Photograph by Steve Shaw
Brooke Peterson was born in Miami, grew up in Utah, and attended college in Dallas before she moved to Beverly Hills, where she now stars on Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, a docu-soap on The Food Network about feeding the rich and famous.
The Village Idiot
Most L.A. girls are wine girls, I am not. I like wine, but I’m a beer girl. And my favorite place in the whole world to have a beer is The Village Idiot. The owner there is amazing. When I first started working and I was pretty broke he knew what I was trying to do, and he would let me watch them cook. I learned so much. They make an apple cider beer that is all things good in the world. You order it with whatever salty thing they have on the menu that day and it is the greatest combination.
The Buffalo Club
A great place for special occasions. It has this kind of Old Hollywood 1920s vibe that I love. I had my 30th birthday party there and turned it into a speakeasy. We put Casablanca up on all the walls.
Surfas Restaurant Supply and Gourmet Food
This is the place I spend the most amount of time. It is my mecca. When I do parties that have themes, I go to Surfas. I will have nothing—not a clue—when I walk in, and I’ll wander the isles of Surfas for hours. Surfas is for me like a palette is to a painter.
The Flower Market
My second mecca. One of the things I’ve been doing for a lot of parties is trees that we’ll hang crystals or lights or lanterns from. At the flower market you can buy the branches and they’ll give you hanging wire, and some of the vendors will scoop up all their petals and give me a bag of petals for free to put on the tables. The flower market is so beautiful. The juxtaposition of the really bright flowers against the really hard industrial backdrop of downtown is mesmerizing. My mom used to say, “No matter how broke you are, put fresh flowers in your house because it makes you feel rich.”
The Soho House
A great place for a night out with girlfriends. There’s an amazing view of Sunset. I love that you have this very modern city and the aesthetic of Soho House is so old and English. The cocktails are amazing. They make this one with tequila and nutmeg over crushed ice. It brings back childhood memories—the crushed ice, not the tequila!
My secret L.A. place. It’s like Harry Potter’s portal. It’s a rare bookshop started by Jay Penske at the top of Beverly Glen. You go in there and you feel like you’re seven years old again and you’re like, well, magic could be real. It is the neatest, most magical place.
For parties I need all kinds of kitschy stuff but I’m only gonna use it one time. I’ll go down to Chinatown early in the morning and spend two hours wandering, and every single time I’ll find rolls of fabric, cool containers to put food in, amazing party favors. It is the greatest steal in Los Angeles.
The Edge Dance Studio
I grew up dancing. When you get older you don’t want to dance at the studios with all the 17 year-olds. The Edge is great because it has everything from intro classes to really specialized ballet classes. The music is unbelievable and it booms throughout the whole studio. When I first took intro to ballet to get my technique back a couple years ago there was a 70-year-old and a 10-year-old in my class. It’s inspiring to see such a range.
The Rose Bowl Flea Market
It’s my favorite place to go on a social outing. Get a whole bunch of girls together. Take your breakfast there. You can find some of the most amazing deals. The jacket that I have worn to every single black tie event in Los Angeles, I got at The Rose Bowl for $12. One of my little side hobbies is redoing furniture. If you can look past dings or bad colors and you have the time, you can get the most beautiful things. I found this amazing scarf dealer and got 20 scarves and made gorgeous pillows for my house.
Wolfgang’s food at that particular restaurant is so classic and so innovative at the same time. He is the epitome of “success is not an accident.” That man is in that restaurant all the time, coming out to say hello to guests, or back in there cooking. He is one of the top three chefs in the world and he is still back there in his chef whites and you can taste it.
The Getty Center
The Getty has the most amazing furniture collection and my mom loved old English furniture. On one of our last outings I took her around in a wheelchair. It was a really special moment. I remember thinking what a gift it was to do that together and also what an amazing gift that we have this in the city of Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, you can go up there for an afternoon and see some of the most beautiful things in the world.
Images courtesy (in order): (1) villageidiot.com, (2) thebuffaloclub.com, (3) surfaslosangeles.com, (4) flowerdistrct.com, (5) sohohousewh.com, (6) dragonbooks.com, (7) yesterdayla.com, (8) edgepac.com, (9) Flickr/joepyrek, (10) wolfgangpuck.com, (11) Flickr/ricardodiaz11