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.
As guests were seated on tiered dining areas surrounding the center “action zone”, introductions were made and the amuse-bouche served. This featured one preparation from each of the chefs but all of it on one plate – so essentially a plateful of teasers as to what’s to be expected from the chefs for each of the courses. The bite-sized delicacies certainly did not disappoint – each one flavorful and creative in its own way.
This included Jamie’s Pintxo de anchoa con pan de Kevin, Holly’s Snake River Farms beef tartare – shiso, jicama, cucumber, mustard caviar, dill, zaatar, Seamus’ Gaspacho de Sandia – tomato and watermelon gazpacho with Jamon Iberico, Teresa’s Jamon Gelee, caviar and tomato crisp, and finally Jose’s White asparagus ventresca and sherry vinaigrette. Can you tell it was off to a good start already!
Between happy banter and chef chatter, the other courses followed along smoothly:
Chef Jamie Bissonnette started the evening with the first course – Escabeche de atun Tahitian paired with Martin Codax Rias Baixas Albarino 2017.
Course two was Chef Holly Fivin with Spanish octopus – uni cream, crispy potatoes, pickles en escabeche, pimento paired with Martin Codax Ergo Rioja 2015.
Chef Seamus Mullen followed with a third course featuring Rap con agridulce, pan-seared monkfish, peppers, fennel and raisins paired with Las Rocas Garnacha 2016.
Course four was Chef Teresa Montano serving Basque cider braised Snake River Farms meat with winter squash, picon cheese and otono fruit paired with Las Rocas Vinas Vieja Garnacha 2015.
And to end, Chef Jose Enrique offered up Torrejas, Catalan cream foam paired with J Vineyards, Cuvee 20, Russian River, NV.
Overall a fantastic event and highly recommended as a signature L.A. experience if you've never been before! This is just one of multiple events hosted during the series and it is one of the most anticipated culinary highlights of the year, bringing together local and international talent in one big event. Would love to hear your thoughts if you've attended and let me know if you have tips for next time!