Monday, September 8, 2014

LA Food and Wine 2014 Celebrates Los Angeles as Best Restaurant City in the U.S.

Tribute to a legend

From August I attended L.A. Food and Wine 2014 events in DTLA to celebrate L.A.'s status as the future top restaurant destination in the United States with a parade of celebrity chefs from all over the U.S., our local top chefs participating in Grand Tastings, and themed events the chef Morimoto's Night Market.

On Friday, August 22nd, Vibiana played host to a star studded tribute to chef Nancy Silverton, one of the many reasons why Los Angles is such a great restaurant city with Silverton's Pizzeria Mozza, Osteria Mozza, Chi Spacca, and Short Order. Guests sat at elegant long dining tables while appetizers were passed on the floor and a multi-course tasting was served by chefs Michael Chiarello, Lissa Doumani, Roxana Jullapat, Dan Mattern, Richard Reddington, Hiro Sone, Joachim Splichal, Suzanne Tracht, Michael Tusk, and Jonathan Waxman.

Street food at Morimoto's Asian Night Market

Then it was off to chef Morimoto's Night Market, which is becoming a regular theme at many food events these days, which looked to the strong community of L.A. Asian chefs that has exploded in recent years. Chefs like Chris Oh, Jet Tila, Thi Tran, Tin Vuong, Yoya Takahashi, and Perry Cheung brought credibility to the event. There was plenty of great wine and spirits to pair with traditional and contemporary Asian street food favorites.

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth and bartender Julian Cox

On Sunday morning, August 24th, I listened intently as chef Timothy Hollingsworth and bartender Julian Cox talked about their upcoming collaboration at the Broad at L.A. Food and Wine's Cocktail Revolution. Hollingsworth spoke on how he chose Los Angeles after leaving the coveted chef de cuisine position at the French Laundry for its ingredients and progressive dining scene--Hollingsworth and Cox further talked about how they plan to work together as chef and bartender to make cocktails a big part of your dining experience at the Broad. One cocktail was paired with a pork belly macaron and another placed a skewer of sashimi across the top of the glass.  It was both delicious and inspiring, not to mention one of the better breakfasts I've enjoyed in a long time.

Breakfast with Hollingsworth and Cox at Cocktail Revolution

Cocktails, as it turns out, is a rather light breakfast, so I had plenty of an appetite for the Lexus Grand Tasting at L.A. Center Studios for a line-up of 25 celebrity chefs and over 300 wines. At the Grand Tasting I had a memorable bite from chef Morimoto, who stood out in front of his booth--ever the gracious host--passing out his noodle dish, instructing each guest to stir everything together before you eat. Chef Luigi Fineo of Riva Bella shaved an ample amour of black truffle on his pasta dish and there were also great bites by chefs Evan Funke, Christian Page, Kevin Luzande, Philip Pretty and John Sedlar. This event had a relaxed feel, lines weren't too bad, and once again there were plenty of summer wines to beat the heat.

It was great to see how popular our local food events have become, increasingly drawing a more eclectic crowd, and L.A. Food and Wine gave them what they wanted, star power and a focus on Los Angeles as a top destination in the U.S. for fine dining.        

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