Last weekend, LA Live hosed the first All-Star Chef Classic, a three-day event featuring over 28 renown chefs including Iñaki Aizpitarte, Florian Bellanger, Roy Choi, Michael Cimarusti, Josiah Citrin, Dominique Crenn, Vinny Dotolo, Wylie Dufresne, Graham Elliot, Benjamin Ford, Gabrielle Hamilton, Jennifer Jasinski, Gavin Kaysen, Ludo Lefebvre, David LeFevre, Donald Link, Waylynn Lucas, Marc & Pierre Meneau, David Myers, Nancy Oakes, Alain Passard, Naomi Pomeroy, Paul Qui, Alex Seidel, Jon Shook, Nancy Silverton, and Ricardo Zarate. All of the master chefs cooked and collaborated providing guests with up-close, unique and interactive culinary experiences. Events during the course of the weekend included the “French Masters Dinner,” “All-Star Lunch,” “Grill and Chill” and “Savor the Season.”
The “French Masters Dinner” held on Friday, March 21st was a celebration of French culinary excellence through the generations, hosted by Chef Ludo Lefebvre. Chef Ludo welcomed Alain Passard, Marc & Pierre Meneau, and Iñaki Aizpitarte into Restaurant Stadium. The chefs prepared a five-course dinner with an elegant pairing of French wine, all while interacting with each other and the crowd of 270 guests. French pastry chef Florian Bellanger helped host the event along with maitre d’, Donato Poto. The menu included a first course of sweet and sour vegetables, followed by a dungeness crab dish, wild crayfish, then duck breast topped with grilled cabbage, and for dessert a lime scented napoleon was served.
Saturday included two events. The first, the “All-Star Lunch”, celebrated women in the culinary industry with a five-course lunch prepared by chefs Nancy Silverton, Nancy Oakes, Waylynn Lucas, Dominique Crenn and Naomi Pomeroy. Special guests included Ludo Lefebvre, Pierre Meneau and Marc Meneau. The menu included a carrot, mushroom and hazelnut herbed crème fraiche mousse followed by a gem lettuce salad accompanied by labneh toast for a second course; then a seared scallop over polenta al negro, topped with uni, crab and panzanella; a lamb topped with preserved lemons and cabbage for the fourth course; and a buttermilk cake topped with textures of grapefruit, pistachio and coconut for dessert.
“Grill and Chill Presented by DINELA and Stella Artois” was Saturday’s evening celebration of the many ways different cultures embrace the experience of cooking over an open flame. The 650 person international cookout featured diverse chefs including Roy Choi, Michael Cimarusti, Gabrielle Hamilton, Gavin Kaysen, Ludo Lefebvre, Donald Link, Naomi Pomeroy, Paul Qui, Jon Shook and Ricardo Zarate preparing special dishes including a charred Cabbage with sweet pepper jam, curried yogurt and chicken jus; a mammou grilled pork steak sandwich; a Nanh Mi “Tartine” provided; grilled naked cowgirls and some BBQ Galbi.
The weekend concluded with Sunday afternoon’s “Savor the Season” with a Farmer’s Market celebration of seasonal, fresh, local ingredients cooked up and elevated to great heights by All-Star chefs including Wylie Dufresne, Graham Elliot, Nancy Silverton, Jennifer Jasinski, David Myers, Vinny Dotolo, David LeFevre, Josiah Citrin, Alex Seidel, Benjamin Ford and Waylynn Lucas. The chefs created seasonal dishes including wild monkfish cheeks with fennel, mushroom, and smoky mussel; a kale with ricotta salad; a salad of spring green asparagus, grilled trumpet royal mushrooms, and warm Dutch yellow creamer potato puree. The event featured produce from local purveyors/farmers providing the 600 guests with a variety of tastes as well as recipe cards to prepare the dishes at home.