Nothing is more heartbreaking than a sick child. And nothing is more satisfying than being able to help do something about it.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation carries on the legacy of Alexandra Scott, who passed away in 2004 at the far too young age of 8, having spent most of her life not only battling her own illness but raising money to fight childhood cancer. Millions of dollars have been raised by this organization.
In Los Angeles, L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade is an annual event dedicated to raising money for ALSF. The fundraiser brings together top chefs, not only from Los Angeles but from across the country, as well as great wines and spirits, along with entertainment. This year, UCLA played host on a picture perfect (finally cooler) Sunday afternoon.
Here are the chefs and libations. Note that when the chef is listed, that chef was actually there, not just a restaurant representative. Pretty much a “who’s who” of great chefs. And Roy Choi even brought the food truck!
Michael Anthony (New York, NY) – Gramercy Tavern
John Besh (New Orleans, LA) – Besh Restaurant Group
Chris Bianco (Phoenix, AZ) – Pizzeria Bianco, Pane Bianco, Bar Bianco
Roy Choi (Los Angeles, CA) – Kogi BBQ
Michael Cimarusti (Los Angeles, CA) – Connie & Ted’s, Providence
Scott Conant (Los Angeles, CA) – Scarpetta
Giada De Laurentiis (Los Angeles, CA) – Giada Vegas
Amy Deaderick (Los Angeles, CA) – Tavern
Ray England & Shannon Swindle (Los Angeles, CA) – Craft
Javier Espinoza (Los Angeles, CA) – a.o.c.
Michael Fiorelli & Rebecca Merhej (Los Angeles, CA) – Love & Salt
Benjamin Ford (Los Angeles, CA) – Ford’s Filling Station
Jeremy Fox (Los Angeles, CA) – Rustic Canyon
Neal Fraser & Greg Hozinsky (Los Angeles, CA) – The Strand House, Redbird
Suzanne Goin (Los Angeles, CA) – a.o.c., Lucques, Tavern
Hedy Goldsmith (Miami, FL) – Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
Jonathan Grahm (Los Angeles, CA) – Compartés Chocolatier
Lauren Herman (Los Angeles, CA) – a.o.c.
Maria Hines (Seattle, WA) – Tilth, Golden Beetle, Agrodolce
Bruce Kalman (Los Angeles, CA) – Union
Anthony Keene (Los Angeles, CA) – Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood
Ludo Lefebvre (Los Angeles, CA) – Trois Mec, Petit Trois
David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach, CA) – Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite
David Lentz (Los Angeles, CA) – The Hungry Cat
Donald Link (New Orleans, LA) – Herbsaint
Matt Molina (Los Angeles, CA) – Mozza Restaurant Group
Russell Moore (Oakland, CA) – Camino Restaurant
Mary Sue Milliken (Los Angeles, CA) – Border Grill Restaurants, Truck & Catering
Zoe Nathan (Los Angeles, CA) – Huckleberry, Milo & Olive
Nancy Oakes & Dana Younkin (San Francisco, CA) – Boulevard Restaurant
Christina Olufson (Los Angeles, CA) – Tavern
Zach Pollack (Los Angeles, CA) – Alimento, Sotto
Steve Samson (Los Angeles, CA) – Sotto
John Sundstrom (Seattle, WA) – Lark, Bitter/Raw, Slab Sandwiches & Pie
Valerie Gordon (Los Angeles) – Valerie Confections
Marc Vetri & Jeff Michaud (Philadelphia, PA) – Vetri Foundation
Michael Voltaggio (Los Angeles, CA) – Ink
Rocco Whalen (Cleveland, OH) – Farenheit – Cleveland & Charlotte
Jonathan Whitener (Los Angeles, CA) – Animal
Mette Williams (Los Angeles, CA) – Culina Modern Italian
Jason Winters (Los Angeles, CA) – Urban Pie
Kris Yenbamroong (Los Angeles, CA) – NIGHT + MARKET
Shiho Yoshikawa (Santa Monica, CA) – Sweet Rose Creamery
Eric Alperin & Max Seaman (Los Angeles, CA) – The Varnish
Neal Bodenheimer & Turk Dietrich (New Orleans, LA) – Cure
Christopher Day (Los Angeles, CA) – Congenial Spirits
Christiaan Rollich (Los Angeles, CA) – Lucques/Tavern/AOC
Marcos Tello & Aidan Demarest (Los Angeles, CA) – Liquid Assets
Mari Tuttle (Los Angeles, CA) – The Hungry Cat Hollywood
Becky Wasserman & Co.
Cellar Door/Martine’s Wines
Cold Heaven Cellars
Emanuel Tres Wines
Garber & Co – A Wine Company
George Wine Co.
Grapevine Wine Co.
Habit Wine Co.
Henry Wine Group
Hitching Post Wines
Hollywood and Wine
Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Kimberly Jones Selections
La Fenêtre Wines
Lang & Reed Wine Company
Lieu Dit Winery
Next Generation Wine Co.
North Berkeley Wine
Paul Hobbs Winery
Red Car Wine Co.
Sandhi Winery & Domaine de la Cote
Silverlake Wine & Everson Royce
The Source Imports & Vance Erickson
WPA, Wine Projects Administration
The food and drinks were phenomenal. For the first time ever, I have to resort to a 100-point system to sort things out. Here are my scores:
All the chefs: 100 pts
All the mixologists: 100 pts
All the wineries: 100 pts
This event was about the contributions to a great cause, and everybody deserves equal praise and recognition.
That being said, I did have three tacos from Chef Choi’s truck. And Michael Voltaggio’s ice cream sandwiches helped to cool off the day as things heated up slightly.
And the wines — so many to choose from and I couldn’t try nearly enough of them [mainly because I was stuffing my face with the food as lines were short and those beautiful dishes were just begging to be eaten] but I do recall especially enjoying the Brown Estate Zinfandel, a red Rhone blend from Mighty Nimble [Paso Robles], another Rhone blend from Archium in Santa Barbara County, and a Syrah from Baker Lane Vineyards in Sonoma County. A real treat was connecting with Tracey Skupney of Napa Valley based Lang & Reed, a producer of outstanding Cabernet Franc.
There were plenty of celebrities in attendance. I was told there were sightings of Sean Hayes, Mark Feuerstein, Kirsten Vangsness, Nolan Gould and Jimmy Kimmel, among others. My personal favorite was when we just happened to be sitting next to Aarti Sequeira, former winner of The Next Food Network Star, and her family – had a nice chat with them.
You can add this to the list of must-attend events. Sign up on their website so you don’t miss it.
Facebook photo album of this event: https://www.facebook.com/michael.perlis/media_set?set=a.10201610984356597.1073741826.1838083793&type=3
Michael Perlis has been pursuing his passion for wine for more than 25 years. He has had the good fortune of having numerous mentors to show him the way, as well as a wonderful wife who encourages him and shares his interest. After a couple of decades of learning about wine, attending events, visiting wineries and vineyards, and tasting as much wine as he possibly could, he had the amazing luck to meet Eve Bushman. Now, as Contributing Editor for Eve’s Wine 101, he does his best to bring as much information as possible about wine to Eve’s Wine 101 faithful readers. Michael is also Vice President of Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting (http://evewine101.com/eveswine101consulting/). Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.