One again, my wife Karen and I had the great pleasure to take advantage of Eve’s absence to attend one of the best food and wine events in the Los Angeles area – LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade. It is one of the best for a few reasons. Not only are the food and beverages outstanding, along with entertainment and great auction items, but last and definitely not least [actually MOST important] is the cause. I don’t think anyone could come up with a more deserving cause than raising funds to fight childhood cancer. I doubt if any of us have not been touched by cancer in some way, and a sick child makes it even more heartbreaking.
For those don’t know the Alex’s Lemonade story:
“Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope…We’ve raised more than $100 million since 2005 to fund 500 childhood cancer research projects at 102 top hospitals and institutions in the US and Canada.”
LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade is the local event for this great organization. The event, hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne of Lucques, AOC and Tavern, and Chef David Lentz of The Hungry Cat , took place again on the beautiful Royce Quad at UCLA.
Superstar chefs based in Los Angeles, along with some from other parts of the country, donate their time and food to this great cause. The list of participants reads like a veritable Who’s Who of culinary wizardry (from the website)…
Thomas Bellec (Los Angeles, CA) – The Blvd at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel
John Besh (New Orleans, LA) – Besh Restaurant Group
Chris Bianco (Phoenix, AZ) – Pizzeria Bianco, Pane Bianco, Bar Bianco
Micah Camden and Katie Poppe (Los Angeles, CA) – Blue Star Donuts
Roy Choi (Los Angeles, CA) – Kogi BBQ
Michael Cimarusti & Tristan Aitchinson (Los Angeles, CA) – Connie & Ted’s, Providence
Scott Conant & Freddy Vargas (Los Angeles, CA) – Scarpetta
Giada De Laurentiis (Las Vegas, NV) – Giada Vegas
Eva Ein (Los Angeles, CA) – McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams
Ray England & Shannon Swindle (Los Angeles, CA) – craft
Tony Esnault (Los Angeles, CA)- Church & State Bistro
Susan Feniger (Los Angeles, CA) – Mud Hen Tavern
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 Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen
Neal Fraser (Los Angeles, CA) – redbird, BLD, ICDC, Fritzi dog
Ray Garcia (Los Angeles, CA) – Broken Spanish
Suzanne Goin & Amy Deaderick (Los Angeles, CA) – Lucques, Tavern
Hedy Goldsmith (Los Angeles, CA) – Sweet Hedy, Inc.
Valerie Gordon (Los Angeles, CA) – Valerie Confections
Cosmo Goss (Chicago, IL)- The Publican
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) – Knead & Co pasta bar + market
Anthony Keene (Los Angeles, CA)- The London West Hollywood
Brandon Kida (Los Angeles, CA) – Hinoki and the Bird
Adam Perry Lang (New York, NY + Los Angeles, CA) – Serious BBQ
Ludo Lefebvre (Los Angeles, CA) – Trois Mec
David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach, CA) – Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite, The Arthur J
David Lentz (Los Angeles, CA) – The Hungry Cat
Donald Link (New Orleans, LA) – peche, Herbsaint, Cochan, Cochan, Butcher
Jenn Louis (Portland, OR) – Lincoln Restaurant, Sunshine Tavern
Tyler Malek (Los Angeles, CA) – Salt & Straw
Mary Sue Milliken (Los Angeles, CA) – Border Grill
Zoe Nathan (Los Angeles, CA) – Huckleberry Café and Bakery
Nancy Oakes & Dana Younkin (San Francisco, CA) – Boulevard Restaurant
Lanchlan Mackinnon-Patterson (Boulder, CO) – Frasca Food & Wine
Chris Phelps & Zak Walters (Los Angeles, CA)- Salt’s Cure
Steve Samson (Los Angeles, CA) – Sotto
Michael Schwartz (Miami, FL) – Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, The Cyprus, Harry’s Pizzeria
Mindy Segal (Chicago, IL) – Hot Chocolate
Nancy Silverton (Los Angeles, CA) – Mozza Restaurant Group
Jonathan Sundstrom (Seattle, WA) – Lark, Bitter/Raw, Slab Sandwiches & Pie
Suzanne Tracht (Los Angeles, CA) – Jar
Marc Vetri & Jeff Michaud (Philadelphia, PA) – Vetri
Michael Voltaggio (Los Angeles, CA) – ink
Rocco Whalen (Cleveland, OH) – Fahrenheit Charlotte
Jason Winters (Los Angeles, CA) – Urban Pie
Kris Yenbamroong (Los Angeles, CA)- Night + Market
Johnny Yoo (Los Angeles, CA) – A-Frame
Shiho Yoshikawa (Santa Monica, CA) – Sweet Rose Creamery
This provided a great opportunity to try dishes from chefs that you may have heard of but had not yet had a chance to try – excellent for planning your next evening out! In addition, with chefs coming in from all over, there was an ability to try dishes from restaurants you may never get a chance to visit unless you’re on vacation. Really hard to pick favorites here, but some highlights for me were the pozole and fried pig ears from Neal Fraser, lamb ribs tikki masla from Anthony Keene, tomato slurpee with avocado cream from Michael Voltaggio, grilled lamb chops from Nancy Silverton and the veal tartare from Ben Ford.
