The season for celebration is here so these are four spots around the city where you can plan to dine in from to get festive in a safe manner at home with family and/or friends. Let us know in the comments if you opt for any of these fantastic offerings!
The Lexus All-Star Chef Classic with BBVA hosted the Spanish Masters Dinner this year with Ellen Bennett acting as master of ceremony for the evening. The five course dinner was an extravagant affair with chefs and their teams preparing in real-time and the whole operation performed in front of the dinner audience, along with four large stadium screens airing the whole shebang from start to finish. Sort of dinner and a movie but at a whole other level.
Chef Pano Karatassos of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group based in Atlanta, Georgia was in Los Angeles for his new cookbook, Modern Greek Cooking: 100 Recipes for Meze, Main Dishes, and Desserts, fresh from his win on Beating Bobby Flay on The Food Network. He also launched a new line of products that he sourced from Greece – olive oil, feta, olives and greek honey. They all have a story and he personally traveled to each city in Greece to source the products. He held a private dinner on the occasion at Otium in Los Angeles.
Discover Buellton hosted an invite-only media dinner to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the award-winning movie Sideways which was shot in the area and brought much fame to local wineries as well as a welcome spike in wine-drinking too. Held at the creative H Club space in Hollywood, the terrace restaurant made for a beautiful outdoor space to enjoy fresh summer fare and wines poured by Hitching Post, which is the restaurant featured in the movie as well.
Held at the gorgeous Crustacean in Beverly Hills, this was an exclusive media invitation to learn more about the Como Hotels properties. The beautifully organized seated dinner featured some of the best offerings from Master Chef Helene An and Executive Chef Tony Nguyen. The eight-course dinner was a delightful experience and the company was equally lovely. Here’s a rundown of the delicious plates we were at the receiving end of, a visual pleasure as well as a flavorful one…
Kingdom of Colors, a photography and video art exhibit organized by The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (ithra) displayed the visual arts and culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 20 unique artists. The 3-day event held early April at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood was well-attended and applauded for the efforts by the country to open the doors to local talent to be discovered by the world.
Every once in a while a visiting business hosts a fun media dinner to introduce members of the community to their products. One such event was a distiller’s dinner with Old Dominick Head Distiller Alex Castle at 189 by Dominique Ansel in The Grove. To launch product availability in California, dinner guests were guided through a tasting menu with Old Dominick pairings and Castle shared a little about their line of offerings.
Or at least, that’s as many reasons I know of for right now. I am sure there are plenty more. When my friends say they are off to visit Mexico, it is all the usual suspects - Mexico City, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or San Miguel de Allende and if they live close to San Diego then it is usually Tijuana or Tecate but Guadalajara?? I have never been to Mexico so any spot in the country is enticement enough for me but hearing that very few actually head to this city got me curious. If you don’t know where that is, Guadalajara is located in western Mexico in the state of Jalisco, and is the capital city. Here’s what I learned at the recently held Travel Massive LA event with Visit Guadalajara at La Cabana in Venice.
Held at Verlaine, the event was a lovely evening do with some appetizers and drinks to start the networking hour followed by a sit down dinner hosted by the Greater Palm Springs CVB. The drink of the evening was an apt Oasis Blisstini with vodka, lime, yellow chartreuse and orgeat. While everything from the Soft fried black bean to the Melting chocolate cake was simply lovely for dinner fare on a pleasant L.A evening, the corn cake was the best part for me! Enjoy the pictures and video, and let me know what your favorite at Verlaine is, or if you have any recommendations for a trip to Palm Springs. Meanwhile, read all about my visit to Palm Desert here and all the things to see, do and have on your itinerary!
