Food Network Star and Chopped All-Star, Penny Davidi, shares her Los Angeles travel guide for your next meeting or corporate event. Plus, our hosts chat with Offer Nissenbaum, Managing Director of the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel to learn about their 5-star experiences. From Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, and Venice Beach to Rodeo Drive and Disneyland, there are many iconic experiences found only in LA. If you need the extra push to add The City of Angels to your destination list, tune in as we look at what makes Los Angeles one of their favorite meeting and event destinations. Enjoy this trip, Los Angeles!
Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing venues in Los Angeles to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at www.amiwebstaging.wpengine.com.
Los Angeles Celebrity Chef Penny Davidi Talks Things To Do In Los Angeles And Hear From Luxury Hotel Peninsula Beverly Hills’ Managing Director, Offer Nissenbaum
Hollywood, the Sunset Strip, Venice Beach, Rodeo Drive and Disneyland. There are many iconic experiences found only in LA. In this episode, we look at what makes it one of our favorite travel spots. Joining us is Penny Davidi, an entrepreneur and Food Network celebrity chef who has curated menu for Lisa Vanderpump of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. We also hear from Offer Nissenbaum, Managing Director for the five-star Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for the inside scoop on luxury guest experiences for the rich and famous. We won’t need to convince you why The City of Angels is a destination for once in a lifetime experiences. Welcome to this episode of Destination Everywhere, Los Angeles.
We’re excited to be with you to talk about The City of Angels, Los Angeles. We’ve been there many times and had a lot of great experiences. We’re excited to bring a lot of them to you. Todd, in all the times we’ve been there, what are some of the top things that you like to do or the experiences that you want to share with our audience?
Some of the big ones that I can remember, because they were everything that you think of about Hollywood, was we got to go to a couple of the season finales of American Idol at the Staples Center. That was a lot of fun because you go a couple of days early and you experience everything. We stayed at the Roosevelt Hotel once. We stayed at the W once. You have the parties, glitz, red carpets, and a great show. It was awesome. I do remember one time there was this club where you go into this waiting room. There’s only a bed in it but then the bed lifts up and you walk underneath the bed. It was a speakeasy and you had no idea it was there. You’re blown away when you walk under the bed and then it’s a huge open space. That blew my mind. That was a fun night.
It was a great experience. You might immediately think of the Hollywood sign, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, the Walk of Fame. There’s so much to do.
Also, the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.
We’re going to give you some great unique bucket list things to do. There are over 100 museums there. They’ve hosted two Olympics and they’re going to host in 2028 again. How exciting is that going to be for the United States?
Here’s an interesting fact. The average traveler in LA spends 72 hours a year in traffic. If you’re going, make time to get from point A to point B or stay where you want to visit.
It’s one of those cities that it takes 0.5 to 1 hour to get anywhere, even if you’re just going across the neighborhood. It’s such a sprawling city. The 405 is infamous for being one of the most jam-packed freeways. It’s not easy to get on a freeway and go. If you’re going with a group of people or taking a group or a corporate group, it can be a challenge. You have to be prepared. We’re going to focus on the great stuff. We have some fantastic guests. We’ve got some great bucket list items to do. Todd, who’s going to be our first guest?
I’m excited about our first guest. She is born in Iran, raised in California. She is the first Persian Jew to be featured on the Food Network. She’s appeared on Chopped All-Stars, the Food Network Star, Cutthroat Kitchen, Guy’s Grocery Games, Vanderpump Rules, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She’s also quite a personality. She opened Pump Lounge in West Hollywood, which we’ve been to had a great time with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Lisa Vanderpump. She was the executive chef and menu creator. She’s also a verified influencer on TripAdvisor. Without further ado, Chef Penny Davidi.
Penny, I want to talk a little bit about before the TV shows, what was your background?
