Friday, July 29, 2011

A Pupu Party, LA Mag's Island Style Cook-off

Who doesn't like pupu? No one, because who doesn't like Hawaii? In conjunction with the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Los Angeles Magazine threw an island-style cook-off between four of LA's greatest chefs. A pupu cook-off. Readers tried the pupu and voted online over a period of few weeks, and it all culminated in a cook-off between two finalists at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows.

Foie Gras Sushi
The winning pupu: Foie gras sushi
Chef Mark Gold, Eva Restaurant
The attendees don't want to just come and watch the cook-off, of course. We want to eat and drink and have fun. And those we did.
First, the drink. Pineapple Mosquito made with vodka, pineapple juice, liquor 43, mint, pineapple juice

We also ate the pupu prepared by the two finalists: Chef Mark Gold from Eva Restaurant prepared sushi with whole lobes of foie gras, tea smoked plum, and grated yuzu. Chef Neal Fraser from BLD prepared Hawaiian tuna poke with wasabi tobiko and sambal creme fraiche; he also prepared some spam banh mi.

The cook-off winner was Chef Mark Gold with his foie gras sushi! I certainly have a soft spot for foie gras, and perhaps hand feeding the judges helped too? ;)
Mark Gold at LA Mag Island Cook-off

Chef Neal Fraser
Chef Neal Fraser at his station
Ahi Poke
Chef Fraser's Hawaiian tuna poke
Personally, though, the highlight of the night was when the host chef Ray Garcia of Fairmont Miramar's FIG brought out a whole kalua pig, roasted over pineapples and all kinds of goodies! They had been serving kalua pork tacos all night, which were delicious, but the best part was when Chef Garcia tore off some crackling pig skin for us. Seconds? I went for thirds.
Kalua Pork Tacos
Kalua pork tacos

Chef Mark Gold will get to travel to Hawaii for the first Hawaii Food and Wine Festival in September. Congratulations to him!
Most of the party attendees won't get to go with him, but with booze, foie gras, poke, and roasted pig skin, we were winners, too.



I went to this and did a recap too! It was such a fun event. My favorite was the spam bahn mi though. =)

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