Bacari GDL in The Americana at Brand in Glendale offers a new lineup of “cicchetti,” or Italian small plates. This location features a large wood-fired oven, which is used to make new pastas and pizzas, and the majority of the restaurant’s hot dishes. The menu is almost entirely different from its sister restaurants, but favorites such as the open-faced Bacari Burger and the Mac & Cheese are available here. Additionally, the Glendale restaurant offers a full bar and a straightforward, well-executed craft cocktail menu, alongside an eclectic wine and beer list. Chef Hillel offers some standout dishes - check out the pictures from the intimate dinner event. Any favorites? The malabi was the best for me as it brought back memories of desserts I ate when I lived in Oman :)
Next month, lauded seafood authority, Chef-Owner Michael Cimarusti (Providence, Connie and Ted’s) and Cape Seafood’s Culinary Director Brandon Gray will host two intimate cooking classes at Cape Seafood and Provisions, the sustainably-driven fish market on Fairfax Ave., celebrating its one year anniversary in March 2017.
On Thursday, March 2 and Thursday, March 30 from 7 – 9pm, seafood enthusiasts of all skill levels can learn the essentials of fish cookery from L.A.’s master seafood chefs. The classes are kept small and intimate, with a maximum of 10 guests, and cost $100 per person (including the lesson folowed by an intimate dinner tasting with Michael and Brandon).To reserve a spot in the classes, guests can call the shop at (323) 556-2525.
This past fall, the team hosted their first-ever seafood cooking class at Cape, spotlighting basic fish butchery, expert tips for selecting the freshest fish, demonstrations for cooking fish (with or without skin), and recipes to try at home, alongside an intimate three-course dinner, enjoying fresh seafood dishes that were expertly prepared before them by Cimarusti himself. Cape Seafood aims to make cooking with fish more approachable, while simultanously incorporating insights about how to shop and look for sustainable seafood.
If you are local, you know these classes by Chef Cimarusti will be a fantastic experience! Let me know in the comments below if you attend/about your experience.
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With the holidays just around the corner, Cozymeal is a great option whether you're planning a Thanksgiving celebration, a unique holiday event, or simply looking for the perfect gift - Cozymeal has you covered.
A website connecting people with top local chefs through cooking classes and unique dining experiences, it is the perfect platform for locals and travelers because the service provides the chef and the venue to ensure a fabulous experience. Take home the recipes from the chef and also ask them for tips and tricks to cook like them all season long.
In Los Angeles itself, you can enjoy a delectable six-course Thanksgiving menu with Chef Eric, take your holiday baking to the next level with Chef Tené, or give the gift of experiences with Chef Joey's classic Italian menu. And if you are gifting friends and family, I think this makes for a great option that will surely be a surprise for the receiver because Cozymeal offers personalized gift cards for any experience.
Cozymeal launched in 2014 and is currently servicing the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Washington DC, Seattle, Boston, and San Diego! I am eyeing some of the classes possibly in December since I am staying in town for the holidays but if you’ve already tried the service in your city, I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below :)
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The second event this weekend as part of the culinary experience that is the All Star Chef Classic L.A. The Grill and Chill was a casual open air/indoor foodie experience all its own. A coupon booklet gives you access for tasters from different chefs who were set up in booths all around the periphery of the indoor and outdoor spaces. Some of the lines were so long it was incredible folks were hanging around and big time kudos to the chefs and their helpers for being on their feet all evening long prepping and plating for so many people! Take a peek :)
This weekend will probably be the highlight of my first quarter this year I think. Was invited to attend the American Masters Dinner presented by Mercedes Benz as part of the All Star Chef Classic in L.A. The All Star Chefs that I got to see in action were Wylie Dufresne of WD-50 in New York, Naomi Pomeroy of Portland's Beast, Jamie Bissonnette of Boston's Toro, Sean Brock of Charleston's Husk, Paul Kahan of Chicago's Blackbird and Johnny Iuzzini of Sugar Fueled Inc. in New York. Could not wait to check out the live action and see what the chefs had in store!
Wish they had this last year when I visited Japan but, oh well, better late than never I guess. AA announced today about their direct flights to Tokyo Haneda from LAX leaving daily! And the best part is its operated on American’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Amenities include satellite Wi-Fi, HD Panasonic touchscreen monitors, universal AC power outlets and a USB jack. They held a special reception at the George & Sakaye Aratani Central Hall at the Japanese American National Museum, which I was pleased to attend not just for a slice of Japan but also a special curation of Japanese performances and ceremonies, alongside remarks from key dignitaries and officials. Check out all the action!