Los Angeles magazine’s The Food Event

What kind of food and wine event makes you say, “Camels, zebras and buffalo, oh my!” upon pulling up to its venue? Los Angeles magazine’s The Food Event, that’s what kind. No, these animals weren’t on the menu but were residents on Saddlerock Ranch, home to Malibu Family Wines, where the eating and drinking festival was held.

This was my first time at The Food Event, which I thought was ambitiously named but pretty much lived up to it. The venue — nestled in the Malibu hills among vineyards — was beautiful, even on that gray and rainy day, and the food and drink were excellent. It wasn’t too crowded, either, which made the experience much more enjoyable (the weather may have had something to do with it).

Here were my favorite tastes and moments from that day.

Sweetsalt Food Shop‘s duck confit slider with lavender butter. Yes, yes and yes.

Sweetsalt Food Shop's duck confit with lavender butter

Eva Restaurant offered a light and frothy mushroom soup, with truffles available for those with thick wallets. I went truffle-less.

Eva Chef Mark Gold dressed in ranch-appropriate gear

Public Kitchen & Bar’s (formerly Dakota at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel) braised veal cheeks with fingerling potatoes and watermelon radishes was delicious, and I don’t even like veal. The meat was ridiculously tender, and the radishes gave the dish a nice tangy touch.

Public Kitchen's braised veal cheeks

Caf√© Habana‘s roasted corn covered in cheese and other goodness was also delicious, though it was sweeter than I expected.

Cafe Habana's roasted corn with cheese

My favorite drinks from the day were this dark brew from Craftsman Brewing Company in Pasadena, the chardonnay from Saddlerock and the Semler cabernet sauvignon (both of those wines are produced by Malibu Family Wines).

Craftsman beer

Saddlerock chardonnay

Bulgarini Gelato and Magnolia Bakery‘s banana pudding were dessert highlights. Bulgarini’s pistachio and almond flavors were my favorites, though the yogurt with olive oil drizzled on top was interesting. Magnolia’s banana pudding was tops, though — it was almost trifle-like, with vanilla wafers mixed in.

Bulgarini gelato: pistachio (bottom), yogurt with olive oil (top)

Magnolia's banana pudding, vanilla cupcake, and cranberry chocolate chunk cookie

And here are the animals!

These horses roamed freely among our parked cars. The black horse came up and touched me!

Buffalo, camel and zebra!

Note: I attended this event using a complimentary ticket.

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Maya Meinert

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10 2010

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