The Moms

Faith Wheeler

CreatorPhotography & Story by Lauri Levenfeld

I have always loved Faith. Each interaction is more than inspiring, and always life-evolving. Her visual sense and cerebral connection to a person, place, or thing is always exceptional and extraordinary. She relishes in her experiences and celebrates every moment. Her joie de vivre attitude comes through in everything she is, does, and touches. And her philosophy of life as art and art as life shines through day-to-day in her work for Jaded Palate Productions, in her home, style, and family. I see how Faith has raised her beautiful daughters to be thoughtful, creative, and independent young woman and how their incredible bonds have only grown over the years. It makes me believe and have hope for the future relationship with my daughter Harley. This is the magic of Faith.

I’m Faith…I’m a third generation NYer who settled in San Francisco in 1987 with a sign posted the window of my VW Rabbit: California or Bust! I moved here because it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen and didn’t understand why everyone I knew found me impulsive to quit a high powered marketing job to come jobless, homeless and friendless. Everything has worked out just fine.

I started at Ogilvy and Mather when David Ogilvy still made cameo appearances to teach my training program. I started in advertising, moved into marketing and public relations for restaurants, hotels, wineries and lifestyle brands and have grown into producing video content for my new company, Jaded Palate Productions.

Jaded Palate is my SF-based branded entertainment company that creates content for companies, usually with a food and wine focus. We have made some exceptions. Our next projects will include a chef documentary series and a look at the behind the scenes in the Napa Valley. Stay tuned :).

After 20 years of being a “paid gun” to taste for the restaurant world, I surrendered to the blogosphere, composing tidbits my favorite bites when I travel. The name is my nickname for the many bloggers who blah blah blah on with no merit.

I love my work as I love visual things. My homes are filled with art as I believe there is magic in anything made by hand. I paint when I can and sketch frequently. Visual reference points fuel my mind whether it be by taking a walk on Crissy field, people watching on Fillmore Street, traveling to a foreign land or catching an indie film festival–Sundance has been a muse for several years. Cooking warms my soul and opens my heart, providing the perfect alternative remedy –immediate gratification– to offset the perseverance it takes to champion a start up.


My Fave Five

1. Choosing colors of Philips Perfect Paint at G&R

2. A plate composed by Mourad Lahlou from Aziza

3. A white out blizzard on top of a steep ski slope, preferably with blasting music

4. A show of my favorite artists: Gerhard Richter, Lucien Freud, Matisse, Dufy

5. The symmetry in a movie by Wes Anderson

As a Mom, I have learned as much as I have taught. As a career-minded type, I was tentative that my maternal instinct would kick in. Quite the opposite. I loved every minute of my babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and yes, teenagers. My daughters have grown into beautiful, knowledgeable, empowered adults ready to take on the world. They have taught me to be myself, and that no amount of self-deprecation, guilt or apology give them less of an appreciation of who I am nor marginalize the respect we have for each other. I think I have been a good role model for my girls. And they have provided me strength in hardship, courage in trying times and endless love, hysterical laughter and excessive joy. Walking down the street with one girl in each arm will always be my happiest time, whether they are 6 and 3, or 20 and 17.

My best advice for moms of children young or old is to spend as much time with your kids as possible doing as little as you can. Don’t over program them and spend all your time as their chauffeur! Really listen to them. Let them grow through down time and reward them unconditionally, just for being themselves.

In regards to fashion, I love my jeans. They are a staple: Seven, Paige, Rapsodia (from Buenos Aires) and Mother jeans. I love my shoes, a woman without sexy shoes is no woman! Jimmy Choo Boots are my latest fave, but a girl must have open toe shoes with a hot pedicure to really feel sexy. Pressed jeans, a pretty blouse, good jewelry, a smart coat and heels can take you anywhere.

As for fashion icons, mine would be my great aunt Hattie Carnegie. She was famous for designing jewelry and dresses for Hollywood movie stars back in the day. I still wear her earrings and think the style gene didn’t get lost in our family.

