Kim Hudson

Repertoire: Gjelina-Inspired Summer Crostini


Long before the Gjelina cookbook was written, I read an article in Food & Wine magazine where Chef Travis Lett shared a few recipes from the restaurant. I immediately ripped the pages out and tried to recreate some of the dishes I’d remembered eating there. One of my favorites was the “Grilled Apricot, Burrata and Country Ham Salad.”

After making it a few times over the past several years, I thought it would be fun to turn it into an appetizer instead. In the recipe, Lett says to freely swap out seasonal fruits, so I used peaches since they are lovely this time of year. The original recipe also involves grilling the fruit, which is fantastic but obviously more work. If the grill is hot, by all means grill away — but honestly, they’re perfectly delicious when served fresh and ripe. Besides, isn’t summer all about keeping it simple?

Gjelina-Inspired Summer Crostini
  1. 1 baguette
  2. extra virgin olive oil
  3. salt + pepper
  4. 2 balls of burrata (approx 8oz)
  5. 1 package of prosciutto di Parma
  6. 1 large, ripe, but slightly firm peach, thinly sliced (*can be grilled for more flavor)
  7. 1 cup of thinly sliced radicchio
  8. 1 cup of arugula
  9. 1/2 lemon
  10. balsamic reduction (I use Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserva Balsamic)
  1. Thinly slice baguette (1/2" thick or less) and place on baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and top with salt and pepper. Broil for about 2 minutes or until golden brown, then flip over and repeat. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Combine radicchio and arugula in a small bowl. Squeeze half a lemon on top of the salad, drizzle with olive oil (approx 1 TBL), stir then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Cover each piece of baguette with a layer of burrata, a small piece of prosciutto, one or two slices of peach, and a pinch of salad. Once all toasts are dressed, drizzle the balsamic reduction over the top. Finish with a final sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  1. This recipe can easily be halved to accommodate fewer people.
Adapted from Travis Lett
Adapted from Travis Lett


Shine On: Ghimire Family


These are my friends, Mercie, Vivek and Harper. Last November, they drove out to Las Vegas to do another family session with me (their first shoot can be found here). We always have fun together and this time was no exception. I love all of the movement and laughter in the following images. It contrasts perfectly to the unusual and austere backdrop of the Las Vegas Wash. And most importantly, these photos reminded me that not taking things too seriously always allows our true personalities to shine through.


Modern Mixtape Vol. 19: Like Right Now



Hello, hello dear friends! I’ve had a few requests for an updated mix, so what the people ask for, the people should get. Right?!

I made this compilation for all things Summer 2016 related; road trips, lying on the beach, maybe a casual get-together, or in my case — as something to listen to on a few Trans-Atlantic flights and long journeys in the car with 3 kids.

It’s full of all my current favorites from the Alt/Indie music scene like Mitski, Kristin Kontrol, Wild Nothing, Yumi Zouma, M83 and DIIV. But there’s also a couple of appearances from old school faves like Beck, DJ Shadow and Garbage. And as usual, there are always a few stragglers sneaking in from last year that I was late to discover. 

Lastly, I’ve decided to turn in my pirating patch, so this will only be available through playlist services. The good news is, I finally figured out how to make a playlist on Spotify. I think… 🙂 (If you have another app you like to listen to mixes, please let me know and I’ll add it!) Enjoy.

Listen on:




The Untouchables Hair Design


Last month, I had the pleasure of shooting the lovely ladies at The Untouchables Hair Design. They are a modern, Las Vegas-based salon that specializes in Balayage, color correction, Hot Heads Extensions, and smoothing treatments. Last year, they were chosen by Elle Magazine as one of America’s Top 100 Salons. But perhaps even more impressive is the fact the salon is nearly 30 years old — a true achievement in an inconstant city like Las Vegas!

The founder and owner, Mary Gonzales, has created quite the team of on-trend, talented and accommodating stylists. We worked together last year, so I was really excited to shoot them again, especially with a completely different theme. This time we ventured out into the desert; first to the ghost town of Goodsprings, NV, then to the new Seven Magic Mountains art installation and finally to the dry lake bed near Primm/Stateline. So much fun…



Crete: Balos Lagoon


Crete definitely takes the cake when it comes to unusual beaches! Prior to visiting Seitan Limania, one of our first stops on the island was the Balos Lagoon. I’d discovered it during my travel research and knew it wasn’t to be missed, despite reading a few off-putting comments regarding the drive, hike-in and the occasional unpleasant scent (thanks to shallow and fairly still water). Thankfully, none of those were an issue for us.


We left Chania around 10 am, driving westward on the freeway until it turned into a dirt road. It was dusty and bumpy, with never-ending twists and turns, along with errant goats that would pop out to say hello. But the lovely views of the aquamarine water butted up against the vermillion colored sand and desert-like coastline made up for any irritating anomalies.

All in all, it took a little under an hour to get there. Eventually the road ended at a nondescript plot of land, also known as a “Greek car park”. With what appears to be only goats (and maybe one guy) in charge, cars are squeezed into impossibly tight spaces, angled in all directions, with no rhyme or reason. Somehow, it works despite the disorganization and haphazardness.


The hike there isn’t too bad. It’s mostly downhill on a well worn trail. And while the heat can be a bit intense, as soon as the lagoon comes into view, it propels even the whiniest of children right down the hill. Besides, there’s plenty of places to stop for a breather or take photos of the bizarre blip of land and sea below. 



At the bottom, there’s another several hundred yards of sand to trudge through before getting to the actual beach. On the left, is a knee-high, shallow pool filled with what feels like warm bathwater. To the right, is a fairly normal, albeit incredibly turquoise sea, with glints of pink in the soft, white sand. When we arrived, they were just setting up the loungers and umbrellas, so we rented ours right away, knowing the beach would soon be full. I’m glad we did, because they ran out quickly and people had to wait for others to leave if they wanted some reprieve from the sun. 





Now, the hike back up is a slightly different story. After relaxing in the hot sun and sea, trudging through sand and then hiking in even warmer temperatures through the desert — it isn’t so appealing. Our 11 year old was bright red and thought she was going to have to flag down a donkey taxi. I had a toddler on my back and a 9 year old to prod along, so I wasn’t too sympathetic. She managed to rally, but even I will admit — the return trip was much more challenging. 





  • Go early! The boats arrive around noon and bring loads of people to the area.
  • Be prepared for the drive, hike-in and lack of facilities. In other words, expect a bumpy ride and about an hour total of hiking. 
  • If the drive/hike doesn’t appeal, you can also arrive by boat. 
  • Bring everything you need with you: money for lounger and umbrella, snacks, sunscreen, water, towels, etc. 
  • Plan to rent a lounger/umbrella. There’s no shade to speak of and it’s nice to have a place to take a break from the hot sun. Ours cost €8 ea. 
  • This is a great area for children to play and swim — just mind the reef and rocky spots!
  • There are donkey taxis for hire if the hike is too much. 
  • On your way back, stop for a late but traditional lunch at Gramvousa Restaurant in Kalivani. Delicious and beautiful! (see photos below)





Positano: What dreams are made of


There’s a certain breed of people that are not Italian but feel as though the country is deep within their soul. I am one of those. I can’t really explain it other than I’ve had an intense connection to the place for as long as I can remember. It couldn’t be any further from my current home and even less like where I originally came from. It wasn’t inherited nor learned, for even at a young age, I was drawn to all things Italian. Over time, it has only heightened thanks to my ever-expanding knowledge of food, wine, art, and culture.

We’ve been slowly working our way through the country and although the Amalfi Coast has been on my radar for years, it wasn’t until 2014 that we were finally able to go. It certainly helped that my friend Jora was also going to be there with her family and we could spend time together. It was the first time I’d travelled abroad with a friend on the other side and hopefully it won’t be the last! What fun it was to experience such amazing places together and especially with someone who knew the area quite well. It was a magical 6 days.


Unfortunately, our time there was cut short due to a major passport mistake on my part. I will write a separate post about that, but it sort of changed the scope of our trip because we lost a full day and our planned rental car, plus it made for an even more stressful journey.  Thankfully, it all worked out in the end and the good news is, we will definitely be back to see all of the things we missed the first time around! 

I also didn’t take many proper photos when I was in Positano. (Most of these are from my phone.) Oh how I wish I had a better reason… but the truth is, I carried a baby on my chest 90% of the time and our flat was at the very top of the town — 695 steps up or down, multiple times a day. That number probably seems inconsequential unless you’ve been there, but let me tell you, the rest of my family heaved and ho’ed, whined and whinnied while I used it as incentive to burn off those pesky post-pregnancy pounds. By the end of our stay, we were seasoned climbers! We ate and drank nonstop and still managed to lose weight on this trip! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve talked about it since, but I dream of living somewhere I have to get a workout nearly every time I step out the front door. (Sigh, one day!) 




To Do

• Spend at least one day at Da Adolfo for the amazing food, charming location, staff, peach wine and the ultimate Italian beach experience. (Take the Red Fish boat at Spiaggia Grande.)
• Enjoy the view with a cocktail in your hand at the famous Champagne Bar at Le Sirenuse hotel.
• Stock up on gorgeous produce, wine, delicious antipasti and other prepared foods at the Delicatessen on Via dei Mulini.
• Rent a “lettino” (umbrella/sun bed) and spend the day at Bar Bagni Da Ferdinando on Fornillo Beach.
• View the coast from the water, whether it’s on a water taxi headed to a nearby beach or from a hired boat for a private tour.
• Eat a Sorbetto al Limone (Lemon sorbet in a frozen lemon; my children’s favorite treat!)

