Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Food Event, the Recap

“Yum and Yay!”

My little Sis’ comment pretty much sums up last Sunday’s outing at L.A. Mag’s The Food Event 2010 at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu. There were tons of amazing restaurants and wineries to sample along with a demonstration tent and a conversation lounge.
In the consuming department the Thomas Girls’ personal highlights included:

** Blue Hubbard Squash Custard with Pomegranate Relish and Bacon Apple Strudel by Palate Food and Wine in Glendale (my number one dish of the event).

** Red Velvet Truffle by the Bread Basket Cake Company. (This one was my little Sis’ top) described as a “unique blend of rich Chocolate Ganache, Red Velvet Cake, and a hint of Brandy it was pure heaven (and totally a great idea to keep in mind for the holidays!)).

** Qupé Grenache “Sawyer Lindquist Vineyard.” (A biodynamic wine (Hello!) whose spicy cherry flavors are intense to the point of almost being racy).

** Sweet Rose Creamery’s mini Ice Cream Sandwiches (We tried both flavors: Old Fashioned – Chocolate cookie with Vanilla Ice Cream and Ginger Lover – Gingerbread Cookie with fresh Ginger Ice Cream).

** Quady’s Essenia Orange Muscat. (I brought this last year to Thanksgiving dinner and it was an awesome compliment for all those autumnal desserts).

** Susan Feineger’s STREET’s Street Food (Don’t ask me what was in it… all I know it was a fusion of a ton of different cultures and was healthy… and it was Frakin’ awesome).

And it wouldn’t be a stellar food event if I didn’t learn a thing or two:

I was able to check out Rory Herrmann’s demonstration of Bouchon Beverly Hills. Rory was giving a lesson on Braising and this is what I was able to glean:

** The reason you carmelize meat at the start of braising is to lock in the juices. When carmelizing meat don’t even bother taking the skin off garlic cloves. Just cut them in half and toss them in (this protects them from becoming bitter).

** The great thing about braising is that you can do it all in one pot and the longer you cook it the better it tastes (every guy looking for a great date meal please take note).

I also caught the Wine and Cheese Pairing event with Ian Blackburn of and Andrew Steiner of Andrew’s Cheese Shop. Sure this talk was amazing b/c of the shared plethora of knowledge between these two men and learning how to pair their two specialties better, but really we were both blown away by how amazingly good the wine and cheese tasted. Some fun Factoids from this event:

** Andrew Steiner, who started cheese service @ Patina, credited the Atkins Diet with starting L.A.’s cheese revolution. “Everyone was skipping dessert and started choosing cheese.” He noted he can stay slim, even though he eats about a ½ of cheese a day, by eating cheese and only cheese (none of those fillers like crackers or bread…)

** Steiner also noted if you’re planning a dinner party and you come to his store looking for Big Cheeses to go with your Big Wines like Barolos and Cabs he’ll try and steer you in the other direction. “You should have a very simple wine with a Big Cheese. Look for wines with acidity to feature a cheese such as Champagne or Prosecco Sparkling goes with every cheese!”

** Or beer! Steiner does a Grilled Cheese and Beer night that sells out every month. “Beer is an amazing pairing with cheese.”

** There is an art form to pairing cheese and wine: 1. Take a small nibble of cheese. Enjoy. 2. Take a sip of the wine. Enjoy. 3. Put a small piece of cheese under your teeth and swallow the wine to check the pairing. Enjoy the absolute heavenly balance of the sweetness of wine and the saltiness of cheese.

** Stichelton Blue Cheese will blow your mind! Stichelton (the original name for Stilton) is an aggressive English Blue Cheese with earthy components. Plus its unpasteurized (as cheeses should be in my opinion) so you can serve it to your lactose intolerant guests.

And to finish off the event we took pics with Chaz the coolest camel I’ve ever hung with!
The Food Event 4

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