Growing Up is Tough Stuff

Uncouth Gourmands, LA weekly, dating sensei

In honor of Carina’s birthday I opted to prepare a romantic dinner at home. I got up early on Monday morning, picked up some flowers for my home, and laid out about 20 cookbooks across my always clean home. I set out to create a five course meal for my birthday sweet and told her to invite a few people. She did no such thing and decided to be “discreet” and announce the invite on Twitter. It’s ok though, it’s not like we have 900 “followers” or anything. What followed was a confirmation from a very elite guest, a food writer from the LA Weekly, Derek Thomas. What, a colleague of Jon Gold was coming to my house to eat a meal I prepared? I was nervous beyond words. I told everyone one thing before eating, “expect the worst and you’ll never be disappointed.” These turn of events led to one of the funniest nights in recent UG history. It was a labor intensive 5 course meal, aside from Carina impregnating some tomatoes, I did it all by myself. Here’s the menu and  pictures course by course.


corn bisque

romaine wrap


blanched peeled asparagus

tofu plating uncouth gourmands

tofu asparagus

fruit oolong tea

uncouth gourmands dinner party

I’m not surprised Carina liked the dessert course best, I did try to replicate one of the first desserts we had together at King Louie XV in Monaco or as we’d like to say, our first summer together. I must say, I was pleased by Derek’s enthusiasm over the food. It was probably not the best meal he’s ever eaten, but I’m positive he had a fabulous time. Dating Sensei, Margaret, rocked our little worlds. Attendees included: Margaret, Brian Breth, Derek Thomas, Zena warrior princess, Carina, and I. It was a night of uncouth talk, too much bubbly, and an endless supply of laughter. Here are some discussion highlights.

After 5 courses we all had the urge to walk it off. Fortunately, where I live in my parent’s back house there are 15 acres and 300 horses to walk around. I never imagined the day when I would see Carina in a tractor.

Josie racetrack

carina tractor

girls at starting gate

What we set out to provide and what we ended up with were at opposing ends. It’s so interesting that a night that was supposed to be classy ended up, in this case, with us running around like horses. At the end of the night, I felt proud and tired at the same time.

UG CMI direct

The following day our UG investor, Chuck, cleaned out the back most conference room at his office for UG brainstorming. He’s so sweet. In order to sound grown-up, we like calling this brainstorm “work,” but it hardly is. We still have yet to make a dime, our bank balances are quickly dropping, and there’s no end in sight. But in all honesty, there’s no other place than here, right now, with anyone else we’d rather be.

The day ended with us interviewing our first employee, Young Jin. Young Jin is actually an intern, but he’s a breathing body and we’ll call him whatever we want. 🙂 Here’s us interviewing him.

On Thursday night, we headed to the Brass Monkey for karaoke. Even though I’m not good at it, it’s kind of become my new favorite thing. Here’s the conversation between our friend Bijan and Carina while I was singing:

Bijan: Clap when it’s her part.

Carina: Why? Is she bad?

Bijan: Just be a good friend.

I think you get the picture. The highlight of the evening was going to be that I would, alas, get to again see Mr. Fig. I know, I said I’d throw out his number, but I was feeling rather lucky and I wanted to give it one more shot. I’m a pretty passionate individual and when I see something I want, I tend to go after it. So Carina advised me to be direct and tell him how I felt. Did I get anywhere? No. Rejection, I suppose, is also a part of growing up. Here’s my Facebook status update the following morning:

Carina to Josie: You declared your love and he declared his like.

Here’s Carina and I while hopes were still high:

To Carina: There’s no one I’d rather be burning the midnight oil with. You complete me as a person and as a colleague. Happy Birthday, my dear.

Chuck: Many thanks to you. Your untrammeled optimism and faith is always un-fleeting. You are our biggest cheerleader.

Claire Best: Our agent and our Hollywood confidant. Thank you for all your persistence.

To Mama and Papa Mora/Mama Ost: Most of all we thank you, Uncouth Gourmand breeders. Your confidence and “support” in us means the world. We swear, this business school education will pay off one day. Want to buy a piece of Uncouth Gourmands? Everyone else wants equity, but you guys. Please be patient, we may not be ready to cut the financial umbilical cord. We love you.


  1. i’m very glad that i passed the first test of becoming the first uncouth intern 🙂

    by the way, who told you that i was from north korea :-p ?

  2. Young Jin: You told us when we first met you at Shabbat Dinner that you were from North Korea, you were kind of out of it that night so I am not surprised you don’t remember.

    Public: Young Jin is going to be our first guest blogger so stay tuned….

    Josie: You are the U to my G. But, did you really have to tell everyone that you like burning the midnight oil with me? It’s bad enough that there is a video that says we like to bump pupusas together, so much for dispelling lesbian rumors. Anyway, I am quite certain that I will never have a man cook me such a thoughtful and amazing birthday dinner. Much Love, Carina

  3. We are so glad to have stumbled on your site and will be back to follow the rest of your “coming of age” journey! Would love to hear more of what you gals are learning!
    Kristin and Chris Ann

  4. Wow, be sure to DM me the next time you want to cook like that! Looks AWESOME!


  5. […] has the ability to occasionally blow my mind. After making a 5 course birthday dinner for me and a group of people that I invited, which included an LA Weekly food writer, she still […]

  6. […] Bar portion of the night because we didn’t want to crawl. We were so busy talking to our Dating Sensei that we got lost and instead of finding Josie’s car that we found mine instead. Then we […]

  7. […] who provides Josie and my favorite moment on my bday video when she smiles at the camera, is so sweet and was attempting to keep the ping-pong table a secret […]

  8. […] gluttony. Josie was responsible for both parts of my birthday last year, including a 5-course dinner she made. I wanted to return the favor but in a less labor intensive way. I got us  a hotel in San […]

  9. […] Nicola and her friend Jenny, Shemuell, and Derek Thomas (who I have only ever met at my infamous birthday dinner) and his girlfriend Catherine. We ordered the beef roll, small steamed buns, pork dumplings, and a […]

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