We had the good fortune of connecting with Morgan Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Morgan, what principle do you value most?
Balance, honest, kindness, openness, and respect. I have done a lot of work on myself to finetune these truths and these five things are who I am to my core and allow me to flow more easily in life.
Balance: I work in a fast paced world and taking time to recover by being outside or resting is vital.
Honest: I sleep well knowing I am always honest with myself and others.
Kindness: I am hospitable to my core and want everyone around me to be comfortable and feel welcomed.
Openness: Transparency aligns with honesty and I share everything about myself.
Respect: Treat others as you want to be treated because we all conquering our challenges.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started in hospitality about 15 years ago. I was at UC Berkeley, studying International Politics and preparing for law school, and I fell into restaurant life. I ran a small catering business for a local restaurant and fell in love with the events, the people, and the production of it all. I dropped the law books and spent most nights catering to theater goers at the Zellerbach Auditorium. I continued on after college in Wine & Winery PR in wine country, I managed a dessert restaurant called Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego, I worked in Winery Insurance in San Francisco, and then found myself in events. I loved the commotion of people at parties and knew events were for me. After working in production and entertainment in Los Angeles, I knew that event food & beverage was especially for me. So catering is where I landed. A full circle tour of the hospitality industry and I landed right back to where I started.
As the pandemic ravished my industry, I did not given up but instead expanded. I am still running a catering business, Curtis Stone Events, and am now building my real estate business as well. I have loved buildings, homes, and design my whole life and enjoy working on these big life moments with others. I will always be apart of the events world and will still run Curtis Stone Events, but real estate is a long-term interest of mine that I really enjoy.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have lots of different types of friends so depending on exactly who was visiting, the itinerary would change. Below is a little overview of how each of those types would have fun in LA:
The Foodie: This person is my soulmate and we speak the same language. So I would take them to the designer grocery stores like Erewhon & Lassen’s to make sure we have snacks and premium ingredients to cook one night. Our must stop breakfast places would be at The Rose, Huckleberry, Great White, or any place with a grab n go burrito or sandwich. For lunch I would insist on the Goop Kitchen and promise them it’s not a fad or some trendy thing, but instead that it’s wildly delicious and healthy. They would agree after eating any of the salads and curry chicken spring rolls. For dinner, we would go to Thai Town for Isaan Sausage, Pad See Ewe, & Tom Yum; Downtown to Bavel or Damian; and back to the beach for a slice at Abbot Pizza Co. Inevitably I would cook, and we would drink wine at home too.
The Partier: This person is also my soul mate. We work hard and play hard and need to see each other for fun and dancing. When they arrive, we go straight to Elephante for drinks and a pretty view to get the vibe right. We’ll likely wander to Venice where we can bar hop from the Whaler to the Waterfront. We would likely meet some friends for a house party to listen to some deep house and catch up all things music from there. Other nights we would find ourselves at a music studio in Hollywood like Sunset Sound or EastWest Studios, roaming the spaces and thinking of the musicians and songs that once were there and changed our lives for the better. Then perhaps we would find ourselves at larger venue such as the Hollywood Bowl, The Greek Theater, or some open field in Pasadena for a live set.
The Sight-Seer: I like this person who lets me be quiet and still. Our obvious first stops are the piers and the venice boardwalk to take in the bustling scene. We would drive along PCH and up to Malibu, possibly not stopping until we get to Ojai to check out some nature. We would hike around the Hollywood Reservoir, the Silver Lake Reservoir, and maybe bike along the LA river. I would show them the old Broadway street downtown, the famous awards venues around LA, and all the places I’ve held my own events as well. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have so many people to shoutout to so let’s start with my parents who have always believed in me and supported me; my grandmother who thinks I’m the most exciting person in our family (sorry siblings); my siblings who always make me laugh; my best friends who listen to me contemplate all my life moves; the institutions where I studied and learned so much; and the many mentors I have had along the way in business. My life is full of amazing people and they all mean so much to me.