As year 2014 has came to the end, I would like to reflect and recapture the
memories and events/parties that I had experienced throughout the entire year.
2014 was definitely a break-through year for my “MoVernie” brand. My brand got
more recognition by the PR companies, Event Planners, Owners/Chefs and other
big corporations. Throughout the entire year, sponsors were providing products
for me to test out and also giveaway prizes for MoVernie followers and
audiences. I am very grateful of all the opportunities and the helping hands of
individuals who decided to give me a lift.
Throughout this year, I had attended numerous big events and
great parties. It was to the point that I would be attending events almost
every night or attending 2 or 3 different events in one night. That was my
life. I was ALWAYS on the MOVE. It was to the point where I couldn’t even
remember some of the events that I attended in the early stage of 2014 because
I just attended so many of them. But nevertheless, that’s the beauty of
reflection as I slowly got my memories back, going through all the beautiful
photos to recapture the great people that I met throughout the year. I often
told my friends that the amount of events that I attended in a week is possibly
equivalent to a month of what they do in their lives. I ain’t joking either.
Sometimes I felt like I am in the galaxy where a year spending on Mars is
equivalent to spending 3 years on earth, that’s how I felt sometimes. But you
know what? I love to go with the
flow and building momentum. I love my life and enjoy every bits of it. It’s the happiness and living life to the fullest that motivates me to continue to do what I
Although there were tons of great memories and experiences
throughout 2014, if I have to narrow it down, below are “My MoVernie Top 10 Best
Memories in 2014”. Enjoy!
MoVernie Top #1 Memory in 2014:
NOMA (Ranked #1 by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants)
NOMA Restaurant was being voted as #1 by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Thus, each year, 50,000+ peeps want to book a table to get to try the culinary skills managed by the Head Chef, Rene Redzepi. This restaurant is located in Copenhagen, Denmark and I am sure if you have Netflix, you may have possibly watched “The Creative Minds of a Chef”, hosted by Chef David Chang, who flew to Denmark to visit Chef Rene Redzepi.
We were fortunate to have booked the table at NOMA, although we had to work around our vacation cruise schedule around the booking date, but it was worth it! We arrived early so that we could walk around outside of NOMA to snap some pictures. We took pictures of the boat where Chef Rene does his experiment food dishes. Then, from a far, we saw a guy wearing an apron watering the grass outside of NOMA. I asked my bro, “Is that Chef Rene watering his plants?”. My bro replied “Yeah, that’s him and he is chatting with a local who just happened to be riding his bike around the area”.
Then, our crew walked over and introduced ourselves to Chef Rene. He was so down-to-earth, calm and thank us for supporting his food culture and his passion for making delicious food dishes. We told him we are from Canada and he told us he had a few staff who were from Canada. We chatted for a good 10 minutes or so. To end the chat, we took a picture with Chef Rene, the best part about this picture was that Chef Rene isn’t in the kitchen serving us food, but outside being himself watering his grass and as you can see from this picture, the water hose that he was holding was pumping out water. It was a great start to a great evening.
As we sat in the dining area, there were only a handful of tables, so it’s quite exclusively VIP. There were 20+ food dishes being served to us over the course of the entire meal. We chose juice pairing because we felt that we can always get wine pairing but we don’t always get fresh juice that were made from fresh ingredients from Denmark. I love surprises and every dish tasted delicious but also looked good with amazing precision of food plating.
The BIGGEST moment came when the sous chef presented a dish called “Danish Ants with Beef Tartare”. It was a 5-second delay before I reacted and asked “Wait, can you repeat this dish again?”. Sous Chef replied “Yes, it’s Danish ants with beef tartare. Each day, we have a chef who will ride a bike into the forest, goes to the ant mount, capture the ants and then come back to freeze them at -17C”. So I jokingly asked “How do you know which type of ants are best for this dish?”. Sous Chef said “Well, we captured different types of ants and during our food experimental sessions with our staff, we tasted each type and since these type of ants give a citrus taste, it will be a great pairing for the beef tartare”.
