Showing posts with label event. Show all posts
Showing posts with label event. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Giveaway: Mendocino Farms Tasting Event!

Mendocino Farms is LA's new favorite sandwich spot ever since they opened their downtown location.

Sourcing artisanal bread, local and sustainable produce from farmer's markets, chef Judy Han brings in not only slow food movement influences but also tries to reconstruct "fine dining" favorites into a sandwich form. The results? Braised Lamb sandwich, French Onion Soup melt, and Kurobuta pork belly banh mi that have garnered the attention of LA Times, Tasting Table, and various blogs.

Now Mendocino Farms is expanding to the westside, Marina del Rey to be exact, and they are holding a Pre-Opening Party and Tasting Event next Tuesday (4/27) at 6:30 PM. The event is Invite only BUT they have offered FIVE spots for my readers!
One of them could be you!

Want to join us for the tasting party?
Just leave a comment below with your contact info or contact me directly! Please be sure you'll be available to attend the party.
Tweet about the giveaway to get an extra entry:
"Attend @MendocinoFarms' Pre-Opening Party&Tasting via @gourmetpigs. Enter here:"

You'll have until the end of Saturday to enter, so that I won't have attendees make last minute plan changes!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's a Gal Chat: The Heyday of LA Times Food Section

Did you know there's an organization called the Culinary Historians of Southern California?
No? Interesting, right?

Of course, they don't just study gastronomical history among themselves. Here's what might interest you: This Saturday they are bringing the big name "girls" of the Los Angeles Times Food Section from the 1960's-80's together for a talk, and it's FREE to the public.

In attendance will be Betsy Balsley, Donna Deane, Rose Dosti and Barbara Hansen (whom I've had the pleasure of meeting and she's amazing).

Here's more details:

Saturday, April 10th, 10:30 am
Los Angeles Public Library
Mark Taper Auditorium, Downtown Central Branch
630 W. 5th St.

Free and open to the public

With over 100 work years of combined experience, the team of Betsy Balsley, Donna Deane, Rose Dosti and Barbara Hansen produced the Los Angeles Times Food section in its heyday beginning in the late sixties, into the 1980's. During this era the food section had 40 to 50 pages every week, with popular columns such as Culinary SOS and Borderlines and dozens of original recipes. Recipes were prepared for publication in a magnificent test kitchen. The LA Times Food Gals will reminisce about this extraordinary era of food journalism, the resources they had to produce a great food section.

A reception with themed refreshments will follow the talk at approximately 11:30.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

This Weekend: Support the Heritage Square Museum

About Heritage Square Museum:
A living history museum reflecting the settlement and development of Southern California from the Civil War to the early 20th Century, the Heritage Square Museum has saved eight historic buildings from demolition. You can now visit these buildings during museum hours.

On Saturday, November 7, the Heritage Square Museum will host their 40th Anniversary Fundraiser and Luncheon at the historic San Antonio Winery. This event will help raise critical funds for Heritage Square Museum to continue for another 40 years, so please come on by and support the Museum while drinking wine and eating good food!

The Fundraiser begins with tours of the San Antonio Winery and wine tasting at 1:30 pm and the luncheon buffet will be held at 2:30 pm-4:30 pm.

Honorary Event Chair, Councilman Ed Reyes, District One, will be in attendance and making a special presentation. Your master of ceremony will be Al Downing of the Dodgers fame.

Saturday, November 7, 2009,1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
San Antonio Winery, 737 Lamar Street, Los Angeles, CA 90031.
Tickets are $125.00, call (323) 225-2700

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Chocolate Salon 09

October 11th was a day of various food events around town, one of them being the 2nd Chocolate Salon held in the Pasadena Convention Center. Alas, instead of eating chocolates and drinking wine all day long, I was slated to walk 17 miles up and down the Half Dome. Yeah, tell me about it. Since Chocolate Salon had sent me a press pass, I dispatched fellow blogger Kung Food Panda to cover the event for me. So, I present to you:

2009 Chocolate Salon, as reported by: Kung Food Panda

Howdy ya'll! This is Kung Food Panda reporting for KTWN at the Chocolate Salon at the Pasadena Convention Center. Gourmet Pigs is out on assignment in San Francisco.

