Tag Archives: food event

All-Star Chef Classic 2014

AllStarChefClassicGrillChillSavor Last weekend Peter and I attended the first-ever All-Star Chef Classic in downtown Los Angeles. It was such a spectacular event for chef fans like us, and even though we only made it to two out of four events (having just returned from Scotland), we both had a super, delicious weekend.

Highlights included meeting out-of-town chefs Paul Qui, Wylie Dufresne and Graham Elliot, and watching L.A. legend Josiah Citrin cooking in the enormous restaurant stadium. Tuna with Sesame Tofu

There were (obviously) so many delicious bites, including Jennifer Jasinski’Cardamom Brined Pork BellyLudo Lefebvre’s Beef and Charred Broccoli, Paul Qui’s Cabbage with Crispy Chicken Skin, and Kuniko Yagi’Tuna with Sesame TofuMany more tasty photos here.

Huge CONGRATULATIONS to the event co-founders, Krissy Lefebvre and Lucy Lean!

We are SO looking forward to making it to ALL the events next year!

All-Star Chef Classic website

All my photos from “Grill and Chill” and “Savor The Season”  

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The PORK Oscars

Film lovers have the Academy Awards, music lovers have the Grammys, and those of us obsessed with swine have Cochon 555, which FINALLY comes to Los Angeles this Sunday!

Cochon555 (2010)Cochon 555′s Mission Statement:
“Cochon 555 is a one-of-a-kind traveling culinary competition and tasting event–five chefs, five pigs, five wine makers–to promote sustainable farming of heritage breed pigs. Each stop along the ten-city tour offers hard-working local farmers the opportunity to connect with like-minded agriculturalists, renowned chefs and the pork-loving public. Our goal is to help family farms sustain and expand their businesses and to encourage breed diversity. Cochon 555 is the only heritage breed pig culinary competition in the country.” more about Cochon 555

Cochon 555 – Los Angeles, May 1, 2010

The Five Chefs:
Octavio Becerra – Palate Food & Wine
Chad Colby – Mozza
Tim Goodell – Public Kitchen & Bar
Ben Ford – Ford’s Filling Station
Joshua Whigham – The Bazaar

The Five Pigs:
Spotted Poland – Hopkins Hog Farmvia Tender Belly
Hampshire – Hopkins Hog Farmvia Tender Belly
Berkshire – ReRide Ranch
Hereford – Hopkins Hog Farmvia Tender Belly
Red Wattle – Walnut Keep Farm & Vineyard

The Five Wines:
The Scholium Project
Alysian
Arnot-Roberts
Copain Wines
Red Car Wine

An added bonus… My friends at Lindy & Grundy will be doing a butchering demo in the VIP lounge! (more info below)

Photos – Cochon 555 Napa 2010
Last year my good friend Charles Thompson and I trekked to Napa for a pork showdown with five of the areas most acclaimed chefs including: Christopher Kostow (Meadowood of Napa Valley), Devin Knell (French Laundry) the WINNER, Peter Pahk (Silverado Resort), Dennis Lee (Namu Restaurant SF) and John Stewart & Duskie Estes (Zazu Restaurant).

Charles is friends with John and Duskie (who actually won the Napa event this year), so although we tried each of the chef’s offerings, we kept returning to the Zazu table where I happily tried delicious pig heart for the first time.

Cochon555 (2010)
Bacon centerpieces at the VIP pre-party… And yes… we ate them!

Cochon555 (2010)
Chicks with meat cruised the VIP pre-party

Cochon555 (2010)
More chicks with meat!

Cochon555 (2010)
Crispy Pig Skin of course!

Cochon555 (2010)
Pork Fries by Chef Chris Kostow (Meadowood)

Cochon555 (2010)
Pork Sausage by Chef Chris Kostow (Meadowood)

Cochon555 (2010)
Pig Heart in Lettuce Cup by Zazu (Duskie Estes and John Stewart)

Cochon555 (2010)
Cotecchino & Black Lentils by Zazu (Duskie Estes and John Stewart)

Cochon555 (2010)
Corn Dogs w Guinness Mustard by Zazu (Duskie Estes and John Stewart)

Cochon555 (2010)
Pork Cheek Sliders with Johnny’s Kimchi by Zazu (Duskie Estes and John Stewart)

Cochon555 (2010)
Bites from the French Laundry including Pate on Pistachio

Cochon555 (2010)
Cheeses

Cochon555 (2010)
French Laundry’s Ham Hock

Cochon555 (2010)
Porked Out!

