Food Coma Aftermath: Great Chefs of LA

They say the early bird catches the worm. In this case the early bird catches short ribs, polenta, steak sandwiches, and liquid nitrogen caipirinhas. We arrived just a few minutes before the official starting time as we had anticipated long lines from previous food events like this. As they can turn out to be a mess, or somewhat successful. Great Chefs of LA comes with a high price tag at $150 per, but you are rewarded with a bounty of food and wine that even the deepest stomach couldn’t conquer. Not to mention it’s all for the better cause of the National Kidney Foundation.

The Chefs of Honor included Neal Fraser of Grace, Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill and Ciudad, and Susan Feniger of the same, plus Street. Other A-list chefs included Adam Horton from Saddle Peak Lodge, Akasha Richmond, Benjamin Ford, Jimmy Shaw of Loteria, Jorge Chicas from The Bazaar, Steven Fretz from XIV and every single Drago property.

Of course we would run into Food Marathon, this is just his type of event. So together we hit the CBS Studio City Backlot with drooling anticipation. It was much warmer out than expected, and after 3 plates of various braised meats and polenta, I was already starting to feel the heat. Luckily not everyone were featuring heavy starches as their featured dishes.

The usually meat friendly Benjamin Ford had a delicious Persimmon Salad. And La Grande Orange had a light Brussels Sprout Salad and possibly the best Deviled Egg ever. If you’re gonna serve Deviled Eggs at an event like this, you better bring your A game. My favorite dish from the afternoon was from Michael Fiorelli of mar’sel (at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes). A melt in your mouth delicately Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek, with creamed Chard Tortellini, Homeade Ricotta and Tiny Autumn Vegetables. Nearly an entire entree, at a convenient bite size portion. This restaurant, and resort, are on my must try staycation list.

There were some forgettable moments, and some preponderance as to why some restaurants chose to feature dishes that they weren’t so well known for, but overall it was a spectacular afternoon with more food than I could eat.

Not to be out shined, there was plenty of beer and wine from some great wineries and breweries. While we were focused on the food, we had a couple of great wines from Frank Family Vineyards and Jaffe Estate Wines. We plan on visiting both on our trip to Napa in the Winter.

Here are some pics from a few of the bites that we had throughout the 3 hour event:

No crowds to be seen at the event start time. They eventually get there, but it never gets overly crowded.

No crowds to be seen at the event start time. They eventually get there, but it never gets overly crowded.

The pièce de résistance, Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek, with creamed Chard Tortellini, Homeade Ricotta and Tiny Autumn Vegetables from Michael Fiorelli of mar'sel.

The pièce de résistance, Braised Wagyu Beef Cheek, with creamed Chard Tortellini, Homeade Ricotta and Tiny Autumn Vegetables from Michael Fiorelli of mar'sel.

The folks at Akasha dishing out a wonderful Beer braised Niman Ranch short ribs on pretzel rolls served with Coleman Farms cabbage and Windrose Black Arkansas apple slaw with horseradish-celery seed dressing.

The folks at Akasha dishing out a wonderful Beer braised Niman Ranch short ribs on pretzel rolls served with Coleman Farms cabbage and Windrose Black Arkansas apple slaw with horseradish-celery seed dressing.

Remeber Push Pops? Well, these are Sushi Poppers. Same concept except they pop up sushi rolls. Not sure I can imagine kids chasing down the sushi pop truck on a hot summer day.

Remeber Push Pops? Well, these are Sushi Poppers. Same concept except they pop up sushi rolls. Not sure I can imagine kids chasing down the sushi pop truck on a hot summer day.

Of course Susan and Mary Sue's Border Grille Truck was in attendance.

Of course Susan and Mary Sue's Border Grill Truck was in attendance.

The Delicious

The delectable duck sandwich with butternut squash soup from Celestino Drago.

A classic baked spaghetti wrapped in eggplant from  from Giacomino Grado.

A classic baked spaghetti wrapped in eggplant from from Giacomino Grado.

Cecconi's brought black truffles in a creamy risotto topped with shaved parmesan, way to bring it.

Cecconi's brought black truffles in a creamy risotto topped with shaved parmesan, way to bring it.

Cups of burata with a roasted grape tomato & pesto drizzle and grilled panini with melted brie and blood orange from Bottega Louie.

Cups of burata with a roasted grape tomato & pesto drizzle and grilled panini with melted brie and blood orange from Bottega Louie.

Of course the busiest table of the afternoon was that of The Bazaar, with liquid nitrogen caipirinha, tomato and mozzarella pipets, guacamole cone, and assorted desserts.

Of course the busiest table of the afternoon was that of The Bazaar, with liquid nitrogen caipirinha, tomato and mozzarella pipets, guacamole cone, and assorted desserts.

Govind Armstrong brought his crowds pleasing short rib grilled cheese with onion marmalade and bel paese cheese.

Govind Armstrong brought his crowds pleasing short rib grilled cheese with onion marmalade and bel paese cheese.

Extra props to Dakota for their creative presentation of grass fed grilled steak sliders.

Extra props to Dakota for their creative presentation of grass fed grilled steak sliders.

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill prepared delicious  zucchini flower and corn truffle quesadillas, deep fried to a crisp and golden brown. His salsa is also excellent.

Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill prepared delicious zucchini flower and corn truffle quesadillas, deep fried to a crisp and golden brown. His salsa is also excellent.

Ben Ford's suggested pairing with his Persimmon Salad was the Duckhorn Merlot. I couldn't agree more.

Ben Ford's suggested pairing with his persimmon salad was the Duckhorn merlot. I couldn't agree more.

The signature Brussels Sprout Salad and deviled eggs from  La Grande Orange. Where are the english muffins?!

The signature brussels sprout salad and deviled eggs from La Grande Orange. Where are the English muffins?!

Frank Family Vineyards has some great wines available. Go for a taste at Cork Bar in Downtown LA.

Frank Family Vineyards has some great wines available. Go for a taste at Cork Bar in Downtown LA and taste for yourself.

Im stuffed, but I think I can fit in some cupcakes from Leyna’s Kitchen. Remind me of Strawberry Quick, yum.

I'm stuffed, but I think I can fit in some cupcakes from Leyna’s Kitchen. They remind me of Strawberry Quick, yum.

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Author:Matt Mitchell

A lover of everything LA has to offer, Matt created Dig Lounge to tell his friends about all the fun things to do in the city. Matt has worked in the dot com world since 1996, including some of the top online entertainment companies and digital marketing firms. He currently works as a Digital Producer.

4 Responses to “Food Coma Aftermath: Great Chefs of LA”

  1. Food Marathon
    November 10, 2009 at 7:27 pm #

    My kind of event with good company, good short ribs (and bad) and a pomegranate to make up for the stolen tomato…

  2. November 11, 2009 at 10:00 am #

    That’s an excellent question: Where are the english muffins?
    I am bummed we didn’t meet you. Here’s our recap on the fab food day:
    http://uncouthgourmands.com/2009/11/09/good-times-at-great-chefs-of-la/

  3. KMAC
    November 11, 2009 at 11:05 am #

    I was there and thought Bottega Louie had the best food. I was very impressed with everything.

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