I went to South Beach, Florida and came across this concept, Pizza Rustica. I fell in love with it and thought, “How fabulous. I can bring this to LA, build the brand, open up multiple locations, and build a pizza empire.” I brought the concept back, opened up a few locations, and built my culinary chops inside of Pizza Rustica in Beverly Hills, which was my first culinary destination. From there, I decided, “I love this much.” Food Network was on the television all the time. Even though I had no plans, nothing in the works about being on television, people would ask me, “What’s next?” I would say, “I’m going to be on the Food Network.” Meanwhile, nothing because I’m a big believer of manifesting. Talk about making it happen and propelling myself onto that network. I literally had to force myself down their throat. I’m like, “I’m an Iranian Jew and you are going to like me, embrace me, and make this work.”
They did those, didn’t they?
The thing is I had no culinary experience. Everyone was like, “You’re going to go take on these chefs.” I was like, “Yes, I’m going to go take this on.” When I first tried it out, I didn’t think they would see it but they saw it. It was a time that the Kardashians had come on the screen and Armenian family, big mama, big hair, big boobs, big everything. When they saw me, they were like, “We can have a Kardashian-looking thing on the Food Network. This is great.” That’s how they cast. If you watch Food Network Star, which was the first thing I did on Food Network back in 2011, they have me coming onto Hollywood Boulevard in the first scene in 6-inch Prada, leopard skin stilettos, and a red Valentino vest in some wife beater and big hair.
Penny, let’s talk a little bit about your restaurants that a lot of people know of because they have been featured in the shows. Andy and I ate at Pump in 2020. We had a great time. All the servers look like models. You’re intimidated but it was a lot of fun, and then there’s TomTom. What was your role at both of those restaurants?
Lisa Vanderpump is a smart woman and an incredible businesswoman. She wanted a restaurant that was going to be more than something that relied on TV shows. She already had Villa Blanca and the association to what she did with Housewives at the beginning. It was important that she had a culinary influence or a footprint. Through some mutual friends, we connected and I decided to come out as the culinarian, as the menu curator, executive chef. We collaborated on some recipes that she definitely has influenced because she’s interned, traveled well and well cultured. She knows her way around the kitchen. I wanted a lot of my Middle Eastern Mediterranean influences without being in your face of that’s the kind of cuisine that you were having. You know the scene. You’re sitting under these olive trees that are 100 years old, and everything from the landscaping in there to every light that’s gone up to every candle that’s sitting on the table is handpicked by me.
That’s experiential for sure.
Tell us about TomTom.
TomTom is two doors down. It was the two Toms from Vanderpump Rules who decided that they wanted a part of the action and get into the restaurant space. They wanted something unique like a speakeasy bar concept. Lisa said, “We can’t do it without great food. What’s the direction now?” I made an incredibly sexy, more bar bites and communal eating, lots of vegan options, lots of playing around with plant-based options.
They are popular, right?
It’s huge. That’s a big trend. She brought it home with a beautiful patio outside that overlooks the city in great vibes and packing the place in on a daily basis. Now, I’m working on multiple new restaurant projects. I’m super excited.
Tell us about Penny Eats and Pivot LA.
Penny Eats is because many people are asking me on a daily basis, “Where can we go eat? What do you suggest? Who’s open? Who’s doing outdoor dining? Who’s got the best delivery on this, that or the other?” I decided that, “I’ve got to do something with this,” and then decided to partner up and get on it with Instagram and do an IGTV series called Penny Eats, which covers my favorite foods around LA, San Diego and San Francisco. We’re starting with our local. Supporting local businesses in our own areas and partnering up with other influencers and other celebrity chefs in different parts of the country for them to do the same thing.
Have you found something special by doing that? Any new places that people should be aware of?
I want you to tune in and watch. I realized that some of the most amazing things are incomplete holes in the walls that you don’t expect from Korean barbecue. People see Korean barbecue as something that has to be refined in some great places. What’s the quality of meat? You are making sure there’s a grade A. For me, the Korean barbecue spot in Korea Town is scared to put up the fact that they have a B and they hide it, but that’s flavor to me because there’s nothing wrong with that. Some of the best food comes off these food trucks. Lord knows some of them have seized but I got to tell you, those food trucks have the best food ever.