Many more photos here, including PIG butchering (not for the squeamish!)

Tour and Ticket Info

Cochon 555 Website

@Cochon555 on Twitter

Lindy and Grundy

Cochon 555 VIDEO

Zazu wins Cochon 555 Napa (2011)

My friend Charles (he blogs at 100 Miles)

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Great Chefs of L.A. 2009

Last year, just a few days before the Great Chefs of L.A. event, I came down with a wretched stomach flu. By the morning of the actual event, I felt good enough to attend but my tummy wasn’t fully recovered yet.

Since my husband Peter was out of town on business, I planned on skipping the event altogether. Our $300 donation ($150 each) would still go to the Southern California National Kidney Cancer Foundation, and that was the most important part anyway.

But then I thought about the FOOD, the restaurants, and ALL the celebrity chefs I’d be missing. Could I really have fun at a food event, in the event that I couldn’t EAT the food?

The answer is yes. I made a quick call to my nephew Cody (who thankfully wasn’t working that morning), and an hour later we were strolling the backlot at CBS studio. I took lots of photos and tried a few bites, while Cody ate like only a fire-fighter-in-training could eat. He happily ate EVERYTHING, which of course made me happy too!

For this year’s Great Chefs of L.A., I was honored with a press pass and more importantly, a very hungry (and healthy) tummy! Peter bought a discounted ticket ($75 instead of $150) on GoldStar.com, and we both skipped breakfast to prepare for an afternoon feast.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009Basically we tried to have a bite at each restaurant table (starting on the right side of the street) and slowly made our way around the event. We missed a few dishes, but also returned several times to have more of our favorites.

It was fun to run into my friends at the Bazaar. It’s been awhile since I’ve eaten there (since Michael Voltaggio left) but Peter and I will be heading back to the Rojo room this weekend, to try out all the new dishes on the menu.

Chef Marcel Vigneron was also at the event. If you’re not a Top Chef fan (like me), Marcel was runner-up on season two. When I first met him last year at the Bazaar, I told him how much he annoyed me, when I watched him on Top Chef. His confidence came off as arrogance, and he was the “character” that I (as well as most of America) loved to hate.

After I got to know Marcel, I realized that off camera he is NOTHING like how he is portrayed on TV. He’s an absolute sweetheart, and it bugs me that he gets a bad rap. We talked for a bit about current (super exciting but I can’t talk about it) projects he’s working on, and his upcoming guest-chef stint at BreadBar (which of course I can talk about and have linked below).

One of the main reasons I love going to food events (besides donating to charity) is to try out food from eateries I haven’t been to yet. Restaurants that are on my very lengthy “To Do” list, like Saddlepeak Lodge and EAST (which had my absolute favorite bite of the day). The Great Chefs of L.A. event brings together all these things, and it’s one I’ll return to year after year.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
“Green” Carpet Hostess (ADORABLE, from Top Chef season 1) Chef Candace Kumai (The Stiletto Chef)

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Hungry Crowd!

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Gaspacho Andaluz by Bokado restaurant (Chef Frank Leon).

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Chef Frank Leon of La Loggia and Bokado restaurant.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Pintxo de Pollo/ Lamb by Frank Leon of La Loggia and Bokado restaurant.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Short Rib Grilled Cheese w/ Onion Marmalade and Bel Paese Cheese, Truffled Potato Chips by Govind Armstrong, 8 oz Burger

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Border Grill Truck

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Border Grill’s Avocado Taco: chipotle salsa, creamy corn relish, pickled onion.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Ceviche, Border Grill

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Sushi Poppers (I’m a sucker for ANYTHING on a stick!)

