There are a lot of freebies and promotion deals to be had in our wonderful city, but I can’t say I’ve run across the offering of an entire dinner in exchange for the test drive of a car, before. And now, we have.
L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, for my third year in attendance, remains one of my favorite food events. The original idea of Alex’s Lemonade arose out of a courageous four-year-old’s battle with neuroblastoma and her desire to donate the proceeds of her lemonade stand to doctors who have helped her. Childhood cancer strikes a chord personally, as my first born nephew was diagnosed with Acute lymphocytic leukemia at the age of 1 1/2. Thanks to treatment and some faith, he’s now entering his teen years as a survivor. Of course, more research needs to be done.
It took a few tries, but it seems as though the flagship food, cocktails, wine & beer event of our city’s flagship publication may have this Labor Day weekend on lock. So head on over to Paramount Pictures this upcoming 3-day weekend for a celebration of delicious consumptions and libations. Tickets cost $65 per event and come with unlimited bites and swigs. See below for a preview of dishes, cocktails & people you’ll have to look forward to:
Field to Fork: Saturday, 9/1 • 11 am- 3 pm (21+)
Times Food Editor Russ Parsons and Chef Ray Garcia of FIG host this session inspired by fresh, local ingredients in celebration of seasonal dishes. Look forward to cooking demos, a conversation with local farmers and a chef’s challenge. You’ll experience tastes from Cook’s County, Sunny Spot, Picca, Mo-Chica, M.B. Post and Canele, who will be plating their Shelled Bean Salad.
I hope everyone’s having a great holiday season! I’m checking back in (with a New Year’s resolution to update regularly come the…you’ve guessed it…new year) since I’m super excited to be live-blogging tonight from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.
St. Vincent’s famous food truck, Cart for a Cause, has launched a cookbook featuring 40 of Los Angeles’ acclaimed chefs. Four of them – Mark Gold (Eva Restaurant), Alex Becker (NOBU Los Angeles), Bebe Flynn (Miss Lilly’s Trading Company) and Michael Fiorelli (mar’sel at Terranea) – will be on-hand at the VIP reception at 5 PM today. For $25, you’ll get bites straight from the cookbook and get to take home your own signed copy (call 213.484.7128 to RSVP). You’ll be taking home some delicious recipes while knowing that 100% of the proceeds from your cookbook purchase benefits Meals on Wheels.
At 6 PM, tonight, is the main holiday shopping event. You can expect lots of treats! Not only will Cart for a Cause be serving up food at the valet, every sponsor will have something special to offer every attendee. Plus, free Pisco Porton cocktails and glitter tattoos. The Guerlain lash bar will be open as will the Frederic Fekkai counter. Check below for what everyone’s got in store:
- Free glitter tattoos
- Feed with Fashion Social T-shirt from JUNK FOOD CLOTHING
- Longer lashes at the GUERLAIN lash bar
- A hair analysis at FREDERIC FEKKAI
- The 30-second facelift at CELLCOSMET
- Hand and arm massages from LA MER and JO MALONE
- Mini facials at SK-II
- A chance to enter and win a PENHALIGONâ€™S fragrance gift basket, valued at $385.
- Makeovers and artistry from ARMANI, BOBBI BROWN, CHANEL, CLARINS, ESTEE LAUDER, LANCOME, LAURA MERCIER, NARS and YSL
- A special gift with your BOBBI BROWN, CELLCOSMET, CLARINS, DIOR, DOLCE & GABBANA, ESTEE LAUDER, FREDERIC FEKKAI, IOMA, LAURA MERCIER and SK-II purchases.*
- A complimentary makeup sample when you meet with a CLE DE PEAU or SHISEIDO consultant*
- Customization of your ESTEE LAUDER purchase by their engraver*
- With your SISLEY purchase, get your future foretold by renowned psychic Dora Blacman*
*denotes one per purchase
Also, don’t forget to visit me in the Blogger’s Hub! I’ll be live-blogging and tweeting the event.
And, if you decide to do some holiday shopping (for others or yourself, natch), you’ll feel great that during the hours of 6 – 8 PM tonight, 5% will benefit Miss Lilly’s Trading Company, which goes towards feeding pets belonging to homebound seniors, while 5% more will go towards St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, which help feed the seniors themselves.
See you tonight!
Every year, there are more and more food events to choose from, making it hard to know exactly which one to support. LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade, however, is pretty much la crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me when it comes to the quality of participants – at least from my inaugural experience last year. This year, it looks like the case will be the same.
Let’s take a look and see why. Participants from LA include Michael Cimarusti (Providence), Vinny Dotolo & Jon Shook (Animal), Neal Fraser (Grace), Suzanne Goin (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern), Matt Molina (Osteria Mozza), Zoe Nathan (Huckelberry), Steve Samson & Zach Pollack (Sotto), Eric Alperin (The Varnish) and Jonathan Graham (Compartes).
And if those weren’t all enough reasons, there will also be stellar showings from other parts, such as April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig – NY), Neal Bodenheimer (CURE – New Orleans), Brian Huston & Paul Kahan (The Publican – Chicago), Johnathan Sundstrom (Lark – Seattle), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto – NY) andÂ Lachlan Patterson (Frasca Food and Wine – Boulder, CO).
As far as tickets, they’re not a drop in the bucket, but they’re mostly tax-deductible. But there’s no better way to enjoy endlessÂ hand-crafted cocktails from top mixologists and dishes from your favorite chefsÂ with the Gone With The Wind mansion as your backdrop. Meanwhile, you pay your taxes forwardÂ and further research on childhood cancer. Yay!Â While the regular general ticket price is normally $175, Thrillist LA is offeringÂ VIP tickets (normally $400) forÂ $225 ($100 is tax-deductible). Given that you get a whole extra hour and admission into the VIP area as well as the pre-event mixology session, this ticket is your best bet.
See you in Culver City next weekend!
Hello, Labor Day Weekend!
So many events, so little time. So many events within events, as well. Such as with The Taste, which has been revamped since last year’s The Taste of Beverly Hills 3-day event ran concurrent with L.A. Times’ own cooking, food truck and tasting debut.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, as they say. And so the 4-day, 3-location extravaganza, a collaboration between L.A. Times and Food & Wine, begins today.Â Through Monday, nine 3- and 4-hour eventsÂ will span The Beverly Hills Hilton, Rodeo Drive,Â Hollywood’s Paramount Studios and a block of Downtown Los Angeles.
Burgers & Beer (Tonight/Friday, 7 – 10 PM)
With quality restaurantÂ participants like Rustic Canyon, Blue Palms Brewhouse, Osteria La Buca, The Spice Table, City Tavern, The Gorbals and Westside Tavern – it’s a lineup thatÂ easily coaxes me out of my burger-hype-averse funk. WithÂ The Beer Chicks curating the beer list at this event, it’s a definite shoe-in. Check the full participant list, which also includes breweries.
Secrets From The Kitchen & Cellar (Saturday, 11 AM – 3 PM)
This is the session with intriguing demos, sure-to-be entertaining panelsÂ and top-notch restaurants all bundled in one. Get the inside take on Ludo and Krissy Lefebvre’s LudoBites operation and the first season of Ludo Bites America. Listen to Jonathan Gold, Michael Voltaggio, Craig Thornton (Wolvesmouth) and Walter Manzke talk about the industry in the age of tweeting. Learn insider tips on farmers’ markets from Russ Parsons. The cooking demos by Celestino Drago and Scarpetta’s Scott Conant are sure to be educational and interesting.
…And, while you’re at it, sneak some bites and sips in from my personalÂ favorites of the session: Black Market, Ray’s and Stark Bar, Chaya, Craft,Â Cafe del Rey, Locanda del Lago, Osteria La Buca, Scarpetta, SottoÂ and Wood & Vine.
Taco Tryst (Saturday, 7 – 10 PM)
Need I say more? Nouveau and O.G. tacos collide, here. Yes, the Kogi King, Roy Choi, will be host on this night. But the real tastes I’d look forward toÂ are brought to you by Antojitos Carmen, Guelaguetza, Loteria Grill, Mariscos ChentesÂ and Yamashiro.
Street Eats (Sunday, 4 – 8 PM)
The panel led by Betty Hallock will be the main event for this session as she leads Roy Choi, Sang Yoon (Father’s Office, Lukshon), Jet Tila (Wazuzu) and Mario Alberto (Chimu) through a discussion about Los Angeles as a (the best) food city.
Desserts After Dark (Sunday, 8 – 11 PM)
This is pretty self-explanatory, and though it may be after dark, I’m thinking that dessert on Sunday may also be my dinner. Look for sweet treats from the brand-new Fonuts by Waylynn Lucas, Craft, Farmshop, Oliverio, Pazzo Gelato, SimplethingsÂ and Sweet Rose Creamery.
I wish I had time to list all the wines and spirits that are also participating, but you’ll have to see the individual event pages for those. Don’t forget the 40% off code (WEB) when you buy your tickets. The all-inclusive price of $125 and $150 gets knocked down to $75 and $90.
Have fun this weekend, whatever you do. Enjoy the long one, and see you on the flipside.
Tasting events come and go, but Plate By Plate is one of those events that I’ve made sure to frequent every year. The proceeds of Project By Project’s annual benefit go towards a particular partner chosen for that year like this event’s Asian Youth Center. It also doesn’t hurt that the selection of participants is top-notch in comparison to many other events that I’ve attended over time.
Its focus on benefiting Asian non-profits flavor the event with entertainment such as modern dance and singing performances. Club beats pulse between the performances, perforating every bite. The Vibiana, with its high ceilings, is concurrently flooded with pink and white lights. And wherever Plate By Plate is, it’s always the site of the most successfully-executed-yet-unspoken dress code of the year. The chefs are the ones most expected to wear jeans, here.
The good news is that they all seem really amped to be at Plate By Plate. The answer to that age-old (in blogosphere time, anyway) question of “Why Are There So Many Asian Food Bloggers?” – if one were to ask it – lies in this event. The vibe is positive and the camaraderie, despite the pounding soundtrack, is warm.
And then there were many ofÂ my L.A. favorites – allÂ in one room. MyÂ profile on Laurent Quenioux at Vertical Bistro had just run in the Pasadena Sun (yay! I’m in print!), and he brought his delicious sweetbreads and hamachi to serve up to Plate By Plate participants. Gavin Mills, who helms my neighborhood favorite, Wood & Vine, was there to present a wonderful charcuterie spread. I’d be hard-pressed to name one other Hollywood eatery which makes their own pates and rillettes in-house, and Wood & Vine’s are really good.
Picca Peru was on-hand to serve their ultra comforting Chicken Cau Cau. The Royce of Pasadena’s The Langham Hotel, under David Feau, platedÂ pieces of Wagyu “Au Poivre” with a baby pearl onion. It’s pretty hard to argue with wagyu, but there was a certain elegant savoryness to this particular version.
The surprise of the night was The Gorbals’ Beef Tongue with Romesco. It was certainly the most tender – despite beingÂ thick -Â slice of tongue I’ve had. While I’m not a squeamish or picky eater, I can’t say that tongue has ever been a favorite “cut” of mine. But I was pretty shocked at how much I enjoyed this rendition. The delicious romesco sauce, of course, was no detail – so bravo.
Of course, the beautifulÂ Bricia Lopez was in attendance to represent La Guelaguetza. They served up their famous Tamales OaxaqueÃ±os with chicken and mole.
It’s always a festive time at Plate By Plate. The food and drink (complete this year with a mixology demo by Julian Cox) are always prime and the company in full garbÂ is always colorful. If you are keen on taking a break between bites and sips, there are also really impressive silent auction items with low starting bids on the block. It’s pretty much the sleeper event of the year.
See you next time.
Every food enthusiast knows (here in Los Angeles, anyway): Culinary events come and go, each offering its own celebration of chefs, food and wine. But nothing was about to prepare me for the best of that pig fest, Cochon 555. So named because each city it visits brings together five local chefs, five heritage pigs and five winemakers, Cochon 555 held an “all-star” edition with favorites (that is, 10 chefs, 14 pigs and 4 butchers) hailing from cities all over to Vegas, baby, Vegas.
Representing Los Angeles? No chefs, alas (are we snubbed, much?). But a social media-savvy pair of talented butchers with a shop on Fairfax called Lindy & Grundy were there to perform a live butcher demonstration – with projector screen and microphone on the ready – alongside Michael Sullivan of Blackberry Farms.
Favorite bites included an impressive array of charcuterie from Fruition in Denver. With this being my first booth visit, it was good indication that I’d have a very hard time avoiding literally rolling out of the posh, velvety Cosmopolitan convention room by the end of the event.
Another standout was the Swiss Army Pig as presented by Napa’s The French Laundry – with every part of the pig included with the bite prepared with sour morello cherry, red walnuts, Dijon and thyme with a dusting of chicharron. Delicious.
Probably the most impressive presentation at Cochon All-Stars was the Prosciutto cotto tremazzini from New York City’s Del Posto, by which you wrapped a sandwich with a massive sheet of charcuterie. There were a ton of textures delivering unmatched decadence only cut by the two tiny pieces of bread.
My favorite Asian homage at Cochon All-Stars was the Open-faced Banh Mi from Chicago’s Stephanie Izard of Girl and the Goat. All the right Vietnamese flavors were there as was the deliciously crispy pork texture.
And if you ever doubted the concept of pork dessert, John Sundstrom (Lark – Seattle, WA) would prove you wrong. His Tarte Tartin with pork belly, pineapple and soy caramel was perfect. Also served at this booth was a decadentÂ pork-flavored ice cream sandwich made with maracon-ish cookies on the outside. These two made up for the fact that I missed the bacon-caramel milkshake that others had been raving about, but which I forgot toÂ check off the seemingly never-ending list of bites.
In-house (Cosmopolitan) restaurants were also given their due without the requisite of serving up pork. Scarpetta dished out their Short Rib Agnolotti and Blue Ribbon made hand rolls of spicy tuna and uni. Of course, I could always make room for sushi.
Cocktails were presented by Domaine de Canton, Maker’s Mark and No. 3 London Dry Gin. My favorite cocktail had to be the Domaine de Canton’s Masubi – much like a ginger pina colada. Of course, the pineapple-wrapped fried pork with rice had to be the most theme-appropriate garnish in the place.
I’ve been to many a food fest in my day, but Cochon 555 All-Stars definitely takes the cake as one of the most well run with plenty a bite left over. There were no lines and I didn’t see one booth run out of food. Admittedly, this had more to do with the fact that I had to leave 15 – 20 minutes before the end of the event or face total gastro-destruction. Thank goodness my hotel room was just a 14 floors and a tower away so I could sleep away the lethargy.
Just in time for the VIP afterparty. There were more pig bites there, too, but the party was outdoors at Overlook Bar & GrillÂ in 105 degree Las Vegas heat. Ugh. I opted for the mojito and tequila sunrise push-up pops, instead.
VIP Ticket to Cochon 555 All-Stars andÂ Cosmopolitan Hotel accommodationsÂ were hosted.
With their debut event occurring last year, Savor Los Angeles will return next weekÂ and instead of focusing on the sweet, the emphasis will be on pairings. “BFFs” for the acronymically inclined.
They’ll feature eateries and vendors trending in the Hollywood, Silver Lake and Downtown areas like The Oaks Gourmet, Mas/Malo Restaurants, Starry Kitchen, Reservoir, Bangers and Smashed and Cast Iron Gourmet. Of course, The Farm of Beverly Hills also deserves a mention as the west-most representative of this culinary extravaganza.
Tickets start at $55 plus tax for tastes of all vendors, pre-event cocktails, Veev event cocktails, Zhena’s Gypsy Tea and Duvel beer. VIP will run you $85 and will get you a VIP gift bag, open bar and a special entrance. Fancy.
Proceeds from Savor Los Angeles will benefit CoachArt, which teaches art and athletic classes to children and adolescents with chronic illness. All paper- and plasticware at this event will be reusable or rapid biodegradable.
So there you have it: A tasting event in a posh, intimate Hollywood studio setting. I’ll see you there!
Hi everyone! It’s been awhile here on the blog. Thanks for being patient while I took the time for a much-needed hiatus while I rested and regrouped my going out and blogging mojo. I’m going to continue to bring you some quality reviews and heads-up on worthy up-coming events on an on-again, regular basis – so let’s get this ball rolling again, shall we?
We’ve got a debuting, community-driven food event on our hands on Sunday at Barnsdall Art Park, featuring eateries that mostly populate, well, the east side of town. Seems as though it’s skewed towards Silver Lake and Eagle Rock in particular, but it can only mean an even wider selection on their sophomore effort, right?
At Taste of the Eastside, you’ll sample tastes from Intelligentsia, Eagle Rock Brewery, Silver Lake Wine, Xoia, Malo, Little Dom’s, Pazzo Gelato, Gingergrass and Reservoir – just to name a few. Sustain LA will be on-site to keep the event recyclable and compostable. Proceeds from ticket sales will be divided up and donated towards the Barnsdall park, SEE-LA, Rose Scharlin Cooperative Nursery School and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Also taking place at the event will be three separate book signings brought by Skylight BooksÂ (only one of my favorite book stores), including “From Seed to Skillet” by Jimmy Williams & Susan Heeger, “The Sriracha Cookbook” by Randy Clemens and “Los Angeles’s Best Dive Bars: Drinking and Diving in the City of Angels” by Lina Lecaro. Bring the family for Barnsdall Art Sunday’s art workshop from 2-4 PM. If you like to roll in style, VIPs will enjoy a special cocktail tasting by Talmadge Lowe from 1-3 PM. Five percent of proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to Children’s Hospital LA.
Tickets are $25 and include 15 taste coupons. VIP will run you $65 but also get you 5 more (with 20 total) taste coupons and an additional, exclusive hour to the vendors before the event – as well as the cocktail tasting with Talmadge. You can purchase them at The Green Bean in and on Eagle Rock or via Brown Paper Tickets online.
Looks like a promising, inaugural event – especially if you’re local and looking to support your community at large. See you there!