LACA Chats with Elite Adventure Tours
July 28, 2020 – Meet Tony and Amanda Riccio, managing partners of Elite Adventure Tours. One of our proud Gold Key Partners, Elite Adventure Tours has been an active supporter of the L.A. Concierge Association for more than a decade.
Elite Adventure Tours is the premier private luxury tour company in SoCal, offering first class tours by land, air and sea. We caught up with Tony and Amanda recently to learn more about their private tours and much more!
What is your idea of a perfect day in Los Angeles? Lately, our perfect day includes a long walk on the beach (Manhattan pier to Hermosa pier and back is 4 miles), followed by oysters and Chardonnay on the new outdoor patio at Fishing With Dynamite. We are more grateful than ever for LA’s active outdoor lifestyle.
Elite Adventure Tours is promoting the idea of “Luxury Social Distancing”. What does that mean? Luxury Social Distancing is the idea of a private, high-end escape, in a controlled environment with minimal and non-intrusive interaction with staff. It is a respite from the monotony of staying “safer at home,” no matter how comfortable that home is. This can take many forms, from a romantic picnic on a private estate, to a weekend birthday celebration on a mega yacht. We have always prided ourselves on being wholly private and that exclusivity is now more valuable than ever.
In-N-Out or Shake Shack? Stout! Their “Truffle Shuffle” with brie, garlic sautéed mushrooms & truffle aioli is so indulgent.
Which neighborhood or area in Los Angeles do you consider the most interesting and why? Downtown, because it has such a vibrant mix of history, culture, and creativity.
Which talent would you most like to have? Tony wishes he could sing (and I wish he could too)!
Who are your favorite writers? We’ve found ourselves re-reading Toni Morrison and Aldous Huxley lately.
What are your favorite films of all time? Anything that takes place in L.A.! “Crash”, “Training Day”, “Heat”…those are the first that come to mind.
Which living person or historical figures do you most admire? We miss Barack!
Where would you most like to live? Right where we currently do, in Manhattan Beach. The relaxed vibe, sense of charming small-town community and cool ocean breeze are unbeatable.
Name your top three restaurants in Los Angeles and identify the signature dish on their menu that is your favorite? Connie and Ted’s for the Live Santa Barbara Sea Urchin (caught by @seastephaniefish ), Love & Salt for the Duck Egg Pizza (pancetta, panna, potato, rosemary, fior di latte, Parmesan) and Bavel for the Slow Roasted Lamb Neck Shawarma (with extra blistered pita bread!).
For more information, visit www.eliteadventuretours.com
LACA Chats with Zachary Serrano
July 20, 2020 – Meet Zachary Serrano, Chef Concierge at SLS Beverly Hills. Zachary has worked in the hotel industry for almost eleven years. In 2019, Zachary was nominated to represent the USA for the Young Leader Award at the International Les Clefs d’Or Congress in Cannes.
Prior to his hospitality career, Zachary pursued dance. His passion for dance and wellness inspired our current series of LACA Virtual Dance Classes. We recently caught up with Zachary to see how he stays creative during this ongoing pandemic.
Why is the role of the hotel concierge more important than ever? The concierge
is the lighthouse of every fine hotel. Concierges are more important than ever as they are going to be an invaluable tool in assisting guests to navigate their stays safely and mindfully. The concierge is the vital key in the guests experience as we navigate Covid-19 and beyond.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned during the coronavirus
pandemic and quarantine experience? This pandemic experience has truly
equalized humanity and reminded us of the most important things in life; our health is our wealth, family is everything and change is truly the only constant. I believe a few years from now we will all look back and be amazed at how we have risen to the
occasion; together and one step at a time.
What talent would you most like to have? I have always dreamed to be able to
really sing! In my dreams, Whitney Houston and I perform duets often.
Which living person do you most admire? Ruth Bader Ginsburg is currently the
person I admire most. Her strength, passion and integrity continue to and will always inspire me.
Which actor would you like to play you in a movie? Most definitely Billy Zane.
Thank you so much Zachary for hosting our Virtual Dance Classes! When did you start dancing and who’s career inspired you? It is a true honor. I have thoroughly enjoyed dancing with all of you and look forward to much more! I started dancing when I was eight years old and started my professional dance career at the age of fifteen. Two of my favorite dancers have always been Danny Tidwell and Rasta Thomas. I was very fortunate to share the stage with both of them for a gala hosted by the International Ballet Competition. That was truly a dream come true and an experience I will never forget!
In-N-Out or Shack Shack? My favorite burger in LA is the “Impossible Burger” at Crossroads. It’s absolutely delicious!
Name your top three restaurants in Los Angeles? My personal favorite day at my top three restaurants would go like this; the “Eggs Benedict” for breakfast at The Rooftop by JG, followed by the “Smoked Salmon Pizza” for lunch at Spago Beverly Hills. Then end the evening during sunset at Nobu Malibu, enjoying the chef’s omakase menu. The following day I will most definitely be going on a long hike!
Tell us about your inspiration for Every-Body Butter and your passion for
skincare and wellness? Most of my life I have struggled with severe eczema. After
not being able to find a product pure and affordable enough that was effective, I decided to create my own. It took a few years to refine this pure and decadent body butter and became a true staple in my own life and self-care routine. My product is also highly versatile and does wonders for your skin, hair and nails. I knew I had to share it with others! Creating a brand felt very daunting at times and my inner dancer/concierge perfectionist wanted absolute perfection. Some time passed for me to realize that done well was better than perfect, and that became my mantra. I wanted the brand to stand for equality and inclusivity, to be affordable and available to all. From this vision, Every-Body Butter was conceptualized and created. I love being able to serve in this way and to help others feel even more comfortable in their own skin! www.everybodybutter.com
Where would you most like to live? I would absolutely love to live in Barcelona,
where I would also dream of being neighbors with Shakira!
Video highlight: Grand Central Market
July 17, 2020 – Part two of our visit to downtown Los Angeles features the historic Grand Central Market. It was one of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning L.A. Times chief food critic Jonathan Gold’s favorite haunts. The Grand Central Market showcases the best of L.A.’s diverse culinary scene. Check out our latest video!