24th Annual American Wine & Food Festival

The back lot of Universal Studios was turned from the actor's playground into the diner's playground on September 16, 2006 as the 24th annual American Wine and Food Festival was held.

Let the Festivities Begin

The Puck-Lazaroff Charitable foundation, started by Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff in 1982, was raising money to benefit the Los Angeles Meals On Wheels Programs. Coming off last year's event that raised $1.1 million, these years looked to be even better, as the event hosted over 2,200 guests that were able to choose from over 40 celebrated chefs and 70 fine wine and spirit purveyors. The only problem for the guests was how to find room for all of the amazing food. 

Food Served With A Smile

 The smoke filled the air as you approached the back lot, and the aroma put your senses in a frenzy, which made you just want to stop for a moment to take it all in.  But then as you looked around, you had to decide where to dive in and begin.
The most fabulous part of the event is having restaurants from all over the country, so if you are traveling you may already know where to stop. I found Locke-Ober, a great restaurant out of Boston that made an amazing fried lobster and a lamb chop that dissolved in your mouth as soon as it touched your tongue.

Locke-Ober of Boston's Lamb and Fried Lobster

Appetizers Galore

Dessert, well lets just say you had to make some major choices at this event, and if you have a major sweet tooth you had better save room. This year the event had the Yellow Lounge sponsored by Veuve Clicquot which was not only flowing with champagne but also had a dessert spread by award-winning Spago Pastry Chef Sherry Ward.  

Treats From Payard of New York







No Better Barbeque Anywhere

If you were a wine conasseur, that alone would make this event worth your time as there were over 70 wine and spirit purveyors. A few of the wines that were truly memorable came from the Groth Vineyards and Winery as well as the Bonny Doon Vineyard.


This event gave you a great chance to get to know a number of wines you may have never tried or even heard of. As a bonus Baileys was introducing two new flavors; caramel and mint chocolate.


Participating Chefs:
Gino Angelini
Angelo Auriana            
Mario Batali
Matt Bencivenga 
Thomas Boyce
Mario Capone    
Floyd Cardoz               

Sam Choy
Tom Colicchio
Robert Del Grande
Luis Diaz
Marc Djozlia
Lissa Doumani
Dean Fearing
Mark Ferguson
Bobby Flay                    
Terence Fong
Lee Hefter                    
John Lagrone
Dustin Lewandowski
Steven Lewandowski     

Bobby Flay of the Mesa Grill

Cameron Lewark               

Nobu Matsuhisa
Aram Mardigian
Mark Miller
Michael Mina
Drew Nieporent
Frank Ostini
Francois Payard
Mark Peel
Luciano Pellegrini
Eduardo Perez
Charles Phan
Alfred Portale
Paul Prudhomme
Stephan Pyles
Eric Ripert
David Robins
Jimmy Schmidt
Piero Selvaggio
Matt Seeber
Lydia Shire                                       
Nancy Silverton                               

Paul Prudhomme cooking

Hiro Sone
Roger Stettler
Yuji Wakiya
Jonathan Waxman
Jasper White
Alan Wong
Sherry Yard


Participating Vintners:
Altamura, Arcadian, Artesa Winery, Au Bon Climat, Beckman Vineyards, Beringer Vineyards, Bernardus Winery, Bonny Doon Vineyard, B.R. Cohn, Chandon Sparkling Wine, Chateau St. Jean, Cobblestone Vineyards, Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Dierberg Family of Wines, Dr. Loosen, Dreyfus Ashby & Co., Etude Wines, Ferrari-Carano Vineyards & Winery, Frank Family Vineyards, Greenpoint (Australia), Groth Vineyards and Winery, Hanzell Vineyards, Hendry, Hendry Wine Group, Hitching Post Wines, Iron Horse Vineyards, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, J. Jacaman Wines, Justin Winery, Kalin Cellars, Kunde Winery, Kunin Wines, Laeticia Vineyards & Winery, Lancaster Estate, Larochette Manciat, Malibu Family Wines, Marques de Grinion (Spain), Melville Winery, Meyer Family Cellars, Minor Family Winery, Moet Hennessy, Morgan Winery, Newton Vineyard, Orin Swift, Peju Province, Premium Port Wines, Qupe Wine Cellars, Ramey Wine Cellars, Renwood Winery, Rosenthal-The Malibu Estate, Siduri Wines, Silver Oak Cellars & Twoney Cellars, Summerland Winery, Ste. Michele Wine Estates, Strange Wines, Regusci, Talley Vineyards, Ten Mile, The Grateful Palate, Topanga Vineyards, Torres (Spain), Truchard, Tutu, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Vin Divino, Westerly Vineyards, and Zaca Mesa Vinery & Vineyards.

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Participating Spirit Purveyors:
10 Cane Rum, Belvedere Vodka, Campari, Cinzano, Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch, Johnnie Walker Scotch, Patron Tequila, Pallini Limoncello, and Bailey's Irish Cream.


Event Sponsors:
Visa Signature, American Airlines, Electrolux, Mansour Travel Company, Veuve Clicquot, Riedel, Wolfgang Puck Catering, EvenasHardy+Young, Bentley Beverly Hills, Bentley Pasadena, Belvedere Vodka, Nestle Waters, 10 Cane Rum, ITS Transportation,Southern California Gas Company, Southern Wine and Spirits of California, Oneida, Chandon, Patron Tequila, Tsar Nicoulai Caviar, Lighten Up Inc., Los Angeles Magazine, Glen Morangie, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Furi Knives, La Brea Bakery, Urban Tartufi, Academia Barilla, The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, K-Mozart 105.1 FM, Clear Channel Outdoor, Pallini Limoncello, Moet Hennessey, Sin Vino, and Barilla.

To learn more, visit:

Photos by Lawrence Davis

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