Once a year, hundreds of chocolate aficionados gather upon Chocolate Salon a la those geeky Trekkie's bound for those yearly Star Trek conventions. Admittedly, I'm not a Chocolate Connoisseur. In fact, eating a Ferrero Rocher or even a Snickers bar often hits the spot for me. Upon arrival at 11AM in the morning, I was ready to get my chocolate on! All in the name of reporting for!

The first chocolate that I tried was a white chocolate "creme brulee" from The Chocolate Traveler. Although quite tasty, this particular chocolate didn't quite stand out, but regardless, I was able to whet my chocolate appetite.

Next stop, I saw chocolate spa treatment products by Sweet Beauty. Interesting, but that's a bit out of my comfort zone!

Next, probably the most unique chocolate I had during the convention, a Bacon Chocolate bar made by Christopher Michael.
Bacon Bar
The mix of bacon, sea salt, and pop rocks (yes, pop rocks!) within the chocolate resulted in a combination of taste, texture, and that damn pop rocks almost created a party in my mouth. Now, I don't necessarily love the bacon in the bar, as it had too much of a bacon flavor (TOO much sometimes is not a good thing), but I can definitely dig it. NEXT!!

The next stand I visited had a variety of 7 different chocolates by Chocoveda. With flavors ranging from Green Tea to Ginger Lemongrass, it definitely had some of the most interesting flavors I had during the day.
The lemongrass flavor in fact was one of my favorites as the flavor was intense, yet meshed well with the subtle bitterness of the chocolate. I like! Mmmmmm

From one of the most unique flavors of the day to probably my favorite chocolate bar of the event, Sterling Collections' truffle bars nabbed the top prize.
The two bars I tried were both fantastic! The Strawberry Orange Liqueur had a great blend of strawberries and oranges within the French vanilla ganache . Delicious! The Banana Honey Caramel was also quite delicious. White chocolate that was infused with caramel mixed with dark chocolate and honey, the symphony of flavors meshed beautifully. I loved it!

Another winner for me were chocolates made by Amano Artisan Chocolates. Although simple, the dark chocolates with a slight bitterness were simply fantastic. My favorite from their tasting was the Montanya.
Made from rare cacao from the Venezuelan mountain range, the chocolate was rich, bitter, but simply what chocolate was all about. There's a reason why Amano wins numerous awards for their chocolates.

Another delicious concoction was the "Root Beer Float" made by Choclatique.
The root beer and cream within the milk chocolate was a heavenly mix. Root beer floats were one of my favorite childhood treats whenever I visited A&W back in my hometown, and this chocolate DEFINITELY had the taste of the delicious cold treat.

I'll close out the chocolate review with chocolates from Neapolitan Print & Co. from Portland Oregon. A few flavors I enjoyed were the "celery" infused chocolate and the mango/chipotle chocolate. However, one of the more interesting things I saw was the Chocolate Moustache on a stick from a dude with a killer mustache!

All in all, Chocolate Salon was a fantastic event. From what I've heard, it was a much better event than the one held previously as more companies came to show off their chocolates. Although I was quite "chocolated out" by the end of the day, I had a great time trying out chocolates from various companies. Although there were many chocolates I was not able to try, I hope the lovely Gourmet Pigs will allow me to attend the event again next year as her +1. I had a lot of fun covering the Chocolate Salon and I thank Gourmet Pigs for this opportunity. This is Kung Food Panda, saying goodbye from Pasadena.

Until next time, too all of you chocolate lovers out there keep doing what you do, but ask yourself this......are you ready for the Chocolate Salon???

For even more photos, here's KFP's photo slideshow:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Save the Date! East LA Meets Napa on July 10

On July 10, some of the top Latino restaurants in Los Angeles and Latino winemakers throughout Napa will gather at Union Station. What for, you ask? Why, to wine and dine you, of course!

This marks the fourth year of East Los Angeles Meets Napa, a Latino-culture-centric food and wine event benefitting AltaMed, a health organization reaching out to the poor and uninsured population of East LA.

Participating restaurants include some that I've been to and enjoyed such as Rivera, La Casita Mexicana, Palate, Porto's Bakery, and Guelaguetza.

The rest of the 40-something restaurants include Casa de Moles La Tia (food samples pictured below), Phlight, Frida Restaurant, El Portal, Cook's Tortas and many many others.

There will of course be tons of wine, from Napa just as the name of the event suggests. But being a Latino-centric event, we won't be having any old Napa wines. Latino winemakers/vineyard-owners throughout Napa will be featured front and center at this event.
Some of the featured wines will include Karl Lawrence with winemaker Michael Trujillo, Madrigal which is a small vineyard that has been family-run for three generations, and Sequoia Grove (which Choisauce absolutely loved).

During the Press Preview held at Rivera, we also tasted some creations to be looked forward to at the actual event. The previews included samples from Rivera, Casa de Moles La Tia, and Phlight.

Some highlights were Rivera's Kumamoto Oysters with Cucumber Caviar (top photo on the page), Shrimp with pineapple:

Kennebeck Potato Chips, Butter Poached Maine Lobster, Chipotle Crema

For the press preview, we ended with the Mexico City Sundae from Rivera - ice cream with habanero and caramel. Bold and delicious is how I would describe this spicy yet cool and refreshing dessert. One can only hope they will serve it at the event ... and at the restaurant.

The event will take place on Friday July 10, 6-9 PM at the Union Station (800 N. Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA)
Tickets are $125 and can be purchased here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fishing with Cimarusti and Citrin, plus Battle Scorpionfish by Choisauce!

I found out $100 can get me on a boat and fishing with Chefs Michael Cimarusti (Providence) and Josiah Citrin (Melisse) (thanks to Diglounge's twitter update). Did I take it up? Hell yeah!
This fishing trip is organized by the quarterly magazine Edible LA.

The weekend after my big exam I took my new fedora hat and drove down to San Pedro, rented my fishing pole and got on the Monte Carlo boat.

Since it took about 40 minutes to go out to our fishing spot, naturally lunch is in order. Potluck style lunch by the chefs and Edible LA people included lots of cheese and crackers, some Valrhona choco chip cookies made by chef Cimarusti:

These awesome jalapeno cheddar scones from La Mill (and it's lah-mill, not L.A. Mill):

Also equally awesome, cupcakes from Lark's in Silverlake:
I loved the chocolate coconut cupcake in particular. These aren't too sweet or rich and are just perfect for me ... since now I can have two! :P
And then the fishing began! The first fish was actually caught by Citrin's son, pictured below with Cimarusti (and a sand dab)
I never realized how much work fishing is until I got my first catch. I mean, throwing it and waiting for the fish to bite is easy enough. But man reeling that fish up from the bottom of the sea is hard work!!

After my 3rd/4th fish my arm was really feeling it ...

But there it was, the reward!!! There it comes ....
What the ... I had no clue what it was. And man was it ugly! Apparently it was a scorpion fish - the scales are poisonous but they clipped all the scales for us before putting the fish in the bags.

Well, ugly or not, those babies are all I caught that day. All seven of them. Other people got sand dabs, groupers, eels .... but I guess the scorpion fish like me.

On the way back we lined up to get our fishies cleaned and filleted (or not). I got mine half and half since I can't decide what to do with them yet ...

So there I was with a bunch of scorpion fish, filleted and whole, in my canvas bag. I had no clue what to do with them, besides deep frying (cos deep fried anything is like, yum). Chef Josiah Citrin suggested deep frying them whole. OK, can do. Chef Michael Cimarusti said they were great for bouillabaise.
Yeah .... I wasn't about to make bouillabaise.

I wasn't about to eat 7 deep fried scorpion fish on my own either.

So I called the chef Choisauce to prepare these fish whichever way she liked :) Well, okay, so my first message just asked if she wanted fish for dinner ... but I think she understood that she would need to cook them haha. And thus Iron Chef Choisauce: Battle Scorpionfish began.

My kitchen being a pathetic kitchen with no seasoning, Choisauce's original Korean fish soup turned into a Cajun-seasoned fish soup, but she's such a good cook that it was delicious anyway!

Just take a look at the start of our feast:
The scorpion fish is a meaty fish, and here it's nicely accented with the garlic/lime broth.

Next up was the deep fried whole fish, served with Choisauce's special impromptu sauce.
(I helped fry the fish! See I cook after all ... not :P) Can't go wrong with deep fried fish, for sure.

Lastly, the fillets that we had were baked with lemon and tomato sauce and cheese.
Turns out scorpionfish is pretty good filleted and baked.
It's hard to say which one was our favorite since everything was so good. The baked fillets were easiest to eat so we cleaned that up. We also cleaned up the fried fish and the soup leftovers made a delicious lunch for me the next day.

Thank you Choisauce for the delicious, delicious meal!

Gourmet Pigs   © 2008. Template Recipes by Emporium Digital