Success is Sweet: Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival

by Mei on October 24, 2011

My fan shot with Chef Paul Prudhomme

There’s something about the west that compels people to leave loved ones, forsake all reason, throw caution to the wind and relinquish all claims to a sense of security in exchange for the small chance of achieving something bigger and possibly, a lot brighter. Behind every miner who searched for gold, every pioneer looking to score some land, and every artist and performer waiting to be discovered is the same belief that their lives were meant for something different. Their lives were meant for extraordinary success. And if you’ve ever been to LA, you’d probably believe the same thing.

Rock Shrimp Tempura with Creamy Spicy Yuzu Sauce by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu

It seems like behind every pair of Ray Ban aviators you come across, lives a chart topping indie pop artist, a 21 year old fashion blogger whose opinion matters more than all of the editors at Vogue combined, a reality tv star who’s making a fortune off of her well endowed money maker, a self made millionaire who’s still an undergrad, an actor turned tech investor, and in our case, an Iron Chef.

Chef Masaharu Morimoto‘s Station being bombarded by fans

And nowhere was this made more evident than last week’s Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival where wining and dining’s finest gathered together to raise money for St. Vincent’s Meals and Wheels. It was overflowing with so much talent that the venue could barely contain all of the positive energy that was being exuded by all the celebrity chefs, boutique wineries, musicians, photographers and guests. And that’s when it dawned on me. The stories of success in this city are as varied as they are common but the path usually remains the same.

Kobe Beef by Chef Wolfgang Puck of Spago

Those who achieve the greatest successes in life are the ones who know who they are, what they love to do, and have enough faith in themselves to do it. They are the eternal optimists who can’t help but see the brighter side of things and not let things get them down. Even when things are not going as planned, they see the silver lining and keep going. Those who are the most successful in this town, or any town for that matter, are those that realize that the path to success is success. And I, my friend, will definitely drink to that!

Chef Wolfgang Puck pouring yours truly a glass of wine

Trio of Pork Belly Skewer with Miniature Lo-Mai-Gai & Sunomono Salad by Chef Wofgang Puck of Spago

Nobu Style Sashimi Tacos with Tuna & Salmon by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu

Sushi Chefs of Nobu

Pork Belly Skewer by Chef Wolfgang Puck of Spago

Fresh Whole Ahi Tuna at Chef Sam Choy‘s Station

Ahi Tuna Tartare by Chef Sam Chow of Kai Lanai

My favorite dish of the evening: Wild Mushroom Ragu with Foie Gras Foam & Duck Crackling by Chef Michael Ginor of Lola Restaurant, Hudson Valley Foie Gras

My other favorite dish of the evening: Maple Glazed Pork Belly & Butternut Squash Purée by Chef Richard Reddington of Redd

Bouchon‘s Seafood Ice Serving Sculpture

Seafood Spread of freshly Shucked Oysters, Mussels, Crab Claws & Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail by Bouchon

Pot Roast Sliders with Horseradish Creme by Chef Suzanne Tracht of Jar

Steamed Sea Bass with Coconut Basmati Rice, Mushrooms & Mango Salsa by Chef Floyd Cardoz of North End Grill

Seared Shrimp, Cajun Sauce with Smoked Ham, Okra, Green Chile Grits by Chef Diego Velasco of Memphis Cafe

Goats Milk Yogurt Custard with Shiso and Plum Blossoms by Chef Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant At Meadowood

Maine Lobster and Chestnut Veloutè by Chef Joachim Splichal of Patina

Salmon Sashimi Croquette by Chef Nathan Eckhaus of South Gate

Pâté Trio & Ribs by Osteria Mozza

Cheese Gnovioli w/Wild Mushrooms & Sage Brown Butter by Luciano Pellegrini of Valentino

Train performing live just for us!

The Red Carpet. Dress: BCBG. Shoes: BCBG. Purse: Louis Vuitton. Jewelry: Mei Elizabeth

My empty tasting glasses by the end of the night

A few of many wines that I tasted & loved but I was only sober enough to remember to photograph the following:

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