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Peter trying a Sushi Popper.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
The SUPER FAB Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Chef Neal Fraser’s Braised Veal Shortribs with Polenta

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Chef Celestino Drago’s Duck Sandwich, Butternut Squash Soup

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
SaddlePeak Lodge’s Grilled Nilgai Antelope w/ Cabbage, Bacon, Apple and Black Garlic

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Bottega Louie’s Brie, Blood Orange & Watercress Paninis and Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Burrata & Pesto Salad

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
The lovely Josie (UncouthGourmands) with chef Celestino Drago

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Baked Spaghetti wrapped with Eggplant, served on a bed of tomato basil sauce, topped with mozzarella by chef Giacomino Drago at Il Pastaio

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Mr. Cecils Big Beef Ribs & St. Louis Style Pork Ribs

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
George Lopez, spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
George Lopez, with Chefs of Honor, Neal Fraser and Mary Sue Milliken

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Akasha’s Beer Braised Niman Ranch Short Ribs, Betty Kennedy’s Plum-Mustard Chutney

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Scallops on the 1/2 shell, Lemongrass sambal, wasabi creme fraiche, shiso dust, micro cilantro by Chef Kevin Alan, East Restaurant (my favorite of the day!)

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Hawaiian Walu: Miso mustard cream, micro wasabi, chive essence, smoked chardonnay sea salt by Chef Kevin Alan, East Restaurant

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Strawberrylicious Cupcakes by Leyna’s Kitchen

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Adorable (and SWEET!) Cupcake Girls

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Making the Liquid Nitrogen Caipirinha from The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Liquid Nitrogen Caipirinha from The Bazaar by José Andrés, SLS Hotel.

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Peter chatting with Marcel

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Me and Marcel

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Auction Goodies

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
The Awesome Gift Bags (including a fresh pomegranate!)

Great Chefs of L.A. 2009
Contents (including fantastic coupons for wine, hair salons, headshot photo session and margaritas at Border Grill!)

All my photos on Flickr

Mentioned Above:

Great Chefs of L.A. 2008

SoCal Kidney Foundation

Marcel Vigneron

BreadBar Hatchi Series

Goldstar

East Restaurant

Saddlepeak Lodge

UncouthGourmands.com

The Stiletto Chef

Thanks to Nancy Huang, Slife PR

great chefs of L.A. Great Chefs of LA Los Angeles

Details about Great Chefs of LA:

George Lopez Hosts The Great Chefs of Los Angeles
“Go Green, Go Organic” Food & Wine Benefit at CBS Studios

The 23rd Annual Great Chefs of Los Angeles brings together L.A.’s top tastemakers for an afternoon of food, wine, music and auctions to benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California. GCLA draws more than 500 people each year, and has raised more than $4.5 million for the foundation since its inception in 1987. The recently introduced “Go Green, Go Organic” theme promotes eco-conscious living and sustainability, utilizing organic foodstuffs and eco-friendly products throughout the festivities.

WHO: George & Ann Lopez

National Kidney Foundation spokesman George Lopez, a kidney disease survivor, and his wife and kidney donor Ann Lopez, will host the afternoon’s festivities as Honorary Chairs. “Usually I don’t eat, but when I eat, I eat GREEN!” quips George Lopez. The actor/comedian will host Great Chefs just a day before the premiere of his late night show Lopez Tonight,” premiering on Nov. 9 at 11/10c on TBS.

Chefs of Honor Neal Fraser (Grace, BLD) and Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Border Grill, Ciudad) lead a stellar lineup of top toques from Los Angeles. The Chefs of Honor will present awards to their fellow participating chefs to spotlight the use of local, organic and sustainable ingredients. Hostess Chef Candice Kumai, The Stiletto Chef of TLC’s “Cook Yourself Thin,” will serve as emcee for the event and auction.