Penny, we have five questions for you. These are our rapid-fire questions. The goal here is we’re looking for our guests who are world travelers and have been everywhere to parlay their expertise to our readers so they can read what you would do and have done over the course of your travels and maybe get some great ideas. The first one is have you ever completed anything on your bucket list? If so, what was it?
I have multiple things but I’ll give you my biggest one. In 2020, one of my destinations that was local that we went to outside of LA was Yosemite. The park is beautiful. If you watch some of these movies like Meru, it’s unbelievable. I wanted to see Half Dome and El Cap. Those are on my bucket list, big time. Did I climb either one? God knows. I took lots of great pictures. I did get a chance to see and it was incredible for me is bears. The bears were amazing. Another bucket list was being able to take my husband and our entire family including our parents for an almost two months trip all over Europe.
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Next question, if you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?
Italy. I’m a foodie. I love to cook. I love to gather on big communal tables and fill it up with amazing fresh things from my garden. Where else in the world can you do that but Italy. There’s something about the longest living people in the world live on a remote island in Italy. The Mediterranean guy. He’s 120 and still walks to his little bar. They asked him, “What’s the secret?” He said, “We eat well, we rest well, we drink well.”
If you could travel with someone and infamous or famous, alive or dead, who would it be?
Famous, I would say Oprah. Great conversation. She’s a big foodie, loves to eat, and adventurous. Sitting around with a bottle of wine and picking her brain in different parts of the world. That would be amazing. Non-famous? It’s honestly my husband. He’s a great traveler and up for anything. He’s more of a shopaholic than I am. It all comes in handy.
When you’re packing for a trip, what does something that you pack that may surprise our readers?
They’re not anything fabulous but to me are necessary, baby wipes because I have to have wet wipes. My body and my system won’t work regularly when I’m on vacation. It’s the worst thing in the world to deal with constipation. I have to travel with the same coffee that I have at home every day. It keeps you regular. That’s the most important thing. It’s the regularity on a trip.
You are not the first person to say coffee, but you’re the first person to say because of constipation.
I’m trying to explain that when I’m going to Westerns and some countries. I’m like, “I’m not bringing medication. I’m just bringing my own coffee.”
The last question is what is your most memorable experience in Los Angeles?
I’m all about creating great experiences at home for multiple reasons. Especially when I do traveling, it’s already work for me. Getting on a plane and going someplace, it’s work-related for me, to be able to do a couple of things locally. I love going to the Malibu Beach Inn, Shutters, The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna or St. Regis, anything along the coast which is 1 to 2 hours within my reach. My most memorable one was going to Malibu Beach Inn with my husband, buying in advance everything that we love to have on a short cruise we board. Checking in on a Friday with my own cooler, the best cheeses, the best salamis, great bread, some great bottles of wine, checking in on a Friday, and checking out on a Sunday night at peace and enjoying that. I’m all about play staycation.
Penny, you’ve been fantastic. Tell us about your show on IGTV.
It’s Penny Eats LA, covering some of my favorite dishes around Los Angeles. It’s going to be a weekly thing. Please tune in. Find me on Instagram, Chef Penny Davidi. Facebook, @ChefPennyDavidi. YouTube at @ChefPennyDavidi. Most importantly in Instagram. I’m an influencer on TripAdvisor because they think I know what I’m talking about. I appreciate that.
We can’t wait to see you and visit with you the next time we are in LA. Thank you for joining us on the show. You stay safe.
Wasn’t Chef Penny, amazing? How much fun is she?
She’d be fun to go out and have a couple of cocktails with. You could pick her brain for a while and she’d give you all the good gossip on.
She invited us. We have to go back and have her take us up on the town. We’ve got an amazing top ten list for you. There are many things to do in LA. We’re going to do some unique ones and some general ones that are worthwhile. The first one is to view the Hollywood sign from horseback. You can see the Hollywood sign. You can hike to it. You can also do it with a group horseback riding. How much fun is that? They are longer rides and they take you up on the top of Mount Hollywood for a 360-degree view. You’re going through Griffith Park, which also has the Griffith Observatory. You’ve seen it in lots of movies. It’s a historic and beautiful building. You can walk around it without even going into it and it’s worthwhile. You have to stop and use the restroom throughout there too. That’s a great tip.
