Monday, December 28, 2009
Late summer and early fall marks food festival season in Los Angeles. There was a crazy amount of food and wine fests, and thanks to a certain other blog (...cough..) Kiki got to party down with the ritzy folks. Lindsay does an amazing job of writing this LA Magazine event up for LAist.
When we drove up to the Saddlerock Ranch and vineyard and saw the wild animals, the first thing I said was, "Oh man, I am totally getting a photo of a famous chef with a llama." I like to set goals for myself.
We started out with the Foundry and spent some time chatting with the supercool chefs while they made grilled cheese sandwiches. We were still moving at a leisurely pace, unaware that there was an entire other field full of food that we had not counted on.
Petrossian freaked me out at first by having chocolate caviar until I discovered it was just candy. You never know these days.
I'm always happy to see Loteria
Believe it or not, there is a skill to what we do
Cafe W as represented with their delicious bacon-wrapped figs. Was it my imagination or was Ivan Kane giving us stinkeye?
The event was well laid-out, with a DJ (none other than KROQ's Richard Blade) and a demo tent plus a seated conversational nook with couches for talks. They were all set up so the sound didn't interfere with the other events happening. The drinks were spaced out instead of lumped together, and everything seemed to flow very smoothly.
Have I mentioned a thousand times yet how much I love John Rivera Sedlar?
He is like my chef date whenever I go to these events. He always compliments my outfits. LOVE HIM. So he was doing a demo, as was Lindsay's chef pal Ludo (My chef can beat up your chef...) I feel like whenever I say the name Ludo womanhood sighs en masse. Here he prepares a spicy Jalapeño Chocolate Mousse with an Orange gellee.
And the amazing Sedlar made his signature tortillas florales. The secret is the delicious, creamy avocado butter; the word guacamole just seems to pedestrian for the whipped clouds of creamy green.
I reached the couches just in time to catch the end of the Top Chef talk.
After snapping some pics, I found myself more or less alone with CJ, who by the way, is amazingly tall. I couldn't help myself. You would have asked too. after some small talk I said, "So...you know they have these things called neuticals for when pets get fixed..."
"So did you decide to do that, or just be natural?"
"I got a prosthetic. I didn't want to lean to the right"
Then someone pushed between us and we both awkwardly walked in opposite directions.
Lemonade served up...you guessed it
Dakota's Steak and Gorgonzola sandwich
Co-host Jeffrey Saad worked his charm in the demo area
The chefs from the Gordon Ramsay restaurant in the London, which now has nothing to do with Gordon Ramsay, were a lot of fun and had whipped up a whimsical dessert that looked very much like an egg
Spicy tuna in a tempura cone from Onyx at the Four Seasons in Westlake Village
Butternut Squash Fritters from the Little Dom's/Dominick's
Saddlepeak Ranch came bearing meat
Tanzore's cute little samosas
Fabio Viviani was feeding carrots to a camel, so I grabbed John and we ran over to take pictures with the llama.
All of a sudden, I heard people shouting. I looked over and saw a man on the other side of the fence reaching for me. I grabbed his hands and slipped through the bars just in time as a camel slammed into the fence. I looked up in shock. A woman who worked the ranch tried to comfort me, "It's OK. He's just in heat." Yeah, like that's more comforting.
I said, "Well, then maybe you should leave the two of us alone." John and I were the only ones who laughed.
We left cradling little plates of Swirls cupcakes and the pastries from Gordon Ramsay. I dropped my cupcakes inbetween the seats of the car on the winding roads of Malibu. But at least I didn't get assaulted by a camel.