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It is the middle of winter, and it feels like summer in Yountville, it seems we hit 80ºF over the weekend. Jeff packed our bags and we flew to Vegas yesterday. As I hone my sleight of hand, he surprised me with a week of magic shows in Sin City: Shin Lim, Mat Franco, and David Copperfield (we saw Penn & Teller in November). Also on the lineup is Mr. Las Vegas Wayne Newton. I have an off-beat connection with the guy—Wayne, not Jeff. Jeff and I are all good.
In this edition of Field Notes, our showgirls are out of rehearsal and live onstage, there is a titillating peek into the life of a New York burlesque artist, a smidge of rose to color your glasses, and finally, you can have your cake and cocktail too.
Hats off to Jeff. He was interviewed and featured in HotelsMag as the hotelier who simply avoided the Great Resignation; check it out here.
If you enjoy my monthly missive chocked-full of ramblings and recipes, please share with a friend (or two) so they can subscribe to my Field Notes, just scroll to the bottom of the webpage.
I’ve said that our Polish breed hens are more showgirls than working girls. Look at these ladies, with the poofed, regal crests and dimpled, dappled coloring they could perform any stage on The Strip. Not much was expected of them than just to strut their stuff.
After ten months of hen husbandry, our lady at the top of the pecking order, Irene, has started laying eggs. It seems that her schedule is every other day; we have had three eggs this past week.
I was there for the first egg, cleaning the run. Irene was making a big to-do with two failed attempts to fly up through the main door of the upper coop. I watched her switch gears and walk up the plank to the upper chamber with the nest boxes. It took her a bit of time to get comfortable, and she stayed in there for about an hour.
Once her business was done, she joined the other girls. I plucked a perfect white egg from the wooden box. I’m excited about the others joining the act soon. I’m sure it’ll be an eggstravaganza!
Corvette Le Face is a burlesque dancer and actor surviving and thriving in New York City. I met Corvette through her sister and my good friend, Gaby, my trusty wine tasting and study partner.
Corvette has performed the art of the tease internationally as well as at the highly renowned Burlesque Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. Corvette has been featured in The Cut, Refinery29, and Playboy.
She draws much inspiration from the great divas of the 1970s-1990s and is currently performing acts with tributes to Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Cher, and Sade.
As an actress, Corvette has worked on multiple film and TV projects, including the HBO series Boardwalk Empire and, most recently, the feature film HUSTLERS starring JLO. Yes, JLO.
Joey Wolosz: Corvette, Gaby tells me you are a baker; what do you enjoy cooking?
Corvette Le Face: Yes! Well, when I’m home visiting family, I usually make whatever my very bossy mother and older sister [Gaby] tell me to make. But generally, I do love making cakes. I think this comes from watching the movie Pollyanna as a little girl. There’s a scene at the fair with the most gorgeous cakes, and I believe as an adult, I’m still just trying to recreate those cakes from the movie.
JW: Other than burlesque and cakes, do you have any other creative outlets?
CLF: Yes! I’m an actor (which is what I went to school for), and I also love to write. I also have a very strong passion (bordering on obsession) with finding and collecting vintage clothes. I’ve been collecting vintage since I was 11 years old. The first piece of vintage I ever bought was a faux leopard coat from a store in Sacramento called Cheap Thrills. I still have the coat to this day and use it as a costume piece for a burlesque act I perform as Barbra Streisand from Funny Girl. You know the look, Hello Gorgeous!
JW: Friends and family excluded; who are two people you’d like to share a long and lingering meal with?
CLF: Wow, this is tough! There are so many. I’m assuming I also can’t pick my boyfriend! I think the Virgo in me is translating this question into “who could I learn the most from in one evening?” In this case, I would pick Cher and the late great Prince. They are both people I deeply admire and are beautiful examples of what it means to work hard and be completely and unapologetically oneself. I also wonder what secrets they would reveal after a few glasses of wine!
JW: What would you serve?
CLF: Hmmmm… I’m not a big cook, to be honest, though I’m learning. Let’s say in this scenario, I have a chef, and I would have them prepare a fabulous Italian feast. I mean, at the end of the day, is there anything better than pasta?
JW: Which animal would be your spirit animal?
CLF: I’d like to say it’s some gorgeous jungle cat, but honestly, I think it’s a raccoon. Maybe because I have small, dark eyes? I also appreciate how cute raccoons are, but they aren’t afraid to throw down and get dirty when necessary. They can be straight-up vicious.
JW: Was there a moment when you first made a connection with wine and food?
CLF: I’m very lucky to have grown up in a family where not only food but the act of dining together was really important. My mom is an amazing, very instinctual cook, and she made dinner pretty much every night. It wasn’t until I got older and stayed at friends’ houses that I realized not every family is like that. And I really don’t remember there ever NOT being wine on the table. But I do feel I made a connection with wine, specifically watching my older sister go through the process of studying wine and working in the wine industry. I think there is a misconception that wine is intimidating and somehow above us, that only certain people can understand it. But that’s not true. Wine is alive and ever-changing, and what I taste may be different from what you taste, and neither is wrong. If you understand where the wine comes from, then you understand the wine. I think this idea can actually be applied to most things in life.
JW: Any recommendations on “teasing” the most out of this month’s romantic holiday?
CLF: Well, this may seem cheesy, but I think the most romantic quality a person can have is kindness. So whether you have a partner or not, I would pepper the month with little acts of unexpected kindness towards the people you love, towards strangers, and towards yourself! Make dinner for your boo, help someone on the street, buy that fancy perfume you know you don’t need!
JW: And from the Proust Questionnaire, #35: What is your motto?
CLF: Be undeniable.
February 9th is my late mother, Maxine’s birthday, and the date for the Gentleman Farmer Wine Club Collective’s release of our 2021 Napa Valley Rosé. The color of this wine is a vibrant fuchsia that chases away any winter blues. Its bright acidity makes it refreshing on its own as well as a welcome guest to the table.
Wines are released for club members first. This Rosé will be available for others to purchase on our website in March. If you’re not a member, join today and stock up early on Rosé. Here is some information on club membership.
After my interview with Corvette, we’ve added The Burlesque Hall of Fame to our tour of duty in Las Vegas. We are looking forward to a week of magic, music, and maybe a peep show. Jeff and I are also looking forward to hosting you soon in the Napa Valley (hint: The Bungalow starts construction).
A Negroni cocktail is equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and a citrus dominant bitter liquor such as Campari or Aperol, garnished with orange peel.
My original inspiration came from New York Times Melissa Clark’s Campari Olive Oil Cake.
My boozier version uses equal parts gin, sweet vermouth, and Campari. It can be studded with the addition of chopped candied orange peel or use the candied peel as a garnish (remember, it’s a Negroni). The zest of grapefruit amps the Campari factor, lending the right amount of pleasant bitterness to balance the sweet vermouth and herbal quality of the gin.
It is a smallish cake and, when sliced, can be picked up with your fingers for snacking. Because of its adult flavor, it works well after a wine-soaked lunch.