LAFW

The Lexus Grand Avenue Night Market hosted by Tyler Florence was a success! With 30 chefs whipping up their special dishes and an overflow of wine and cocktails, the night went on with the tunes of a mediocre DJ. I like to believe the DJ was just “opening” for The Roots the next night.

#lafoodwine First bite of the night is porkbelly!!

A photo posted by Franklin Park (@dinedelish) on


My first bite, which was the pork belly above set the mood of the night. A lot of chefs were doing pork belly, and for a good reason. It was delicious! Topped with a zesty sauce and atop a nice crunchy slaw, the dish was a great start.

Hotdog at #lafoodwine?? Banh Mi style.. 'Twas pretty good.

A photo posted by Franklin Park (@dinedelish) on


Another stellar dish was the banh mi hot dog. It had all the great flavors of a banh mi sandwich, with the humbleness of a hotdog. Great combination, and very gutsy to serve hot dogs at LA Food & Wine!

Yuhhhhh… #lafw #lafoodwine #badass

A photo posted by Franklin Park (@dinedelish) on


Another porky dish I liked was Badmaash’s rice and pork dish. The spiced mango pork belly went perfectly with the Bacon Biryani. Pork and rice is indeed my weakness.

Other great dishes included arroz caldo from Eggslut’s/Rice Bar’ Calvin Dunn. Chef Tin Vuong of Little Sister had a great dish of a vermicelli noodle salad with tender lemongrass beef and spices galore. Other favorites included:
– Hamasaku’s Jewelry Box Chirashi bowl
– Superba’s nitrogen candy
– Seoul Sausage’s Chinese Spiced Lamb Belly
– Patina’s Chef Paul Lee’s Dungeness Crab Cone (pictured below)

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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.

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2013 LAFW Duff Goldman Cooking Demo

by Franklin on September 23, 2013

Meeting Duff Goldman throughout the LA Food & Wine Festival, I was excited to see him in the last and final event. He showed us how to make Bananas Foster. The event started off quite interestingly. I don’t know if he was killing time, or just in a silly mood, but Duff started telling us all about bananas. I thought it was quite interesting and fun; check the video below. He waved his knife around like a maniac, poured shots of banana liqueur into people’s mouths, and dropped the F bomb more than I can count. All in good fun! After learning that Duff was quite the character, and after some sexually inappropriate jokes, the bananas foster was served. Of course, he incorporated cake as the base of the dessert. It was filled with laughs and I learned a thing or two about making bananas foster. A great end to the 2013 LA Food and Wine Festival.

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