Mind you, I was shocked but I told myself that “this is NOMA for a reason” and I should be open minded. After a few seconds of struggle, I decided to give the dish a try. To my surprise, the beef was tender and juicy and I didn’t really feel the ants until maybe a bad corner bite that I felt a little crunch. Otherwise, it was very critrus as the sous chef had mentioned. Surprisingly, it was my top 5 dishes out of the entire 20+ courses during the NOMA dining experience.
To end off the night at NOMA, after our meal, every patron were guided for a tour into the kitchen, met other hardworking chefs and staff who delivered the food to us. We got to see the bakery equipment and area as well as the staff lounge. It was in there we got to see the various food awards that NOMA had received for the recognition of their amazing food culinary and the evolution of Nordic cuisine around the world.
This was most definitely my MoVernie Top #1 Memory in 2014!
MoVernie Top #2 Memory in 2014:
Met & Chatted with Music Legend, Lenny Kravitz
A few hours after we landed in New York for our attendance to the New York Fashion Week, we decided to check out the SoHo area. We went to the St. Laurent shoe store. Inside was a spacious store with high ceiling and a long shelve of shoes and purses and other accessories.
As I was glancing the merchandize, I heard a familiar voice, a voice that I recognized from a movie. As I looked up, it was Lenny Kravitz, wearing his signature shades and black leather jacket and high top boots. Now, mind you, I often get lucky bumping into celebrities and athletes but most of the time, it’s during a media event or on the pubic street. I wasn’t quite sure the etiquette in a high-end store.
But as you know me by now, my motto is “Let’s try and have no regrets”. I told myself, “I got to take a chance because if I don’t talk to him, I know I will regret after walking out of this door”. So, I walked over, gave my usual genuine smile, reached out my hand and said “Hi Lenny, nice to see you here!”. The moment he saw me, he was in smile along with his publicist, he shook my hand. I introduced him to my brother. There stood 4 of us, we talked about fashion, Canada, TIFF, all kinds of things and it turned out to be a good 15 minutes chat.
I asked if I could take a picture with him and he said as much as he loved to, he can’t take pictures with me but he would be happy to sign autographs. At that moment, since this was so unplanned, I didn’t have anything on hand for him to sign. So, I asked him, “This maybe crazy but do you think you can sign one of my Adidas Shoe?” (as you know, my shoe wasn’t in the greatest condition, it had snow marks on them”. Without any hesitation, he said “Sure!”. So, I took the shoe out of my feet & he took the time to sign it. There weren’t much space for him to sign his “Kravitz” but he creativity worked around the “Adidas” word to get his last name across. As you could see the letter “z” sitting at a separate area.
Then my bro bought a pair of St. Laurent kicks and the shoebox was black. Lenny and my bro took the time to inspect how to best autograph the shoebox since the box was black and the permanent marker was black. Lenny said “let’s check the inside of the box”. Unfortunately, the inside of the box was black too! Guess what? Lenny didn’t give up there, he said “Let me try and autograph this anyways and see”. Boom, apparently, black on black was actually visible.
You see, Lenny could have snap a picture and that would take way lesser time but I am sure he had his reasons but more importantly out of this autograph experience was the chance to see how dedicate, perfectionist Lenny was. He didn’t give up on signing autographs for us. He looked for ways and took his time to sign autographs for us.
At the end of the entire time, I shook his hand and I told him to come visit Toronto, especially TIFF (talking about me promoting my city and country). I thanked him for autographing my shoe but I told him, the conversation with us, standing there for a good 15 minutes made my day and most likely the best celebrity conversation of my lifetime. Lenny was genuine, calm, kind and really down-to-earth.
Thank you Lenny!
