking for one.  As a single New York gal, I’ve often struggled with figuring out exactly what and how to make my own dinner.  Yes, it sounds silly- but I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve actually developed a strategy for ordering off Seamlessweb.  So I was eager to read Joe’s new book and jumped at the chance to find out a little bit more about the man himself- and his life in food and travel. READ MORE

Hotels, International, Interviews, Travel5 Questions With: Tamara Heber-Percy

Tamara Heber-Percy is the co-founder of one of our favorite travel brands, Mr & Mrs Smith, which just launched their US site earlier this month (also check out their fabulous blog!)  We love learning about unique and luxurious hotels, so we jumped at the chance to pick the brains of one of the most travel savvy experts out there- and find out her current obsessions!



Accessories, Celebrities, InterviewsTDO Interview: Zhang Ziyi

This week, I got the opportunity to meet actress Zhang Ziyi (Memoirs of a Geisha; House of Flying Daggers; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), who was in town at Chong Hing Jewelers to debut Omega’s new Constellation Collection of ultra-luxury watches. One of Omega’s latest celebrity ambassadors, Ziyi joins the company of George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford and the infamous James Bond. Her uncommon beauty, grace, femininity and international appeal has also helped her rise to the highest ranking woman on Forbes’ list of China’s most powerful celebrities — all by age 31.

But perhaps what is most fascinating about Ziyi — and I don’t think I’m alone on this — is not just her luxury appeal but her paradoxical nature; she brings such a strong, arguably intimidating presence and zealous dedication to every role — whether it involves dodging and splitting her way through a sword fight or dancing aggressively in foot-high, dangerous platform shoes. Yet in reality, she is this tiny, seemingly fragile girly girl.

I only had about five minutes to chat with Ziyi, so rather than try to ask her the myriad questions I had initially written down, I stuck to the subject we at TDO love best: style. (After all, I believe it can reveal a lot about someone!) READ MORE

Beauty, Fashion, InterviewsTDO Interview: Jenn Falik

If you follow TDO or any one of our Twitters, you’ll know that we are huge fans of beauty and style guru Jenn Falik.  There’s often a ton of chatter amongst TDO editors about Jenn, and what we love about her (everything!) We were super excited when she launched her own show on MSN, Beauty BFF, since as far as we were concerned-the more Jenn the better!  A few weeks ago we had the chance to chat with Jenn to learn more about her show and to get some fashion & beauty BFF advice for ourselves (and get a peek into her fabulous closet)!

TDO: How do you come up with segment ideas for Beauty BFF? Can viewers submit questions?

JF: Segment ideas are inspired by the things that I personally am curious about- I look at every segment I do no matter what it is for as an excuse to do research and master something new. For example- we have a segment on hair extensions because I am dying to get them and want to know what my options are. I also can’t blow my own hair out for the life of me, so I went to Oscar Blandi to learn his technique. I also wanted to do segments that give a peek inside the industry- especially sharing stories behind products I love. Maybe I’m a beauty nerd, but I always find the stories behind brands and what goes in to product development and even packaging decisions to be completely fascinating! Additionally, viewers are invited to submit questions to and hopefully I can answer them in a future episode. READ MORE

Beauty, Celebrities, Interviews, MakeupTDO Interview: Bruce Grayson

After a fun-filled week of Oscar events like the 7th Annual Global Green Pre-Oscar Party (attended by Jessica Alba, James Cameron, Benji and Joel Madden, Nicole Scherzinger, Serena Williams, and more celebs), I finally get to pick the brain of makeup artist to the stars Bruce Grayson, whose work we’ll be seeing all over our TV screens tomorrow at the Academy Awards.

As head makeup artist for the Oscars, Bruce is responsible for touching up every A-list mug in town before he or she goes onstage to present or backstage to accept an award. He has worked on Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Brooke Shields, Rosario Dawson, Kate Walsh, Denzel Washington, Sarah Silverman, Hayden Panettiere, Sarah Rue, the Clintons … the list goes on! (Fun fact: Bruce’s father, David Grayson, perfected the faces of Hollywood legends like Lauren Bacall and John Wayne.) Here, Bruce shares his red carpet predictions and his favorite get-glam-quick tips for special events:

The Daily Obsession: So, Bruce, what are the big trends we’ll be seeing on the red carpet this year?

