While I missed Friday’s Art of Mixology event (I had to play tourist sometime!) I made my way back to the white tents on Saturday for LG’s “The Taste of Something Better” culinary competition. Sponsored by the electronics company, the afternoon’s header was to determine “America’s Top Amateur Chef” with three finalists making it to the cookoff. Guest judges Ted Allen, Tim Love, Ludo Lefebvre, and Michael Voltaggio took the stage with host Sissy Biggers as competitors Lou Kostura, Paula Mannino, and Brett Youmans took their places in the kitchen. After an hour of relaxed, jovial activity, Pennsylvania’s Brett Youmans was named the winner with his orange scented lamb skewers, securing a trip to Seoul, South Korea, to compete in LG’s annual global cooking competition this fall. After a quick post-event interview with Chef Love, a a walk through of the afternoon tents provided a visit with The Bazaar’s chef Joshua Whigham (whom I had met the evening before during a mind blowing dinner at the restaurant) as well as a few of the day’s featured dishes.
Saturday evening gave way to the diamond of the weekend, the Taste of Beverly Hills’ Date Night event. Surrounded by a random assortment of recognizable faces from television and theatre, I indulged in the wide range of amazing plates presented by the eateries in attendance. Chef Nancy Silverton manned the booth for her Osteria Mozza, offering a creamy cup of perfection disguised as a butterscotch budino, while Chef Kerry Simon handed out his Simon LA savory Maine lobster and black truffle pot pies. Other standout dishes included a cured Barramundi from Colicchio’s Craft, the office burger from Father’s Office (a crowd favorite), and made-to-order sushi bites from the chefs at Katana. I made sure to frequent the Bombay Sapphire table for their fantastic Raspberry Collins as well.
Chefs Ludo Lefebvre and Tim Love also presented demos for the evening, showcasing their respective cooking styles for the happy crowd. As the evening wound down, the soulful Fitz & The Tantrums took the stage, turning the space into one big dance floor for party guests and chefs alike.
*Photo credits: Jennifer Heigl / Daily Blender