I was surprised with the amount of hiking there is to do around Los Angeles.
Also all along the coast. It was impressive and the wrecks are great hikes.
We’ve done some amazing beach hikes as well. There’s so much outdoor activity as well, which a lot of people don’t even consider. If you’re thinking of doing hiking, do the Bronson Canyon which is a collection of caves most often used for filming locations. That’s also great to do in and around that area. That’s where the actual Batcave was in the 1960s.
We went on a hike and dinner, and we ran into the beach’s cottage, the little cottage from beaches one time. We’re like, “That looks familiar,” then we found out what it was. Our next item moving on is when you think of Hollywood, you think of studios. You can do a VIP tour of Paramount Studios. What’s cool about these VIP tours is you get a little bit of additional access to things like the special effects areas, sign shops, the prop warehouse, and soundstages. Those are always impressive especially when you can see the soundstages for shows that you may have or do watch, which is always neat. You never know what celebrity you might see walking around the studio.
My next one is one that everybody would like to do and we’re going to tell you how you can do it. It’s to land a spot on the Academy Awards’ red carpet. The event takes place in February on a Sunday and long lines form way in advance. It’s hard to even get a glimpse of all the stars on the red carpet. The Oscars have an Oscar fan experience. Contestants can win free tickets and they allow 700 people to be selected to sit in the stands on the red carpet. Register for that and you never know, you might get to be right there at the Academy Awards.
Our next item is being an audience member at one of the shows. A few years ago, we were walking around the Chinese Theater looking at the footprints and buses pulled up. They were recruiting people to come in, sit and watch the tapings of their shows. You get on the bus and they take you to whatever studio is doing the shows. I saw Hollywood Squares. I remember Anna Nicole Smith and there were some other celebrities. They do that, you can go to these shows, and it’s daily. One of the big game shows is The Price Is Right hosted by Drew Carey. What you can do is you can reserve a ticket online, then you can wait in line at the studio. That’s one of the only shows where audience members can be a guest, which is cool. Whether it’s a game show or a recording of another show or even one of the late night talk shows.
It’s a great afternoon activity to do.
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It’s an awesome experience. It’s a lot of fun.
You get to see TV in action. Our next one is a tour of Willy Wonka-style Distillery in Downtown LA. Lost Spirits Distillery is not your typical tour by any shape or form. It can be described as an attraction from Disneyland as you’re guided through different themed rooms where the spirits are made and can be tasted. It’s a great thing to do in the daytime or evening, and a fun thing to do with some friends and have a couple of drinks. That is the Lost Spirits Distillery, a great bucket list item.
Let’s talk about the food because it’s a twenty-course sushi dining experience at Nozawa Bar. This is located in Sugarfish Beverly Hills Restaurant. The sushi bar is created early each morning because the chefs visit the LA fish markets to select the fish of the day. You want to make reservations in advance because there are only ten seats. If you want an unbelievably fresh sushi dining experience, plan ahead and make that happen.
There’s another one called Board of Flight at Air Hollywood?
This one right up my alley because I’m one of those people that when we do a show, I’m always like, “What movies were filmed there?” Just to get a perspective of the romance behind it possibly. Air Hollywood is an entertainment studio. It’s designed specifically for airplane movie sets. Whenever you see someone on an airplane and you’re like, “Who does that? Are they on an airplane?” They did movie sets for Bridesmaids, Wolf of Wall Street, Modern Family, and most scenes of airplanes were filmed right there.
I wonder if the original Airplane was done there, Airplane 1 and Airplane 2.
I don’t know how far it goes back but that was all one big movie set. You can explore multiple sets of commercial flights, private jets, airport terminals, jetways and even airplane bathrooms.
We have to do that. How much fun is that?
You can even rent the props from the set. They offer an event called the Pan Am experience where people can experience 1970 service accompanied by a fine dining meal.
