How can you just not love going to an event where the best chefs in Los Angeles and beyond are there to tantalize your every sense? Glorious bounties made my taste buds sing with happiness. What more could you want!! The Lexus Grand Tasting at Los Angeles Food & Wine is the most spectacular opportunity to enjoy over 300 wines from some of the world’s most prestigious wineries. 25 Celebrity Chefs showcase their culinary skills and provide delicious, decadent tasting samples of their cuisine. There are lots of photo opps with the celebrity chefs, so get your camera phones ready and come to this very special event.
The amazing Chefs: Philip Pretty – Fundamental LA, Los Angeles, John Sedlar – Rivera, Los Angeles, Nick Shipp – Upper West, Santa Monica, Ben Spungin – CLM Corporate Pastry, Monterey, CA, Michael Stern – Michael’s, Santa Monica, Casey Thompson – Aveline and The European, San Francisco, Laura Werlin – Author & Cheese Expert, San Francisco, William Werner – Craftsman & Wolves, Mette Williams – Culina, Modern Italian, Los Angeles, Robbie Wilson – Mattei’s Tavern, Los Olivos, André Bienvenu – Joe’s Stone Crab Miami Beach, Alvin Cailan – Eggslut, Los Angeles, Anthony Carron -Top Round Roast Beef, Ben Cohn – Westside Tavern, Los Angeles, John Cox – Sierra Mar at Post Ranch, Big Sur, Fernando Darin – Patina Restaurant Group, Hollywood, Luigi Fineo – Riva Bella, Los Angeles, Evan Funke – Bucato, Los Angeles, Michael Ginor – Lola, New York, Brian Huskey – Formosa Café, West Hollywood, Chris “C.J.” Jacobson – Girasol, Studio City, Kevin Luzande – Acabar, Los Angeles, Masaharu Morimoto – Morimoto Napa, Christian Page – Willy B.’s, Los Angeles.
Wines, Champaign & Spirits Poured: Ahnfeldt Wines Napa Valley, Alder Springs Vineyard Mendocino County, Baker & Brain Central Coast, Bernardus Winery Monterey County, Blackbird Vineyards Napa Valley, Brewer-Clifton Sta. Rita Hills, Calista Sonoma County, Champagne Gosset France, Champagne Henriot France, Champagne Lanson France, Champagne Michel Gonet France, Champagne Perrier-Jouët France, Champagne Philippe Gonet France, Château d’Esclans France, Château Lagrezette France, Corsa Italy, Cultivate Wines Santa Barbara County, Etude Wines Napa Valley, Evening Land Vineyards Oregon, Fantinel Italy, Faust Napa Valley, Ferguson Crest Santa Ynez, Fess Parker Santa Barbara County, Flowers Vineyard & Winery Sonoma County, G.H.Mumm France, Giacomo Borgogno Italy, Goose Island Chicago, Gundlach Bundschu Winery Sonoma County, Heitz Wine Cellars Napa Valley Hoegaarden Belgium, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery Paso Robles, Kistler Vineyards Sonoma County, Kracher Austria, Kunin Wines Central Coast, Ladera Vineyards Napa Valley, Landmark Sonoma County, Leffe Belgium, Leviathan Wine Napa Valley, Luna Vineyards Napa Valley, Marqués de Murrieta Spain, Mayacamas Vineyards Napa Valley, Melville Sta. Rita Hills, Miner Family Winery Napa Valley, Miraval France, Movia Slovenia, Mulderbosch South Africa, Nellcôte Napa Valley, Notre Vin California, Primus Chile, Quintessa Napa Valley, Qupé Winery Santa Maria Valley, Raeburn Russian River Valley, Recuerdo Wines Argentina, Red Car Wine Sonoma Coast, Ritual Chile, Rombauer Vineyard Napa Valley, Sandhi Wines Santa Barbara County, Scharffenberger Cellars Anderson Valley, Signorello Estate Napa Valley, Skipstone Alexander Valley, Skylark Wine Company Mendocino County, Sohm & Kracher Austria, Somerston Wine Co Napa Valley, Stags’ Leap Winery Napa Valley, Stella Artois Belgium, Stella Artois Cidre Belgium, Tablas Creek Vineyard Paso Robles, Testarossa California, Trinchero Napa Valley, Uproot Wines Napa Valley, Westerly Estate Wines Santa Barbara County, Wind Gap Wines Russian River Valley, Wines of Rioja Spain.
Early Sunday morning there was a 6.0 earthquake in Napa Valley. There were so many Napa Valley Vintners, and the underlying conversation was about what kinds of damage the area had sustained. There were many winery workers and owners that got temporary workers to work their booths due to having to get back to salvage their wineries and homes. You felt very bad for this horrible wrath of Mother Nature, especially because downtown Los Angeles is so far from Napa and we were able to enjoy their harvest. I later found out from the pourers at Ahnfeldt Wines that they’re beautiful Bed and Breakfast, McClelland Priest B&B Inn where I stayed back in February had structural damage when their roof caved in. There were some heart-felt stories going around amongst the winery workers.
My spirits might have been dampened, but my taste buds were all a buzz. Such wonderful food and drink from all of the participants. All of the wines were a perfect selection, to be pared with all of the glorious food choices. There were a few favorite dishes though: indescribable ravioli with very expensive black truffles from Chef Luigi Fineo of Riva Bella in Los Angeles. I would say this is the best dish offered up here. I also loved the little eggs and potatoes in a jar offered up by Alvin Cailan of Eggslut in Los Angeles The lovely pork wrap by Chef Brian Huskey, from Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood also got my attention as well as the BBQ shrimp by Chef Nick Shipp of Upper West in Santa Monica was very unique as well. The Lobster Cone by André Bienvenu of Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach was nice and light, loaded with fresh lobster. There were lots of Chefs trying to out do each other. Many were doing pork belly dishes, it was hard to get the real stand outs from those Chefs. But overall everything I tasted was outstanding. There were lots of different styles and ingredients. I am telling you, buy your tickets now for this event every year! A lot of them are sellouts.
There were 2 tents and they both were kept very cool and comfortable. The Nicest portable bathrooms I have ever experienced. There is nothing worse than it being too hot to enjoy the food and wine. The Food and Wine Festival lasts for 4 days and has numerous locations. Los Angeles is where the best of the best come and this event was no different. There is a concentration of amazing talent here. This is the only event where they treat food like a celebrity. Every part of this experience was elegant and special.
All I can say is that this is by far the best food event in Los Angeles. There is just so much culinary stimuli to take in. Come with an empty stomach and a clean palate. You will truly enjoy yourself!