Of course, there were plenty of libations to accompany the food:
The mixologists (from the website)…
Eric Alperin (Los Angeles, CA) – The Varnish
Neal Bodenheimer (New Orleans, LA) – Cure
Dona Bridges (Los Angeles, CA) – The Hungry Cat
Martin Daraz (Los Angeles, CA) – Highland Park
Beau du Bois (Los Angeles, CA) – The Corner Door
Jeremy Lake (Buellton, CA) – Ascendant Spirits
Darwin Manahan (Los Angeles, CA) – Cliff’s Edge & Osso DTLA
Christian Rollich & Ignacio Murillo (Los Angeles, CA) – Lucuqes, a.o.c., Tavern
Marcos Tello & Aidan Demarest (Santa Monica, CA) – Mezcal El Silencio
The vintners (from the website)…
Matt Ahern – Next Generation Wine Co.
Anthony Anselmi – The Rare Wine Co.
Jason Berry – Amite Winery
Michael Bassler – North Berkley Wine
John Bigelow – Indie Wineries
Jeff Boyer – Paul Hobbs Wines
Brown Estate Vineyards – David and Coral Brown
Brittany Carlisi – Indigenous Selections
Amy Christine – Holus Bolus
Randy Clement – Silverlake Wine, Everson Royce, Silverlake Wine Arts District
Gregory Condes – Gregory Condes Wines
Tom Donegan- Hudson Wine
Patrick Dorsey – Langdon-Shiverick
Jamie Edlin – Hollywood and Wine
Jeff Fischer – Habit
Keith Fox – Grapevine Wine Co.
Dan Fredman – Trombetta Family Wines
Sandy Garber – Garber & Co., A Wine Company
Steve Greer – Springboard Wine Company
Christina Hammond – Red Car Wine Co.
Gray Hartley & Frank Ostini – Hitching Post Wines
Jared Heber – Quality Wine
Tom Hunter- Revel Wine
Kimberly Jones- Kimberly Jones Selections
Christopher Keller – Emanuel Tres Wines
Joshua Klapper – La Fenetre Wines
Raphael Knapp – Return to Terroir – natural wines
Jim Knight – The Winehouse
Claude Koeberle – Soliste Winery
Seth Kunin – Kunin Wines
Rick Margaritov – George Wine Co.
Andrew Marini – SCRIBE Winery, Sonoma, CA
Chad Melville – Melville Winery, Samsara
Roger Morrison – Jardesca
Rajat Parr- Domaine de la Cote, Seven Springs, Sandhi
Eric Railsback – Lieu Dit Winery
Patti Rogers – Martian Ranch & Vineyard, Los Alamos, CA
Josh Rosenstein – Hoxie Spritzer
Hope Shiverick – The Henry Wine Group
Tracey and John Skupny – Lang & Reed Wine Company
Ernst Storm- Storm Wines
Katherine Strange – Strange Wines
Bobby Stuckey – Scarpetta Wine
Alexander Stuempfig – European Cellars
Rebecca Taggart – Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Cindy Wenzlau – Wenzlau Vineyard
Drake Whitcraft – Whitcraft Winery
David Wiater – Cellar Door Wine Selections
Justin Willett – Tyler Winery
So many to choose from. Especially enjoyed:
Zinfandels from Brown Estate.
Martian Ranch’s Tempranillo.
Indie Wineries interesting selection of international wines.
Emanuel Tres Wines Rosado
Habit Gruner Veltliner and the Habit Red
Hudson Wine Brokers – loving the resurgence of Australian wines, food friendly and delicious.
and our very own George Skorka pouring the Pinot Noirs from Trombetta.
And while we are primarily wine drinkers, of the cocktails we especially enjoyed Darwin Manahan’s Grilled Pineapple Punch. So refreshing on an oddly kind-of-tropical day in Westwood.
But with all the fun, this was for a serious and important cause. For a brief time during the event, chefs stopped serving and winery reps stopped pouring while Jay and Liz Scott, Alex’s parents, spoke to the crowd about the cause Alex created and how it is being carried on in her name. Very moving, and the crowd was clearly moved into action as the live auction started and thousands and thousands of dollars were pledged for private dinners and the like donated by participant chefs. The live auction itself raised more than $300,000 with the entire event generating more than $1,000,000! Clearly this event, and Alex’s legacy, is in good hands and the good fight is being fought.
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 Bushman Consulting (fka Eve’s Wine 101 Consulting) http://evebushmanconsulting.com/ and President of MCP Financial. Michael can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com