Here’s a great one if you’re bringing a group for all of our meetings and event managers that reading this. You can host private events at the Roosevelt Hotel’s The Spare Room. It’s a gaming parlor. It’s called The Spare Room because it has two vintage bowling lanes. It’s a great intimate space for social gatherings. It has a cocktail lounge, great for birthday parties, for a private event, engagement party, gender reveal. Put that on your list if you’re trying to do a group event.
There’s something else about the Roosevelt. It’s almost guaranteed when you go into the pool at the Roosevelt, you’re going to have a star sighting. It’s also a great place to hang out during the day. If you are an art lover and an art fan, you have the LACMA, which is the LA County Museum of Art. This is something to Chris Burden’s famous 202 cast-iron streetlamps design. There are also many exhibits inside the museum. You could probably spend a good afternoon there. On the second Tuesday of every month, admission is free.
If you have a little bit more time and this is in San Simeon, you can go check out Hearst Castle which is an amazing piece of architecture. It is huge. It is the home of William Randolph Hearst who was the media empire tycoon. It was one of those places in the roaring twenties that would have knocked your socks off. There are all kinds of stories about that and the family but this is a William Randolph Hearst. His lifestyle was satired by Orson Welles in Citizen Kane, and Xanadu which was the house is based on Hearst Castle.
Is it a museum now?
It is a preserved home. The former name is La Quinta Encantada, which is The Enchanted Hill. It’s an amazing place. It takes a little time to get there but it’s well worth the trip.
You may not be able to stay there, but we have a place that you can stay. We’re going to be talking to Offer Nissenbaum, the Managing Director of the Peninsula Beverly Hills.
We are here with a special guest who I’m excited to speak to. His property, the Peninsula Beverly Hills, is the only five-star property in Southern California. Welcome the Managing Director of the Peninsula Beverly Hills, Offer Nissenbaum. Offer, welcome to the show.
Thank you for taking the time. I’m happy to speak with you.
We’ve been to your property and we love it. We can’t wait to know all the exciting things that you guys are doing there.
What are some of the most unique things about the Peninsula Beverly Hills that you think stand apart from some of the other luxury experiences?
We have several programs within the hotel that we do that are unique, different and special to us. One of them is called Peninsula Time, which is a program that has evolved over the years where the guests can check-in any time they want and check-out whenever they want. The flexibility of being able to check-in at 8:00 in the morning and check-out the next day at 10:00 at night gives more time to the guests to spend on the property and not have to worry and not have to stress over, “Can I get a late check-out? Am I going to be able to get into the room early?” We’ve taken away that stress from the guests.
How do you ensure that you’re delivering the best? With that, what are some of the requests that you’ve had that seem out of touch for some people or for some other properties that you’re like, “We can make that happen?” If there’s anything that you can think of, I’d love to know it.
We do have discerning guests. The key is to find out as much as you can before they arrive, to find out what their needs and likes are. We have a program within the hotel where we present the proverbial fruit basket. When we go to refresh it, we noticed which fruit the guests ate and only refresh those fruit because if somebody only likes apples and that’s the only thing they eat from the fruit basket, we will then know that their favorite fruit is apple or they move for apple. We look at those little details to focus on the guests and their needs.
Why is it important to know what side of the bed a guest sleeps on if they’re alone? Because at night, when they reach for the water, it’s got to be on the side that’s closest to them. They don’t have to go over to the other side of the king-size bed to get the water. The little details like if the guest’s toothpaste is below half, we will go out and replace it completely with their brand and place it there. It’s thoughtful things. We love to do things that are thoughtful because our whole motto here is connecting with guests emotionally.
It’s thoughtful, personal and then you also personalize. Tell us what you do with your pillowcases.
[bctt tweet=”The key is to find out as much as you can about the guests before they arrive. Find out what their needs and likes are.” username=””]
For every guest that checks into the hotel, we have their initials and their loved ones, whoever is in the room will have their initials as well. It’s on the pillowcase and sometimes we can do it in different colors and five different languages. You can imagine coming into the hotel and have your initials in Chinese on the pillowcase. It’s thoughtful. It sends a strong message to the guests that we thought about them. They’re not another guest. Time was taken to think about their personal experience, and we’re happy to have them there. That’s the message that it sends. Every guest gets monogram pillowcases. In some cases, there are two initials. In some cases, there are three where we also include their middle initial. We have fun with it. It’s great. It’s a topic of conversation. Many of the guests take it home with them.
