Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rising Stars Pre-Gala Event

While the chefs prepared a feast fit for kings, we were invited to enjoy a pre-event event. It was kind of like the fanciest holding pen ever, complete with champagne and caviar.

The J. Lassalle Cochet d"Or NV was clean and crisp.

We walked in with Julie and immediately saw Josh - it was an LAist fest. I noticed that the caviar with potatoes was being served on Petrossian lids. Someone asked, Isn't that Petrossian?


In the flannel shirt.

Of course not, that guy's like 16 years old.

The event was hosted by Jason Pendergast of Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows.

I ran into Brian, who I had met at the opening event for DineLA. He asked, "Would you like to meet Petrossian?"

"Weren't you the guy who introduced me to Marcel..."

"Marcel Vigneron. Yes."

"Wow, you are a really good introducer." And so I met Benjamin Bailly of Petrossian.

I said, "It must have taken a really long time to save up all of these lids."

Petrossian and another gentleman looked at me blankly.

"The lids they are serving on. You must have gone through a lot of caviar."

His friend Michele said, "They are our lids. We serve caviar in the jars."

I realized that they have the lids printed for them and I basically just did the equivalent of asking a dairy farmer how he saved up so many milk jugs. Luckily our mutual friend E*star showed up to break the awkward silence.

After photos all around, the server offered us caviar from the tray. Then I had another awkward moment. I was served caviar at my first fancy benefit at the age of 19. I spit it out. The chef came at me with a knife. My brother jumped between us and deftly lied, "She's allergic to fish!" I haven't touched caviar since.

Now here I was, face to face with the chef from Petrossian, being offered Petrossian caviar. I prepared to make the biggest fake smile ever. But I took a bite and waited. Nothing. No awfulness. No fishiness. It was wonderful. I was so amazed that I liked it, I told him the story I just related above. He said, "Well, then, you must come to the restaurant."

Bob sees that as a commitment level like, "Come see my band."

But I see it as, "Come, let me show you culinary wonders you have never dared imagine in your wildest dreams. Let me be your guide."


Anonymous said...

Elise: How did you get this gig going to all the media food events? is it new? because suddenly the last 6 months or so you have access to all these tony affairs w free food????

Kiki Maraschino said...

It's a snowball effect. For the first year I only posted them on LAist so you didn't see them. But the PR people did.

I have been lucky enough to try some amazing food that may not be offered elsewhere. I have had access to food I would never be able to afford in my wildest dreams.

But the best part has probably been meeting the chefs who are like rock stars to me, and they have all been so gracious.