MoVernie Top #3 Memory in 2014:
Got Invited & Attended My First New York Fashion Show
Back in this past February, I got invited by German Designer, Joyce Darkoh to attend her Darkoh Runway Show in New York for the New York Fashion Week. As we all know, New York Fashion Week is one of the top fashion show in the world and it’s by invitation only. Darkoh is a young menswear brand that combines bespoke tailoring and the use of colour and fabric that fits the mens’ image. Personally, her fashion style and products are the type of clothes that I love to wear! I love the amazing use of colours, patterns and fabric.
Out of her busy time, Joyce gave me an exclusive MoVernie on the MOVE interview. On top of that, we were sitting in the front row at her show. In the show, I met solid and talented New York people at the show and we became friends ever since. Joyce’s Darkoh collection continues to grow and expand and continue to take notice. For example, the amazing band “Magic!”, all of its members were wearing Darkoh’s golden suits at the Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin Eve on New Years Eve outside at the New York Times Square. This brand will continue to grow bigger and stronger and I truly believe in Joyce’s amazing talent. I thank Joyce for the opportunity and ever since, I got invited by other fashion related events as well as many Toronto Fashion Runway Shows throughout the year! Thank you Joyce!
Furthermore, in the same fashion week, I got invited to attend a few other runway shows. The Fashion Show located at the Lincoln Centre was definitely a great location. I got to see all these stylish people entering and leaving the venue and in between, tons of photographers standing outside to snap pictures of these beautiful people. Inside, the scanner bar codes, designated areas made things easy for the attendees. We just need to show our bar coded tickets to the usher, then our tickets also had a designated seating arrangements. The usher then guided us to our seats. The main runway was huge and prestige so I was shocked that we were sitting row 2 at the main runway stage. That was great honor and it was truly an amazing experience to see fashion shows in New York. It opened up my eyes!
MoVernie Top #4 Memory in 2014:
My First Michelin Rated Restaurant Dining Experiences in New York at Both
Atera and Le Bernardin Restaurants
During the same New York Fashion Week trip to New York, we decided to hit up some Michelin Rated Restaurants. It was extremely difficult to book tables for the 18-seat Atera Restaurant and Le Bernardin, but we worked our magic to get ourselves in there. Atera is a 18-seat restaurant where there was an “U-Shaped” counter table with high stools where we got to see the entire chef crew working on preparing the food dishes to us. There were 20+ food dishes and let me tell you, they were all delicious and the food plating were amazing. It surely opened my eyes on what a high-end Michelin Rated dining experience was all about. It involves excellent culinary skills, food plating, use of ingredients, food style, service, decor, vibe, ambiance and consistency. Consistency is when the same person comes into the restaurant more than a few times, and the restaurant would be able to duplicate and maintain the same high level of service, food quality and excellent dining experience everytime.
Le Bernardin is a well-known french cuisine in New York. Amazing high-end decor, consistent high quality of fresh ingredients and the culinary skills. The combination of various seafood items being used in the same dish opened my eyes. For example, using fresh sea urchins and combined with roasted bone marrow was quite an unique combination yet the taste blends well together and gave out an amazing good flavour.
This first Michelin Rated Dining Experiences at two well-known restaurants justified my spending of $200+/person for a good meal. It opened my eyes and really allowed me to experience what a great restaurant experience should be like. This experience was the pre-cursor for my visit to NOMA and Geranium (two World’s 50 Best Restaurants) in Copenhagen, Denmark later in the year.
MoVernie Top #5 Memory in
My own LIVE in Studio MoVernie on the MOVE Show with TorontoPATH.com
As my MoVernie on the MOVE show continues to get bigger and expanding, one of my dream bucket lists was to have my own studio, own live show and own production crew so I can interview celebrities and other talent on my show. Early this spring, my dream came true when TorontoPATH.com (one of the largest underground retail communities in the world”, recognized my talent and my big social media following, reached out to me and offered to partner with me to make this dream came true!
Throughout the year, it was a good learning curve for me as I learned how to book talent and confirm their appearance every week on my show. I learned how to draft and prepare content and submit to my production team before each show. To be honest, in the past, I was just on the MOVE and just cover events. Never before I had to prepare and draft content or book talent. It was a great experience as I learned to be more prepared and professional with my show. Also, I learned to communicate and coordinate with my production before-during-after the show. I would like to thank TorontoPATH.com executives and production crew for believing in me and given me the opportunity to shine in front of the camera and covered great hot events in Toronto and around the world!
If you want to recapture my 2014 MoVernie on the MOVE episodes, you can click here
to watch them.
MoVernie Top #6 Memory in 2014:
Watching a Live Ballet “Swan Lake” Show in St. Petersburg, Russia
During this past June, we went on an Eastern Europe cruise trip. One of the countries that we visited was St. Petersburg, Russia. I got to admit, before my visit to St. Petersburg, I wasn’t sure what to expect especially this was once a communist country. But after my visit, this turned out to be my favourite city that we visited during this entire Eastern Europe trip. Although, I am not a super artistic person or super crazy about ballet, but watching a live ballet show in Russia was on my top wish list. As we know, Russia is home of developing top notch ballet dancers. During that evening, we went into a very old building and watched ‘Swan Lake”. The old building provided a historical vibe and built a nice atmosphere to watch a ballet show. I bought a show program and the show was amazing. The dancers, who were tall and lean were flawless, artistic and the body movements were so fluid. It sure was a memorable evening.
MoVernie Top #7 Memory in 2014:
Lincoln Canada Provided Me the MKZ Hybrid During My Trip in Vancouver,
This past September, I flew to Vancouver for a mini trip and attended my best friends’ wedding. Lincoln Canada had kindly provided me with a luxurious & modern ride in the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. It was a $45,000 luxury car that was good on fuel consumption, comfy and roomy inside, but most importantly, a big panoramic sunroof that slide all the way to the back of the car. We drove it around the city of Vancouver, including places such as the boating docks, Granville Island, Stanley Park and other cool places. Thank you Lincoln Canada for recognizing my MoVernie brand and that you see it worthwhile to arrange such a beautiful car for me to drive in Vancouver. Thank you!
MoVernie Top #8 Memory in 2014:
Boat Ride in the Pacific Ocean (Vancouver) with Fresh Oysters &
Salmon Sashimi on the Boat
After partying and covering Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) non-stop during the first 2/3 of the the entire film festival, I flew to Vancouver for a mini-trip that included my attendance to my good friends’ wedding. As industry peeps know, although TIFF last 2 weeks but the scene started to die down after 2/3 of it, so it was great I flew to Vancouver and continue on with my partying.
One of my lifetime bucket list was to cruise out in the ocean on a boat and just party it up. My two newly met good friends of 2014, Jason and Adam, were being a good sport. They gave me a surprise by taking me out on a boat cruise. Vancouver is a beautiful city with all the breathtaking mountains and landscape. But being able to see these beautiful sceneries on a boat was an amazing experience! We visited crab traps in the deep water, visited cabin where peeps spend time making campfire, chilling and having great time in the forest. There was a nice little falls along the rocks. Best yet, the boys bought a big case of Pabst Blue Ribbon ice cold beer, shucked fresh oysters and sockeye salmon with fresh horse radish on the boat! That was good life! Imagine shucking and eating fresh oysters on the spot and throwing the organic shells back into the ocean and watching the shells slowly spiral into the deep sea. It was a priceless experience! Thanks guys!
MoVernie Top #9 Memory in 2014:
Sitting 1st Row at The Queen
& Adam Lambert Concert at the Air Canada Centre
I have been to numerous concerts throughout my life but never watched a live concert in the first row. And we are talking about the legendary Queen Rock Band here! What’s more interesting was that the concert was performed on the same day as the World Cup Finals. I picked Germany to win it all. So, as I was celebrating my winning from my company’s World Cup pool as well as celebrating Germany’s victory, I got a text from a buddy and told me if I still wanted to go to the Queen and Adam Lambert concert. I replied back and said “F*ck ya, of course!”. He said “Ok, before I get passed out partying in Germany, I will arrange that for you”.
My buddy also invited his good friend, Olivier who is also a good friend of mine to join me to watch this concert. As I was cruising down on the hwy 401, Olivier texted me and said “I just picked up the tickets, the Will Call lady said the seats are great seats, you must know someone special to snatch these seats”.
Now, to be honest, I am grateful with any free seats even they were nosebleed since I am just a genuine and appreciative person. I appreciate what my buddy has done for me, so to me, it doesn’t matter where I was sitting, but great seats would be icing on the cake.
Honestly, when Olivier told me that the tickets were good seats, I would assume the good seats would be somewhere on the floor section. And to me that’s awesome already! But wait, get this, the usher guided us and as we kept walking through the crowd. We kept walking and we had finally arrived! It was first row in front of the stage! No obstruction view, Adam Lambert and Queen crew performed lots of songs right in front of us. It was an amazing concert. Adam Lambert and Queen rocked the Air Canada Centre! What’s more amazing was when Queen sang one of their signature songs “We Are the Champions” and we all stood up and sang. At that moment, I felt like this song was dedicated to the German team who have just won the World Cup!
Special thank you to Tim, you know who you are. You are an amazing person! One cool dude!
MoVernie Top #10 Memory in 2014:
Chillin & Met Hollywood Stars during TIFF, including: Robert
Pattinson, Andrew Garfield, Lil Jon, Michael Shannon, James Franco, Wayne Gretzky & Akon
Throughout numerous TIFF events and parties that I attended, most of the big events mainly consisted of Canadian stars and celebrities. There was nothing wrong with that, especially Canadian talent wants to gain exposure and network with Hollywood producers and directors and show their support at TIFF. However, one of my wish lists is to attend events and parties where I can meet and have a conversation with some of the Hollywood Stars. This past TIFF, my opportunity came! I got to share the same rooms with these top notch celebrities under the same roof. We chatted, they were all friendly, lay back and calm. During the 99 Homes After-Party, I chatted with Lil Jon, Andrew Garfield, Robert Pattinson and Michael Shannon. It was quite a scene, full of packed beautiful people at the America Restaurant at the Trump Hotel and casually chatted with them. It was a cool experience. At a separate event, I got to see James Franco, who came to TIFF to promote his film called “The Sound and the Fury”. Only 6 of us were invited to the 2nd floor VIP area to meet James. What’s more surprising was that Janet Jones was also in the film. To show his support to his wife’s first ever role in a film, Hockey Legend Wayne Gretzky was in attendance. I didn’t know #99 was in da building, so as I was snapping pictures of James Franco at the backdrop, I overheard a lady said “And here comes….Wayne Gretzky”. I was speechless! I was shocked and excited because that’s an unexpected close up and personal with the hockey hall of famer! Last but not least, at another after-party event, we saw Music Icon, Akon. Akon was at TIFF to promote the film called “American Heist”. He and Kardinal Offishall were great friends so Kardy was in attendance to show his support. All-in-all, it was another great year at TIFF for me! I couldn’t have asked for anything better!
Here! There you have it, my MoVernie Top Memories of 2014! I hope you enjoyed reading my amazing experiences in 2014! What’s your favourite memories? Tell me, share with me, I want to know!
I hope 2015 will be an even bigger year for my MoVernie brand! I will continue to grow, expand and learn and gained more amazing experience throughout the year! I will continue to self-discover more about myself and share my adventure with you guys.
Follow me @MoVernie on Twitter
or @RealMoVernie on Instagram
to follow my adventurous journey! See you! And MoVernie is outta here!