Tag Archives: CHARITY

THE TASTE Los Angeles – Burgers & Beer and Art of Mixing

We are thrilled to have contributing guest author, Kyra Davis of the Sophie Katz Series share her experience from opening night of THE TASTE.




When I first heard of Los Angeles Times and Food & Wine magazine’s THE TASTE I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it kicked off with their Burgers & Beer event and…well, really, how can you go wrong with an event named after the two things that have made this country great? But the name was actually a bit misleading. It probably should have been called, Burgers & Beer & Every Other Wonderful Thing You Would Ever Want To Devour Extravaganza. From foie gras to fine cheeses to wine to decadent chocolates and assorted baked goods, the Burgers & Beer event was enough to make you think you had died and gone to culinary heaven. The only clue that you might not have reached an ethereal plane is that your human body simply doesn’t have the ability to eat everything being offered. Seriously, by the end of that event my eyes were still lusting after Wilshire Restaurant’s Roasted Pork Slider (complete with apple chutney, arugula, Dijon and aioli) and STK’s BBQ short rib sliders (served with sour cream, chives, roasted corn salad and their house made BBQ sauce). And although I knew that, in order to save room, I should only have had one taste of Waterloo & City’s chicken liver foie gras, stopping at one bite proved to be a fairly impossible task. The drinks from Cupcake Wine, Justin Vineyards and Peroni helped me forget about how far off my normal diet plan I had gone.

  STK's BBQ'd Shortrib Slider



Cider & Pork Slider from Wilshire Restaurant 


Foie Gras from Waterloo & City

Kobe Burger from Simon LA

Food Fashionista hearts Burgers

Green & Black's Organic Chocolate

The Cake Mama's Chocolate & Beer Cupcakes


And even if the beer and wine served at the Burgers & Beer event weren’t enough to help me throw caution to the wind the spirits served at the second event of the night, appropriately titled The Art of Mixing, would have done the trick. Anyone who knows me or who has ever read my books knows I have a fondness for vodka and this festival, hosted at the gorgeous Paramount Studios Backlot, was serving some of the most amazing vodka I’ve ever tasted. Beluga Vodka was one of my favorites, served with Lounge Attire Cranberries which are naturally sweet, dark red in color and grown exclusively in the Northwest. Normally I don’t wax poetic about cranberries but honestly, these were the perfect enhancement to the miniature Beluga vodka shots they were serving, making the drink flavorful, slightly sweet and not even a little syrupy.  But there were lots of other drinks to get excited about, including the martinis served by Chopin, the wine served by Herzog Wine Cellars and the Skinny Girl Cocktails (relatively low calorie drinks that I like to pretend make up for everything I tasted at Essential Chocolate Desserts and The Cake Mamas booths).  And the band, Mariachi El Bronx just made everything all the more festive and fun.  



Beluga Vodka from Russia

 Mariachi El Bronx photo credit: tiffany rose

The Studios at Paramount Lot

Karlsson's Potatoes + Vodka

Cafe Hoy's Assorted Agua Frescas at Art of Mixing
Bar Pintxo's Seafood Paella


And what’s the perfect finish for a night of total decadence? Shaved ice, flavored perfectly with gin, lemon, blackberry and basil (a flavor combination otherwise known as Bramble). How can you not LOVE that?




All in all it was worth every wonderfully sinful bite.  I can’t wait until the next event.



Kyra Davis on the Red Carpet at The Taste


You can learn more about Kyra and her books at KyraDavis.com

You can still purchase tickets for this weekend's events at THE TASTE.


Check back for many more upcoming photos and features of THE TASTE.

Read more

Project Open Hand’s Dessert First Event 8/14 – San Francisco


Some of the Bay Area’s most talented pastry chefs will assemble at the InterContinental San Francisco for Project Open Hand's Eleventh Annual Dessert First: Don't Delay Pleasure. In addition to delectable desserts, there will also be hors d’oeuvres, wine, port, signature cocktails and silent and live auctions. There will also be a VIP reception from 4-5 p.m. and 100% of the proceeds go to Project Open Hand.

100% of the proceeds from Dessert First will benefit Project Open Hand, a nutrition-services agency that provides meals with love to people living with HIV/AIDS, the homebound critically ill, and seniors.

