Last night, the All-Star Chef Classic turned the L.A. Live event deck in downtown Los Angeles into an epic restaurant stadium. Thanks to Tastemade, who sent me to cover the event, I got to experience the exquisite five-course dinner menu for myself!
I was planning on going to my regular MMA kickboxing class, up until a few minutes before I was about to leave for the gym. Then, I found myself quickly getting ready for a fancy fine dining event and rushing to downtown L.A. for a night to remember! I’m very grateful for the opportunity.
Not only did we witness live demos from five of the immensely talented top chefs in America, but I also got a chance to speak with them about their food! It was a memorable evening, for sure:
Sitting in the restaurant stadium is an amazing feeling. It feels larger-than-life but also has an intimate vibe, as there aren’t a ton of rows so that no one feels too far from the action. Everyone in that room had one thing in common: we are all passionate about high caliber food.
Each of our five courses were paired with wines, and each plate looked so pretty I had to admire it (and pay homage by taking lots of photos and videos!) for a considerable amount of time before taking a bite. Hey, I was just doing my job! 😉
A breakdown of what was served:
First course, by Michael Cimarusti of Providence
Santa Barbara spot prawns roasted in salted butter, with citrus and nori. Paired with a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.
Having recently developed a very slight (and majorly unfortunate) allergy to crustaceans, I was unable to taste the prawns, but the accompaniments were delicious… and the noises my fellow dining companions made after eating this course gave me reason to believe that this dish was every bit as good as it looked.
Second course, by Daniel Patterson of Coi Restaurant
Spring vegetables in a honey-lemon broth, with herbs and flowers. Paired with a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc.
It was indeed “springtime on a plate,” as the San Francisco chef described his own dish. The herbs and the honey-lemon broth brought this delicate dish together. Hooray for healthy, pretty food!
Third course, by Nancy Silverton (always one of my favorite chefs to talk with!) of Mozza
Roasted carrots with ceci and cumin vinaigrette. Paired with a 2012 Pinot Noir.
The warm notes from the cumin and the perfectly roasted carrots gave such great flavor and texture… and the yogurt on top brought a cooling element and balanced the entire hearty vegetarian masterpiece.
Fourth course by Wylie Dufresne of Alder, and previously WD~50
Lamb loin with black garlic romesco, pickled ramps and dried soybean. Paired with a 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon.
The lamb was perfectly succulent, the ramps added some acidity, and the black garlic romesco gave the entire dish such a deep, rich umami flavor. Holy moly.
Fifth course, by Christina Tosi of NYC’s Momofuku Milk Bar
Apple pie cake with miso butterscotch, sour whipped cream and pie crumble. Paired with a 2012 Moscato… & (unofficially) Stella Cidre.
Oh man, where to start. The cake was moist, with the crumble adding the perfect crunch. The miso added more savory umami, and complemented the flavor of the apples so well. The sour whipped cream brought it home with a delicious tanginess to balance the sweetness of the cake. This is what dreams are made of, people.
Petit Fours by Christina Tosi
Momofuku’s famous “Crack Pie”
We ordered a full-size pie (yes, I had it shipped!) from NYC a few years ago, and it was pretty incredible. This was a nice bite-size version, but I do wish it had more of the addictive filling. Oh Christina, how you always leave us craving more and more! With how good her desserts are, no amount will ever be enough, I think.
Moral of the story: Not that I’m saying to always choose eating over working out, but when the right opportunity presents itself, being a little spontaneous and saying “yes” more than “no” can truly do wonders for how much you get out of life. Trust me on this!