CHEFS:
Featured chefs include:
* Adam Horton, Saddlepeak Lodge
* Akasha Richmond, Akasha
* Andrea Cavaliere, Cecconi’s
* Benjamin Ford, Ford’s Filling Station
* Bob Lynn, La Grande Orange
* Brian Moyers, BLT Steak
* Calogero Drago, Celestino Ristorante & Panzanella
* Celestino Drago, Drago Restaurant, Enoteca Drago, Il Pastaio, Drago Centro
* Chris Moran, Events D’Elegance
* David Linville, Charlie’s Malibu
* Frank Leon, LaLoggia Ristorante & Bokado
* Keven Alan Lee, EAST Restaurant & Lounge
* Giacomino Drago, Il Pastaio
* Govind Armstrong, 8 oz.
* Jason Johnston, Dakota
* Jesse Perez, Fuego at Hotel Maya
* Jimmy Shaw, Loteria Grill
* Joachim Weritz, Moonshadows
* Jonathan Burrows, Mr. Cecil’s California Ribs
* Jorge Chicas, The Bazaar – SLS Hotel
* Josie Le Balch, Josie Restaurant
* Margarito Cid, Harry’s Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ
* Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger, Border Grill & Ciudad Restaurants
* Michael Fiorelli, mar’sel
* Neal Fraser, Grace & BLD
* Paolo Sicuro, Via Alloro
* Roberto Maggioni, Lago
* Sam Marvin & Christopher Goossen, Bottega Louie Restaurant & Gourmet Market
* Simon Dolinky, BLVD 16 at Hotel Palomar
* Steven Fretz, XIV
* Tanino Drago, Tanino Ristorante & Panzanella Ristorante
* Yoji Tajima, SHU – Sushi House Unico
* Leyna’s Kitchen

Wines and beverages will be provided by:
Wines
* Barone Fine Winery
* Buttonwood Farm Winery
* Crossings, New Zealand
* Duckhorn Wine Company
* Frank Family Vineyards
* FIFTYROW
* Golden State Wine Co.
* Grgich Hills Estate
* Jaffe Estate Wine
* Jack Wines
* Jocelyn Lonen Winery
* Kunde Estate Winery
* L’Aventure Winery
* Laetitia Vineyard & Winery
* Loring Wine Co.
* Quinta do Castro
* Regal Wine Co.
* Sterling Organics
* Trefethen Family Vineyards
* Vega Sicilia
* Villa Franttina

Champagnes
* Remy Cointreau USA
* Charles Heidsieck
* Piper-Hiedsieck
Spirits
* VeeV Açai Spirit
* Tequila Ocho
* RIGHT Gin

Beers
* Budweiser American Ale
* Bud Light Wheat
* Fireman’s Brew
* Hoegaarden
* Leffe Blonde
* O’Douls
* Michelob Ultra Light
* Michelob Amber Bock
* Shock Top Belgian White
* Stella Artois

Other Beverages
* Bonadea
* IZZE Beverage Company
* Lupicia Fresh Tea
* POM Wonderful
* Smartwater
* Weaver’s Coffee & Tea

GO GREEN:
Get Hip Get Green, an eco-conscious leader in producing stylish reusable bags, totes and water bottles, sponsor the GCLA “944 Get Hip Get Green” Lounge, outfitted with environmentally friendly lounge furniture provided by Girari Sustainable Furnishing. VeeV Açai Spirit, a leading distiller in promoting social responsibility in the beverage industry, will pour cocktails at the “Go Green Go Organic” Spirits Bar. Guests will use biodegradable utensils by Sysco’s Eco Company line.

Guests will receive Get Hip Get Green’s reusable gift totes stuffed with $250 worth of goodies from leading green and eco-friendly companies, including LaRocca Skincare, Healing Skin, Utter Cream, Eco-Panda, Herbal Water, Nelson J Salon, Alterna, OPI, Explorer’s Bounty, Celtic Sea Salt, Edward & Sons Trading Co., Pop Chips, Robert’s American Gourmet and Little Laura’s Sweets, among many others.

WHEN:
Sunday, November 8, 2009
12 to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE:
CBS Studio Center
4024 Radford Dr.
Studio City, CA 91604

AUCTION:
Featured items for this year’s live auction include a Maurice Lacroix Limited Edition 999 Watch, a private dinner party courtesy of Neal Fraser paired with wine from Frank Family Vineyards, a Border Grill Truck Party for 25, a La Loggia party for 25, two round-trip business class tickets on American Airlines to one of their European destinations, and a five-night stay at Aurelio-Lech, a brand new luxury ski lodge in Austria. The silent auction will include items such as a sports memorabilia, travel packages to international destinations and numerous wine and spirits packages.

About the Kidney Foundation of Southern California
The National Kidney Foundation is the major voluntary health organization dedicated to preventing kidney disease, improving the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by kidney disease and increasing the availability of all organs for transplantation. Through its offices nationwide, the foundation conducts programs in research, professional education, patient and community services, public education and organ donation.

