I recently attended the Central Coast Wine and Food Celebration at Wally's Wines and Spirits in Los Angeles. The event is held for the Michael Bonaccorsi UC Davis Scholarship Fund annually and features a plethora of restaurants and wineries from Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, and Los Angeles. All the wineries offered up auction lots of Magnums and 3L's of their library wines.
I came to help Larry Schafer of Tercero Wines pour at the event and as always he brought more than enough wine to pour for the masses. Some of the wineries were MAJOR cop outs and brought their simplest wines. Guess they didn't think they needed to impress anyone.. ? *COUGH* Sea Smoke Cellars *COUGH* Thank you for bringing only your Chardonnay which people cannot even BUY if they wanted to due to it being a gift wine to loyal customers (or if you've purchased enough wine and they've given you the PRIVILEGE of buying a Magnum of the chard).
Fortunately working with Larry, you don't see that cheap-assness cause he brought bottles to spare.
Each of his wines x multiple servings as well as barrel tastes from his VERY soon to be bottled 07 line. If you're a fan of well made Rhone wines, Larry is the guy to see. Rather affordable, sub $25 from his wine club.. best deal on the market IMHO for central coast Rhones.
The event attracted a few hundred people that were standing around, eating in 90+ degree weather. I was melting. Fortunately I came in as "ITB" and got to wander around before the general public came in.
11:45am and the horde waiting to get in
Madhouse! Madhouse indeed!
Before the Madhouse descended on us, I got to take a few pictures of the set up for the food. A large list of restaurants from
- Hitching Post
- Ballard Inn
- Full of Life Flat Bread
- Bouchon (Santa Barbara)
- Hungry Cat
- Pizzeria/Osteria Mozza
- and a few more!
The Wolfgang Puck Crew chopping up some berries for dessert
Full of Life Flatbread starting up their oven
Mozza's very elaborate display
Street prepping their wonderfully put together Asian inspired dish
Some people pulled a Top Chef Masters and complained that Street was using store bought shells, but I could not care less ;)
Started off the day with a mixed concoction of Grape fruit juice, vodka, "absinthe" from Hungry Cat
Moved on to a fresh sweet corn salad, with mixed greens, and cherry tomatoes from Cut
Then a Rock Crab claw with a chili verde sauce from Comme Ca
A creamy gazpacho with a lightly cooked quail egg from Lucques
Dungeness crab with micro greens over a chilled cucumber from Bouchon
Paani Puri (spiced potatoe, chutney and sprout beans, in a crispy puff and drenched in yogurt-cilantro water) from Street
RIDICULOUSLY FATTY breadsticks wrapped with truffle butter and cured ham. Freaking ridiculous. I got a heart attack smelling it.
Yellowtail with mustard greens and a pickled salsa from Campanile
Baked Oysters from Hungry Cat
Prime Rib tacos with a light avocado sauce from Brother's
Vegetarian flat bread from Full of Life Flatbread
Mouth Watering "ham and cheese" sandwich from Pasolivo
Grilled Korean style Kobe Beef "tacos" with Soba Noodles from Spago
Pulled Pork Sliders from Comme Ca
Slow braised Pork Shoulder from Ballard Inn
Steak sandwich with home made spiced ketchup from Hitching Post
uh.. lil fried balls from Comme Ca with a lemon custard sauce and plum sauce
Butterscotch pudding with a dash of sea salt from Osteria Mozza
Fresh ice cream from Spago
All in all a vastly fulfilling day foodwise. The wine showing wasn't that spectacular but the food was pretty much top notch for the amount of portions they had to put out. There were still 4-5 more dishes I didn't take pictures of that were still very good.