Let’s talk about unique experiences because you try to make everything special and unique. If you had a family member or a friend staying at the hotel, what type of your unique experiences is Peninsula known for or stuff that is created by your concierge or your events team that you’d like to convey?
We have a program called The Peninsula Academy, which creates unique experiences from taking a helicopter and going to Malibu, landing in a vineyard and having a beautiful lunch and a wine tasting, then coming back. My particular favorite is taking a picnic basket along with some phenomenal food and wine, and having a private big picnic on the ocean by the beach, catered and the chef cooking for you right then and there. It’s been the best experience. For a while, we were able to use Olivia Newton-John’s house, which is appropriately called Xanadu. We had access to that private beach. The page with the hat would come with the basket, and the people would have a picnic, spend a few hours there, have a nice lunch. The privacy of the ocean is there and the comfort level of being unique.
That is a bucket list for sure.
How do you prepare for award season? What do you do?
The award season is such a buzz both in the hotel and outside the hotel. We do a lot of work before the guest arrives. When they are out and attending the award whether it be Grammys, Golden Globes or Academy Awards, we have a staff member watch the award show. If they win, we create a special amenity on the theme of the movie or the role that they played that they won the award for. It’s molded in a way that sends a message to the guests, “We know what you played. We know what movie you were in or a TV show.” There’s a bottle of champagne and something out of chocolate or pastry that is connected to the theme of what they won.
One of the nicest things that had happened during the Academy Awards or the Golden Globe’s is when a well-known star who continues to stay with us won the Golden Globe Award. He came back with the Golden Globe and gave it to the front desk to hold them to pass along, spent ten minutes with them, then he went to the bar. He was sitting there and bought drinks for everybody. We’re intimate enough of a hotel to be able to do that. What a nice gesture on his part. He’s a remarkable actor and the way that he carried himself was down to earth, humanistic and incredible. We’re fortunate to have people like that stay here.
One thing I thought was special about your property versus some others are your villas. You can do special in the villas. You have everything from multi-bedroom suites to smaller villas, but they also have outdoor areas. It’s valuable for our readers to know that if you want something unique and special at the Peninsula Beverly Hills, those venues are nice.
The villas are unique. It’s almost small homes. The one thing that many people don’t know about our villas is that you have your own entry into the villas and exit. Meaning you do not have to go through the lobby of the hotel and the front entrance of the hotel. There are secret doors from the street that you can access with a special key. That way you have complete privacy. This comes in handy with celebrities but also individuals who have had what I call elective surgery. They don’t want to be seen and want to recover privately and quietly. If privacy is important to you, the villas are your type of accommodations. It is surrounded by gardens. It’s beautiful and it’s not your typical hotel experience because it’s like little homes and little villas.
It’s a neighborhood back there.
It’s quiet. It’s secluded, yet it’s accessible to the hotel and all the services. It’s not on separate grounds. It’s all within the same grounds as the hotel. Some of them have plunge pools and full kitchens if this is what your needs are. We have a variety of different villas that are unique and special to us.
Let’s talk about Le Petit Belvedere and the Executive Chef David Codney. What are your signature dishes in the restaurant? What can people expect in terms of dining?
Petit Belvedere came about as a pop-up. We decided to do something a little bit different on Fridays and Saturday nights and create a French Brasserie American type of menu, which will be fun with French music and do something of an environment like you were sitting outdoors in the gardens in Paris. It became wildly successful that we had to open five days for dinner. You sit in the garden, it’s beautiful.
