Seeing some of LA’s elite chefs is always a thrill, especially when they are cooking wonderful plates all together at a fundraising event. On October 5, 2016 at Universal Studios, Michael Flood, the President and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, along with fifteen esteemend chefs and part of the LA Rams team, joined together for a great cause. Flood told me, “We hope to raise $200,000 tonight with the help of the LA Rams and these talented chefs.”
General Manager Les Snead and his wife Kara Henderson Snead of the NFL Network brought over twenty LA Rams football players, a handful of LA Rams cheerleaders and even Rampage, the Rams mascot. The Host Committee Stephanie and Josh Goldstine, President of Worldwide Marketing for Universal Pictures joined to help solve the hunger problem in our community.
There were LA Rams memorabilia for bidding, autographs to sign and a live auction to raise necessary funds to help the Los Angeles Regional food bank feed more than 320,000 hungry seniors, children and adults in Los Angeles each month.
Guests and sponsors strolled around the room to chat with chefs and enjoy some award-winning dishes. I gave each chef an award for their creativity, time, and contribution to attend this fun, worthwhile evening.
Here are the awards these chefs earned:
Best Rams Themed Dish and Most Creative- Chef Banjamin Udave (Sysco) made Ram “Lamb” sliders on a blue brioche bun, topped with a gold leaf on the top with sesame seeds. The balsamic grilled onions offered a pleasing enhanced flavor.
Most elegant dish – Los Angeles chefs Josiah Citrin (Charcoal) – Smoked lamb ribs with Citrin’s special sauce. It was divine. Citrin is one of the most respected chefs in Southern California and his fine dining restaurants are always on Top 10 Dining Experiences in Los Angeles.
Great Fresh Farm Flavors – Jessica Largey (James Beard award-winning Rising Star and soon to open Simone restaurant) with her pickled tomatoes with burrata and Pardon pesto. I can’t wait for her new restaurant to open.
Most Authentic French fare and Cutest Couple– Tony Esnault and Yassmin Sarmadi ( Church & State, Spring) made a delicious escargot. Both of their restaurants in downtown LA are on the top of my 2016 Best Restaurant List.
Best Korean Flavors – Chef Dave Histed (Pavilions) made a fresh and crunchy Korean dish with glazed Kurobuta pork, quinoa, pickled veggies. Beautiful flavor profile.
Best Sense of Humor Chef – Neal Fraser and two of his favorite chefs (Redbird, Vibiana, Fritzi) made a plate of crispy Connelly Ipswich clams with Yuzu Kisho and fermented vegetables. This Los Angeleno chef has been cooking in LA for over 20 years.
Best Mexican Flavors – Chef Susan Feniger (Border Grill, Blue Window at LAX Virgin Airlines Terminal, and soon Huntington Library and Museum) was offering Border Grill bites and a refreshing agua fresca. I look forward to her new culinary adventure in San Marino at the Huntington Library and Museum.
Most Unique Dish – Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish) made mushrooms in stinging nettle pipian. His restaurant is close to the Staples Center and LA Live. This talented chef has been welcomed warmly in downtown LA.
Most Interactive Dessert – Duff Goldman (Charm City Cakes) wanted to make a dessert that guests could make just the way they like a cupcake. He had a tray of large confetti cupcakes and devils food cupcakes with a variety of colored bags of frosting and toppings. It was a fun station. He shared with me he has a new television show – Chef Duff Goldman attempts to transform the “Worst Bakers in America” on new Food Network show. “At the end, a few become quite good.” said Chef Duff. Watch it on the Food Network.
Dining at each of these LA Chefs restaurants should be on everyone’s bucket list. Read reviews of some of these restaurants below –
Tony Esnault – Church and State – http://beverlypress.com/2014/01/church-and-state-county-french-cuisine-in-a-lively-atmosphere/
Neal Fraser – Fritzi – https://dineandtravel.me/2016/02/05/fritzi-dtla-is-fabulous/