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: