Editor’s Letter: Behind the Scenes of Our Tasty Thanksgiving Cover Story

Editor's Letter, November 2023

As we roll into the holiday season, our team here at 270 Media is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Marin community with our cornucopia of products. Marin Magazine is coming up on its twentieth anniversary with much of the original team in place, Local Getaways is gaining traction with Nikki C. at the helm, we’ve just launched a new app (available in the App Store on your phone) and SPACES is finding its groove as a bi-weekly newsletter and quarterly department within Marin Magazine.

Editor's Letter, November 2023

In step with shining the light on what makes our community unique, we dreamed up our feature story months ago while discussing our uber-talented friend Michelle Heston, who has been the executive regional director of public relations for the Fairmont Hotels for California, Hawaii and Arizona for almost 20 years. Once she and her husband, Dave became empty nesters, she started baking cakes for fun. She creates those “is that cake?” type of cakes, and now has a side gig, Heston Cakes. Michelle has won Best of Show at the Marin County Fair and has earned national recognition with Good Day Sacramento, Dallas Morning News, Chicago Tribune and Women’s Day appearances, to name a few accolades.

During an editorial meeting as we were scrolling through her @hestoncakes Instagram account we thought, let’s make a turkey that’s a cake… and how about a pumpkin pie — that is actually, a cake! While she could have done the whole meal as a cake, we brought in Lynda Balslev — chef, stylist and food writer, extraordinaire — to continue with the Trompe-l’oeil-Thanksgiving-themed feature, and I suggested mashed potatoes out of cauliflower — apparently this idea was too pedestrian, so she created a wreath out of veggies, still cool.

Cameron Cressman came onboard to take the photos, the project was moved to her parents’ gorgeous Mill Valley home and the list of contributors grew to represent a true coming together of Marin culinary talent. Realizing there were lots of cooks in the photo shoot kitchen, I popped into the shoot for a couple minutes and was able to get a quick “usie” of everyone involved, except Michelle, the original inspiration. For the full menu of Trompe l’oeil Thanksgiving, the working title was changed to Fantastical Feast.

I also hope you have time to read about Dave Wilson’s best Thanksgiving ever, back in 1951, when he was able to exchange his entire savings account, $79, for a used, but cared for ’27 Chevy. His commitment to caring for this one car, through the past 60 or so years, is an inspiration in our ‘throw-away’ world of consumption.

We hope these features inspire you to have some fun this holiday, and remind you to not let the ‘turkeys’ get you down (eat cake instead). We’d love to see how you celebrate the season, from traditional meals to Friendsgiving pot lucks. If you are on your own, don’t forget there are plenty of groups who are looking for volunteers, including Glide Memorial, SF–Marin Food Bank and Project Open Hand.

With warmest regards,

Mimi Towle, Editorial Director, Marin Magazine

Have a look at our November issue here: