Friday, June 11, 2010

Taste of the Nation 2010 Recap

Last Sunday over 1,500 food fans, chefs and vintners got together to raise money for Share Our Strength, an organization dedicated to fighting childhood hunger in America, at the annual Taste of the Nation event in Culver City.

Over 40 local restaurants participated by providing sample size portions of their food. Attendees could try as many of the foods as they wanted, and fortunately the lines were manageable for almost all vendors, with the exception of the Gelato Bar, whose icy offerings were much in demand on a hot day.

Chef Michael Voltaggio of The Dining Room at the Langham in Pasadena did a cooking demonstration on the main stage and also got inked a new tattoo in honor of the charity event.

Mozza, Bottega Louie, Patina, Bar 210, Hatfields, The Bazaar, Sprinkles, and Loteria Grill were just some of the restaurants represented.

My favorite tastes of the day included the short ribs with potato puree from Hatfield's, the hamachi from Patina, the torchon of foie gras and the salad of heirloom tomato, watermelon and feta, both from Bottega Louie. Both of the Bottega Louie offerings were excellent and the watermelon and tomato salad was perfect and refreshing on warm summer day. I can't wait to get to the restaurant to try the full menu.

The FIG station was serving hot dogs, in order to promote their newly launched FIG Hot Dog Cart, which is available poolside at the Fairmont Hotel on weekends. It seemed silly to offer a full sized hot dog (they were quite large) at an event at which people were grazing from dozens of booths. I was also disappointed when after it turned out that both toppings on offer included pork (which I don't eat), they weren't willing to let me try one without the toppings (which I could see them adding literally in front of me.) "We are pork friendly," the smug member of the kitchen staff said. His attitude made me question whether I should bother returning back to FIG again.

Below are selected photos from the event:

Executive Chef Tony Esnault & Pastry Chef Waylynn Lucas of Patina.

Marcel Vigneron of Bar 210 with his pomegranate spheres.

Karen Hatfield of Hatfield's plating.

Sam Marvin of Bottega Louie.

The wonderful torchon of foie gras with apple gastrique and marcona almond brittle from Bottega Louie.

The albacore sashimi with onion sauce in a cocktail glass from K-Zo.

The delicious vanilla panna cotta from Mozza.

No comments:

Post a Comment