Los Angeles Food & Wine: Lexus Grand Tasting
Throughout time, one entity has always been able to calm quarrels, start protests, attract audiences, and bring people together. That entity is FOOD. Food is our common universal need. A lack of it can start protests and riots, while an abundance of it brings about celebrations and festivities. The Los Angeles Food & Wine’s Lexus Grand Tasting Event on Sunday, Oct 16, at LA Live was THE ultimate food celebration. Not only were there tasty creations at every corner, but the cultural diversity displayed by the different types of cuisines, chefs, and attendees illustrated LA’s refreshingly and wonderfully diverse population.
The IEVENTcloud team got there at 11:45, just in time to witness the massive line of attendees excitedly awaiting their entrance into “foodie heaven.” As we made our way upstairs to the LA Live event deck, we were greeted by the staff’s friendly smiles and greetings. As I stepped into the main tent, I knew that my afternoon of food exploration was about to begin. It was a vibrant scene that brought together, food, wine, entertainment, and great company. Present were 30 celebrity chefs, 200 wineries that featured over 300 wines, and a Stella Artois booth that featured 3 kinds of beers. Lexus entertained the crowd by showcasing some of their beautiful automobiles and providing an interactive photo shoot area. It was a creative idea that allowed attendees to pose for numerous photographs that translated into a flipbook, great souvenir for the crowd!
As you would have guessed, I successfully sampled all the food offerings at the Lexus Grand Tasting. This seems like an easy task but it took all the patience and discipline in the world not to gorge on the first few tables I visited. Furthermore, having to write notes, tweet, and take pictures while eating and mingling, can be a bit of a balancing act, an act that proved to be a small price to pay in order to enjoy the tasty creations of LA’s most talented chefs. The beef rendang from Chef Bryant Ng, owner of The Spice Table at Little Tokyo was to die for!!! The soft buttery beef literally melts in your mouth as an explosion of spices and flavors fill your senses. It sat atop of white rice and banana leaves, garnished with roasted peanuts that provided a crisp texture and an added layer of flavor. The next contender is the biscuit, sausage, and gravy from Fig Santa Monica. The biscuit was crumbly and buttery, the sausage was well seasoned and hearty, and the gravy was indeed a rich, well balanced, and creamy concoction of comforting goodness. This theme of warmth and comfort echoed to Chef Morimoto’s booth. He brilliantly updated the thick and heavy clam chowder to a lighter and more pure version that allowed the clams’ natural flavors to entice and titillate the tasters’ taste buds. Chef Morimoto enabled us to taste and enjoy the dish by making the clams, and not the cream, the star of the show. And speaking of the star of the show, the star of all desserts had to be the chocolate caramel bread pudding from Chef Barbara Batiste of B Sweet Catering. Like the beef rendang, this dessert literally melts in your mouth. It was one of the most indulgent 30-second moments of my life, so I had to experience it twice. From tacos to pasta, from beef to vegetables, from savory to sweet, from riesling to beer-with this vast array of selections, there was indeed something for every palate!
Nothing brings people together like food, making The Lexus Grand Tasting event a huge success from beginning to end. In today’s busy society, we sometimes take food for granted. We forget to stop and acknowledge the feeling of nourishment, comfort, excitement, happiness, and humility it gives. We don’t think about the farmers who harvest the grain, the energy it took to transform the grain into flour, the bakers who baked the bread, the trucks that transported the bread to stores, and the person who served you your simple toast. Food is truly a powerful entity, an entity that everyone is entitled to. If we can only stop to think about the energy it took to make our next meal, we’d be more appreciative of Mother Nature’s most precious gift.