The following Bay Area pastry chefs will be preparing decadent dessert creations for your indulgence:


Patti Dellamonica-Bauler | One Market Restaurant

Devin Alper | American Cupcake

Elizabeth Falkner | Citizen Cake and Orson

Sara Spearin | Dynamo Donuts & Coffee

Terri Wu | Farallon

Francis Ang | Fifth Floor

Robert Hac | FIVE Restaurant and Bar

Jessica Miller | Grand Café

Jake Godby | Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Daniel Corey | InterContinental San Francisco

Pascal Rigo | La Boulange

Janine Fong | Meritage at the Claremont

Ethan Howard | Murray Circle

Suzanne LaFleur | Perbacco

Michelle Polzine | Range

Tim Nugent | Scala’s Bistro


Purchase TICKETS for Project Open Hand's Dessert First HERE

Read more

SF Chefs 2011 Auction – Bid Online Now


Can't believe it's already been a couple years since the inaugural SF Chefs Festival launched in San Francisco's Union Square. With the Bay Area being a celebrated international dining-destination, this event was long overdue…and an immediate success.

As food lovers descend on the City by the Bay for the third installment of this highly anticipated culinary event, don't feel left behind. You too can be a part of the SF Chefs excitement by bidding on a number of delectable items benefiting the GGRA Scholarships. The GGRA (Golden Gate Restaurant Association) is a fantastic non-profit industry association that was established back in 1936. Since 1968, the GGRA scholarship fund has provided talented young people the opportunity to be a part of the industry with much-needed scholarships and mentoring.

Read more

New York Cooks for Tohoku, Japan – Big Chefs with Big Hearts

NY Cooks for Tohoku 

On a daily basis, my inbox is jammed with quite a number of press releases, pitches… and like most emails, there are many (not all, folks relax) that classify as spam-box worthy, and others which I don't immediately have time to get to (sorry, the truth). And then there are those, that truly make you stop, put aside the blackberry, close the facebook window and digest with 100% focus knowing that this is something that must be shared. This was one of those times. Yes, I am originally from Japan, so this may touch a part of me in a slightly personal way, but the reality is that as a human, how can it not strike a chord when you see selfless goodwill shared. I decided to share the whole press release since every detail and every person deserves to be mentioned in this post.


“Our goal is to provide some comfort, encouragement and a little something special,” explains Daniel Boulud, with the understanding of just how meaningful a special meal can be.


NY Cooks for Tohoku
Goodwill Lunch by NY Chefs in Kamaishi, Japan
July 3, 2011

Read more

Voices & Views from Bake Sale for Japan

Here is a touching slide show from this past Saturday's Bake Sale for Japan for NGO Peace Winds Japan.  In Los Angeles alone where the photos above were taken, over $15,000 was collected, while nationwide, over $120,000 was raised. Next time you think that your donation of $10 towards a bag of chocolate chip walnut cookies and lemon bars aren't making much of a difference, THINK AGAIN! Every positive small act makes an impact and difference like you wouldn't even believe.  

For more information on Bake Sale for Japan and how you can donate, visit HERE

Read more

Taste of the Nation Event 2011 – End Childhood Hunger

Taste of the nation - food fashionista 
"Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation® is the nation’s premier culinary benefit dedicated to making sure no kid grows up hungry. Each spring and summer, the nation's hottest chefs and mixologists donate their time, talent and passion at nearly 40 events across the United States and Canada, with one goal in mind: to raise the critical funds needed to end childhood hunger. Taste of the Nation is nationally sponsored by American Express, Sysco, Food Network, Brown-Forman Corporation, S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water and Stella Artois.  Since 1988, Taste of the Nation has raised more than $73 million. Funds raised in 2009 supported 135 organizations in the United States, Canada and abroad."

Katsuya tuna chirashi 

The next event will be held in San Francisco on April 7th at the historic Bently Reserve.After you see the impressive line-up of the City by the Bay's top restaurants, chefs, mixologists and wineries HERE, I guarantee you will not want to miss the next Taste of the Nation in a city near you.



Taste of the nation 



Read more