Bruce Grayson: It’s always about picking the best feature, eyes or lips, and creating a glowing complexion, which makes up most of the face. Getting your skin in shape does the work for you. We’re going to see a more transparent smoky, sultry eye, not too much darkness around the eye, and more shades like slate gray, beige and brown … with a soft, pinky-coral lip, which makes lips look bigger. For red lips, we may see bright, matte, unique colors like the coral shade that January Jones wore to the Emmys.


Accessories, Interviews, JewelryTDO Interview: Kevia Jeffrey-West

Kevia Jeffrey-West is the designer of the beautiful Kevia Jewelry, sold in exclusive boutiques nation wide.  Her amazing line of jewelry has been featured in InStyle, Lucky, and Real Simple granting her some deservedly hot publicity. Using 22K gold vermeil and semi-precious stones, Jeffrey-West handcrafts an exquisite collection full of rich color and texture. Kevia Jewelry also maintains an eco-friendly design process, which is just one more reason to fall in love with the line. TDO caught up with this talented designer to talk about the design process, breaking into the biz, and advice for wearing these extraordinary pieces. READ MORE

Beauty, Interviews, SkincareTDO Interview: Sara Happ

sara happ

If there’s anyone who incites inspiration to pursue a great business idea, it’s founder and creator of lip heaven, Sara Happ. A former broadcast journalism major, Sara was happily bound for a career in the male-dominated world of sports media. But at home, she clung to her girly side by whipping up batches of lip exfoliant to cure a case of persistently chapped lips. The next thing she knew, the former Bonne Bell addict had a great breakthrough, The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ, and a blueprint for what is now a small yet lucrative Redondo Beach-based beauty business.

I recently got the chance to sit down with Sara and find out how she got the nerve to create her latest offering, The Lip Slip by Sara Happ, aka “the greatest lip balm of all time.” Behold the secrets of her success: READ MORE

Books, Fitness & Health, InterviewsTDO Interview: David Kirsch

To amp up for summer, I’m now going to the gym about 6 times a week.  But as I started paying more attention to working out, I realized that I didn’t know the answer to some very common exercise questions.  So I turned to David Kirsch, celebrity trainer to the uber hot and uber famous to settle once and for all those nagging concerns.

Kirsch has shaped some of Hollywood’s hottest bodies including Anne Hathaway (did you see how amazing she looked in her post-breakup pictures), Liv Tyler and Ellen Barkin.  He is also famous for getting Hedi Klum from baby weight to runway ready in three weeks for the Victoria Secret fashion show back in 2005, just eight weeks after birthing her child.  (The show was recorded November 9 and Kirsch arrived in LA to train Klum on October 13.)

Kirsch has also developed a series of workout related products.  His newest book, David Kirsch’s Butt Book, is out July 13, but we’re giving you a sneak preview of how to do one of his signature butt exercises. Read below for the tips this master trainer shares with TDO readers to make your own workout more efficient: READ MORE

Fitness & Health, InterviewsTDO Interview: Zoe Sakoutis & Erica Huss

Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss are the beautiful, energetic ladies behind Blueprint Cleanse,  the juicing sensation that took off in New York a few years ago and is now popular around the country.  I did the cleanse a couple of times, first last November and again this April when I realized that I was still craving their green juice!  (It is much tastier than the stuff I try to make myself.) A three day, delicious menu of fresh bottled juices was everything I needed to shake off the lethargy that had developed and this time I even dared to work out while juicing on the Blueprint Mind Body Cleanse program, offered in conjunction with Exhale Spa.  I was skeptical of exercising while juicing, but as it turns out, Exhale’s yoga and barre method classes were a perfect complement as they focused on toning and muscle definition (rather than cardio).   Three days and 18 juices later, I was sore but energetic and happy.

“Detox” and “cleansing” can be confusing buzz words you may hear in beauty and health media and I took a moment to speak with the ladies to get the DL on their personal experiences, the Blueprint philosophy, and a sneak peek at what the dynamic duo is up to next. READ MORE

The Daily Obsession draws from the expertise of a coast-to-coast editorial team offering dedicated readers reports of the most luxurious products and trends. We provide sophisticated and relevant angles on the latest fashion trends, must-have beauty products, insider interviews, travel destinations and of course, our current obsessions.


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