Lisa Vanderpump and Ken Todd - LA Royalty
Lisa, Ken and Giggy
She is one of the reasons Bravo's The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is so popular. Miliions of guests also tuned in when she was a contestant on Dancing With the Stars.
She personally designs the interiors of many of their restaurants, including Villa Blanca, SUR and PUMP in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.
I first saw her one day breeze into Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills with her husband Ken. She kissed her daughter Pandora on the cheek and found her friends waiting at a nearby table.
When I visited PUMP in West Hollywood recently, Vanderpump walked onto the dining patio and the restaurant grew quieter. It was like the most popular girl in high school was walking into a classroom. All eyes were on her. She noticed her husband Ken talking to me and came over to my table. I introduced myself and stood next to her for a photo. She then sauntered over to a nearby table where her family and friends were dining.
I learned that Vanderpump and her husband, Ken Todd financially support the organization Keep Memory Alive. It's an organization that develops treatments and preventions of neurological disorders that include Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease.
Ken Todd with Writer at PUMP
I met Ken Todd over two years ago when I lunched with two friends at Villa Blanca in Beverly Hills. Todd came over to our table and asked us if we would like dessert? When we told Todd we were very satisfied with our lunch, he insisted we try the sticky toffee pudding.
Todd sat down next to me, grabbed a spoon, and fed me a bite of the pudding cake with vanilla ice cream. “Of course it’s good, it’s Grandma Edith’s recipe from England,” Todd said.
Todd bought his first bar and met his wife Lisa in 1982. The bar, Corks in Kensington, London gave this dynamic duo their start as restaurateurs. Before building a restaurant empire, Todd was very successful in the textiles industry.
This duo now own 27 restaurants and bars. Their daughter Pandora is involved in the restaurants, after graduating from Pepperdine University in Malibu. She currently has a LVP Sangria line that guests can order at PUMP.
PUMP LOUNGE AND RESTAURANT
10 Fun Facts About PUMP
1. The olive trees on the outdoor patio are over 100 years old.
2. Lady Gaga presented Lisa Vanderpump with an exquisite "bling" vase that rests outside near the back bar area.
3. Chef Penny never received any formal cooking school training. She has a passion to feed people.
4. Fish and Chips is Chef Penny's favorite dish on the menu.
5. The private cabana outside in the back of the lounge/restaurant has hand painted sayings on the walls that were painted by Lisa Vanderpump. One says, "Life isn't all diamonds and rose, but it should be...
6. The exquisite and romantic patio was once a parking lot for Java Detour.
7. The weekend of July 13, 2014 is when PUMP will debut their Sunday Brunch.
8. Look under the bar tops to see decorative pieces from Parisian bridges in France.
9. The women's bathroom is decorated in silver.
10. Most of the wines on the cocktail menu are $12 a glass.
The vase from Lady Gaga
Do you watch The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills?
The Talented Chef Penny
Chef Penny at PUMP
Chef Penny Davidi was known as the Food Network's Middle Eastern Mama in the popular television show, Chopped. She was such a fan favorite that she came back on "Chopped All-Stars."
The night I dined at PUMP, Penny came to my table and took the time to talk with me for a few minutes. I learned that her Farsi name is Pouneh, which means "edible flower. She is a playful, likable and feisty chef.
Before becoming a chef, she was a physician in Los Angeles. When she was going through a divorce, she began playing in the kitchen with her two teenage girls. She believed she could heal people with food.
She went of the Food Network's Chopped, then Chopped All-Stars and met Lisa Vanderpump. Now she is the Executive Chef at PUMP and is a certified US Foods Culinary Specialist.
She told me her menu at PUMP offers healthy and sexy dishes. All of the desserts are made in her kitchen with her recipes. Besides working at PUMP, Penny also owns a bakery, ToC near the Beverly Center and Cedars Sinai.
This talented lady wears many hats. She remarried a wonderful man who looks a little bit like Anderson Cooper. He is very supportive of her culinary career and visits Chef Penny in the evening at PUMP.
Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Napoleon
Menu Items at Pump
Papaya filled with Shrimp and Crab served
Lisa's Chopped Salad
The Pinky Pump Burger
Heirloom Tomatoes and Creamy Burrata
Pistachio Crusted Salmon on Brussels Sprouts
Guinness battered Vanderpump Fish And Chips
Roasted Beets & Goat Cheese Napoleon
Kales on A Date
Grilled Skirt Steak With Lisa's Home-Made Potato Salad