Monday, November 10, 2008

Great Chefs of LA. Great Food, Great Fun.

This year's Annual Great Chefs of Los Angeles was held in the CBS Studio Center. Tents were set up outdoors among the bungalows of the studio. It was such a nice day to walk around outdoors sampling food while gawking over the chefs like celebrities (I wasn't the only one, I swear!)

Food and drinks were everywhere. Andrew's Cheese Shop was offering five different cheeses with bread and quince paste.

As far as drinks go, besides the numerous wineries, Sauza offered up margaritas, Courvoisier Cognac and Starbucks liqueurs, and Absolut LA was also there.
Non-alcoholic offerings from Izze sodas, Steaz for organic tea, water from Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, and POM pomegranate juice were also available. Dehydration was definitely not a problem here :)

Among the tastings there were (clockwise) cochinita pibil from Ciudad Catering, Ahi tuna (which will later be topped with caviar!) from Mark Kearney Group, a caramel apple with white chocolate from Melissa's World Variety Produce, kabocha squash agnolotti from BLVD 16.

Josie was also there serving some amazing gruyere quiche!

For La Terza, Chef Gino Angelini brought over his slicer and served up some prosciutto and salami parmiggiano!

The Dragos were also there. Yes, all four of them, and many of their different restaurants have their own booth. I think they probably took up half of the booths ;)
The Drago restaurant served wild boar with soft polenta and fig sauce (left). It was a bit cold already but we loved the combination! If only it was a bit warmer it might've been our favorite of the day. Another of the Drago restaurants (Tanino?) served smoked scallops with pomegratanes.

Other highlights from the events are the Pork Belly from Animal (the Two Dudes were there serving) and pork rib grilled cheese sandwich from 8 oz.
Both were delicious! The 8 oz sandwich is definitely going to bring me there for a real visit!

8 oz also had their bartender, Ryan, there, serving up some Pomegranate Sidecar and Orange Ginger cocktail! Strong and yummy.

Neal Fraser was there manning his booth for Grace and giving out dungeness crab salad with shiso on these cute little plastic spoons.
I got seconds, and also got a picture with Neal (to distract him from me grabbing a second spoon!)

Fraiche had an amazing chocolate dessert that the girl there didn't really tell us the name of - but it was great and despite my bad first experience there during a company dinner, I may now give it a second try.

Indulging in food and drinks aside, let's not forget that this event is a fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation of SoCal. The restaurants and sponsors not only have donated the food and drinks, they also donated some great items for both the silent and live auction!

I bid on the dinner for 4 at Grace and BLD but, alas, did not win :(
I also debated on a basket of Sauza, Plymouth, Cruzan rum, and Courvoiser but then wasn't sure if that was such a good idea after all :P At least not for my liver. And brain.

Some highlights of the live auction: A dinner for 20 cooked by chef Gino Angelini went for $5000. To top it off, a lady who originally lost this auction asked if he would do a second one for $5000 too! Gino said yes, and there you have it. Two dinners for 20 at your home for $5000 each! Go NKFSC!
4 people will get to spend 8 hours in the kitchen of Animal with Jon and Vinny, ending with a dinner and "all the wine you care to drink" (in the TwoDudes' own words) went for $1250.
A day with Chef Govind Armstrong from picking the produce all the way to dinner at Table 8 went for $1750.

One of these days I'll start making real money and can actually bid on these things ... Til then I will offer my small support on the silent auction items! Oh, and eat all the good food.



hmmm...I wonder if we bumped into each other, did you see George Lopez around?


I did bump into Caroline there, but that was the only one (that I recognized anyway!)
I haven't met you guys in person - though I did see you on Bizarre Foods - so I might have bumped into you and not recognized you ... next time I'll keep an eye out.

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