These are all the things I didn’t get to do but will next time:

• Hike the Path of the Gods.
• Visit all the neighboring villages: Nocelle, Montepertuso, Maiori, Minori, Praiano, Ravello, Amalfi, Atrani, Furore, Sorrento.
• Go to CAPRI!!!
• Sail and swim in all of the grottos.
• Beach day at Bagni d’Arienzo.
• Spend time in Naples.





GETTING THERE: We flew from London to Naples via Easy Jet. We then took the first taxi we saw to Positano. I’m not entirely sure that it was a legit driver, but we made it in a little over an hour. On our way back, we had a much better driver that drove us to Pompeii and waited in the parking lot while we looked around, then took us to the airport. It cost a little extra, but helped us kill time before our late flight.

TRANSPORTATION: You can definitely get by without a car. In fact, we were kind of glad that we didn’t have one in the end. There are a couple of private car parks but they are pretty expensive (about €25/day) and you’d likely still have to walk up/down the hill to get to them. That said, a car would be useful for visiting all of the neighboring towns like Ravello, Praiano, Furore, Maiori, Sorrento. But should you decide to not rent one, there are local buses to take you around Positano and beyond. You can also take the boats/water taxis to various nearby beaches or for a cruise around the coast. They are found in the Spiaggia Grande and some are free provided you eat and spend a good chunk of the day at their beach. Call for reservations in advance.

LOCATION: I spent a ridiculous amount to time trying to figure out where our apartment rental was in relation to the main areas of town. It was really difficult to tell how high up it was and how close it would be to everything. Turns out, it wasn’t marked correctly on Google Maps. HA! I would probably recommend staying in Positano town if it’s your first visit (ie. not in Nocelle or a neighboring village.) This way, everything is within walking/climbing distance and you can get a real feel for the town. Clearly, this town requires a certain amount of mobility. We managed to do it with an 11 month old, 8 + 10 year old — but it would be really challenging for some people. I’d also recommend you bring as little luggage as possible. There’s a great chance that you’ll have to haul it up or down stairs to get to your place (or pay a porter to do it for you). Second, make sure you have a view of the sea. It’s a lovely reward after all the stairs!

LODGING: I never bother looking at hotels because most can’t fit our family, so I spent hours perusing Airbnb, VRBO, Summer In Italy, Owner Direct, etc. until I managed to find a place. I would link to the apartment we stayed in, but it’s no longer listed. 🙁 Either way, know that Positano books up quickly during the high (summer) season, so it’s important to book as early as possible! 

FOOD: I made a list of restaurant recommendations prior to leaving and we barely made a dent in it! In the end, we had many of our meals at the beach (Da Adolfo or Da Ferdinando). We ate at Saraceno d’Oro a few times, as it was closest to our rental. Or we kept it simple and picked up mozzarella, bread and tomatoes from the deli and picnicked on our large terrace. Needless to say, we ate well the whole time, even if it wasn’t as I’d expected. (Restaurants on my list: Da Vicenzo, Il Puppeto, Bucca di Bacco, Bar Bruno, Bar Mulino Verde, La Tre Sorelle, the restaurant at il San Pietro, La Tonnarella, La Sponda, Saraceno D’Oro, Cove dei Saraceno, Le Sirenuse, Next2, La Tagliata, Donna Rosa, and La Terra.

KIDS: My children loved Positano. Some of this was because they had friends to play with, but I genuinely believe they enjoyed it for all the same reasons we did. Italy is truly one of the best places to take kids. Italians are so friendly and children are welcome everywhere. Plus, most kids love Italian food. There’s swimming, boats, cliffs to jump off of, gelato, grottos, etc. Sure they grumbled at first about the stairs but soon it became a fun challenge to see who could get to the top first. Like everything, it’s just a matter of getting used to something different. Besides, children are smart — they can sense the mystique and magic just as much as their parents. Sometimes more! My kids give Positano a double thumbs up and are also longing to go back. 


You’ll often hear Positano being called the Jewel of the Amalfi Coast, and rightly so. From the sweeping views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, to the gorgeous and colorful houses perched on the cliffs, to the bougainvillea and ivy covered walls, to the endless, winding stairs that weave through this vertical town — it’s truly hard to beat. There were multiple times where I felt like I’d been plopped into a 1960’s Italian film where beauty abounds and everything is insanely chic and sexy but at the same time deceptively simple. I think Italians have mastered that “un certo non so che.” (ie. Je ne sais quoi!



Perhaps John Steinbeck said it best,

Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone. Its houses climb a hill so steep it would be a cliff except that stairs are cut in it. I believe that whereas most house foundations are vertical, in Positano they are horizontal. The small curving bay of unbelievably blue and green water lips gently on a beach of small pebbles. There is only one narrow street and it does not come down to the water. Everything else is stairs, some of them as steep as ladders. You do not walk to visit a friend, you either climb or slide. Nearly always when you find a place as beautiful as Positano, your impulse is to conceal it.”


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