Los Angeles Food & Wine Red Carpet Recap

Wolfgang Puck in the center

The First Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival is now a memory but what fabulous times they were! There were 100 celebrity chefs, 300 wineries and 70 city-wide events. I attended the Red Carpet, the lunch at Patina with Joachim Splichal, Jonathan Waxman and Daniel Boulud as well as a Grand Tasting on the last day.

lamb tostadito from Border Grill

One of the first bites I had was the lamb tostadito from Border Grill.

uni cucumber salad from Elizabeth Falkner

Next booth over was Elizabeth Falkner’s uni and cucumber salad. I’ve tried her desserts from Citizen Cake in San Francisco though I didn’t have a chance to eat anything savory from there or her restaurant Orson.

escargot from Michael Ginore

From Chef Michael Ginor’s Lola restaurant, I had one of my three favorite bites of the night. The escargot!

waygu beef from RDG Restaurant

Chef Robert Del Grande from RDG Restaurant & Bar Annie brought a tasty waygu beef/ watermelon aspic dish.

stew from Sam Choy

Chef Sam Choy brought a stew that was comforting. I heard people saying they were going back for seconds…then thirds!

tuna tartare from Kerry Simon's LA Market

Chef Kerry Simon brought ahi tuna tartare with black caviar over from nearby LA Live restaurant, LA Market.

Seafood panna cotta from Providence

Some found the salmon roe a bit excessive in Chef Michael Cimarusti’s seafood panna cotta from his restaurant Providence. But not me! I’ll take all the seafood I can get.

foie gras lollypop from Graham Elliot

Graham Elliot kept it simple by offering foie gras lollypops covered with pop rocks.

Craig Von Foerster: Kobe carpaccio topped with crumbled bacon

Craig Von Foerster: abalone & tomato

Through out the night, I heard the best dish was the abalone. I finally located it at Chef Craig Von Foerster‘s table. He was also serving kobe skewers sprinkled with bacon. I definitely was in love with the abalone. Chef Craig also knew what to do with the gorgeous tomatoes.

Hubert Keller: Crab Shooter

As I looked around for a spoon, Chef Hubert Keller said to just shoot it. Ah!

Ben Spungin: chanterelle mousse

Chef Ben Spungin from Marinus at Bernadus in Carmel served a chanterelle mousse. It was probably the most modernist bite of the night.

Tim Love: brisket wrapped in piquillo peppers

Chef Tim Love from Lonesome Dove brought his brisket wrapped in piquillo peppers.

charcuterie plate from Daniel Boulud

Although I knew I was getting a taste of Daniel Boulud’s cooking the next day at the Patina lunch, I couldn’t resist his charcuterie.

Michael Mina: lamb pastrami

Michael Mina

Michael Mina: shiso gin cocktail

I tried a number of things from Michael Mina‘s booth including the lamb pastrami and the shiso gin cocktail. They weren’t always making cocktails though since they were right next to the Hangar One cocktail booth. Although I know wine is part of the name of this festival, I was hoping to see more cocktails.

Hangar One: Alameda Cosmo

Hangar One was mixing their Alameda Cosmo made with wild blueberry vodka.

Melisse: Liberty Duck

I was on twitter the night before and saw Chef Josiah Citrin  from Melisse was going to bring Liberty Duck. Yum, I love duck. His new cookbook should be out now. I need to get back over to Melisse. Chef Josiah is such a character.

Ricardo Zarate: Alpaca crostini

I headed over to Picca‘s booth because I had heard Chef Ricardo Zarate was doing alpaca…as crostini! I heard some guy saying he’d eat anything with crostini. I can now officially cross alpaca off my list of creatures I’ve eaten.

I also tasted shortribs from Chef Bradley Ogden‘s Root 246 in Solvang. I didn’t take a picture though because I ended up taking pictures with the chef. I rarely take pictures of myself at these sort of events but the energy of the booth was very infectious. I also had my favorite quinoa flan from Rivera. Funny enough, I had lunch there earlier that day. The longest line had to be for Lydia Shire’s booth. Chef Lydia was serving sandwiches.

There were so much to see and do. I probably should have stayed for the after party but after eating so much, so quickly and not enough booze to digest it all (really, I should have had more wine than my 2 samples), I headed home to rest up for the big Patina lunch the next day.

For all the photos from the evening, check out my flickr set.