Josie and I have attended a great deal of food events this year. Sometimes we are on the list, sometimes we are not, and sometimes we volunteer just to attend. This was our first year at the Great Chefs of LA and we were more involved in this event than any other. We had the honor to be guest judges on the 944 Webfire Challenge webisode and got to give away two tickets in our contest. We somehow ended up with enough tickets, through being on the media list and after our investor already purchased us two tickets, that we got to bring dates. Shocking, I know. It has become clear that most of readers just assume we are lesbians. We are still photographed dateless, so let the rumors continue.
One of the first people I saw on the way in was Andee of LA Easy Meals. It was the first time we met her but she was our contest winner and one of the people we wanted to meet most. She was so sweet and looks identical to one of our good friends who is also a marathon runner and foodie. Our friend Lauren, Andee’s lookalike, can be seen in third picture on this post. Maybe it was her similar appearance or her food and business knowledge but we are sure that she is a new UG friend! Plus, she described better than anyone what it means to be a UG.
We mention it all the time but Josie has an unfortunate allergy to seafood. It is not a problem for me, Carina, because it means I can always order it when I want her to not steal my food. Or I can have dates take me to my favorite restaurant, Boiling Crab, because I never get to go with my UG other half. I have to say that despite my attempts to kill Josie, read the Shrimp Incident, I am really saddened for her because she has to miss out on the best dishes like the scallop on the 1/2 shell from East. It was served with lemongrass sambal, wasabi crème fraîche, shiso dust, and cilantro and was one of the best things I ate all day. Totally fresh and perfectly seasoned. I even got to bare witness to when My Last Bite had her first bite of it and proclaimed it her favorite. Well, I more than watched this, I instigated the entire process demanding she try it immediately.
The other dish I loved was the mushroom soup. Maybe it was their display of fungi but my heart belonged to this creamy soup. This soup was from Giacomino Drago at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills. Now if only I can find a man that would wear a “I’m a Fungi and people lichen me” shirt.
One of Josie’s favorite’s also had the mushroom theme. It was the delicious wild mushroom risotto from Cecconi. It was the richest dish of the day and it was so beautiful that every plate got shaved parmesan and black truffles only seconds before serving.
Josie’s other favorite of the day was the blood orange and brie panini from Bottega Louie. We have only been to the restaurant once for brunch but we will definitely be returning for dinner in the near future, if anyone wants to join us.
Yes, the main cause and focus of this event was that it raised money for the Southern California Kidney Foundation, an incredible organization, but it also turned the spotlight on the great chefs of LA. The chefs of other cities are sadly more celebrated than our own. It is rather unfortunate and Josie and I want to take a second and recognize our favorite chefs of the city. First off, the amazing Drago Brothers: Celestino, Calogero, Giacomino, and Tanino. These men bring Italian food in LA to a completely different and delicious level. They were all in attendance at the event and they all impressed us to no end.
Our second hats off is to Jorge Chicas from the Bazaar. The clientele may not be our favorite but the food is always so imaginative and a great addition to any event. Plus, I was thrilled to see that hot pastry chef Michael again. I am sure Josie was very happy to see Marcel once again. In case you don’t remember, let’s just say that our first time at the Bazaar brought out a great deal of carnal hunger from the UG girls.
We know that the very talented and funny George Lopez was the host of this event as this is a cause close to his heart/kidney but there were four lovely ladies that may have stolen the show. They were the Strawberrylicious cupcake girls from Leyna’s Kitchen. They were almost as adorable as their cupcakes were yummy!
After the event, my date and I needed a nap (insert wink emoticon) but I told Josie to hit up Laurel Tavern, my favorite bar in the area. It was a good choice as it turned out to be the unofficial after-party for the event. She loved the place as much as I do and raved about the chorizo fondue. Only Josie could want sausage and cheese after a day of eating.
The event was wonderful and we are so thrilled that we got to be so involved. We owe a big thanks to Slife PR and 944 for putting on this event. Another thanks to Girari for their furniture contributions and making us smile all day.
Here our some great recaps from: