The 2014 Los Angeles Food and Wine started off with Ultimate Bites of L.A., hosted by chef Graham Elliot. The celebrity chef laden event was a great start for the food filled weekend. Somewhat being a fan of Master Chef, it was exciting to see Graham Elliot in the flesh.
The most special item on the list was B Too’s Bart Vandaele’s foie gras parfait in a pull away tin can. The presentation was excellent and the taste was new and exciting. The best of the night was chef Ori Menashe’s dish of burrata and octopus. Water Grill’s Chef Damon Gordon plated Wild Salmon Crudo with Figs and was one of the memorable bites of the night. Even Rose.Rabbit.Lie from Las Vegas surprised us with their foie gras macaron. Chef Carlos Enriquez from the Patina Restaurant Group booth was going crazy with the nitrogen “gun.” The night had lots of wine, and a lot of the chefs used molecular components in their dish.
Later on in the night, chef Ray Garcia and Fabio Vibiani battled chef Ben Ford and Graham Elliot in a taco challenge. Garcia and Vibiani were victorious and won $20,000 for the LA Food Bank. I guess even though Graham Elliot lost, the cook-off was for a good cause. Overall, the opening event was a success and set a trend for the whole Los Angeles Food and Wine weekend.