It was going to be a long day.
Most of the steering committee members were at the site by 10 A.M. ready to start the day. My tasks mainly consisted of assisting the setup of the layout and greeting restaurants as they arrived. I have to say that I honestly love the high level of energy on the day-of event production. Physically seeing everything come together was so rewarding.
Jiraffe (VIP Restaurant)
Veev (VIP Beverage)
Jiraffe and Veev graciously agreed to be our VIP Restaurant and Beverage Purveyors for the event, and we couldn't ask for a better pair. Everyone was swooning over Chef Raphael's dish and all the chefs were thrilled to drink cocktails made with Veev. It was a fun and successful VIP reception.
Since I was working the event, I barely ate any of the amazing food. When I did eat, I ate around my "station." The restaurant team was assigned to a different section on the floor and were responsible for taking care of the restaurants in that section.
Cafe Pinot: pepper crusted yellow fin tuna, sweet and spicy heirloom cherry tomatoes with star anise essence
My first bite was Chef Kevin Meehan's dish of delicious pepper crusted tuna and sweet heirloom cherry tomatoes. Cafe Pinot wasn't in my section, but Chef Kevin flagged me down as soon as the main event started and asked me if I was hungry. Hell yes, I was. I ate this in two bites - fast and furious. Well, not furious, just fast.
Being a big fan of Chef Brian Redzikowski, I knew I had to try his dish. Having had an amazing meal at Thompson Hotel but not-so-amazing at his Hatchi series, I was definitely intrigued with what he would come up with. This was probably one of my favorite dishs of the night! Everything on that plate was perfect. I enjoyed it very much.
Craft: Liberty Farm duck and heirloom melon salad
Craft's duck was cut lean so it didn't feel fatty as one would think. The salad did a great job of cutting the fattiness of the duck. I thought the dish was smart and delicious.
The Blvd: kampachi with apple arugula avocado foam and shiso flowers
Another one of my favorites of the night was The Blvd's kampachi with avocado foam. It was refreshing and full of flavor. I thought the avocado would overpower the fish, but since it was a light foam it complimented the kampachi well.
Roy's: new style hamachi poke & forbidden black Thai rice pudding
Fraiche: salmon tartare on a potato chip
Another delicious dish was Fraiche's salmon tartare on a potato chip. The potato chip wasn't as crispy as I would have liked, probably because I ate one of their last dishes, but the salmon tartare was great.
Oanh of It's More Than Just Eating (Events Team - Restaurants), Ngyuen of Starry Kitchen, and Bill of Street Gourmet LA
Cyndi (Events Team - Restaurants) and me with Paul Blackthorne of The Gates on ABC.
Even though I didn't sample all the dishes from each restaurant, I was so busy during the whole event I wasn't even that hungry.Those few dishes I had were more than enough to keep me sustained throughout the event. I had so much fun mingling with my friends, team members, chefs and bloggers. I think every time I saw someone I took them to the Rock Sake table and took shots. I had many shots - haha. It was a very fun night. The response I got from all the chefs was unanimous - they were amazed at how organized we were and how helpful our volunteers were.
I would like to thank ALL the restaurants, beverage purveyors, sponsors and volunteers for donating your time, food, beverages, services and many auction items to make this year's event so successful. I also want to say how much fun I had with the PbP family. I've learned so much from everyone and so grateful to be part of an amazing team. I made great friends and together, we made some incredible memories. I cannot wait until next year!