Kids: Madeline Gray-age 20, Eliza James-age 17


Madeline’s Fave Five…and a bit more

1. Vintage Stores & Dresses including Whimsy, Wasteland, Voyager

2. Her James Perse Artist Blouse

3. Her Scrappy Converse Sneakers

4. Her cat, Cinnamon

5. Her Books: The Brief Wonderous Life Of Oscar Wao and Middlesex.

6. Bookstore: Browser Books

7. Etsy

8. Park Life for gifts

9. Current brands: Madewell & Steven Alan

10. Author: Joan Didion


Eliza’s Fave Five…and a bit more

1. All Things Nike, Northface, and Patagonia (dubbed Patagucci)

2. Her Jawbone Jambox

3. Jo Malone White Jasmine & Mint

4. Her Dayplanner

5. Her Chinchilla, Milo, and cat, Chloe

6. Real Ramen

7. Her Paige Jeans

8. Makeup Bare Minerals

9. Bumble and Bumble Defrizz

10. Movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Vertigo, American Beauty, & The Great Gatsby


I have always been the chef of the house, but now the baton has been passed to Eliza. Our family grew up eating Asian food much like most of America grows up on fast food. We had a compromise, a restaurant we called, “Cheap Chinese” more commonly named: Gourmet Carousel. I will promise anyone that Gourmet Carousel has the best wonton soup on the planet–BBQ pork version.

One night when the restaurant was closed, we set out to copy the wontons, and did a darn formidable job. Here’s our recipe.


1 lb. of ground pork

1 can of water chestnuts, chopped

1 Tb. of grated ginger

2 Tbs. of soy sauce

1.5 Tb of sesame oil

1/4 cup of chopped scallions

dash of salt

wonton skins


Mix all ingredients, except for wonton skins, together in a bowl. We do this with our fingers. Then lay out your wonton skins and a bowl of water. Slightly wet the edges of each one as you put a small ball of pork mixture inside, the size of a small meatball. Then fold the edges together. (In the picture we were using round wonton skins because Eliza likes to crimp the edges.)

From here you can throw them in chicken broth and cook them until they rise to the top. You can also fry them in peanut oil as a great appetizer with Thai dipping sauce. Or you saute them in a pan to get them crispy and then add a bit of broth to steam them for pot stickers and serve with ponzu.


Faith, you are an inspiration in every way. When we walked into your house and we saw the photos of you in India (with groups of women and men swirling around you), I was even more convinced of the woman that you are: inspiring, energizing and magnetic. The words you brought home from India will be a constant now in my heart as well. Love.


“If you love people, they will love you double.”


…This is what Omaid taught me in Jaipur. While it was a calendar year ago that I spent just shy of a month in India, the shiny souls of the gorgeous Indian people will continually spark a glowing pilot in my heart.

Their motto of KALM:

Knowledge, Action, Love and Meditation is one I will permanently share.

A day in the life

Task: Jaded Palate Storyboard, Premises, & Pitch


Never an early riser, I now get up to the sound of dog, my first, Lucy. Then if I can, I run off to Bar Method. It’s been my saving grace for 12 years, and they don’t even pay me to say it.


Drive to my office in the city, intentionally trying to miss the traffic crunch. Learning about the commute from my new home in Marin has its challenges–I might not get into the city until 10:00, but I’ve been up for hours cooking up new ideas for my next piece.


I’m either developing story boards, premises or writing scripts for a piece.


I might be meeting with a new client, or reworking a piece I did for an old. Some days I’ll be off on a shoot, interviewing or directing: billionaires or the homeless, I’ve done both!

In terms of editing, I can rework a piece for hours-as in 10:00am until 10:00pm for two weeks! And so breaking my day into small intervals never quite works. Producing anything is a labor of love; it is also seriously rewarding.


When hungry- If there is lunch that day–sometimes we eat adrenaline– and no lunch meeting, there is lunch at our desks; we have our JPP repertoire of cravings that we order; or, I will make the team lunch on a rare Friday or two. We are going to produce a Jaded Palate Cookbook, so some of this eating is hard work!


Reach out by call, text or email to the girls. I try to call them often, but I have been called a “smother.” I can’t say I catch them every day, but I try never to skip more than a week.

Post-work I start thinking about that perfect meal, and what I can procure from the city to make it brilliant. Then I blast loud music the whole way home and sing at the top of my lungs–a great stress reliever.


I’m cashed – Typically lately, I’m either on the computer, or begging my honey to watch the final 3 episodes of Downton Abbey, knowing full well I will fall asleep before the end.


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One thought on “Faith Wheeler

  1. What a fabulous pictorial display; you each look ‘model ready’ for a full spread in Vanity Fair. Keep going forward!

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