Favorite bites from Great Chefs of L.A.

Drago Centro's celery root panna cotta

The 24th Annual Great Chefs of Los Angeles event at CBS Studio Center in Studio City was good times. The “Go Green, Go Organic” event benefited the National Kidney Foundation through a fancy-schmancy auction that was too rich for my blood. Good thing I had tasty food to keep me occupied. While there were some repeat participants from last year’s event, I managed to find some new favorites this time ’round.

Drago Centro‘s Sommelier and Beverage Director Michael Shearin served up mini Smitten With Britain cocktails of Tanqueray gin, fever tree tonic, and fresh chives and lime. The drink was nice and light yet had a nice kick. Chef de Cuisine Ian Gresik served up an interesting celery root panna cotta topped with pancetta and a basil crouton. I’ve never had a savory panna cotta before, so this was definitely intriguing.

Drago Centro's Smitten With Britain cocktail

Locando del Lago in Santa Monica brought all kinds of deliciousness to the Valley that day. Braised beef bone marrow with a saffron risotto cake and mustard greens? Yes, please. How about burrata with housemade pink lady apple gelato and prosciutto? Yes, yes and yes.

Lago's braised bone marrow

Lago's burrata, apple gelato and prosciutto

Harry’s Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ served up some comforting peach cobbler, which was perfect on that cloudy day. So perfect, in fact, that a complete stranger bullied me into giving him some of my portion, which happened to be the last. Who does that? Someone who recognizes the peachy goodness of soul food, that’s who. (It was weird, no doubt.)

Harry’s Oklahoma Style Smokehouse BBQ's peach cobbler

Stefan’s at L.A. Farm probably offered up the most complicated bite of the day — ice cream lollipops made by alternately dipping pineapple chunks in passion fruit puree and vanilla ice cream, with a dip in liquid nitrogen in between. I only got a quick taste of someone else’s pop because the man in this photo gave mine away to couple of girls he apparently thought were cuter than me, even though I was clearly waiting for one. Boo! Oh well, the lollipops were a cool idea anyway. Next year, I plan to shame him into giving me more than one of whatever he’s making to make up for this offense!

Stefan's at L.A. Farm's liquid nitrogen lollipops

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Maya Meinert

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11 2010

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