December 2019 Newsletter: Alumnae Spotlight

Any avid readers of the San Diego Union Tribune would have been especially proud to have read articles about the accomplishments of two of our very own OLP alumnae in recent editions!

In a November 7 article, it was announced that the Executive Chef for Brian Malarkey’s newest restaurant, Herb & Sea in Encinitas, is OLP alumnae Sara Valine Harris ’08.  Malarkey, a local celebrity chef and eatery entrepreneur, and his business partner, Chris Puffer, describe Herb & Sea as the “little sister’ to Herb & Wood, a fine dining restaurant they opened three years ago in Little Italy. As stated in the UT article, Sara grew up secretly wanting to be a chef but went the practical route in college and earned a business management degree from San Jose State. She followed her graduation and her heart to culinary school and worked at a woman-owned farm-to-table restaurant in Menlo Park. She then worked at Malarkey’s restaurant Seersucker and rose from pastry chef to executive sous chef in four years. In 2018, she traveled through Europe for six months with her husband, cooking and studying cuisine in France, Italy, and Spain. Malarkey lured Sara back to San Diego with the promise of “helming” her own kitchen at Herb and Sea. He describes Sara as “one of the smartest chefs” he’s ever worked with. “She is wise beyond her years. We work together easily as collaborators…She knows how to motivate employees and we have the same goals in our culinary lives. I love her. She’s like my little sister.” The 65,000-square-foot restaurant has an oversize centerpiece kitchen which accommodates the 20-member kitchen team led by Sara. The work that Sara and her team do in the kitchen at Herb and Sea reminds her of her family dinners when she was growing up. “This is my kitchen where I can cook for the guests and I can enjoy seeing them eat my food.”  Good luck, Sara! I am sure you will be host to many OLP alumnae eager to sample your “home cooking.”

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The release of the 3rd season of The Crown, the popular and award winning Netflix historical drama series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II on November 17 coincided with a review of “The Other Windsor Girl: A Novel of Love, Royalty, Whiskey and Cigarettes,” the latest novel by Georgie Blalock ’92. The novel is about Princess Margaret, the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II. Georgie, who also uses the pseudonym Georgie Lee, is an award-winning author and has published more than 15 books. Georgie states: “I love history and bringing it to life through different fiction genres.” Georgie was born and raised in East County and started her professional writing career at ITV, the San Diego County Office of Education’s television station. She later moved to Los Angeles where she worked in the entertainment industry. Georgie was asked in the article why she thinks Americans are fascinated with royals in general and with entertainment shows like “The Crown” and “Downton Abbey.” She answered that “even though it may not be easy to wear the crown or keep the estate going, people love to imagine what it might have been like to do both, especially in lavish costumes and manor houses. It’s fun to watch the characters work through their struggles, especially when they do it with elegance, refinement, manners and a gorgeous wardrobe.” In writing her historical novels, Georgie reads many biographies about people who lived at the same time as her characters so she gets a sense of what it was like to live in the time period of her novels. She often uses real historical events in her writings to make her fictional heroes and heroines more realistic. We look forward to following the rise on the bestseller list of Georgie’s newest novel, “The Other Windsor Girl.”