With food and wine festivals aplenty in SoCal, the question arises, “how do you pick and choose?” Well, it depends on your reason for going.
Case in point. Audi USA's sold out An Evening on the Beach held at the private Jonathan Beach Club, benefitting St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. Tickets for general admission were $155 per person with access from 6-10pm. If you bought a table for 10 at $3,500, it included a VIP reception, and entry from 5pm. Mind you, the extra time did very little for the stomach when many of the food and some alcohol sponsors were not even ready to serve until 6pm.
AEOTB is a small culinary event by scale in comparison to others, but it shouldn’t matter if the selection is superb. Regrettably, the food fell short, coming as surprise to a number of us, knowing the reputation of the representing chefs. There was only one stand out dish, from Michael’s Restaurant chef John-Carlos Kuramoto, very tender grilled California quail on a finely chopped bed of cucumber feta slaw with a tomato basil vinaigrette. Not far behind, and honorable mention goes to rock star chef Kerry Simon and Nona Sivley with his bbq “jumbo” shrimp on a bed of grits laced with Nona’s bbq sauce. But, the ultimate fare presented itself with savory ingredients disguised as a delectable dessert. Dahlia Narvaez (Osteria Mozza) you have a new follower. I’m not a fan of butterscotch, finding it very sugary in taste, but your ohhh so smooth butterscotch budino topped by rosemary and pine nut biscotti did a number on me!
The not as fun crowd was primarily mature couples, and the live band played music, I would say, suitable to them, certainly not to me. And yes indeed, it is actually held on the beach, as in avoid wearing your best shoes. In fact, going bare foot is ideal. Don’t forget to dress warm or layer. The weather by the beach can be unpredictable, and evenings often chilly, including the sand. Having said all this, one can't deny the beauty in eating, drinking, and relaxing on the beach while taking in a picturesque sunset.
Bottom line: Is this one event to pick? If food, beverage, sociable crowd or cost matter to you, then in my opinion, it’s no. If you’re all about the worthy cause or laying back at the beach, then go for it.
Learn more at An Evening On The Beach website
Sally Camacho of WP24
Jeff Cerciello of Farmshop Brentwood
Brendan Collins of Waterloo & City
Leslie Durso, Vegan Chef and Eco Lifestylist
Mark Gold of Eva Restaurant
Michael Fiorelli of Mar’sel at Terranea Resort
John-Carlos Kuramoto with Michael McCarty of Michael’s Restaurant
Joe Miller of Joe’s Restaurant
Kris Morningstar of Ray’s and Stark Bar
Dahlia Narvaez of Pizzeria and Osteria Mozza
Mark Peel of Campanile
Paul Shoemaker of Savory
Kerry Simon and Nona Sivley of LA Market Restaurant
Mako Tanaka of Robata-Ya.
Special presentations will be made by Clark Staub of Full of Life Flatbread, the McGrath Family Farm with a ‘farm to grill to table’ spread, Jacqueline Buchanan of Laura Chenel Chevre, and Urbani Truffles, who will be showcasing black truffles, white and black truffle oils and truffle butter.
FEATURED VINTNERS: Baker Lane Winery
Bonaccorsi Wine Company
Bonny Doon Vineyard
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery
Foxen Winery and Vineyard
Justin Vineyards and Winery
Melville Vineyards & Winery
Star Lane Vineyards
Three Sticks Vineyards
Vines on the Marycrest
Specialty cocktails will be served by mixologist Giovanni Martinez from Sadie’s Kitchen and Lounge
Guests will have an opportunity to bid of a number of luxury travel experiences and exclusive wine offerings including:
The Andaz San Diego
The Athenaeum – Mayfair London
Hotel Le Bristol, Paris
The Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix
Helvetia & Bristol, Florence and Grand Continental Hotel, Siena
The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Honolulu
La Costa Resort and Spa, Carlsbad
Parrot Cay Resort, Turks and Caicos
The Plaza Athenee, New York
Four Season Resort, Punta Mita
Rancho Las Palmas, Rancho Mirage
The Montage Spa, Beverly Hills
About St. Vincent Meals on Wheels: The mission of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels is to prepare and deliver nutritious meals to homebound seniors and other vulnerable residents across Los Angeles. We serve anyone in need who lives within our service area, regardless of age, illness, disability, race, religion or ability to pay.
Most of our clients are too frail or ill to buy or prepare simple meals. Many struggle to live on small fixed incomes that fall below the poverty level. We are especially committed to meeting their needs.
Good nutrition and daily home visits improve the health and dignity of our clients, enabling them to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible. Our mission has not changed since our program began in 1977.
Our values are based on respect, compassionate service, simplicity and advocacy for the poor.