In the middle of the restaurant is a Robert Indiana sculpture of LOVE, which is lit up at night. At 8:00 at night, we stop everything and we do a toast. Every single guest, every single table, we pour champagne and we do a toast. We say, “For all the people who haven’t had a chance to celebrate an anniversary, a birthday, whatever the case may be, this is to you.” Everybody says that it’s a wonderful moment. The menu is a fun menu. It has the traditional moules-frite, croque-monsieur, lots of good fish and salads but it’s got a French accent on it. We had done it in a way that’s not intimidating, comfortable and delicious. It’s been well received.
What is your most personal memorable experience in The City of Angels?
Going to the Grammys several times was phenomenal. I love music and it’s one big concert that is unique and special. You can never have it in a regular venue. Also, going to the Academy Awards and the red carpet was unique and special.
You have done it all. Thank you for your time and for the opportunity to showcase the Peninsula Beverly Hills and all the wonderful amenities and experiences you can have with them.
Thank you for your time and for having me on.
That’s it for LA. We’ll be back multiple times because there’s so much to do, many great hotels and places this day.
It changes all the time.
It’s one of those living, breathing cities. We’re going to go out there and see Penny. Maybe stop by and say hi to Offer, and get a drink in the bar. Thanks, everybody. It’s been a great show.
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About Penny Davidi
Penny Davidi is conquering the states with her Middle Eastern recipes on Food Network Star – Season 7. Also on Chopped All Stars Season 2, where she defeats her 3 fellow contestants and lands a spot against the top 3 in a CAS Showdown which aired in May of 2012. Penny has done several shows, including Cutthroat Kitchen, Kitchen Inferno and Guys Grocery Games All-Stars on The Food Network, plus shows on Spike, Fyi and several Bravo Shows including RHOBH and Vanderpump Rule’s.
In May 2014 Penny opened PUMP LOUNGE in West Hollywood with Real Housewives Star Lisa Vanderpump, as Executive Chef and Menu Curator. In August 2018, Penny opened up TOM TOM BAR AND LOUNGE with Lisa Vanderpump and her team. Penny’s most recent venture…The Speaking circuit! Look out for her new projects… “Penny Eats” and “Pivot LA” covering her favorite food finds. Born in Iran and raised in California, Penny is the first Persian Jewish Chef and Businesswoman to be featured on the Food Network.
A mother of two teenagers, Penny grew up learning the art of cooking from the women in her family and used this knowledge as a launching pad to fuse creativity and personality to develop her own innovative recipes. Her Specialty…. The Mediterranean… Join her on this Culinary Journey through the Spice Route.
About Offer Nissenbaum
Offer Nissenbaum has been a leader in the field of luxury hospitality since early in his career when, at the age of only 30, he was appointed the General Manager of the Doral Saturnia International Spa Resort, at the time the highest-rated hotel spa in the U.S. and the first to receive the AAA Five Diamond award. Today, as Managing Director of The Peninsula Beverly Hills, Nissenbaum continues his unique style of customer-focused leadership for this iconic luxury hotel. Prior to joining The Peninsula Hotels in December 2007, Nissenbaum was overseeing nine hotels as Regional Vice President of Operations for Omni Hotels, based in New York City.
“There was no question about making the switch from multi-property responsibilities to just one – simply because it was The Peninsula Beverly Hills,” he recalls. Nissenbaum was raised in Israel and Canada and graduated with a degree in hospitality management from Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. He began his hotel management career with The Park Lane Hotel and in 1986 joined Doral Hotels & Resorts at the company’s Doral Tuscany Hotel in New York. Nissenbaum later spent several years with Toronto-based Delta Hotels & Resorts, then returned to Manhattan to become Resident Manager of The Plaza.
Several years later he joined Omni Hotels and, in 2002, was awarded the Human Relations Award in Hospitality by the American Jewish Committee. Nissenbaum, who speaks French, German and Hebrew, plays ice-hockey and soccer and is a volunteer referee for little league soccer in Beverly Hills. He was active in charities and community organizations while living in New York, and he continues to be an active involved member of the Beverly Hills and Los Angeles communities in support of important civic and philanthropic initiatives. Nissenbaum and his team are currently preparing for the hotel’s upcoming 30th Anniversary in 2021.