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L.A. Mag Food Event ’08

My husband Peter and I arrived early to L.A. Magazine’s Third Annual Food Event. There were several wine booths set up at the beautiful Saddlerock Ranch, but honestly we were mostly there for the food!

This didn’t mean we didn’t drink our share of vino… just that we were more focused on the FOOD. Drinking alcohol in the early afternoon (mixed with the hot canyon sun) never works for me. If it weren’t for the tasty eats, I probably would have curled up under a tree half way through the event!

The first table we stopped at was Tra di Noi restaurant. Their three dishes were a fresh and delicious start to the afternoon…

Orecchiete Al Pecorino (Truffled Orecchiette with Pecorino Cheese). The presentation was just lovely, tossed in a bowl carved from a wheel of cheese. I remember Mario Batali doing this on an episode of Iron Chef. Very cool!

Tra di Noi's Orecchiete Al Peccorino by MyLastBite.com

Tra di Noi’s Sformato Di Carote (Organic carrot and zucchini flan with micro greens).
 
Tra di Noi's Sformato Di Carote by MyLastBite.com

Tra di Noi’s Carpaccio Di Polipo (Sliced Octopus Carpaccio with celery, cherry tomatoes and paprika aioli). 
Carpaccio Di Polipo MyLastBite.com

Hampton’s Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho.Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho MyLastBite.com

Onyx Restaurant’s Hamachi Poke & Crispy Chips

Onyx Restaurant's Poke, L.A. Mag Food Event by MyLastBite.com

Matthew Gladstone’s Jambalaya. Savory, spicy and lively… just like Chef Gladstone
Matthew Gladstone's Jambalaya from L.A. Mags Food Event by MyLastBite.com

And our favorite bite of the day… MOUTH-WATERING, BELLY-PLEASING BBQ Ribs from our friends at Animal Restaurant! Jon and Vin took the demonstration stage at around 3:20pm and gave the crowd what we wanted (and were lacking)… MEAT!!!

Jon showing off a cut from Niman Ranch.
Ready for Ribs? Animal's Jon Shook by MyLastBite.com

Jon & Vin getting ready to cook.Animal's Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo by MyLastBite.com

With co-host Cher Calvin
Cher Calvin with Animal's Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo by MyLastBite.com

Vin making the BBQ Sauce.
Animal's Vinny Dotolo by MyLastBite.com
co-host Merrill Schindler…
Merrill Schindler with Animal's Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo by MyLastBite.com

OH YES. IT WAS AS GOOD AS IT LOOKS HERE!!
Animal's Slow-Cooked Ribs, L.A. Mag Food Event by MyLastBite.com
More about ANIMAL Restaurant.

And a few Chef Photos!

Eric Greenspan, The Foundry on Melrose
Eric Greenspan, Jo MyLastBite.com

Neal Fraser of Grace Restaurant.
Jo, Neal Fraser MyLastBite.com

Nancy Silverton, Mozza
Jo, Nancy Silverton MyLastBite.com

Even though we didn’t stay through the end (blame it on that 1pm wine start!!), it was a beautiful event and all for a good cause. Proceeds went to the L.A. Regional Food Bank.

Lastly… I loved the Sweet and Spicy Chowder from Darrens Restaurant. I had two servings so quickly that I forgot to take a photo, but found one here taken at the restaurant!

Event Date: 10/26/08 More about the Food Event

Update 11/1/08 
I just found this photo on the L.A. Magazine Website. Peter (my husband) is wearing the baseball cap in the background. Our pal Jon Shook of Animal Restaurant holding the ribs.

L.A. Mag Food Event

L.A. Mag Food Event

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Gourmet On Fire

My Favorite Bite? Chef Neal Fraser’s Lamb Burgers! Neal Fraser's Lamb Burgers

Gourmet On Fire 2008 (Gourmet Magazine) Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, California

Neal Fraser’s BLD http://www.bldrestaurant.com

Neal Fraser’s Grace http://www.gracerestaurant.com

Gourmet Magazine Events http://www.gourmetscoop.com

Event Date: 6.14.08

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