While Mr. Monkey attended the premiere of The Express tonight at Grauman's Chinese Theatre and hobnobbed with Dennis Quaid and the rest of the cast at the after-party at Katsuya, I went to The Grove.
But not to shop.
Los Angeles Magazine, The Grove, and the Sherry Council of America presented a "tasteful evening of friendly competition between Top Chef contestants C.J. and Antonia." My cohorts were Trisha, insomniac, and Mr. and Mrs. starlily313, who was the one who told us about the event.
I love food. I love TV. I love free things. This combined all three!
We enjoyed free samplings of sherry and little morsels from restaurants at The Grove.
The Whisper Lounge. Tasty, but it was clear that these had sat around for awhile.
Braised short rib tostadas with avocado crema and spicy heirloom tomato salsa, courtesy of The Whisper Lounge. My fave of the night. I could've eaten 10 of these.
Butternut squash ravioli tossed with sun-dried tomatoes in a light parmesan cheese sauce and topped with crumbled amaretti cookies, courtesy of Maggiano's. Quite yummy. I enjoyed the sweetness.
Black and white salmon, sesame seed crusted and served with baby bok choy, bell peppers, red onions and sugar snap peas over ginger sticky rice with wasabi, orange-hoisin, and miso honey mustard sauces, courtesy of The Farm of Beverly Hills. Not very good. Way too much going on.
Olive oil poached Alaskan Halibut with oven-roasted tomato sun choke puree with a tyme and lemon jus with a wild and morel mushroom duxelle with heirloom tomatoes and micro greens served on a freshly toasted crostini, courtesy of Morels French Steakhouse & Bistro. The halibut was forgettable, but the crostini was worth eating. Even this mushroom hater liked it.
C.J. and Antonia battled Iron Chef-style -- the "secret ingredient" was sherry, of course.
Top Chef is far more entertaining to watch on TV. When you watch cooking live, it takes a long time. It's not remotely as exciting and fast-paced. I'm sure the Quickfire Challenges on Top Chef take just as long in real life, but they're so frenetic when condensed into a few minutes on TV.
The lamest result -- the judges declared it a tie.
Then we headed to the stage to sample some of our beloved reality show stars' offerings.
starlily313 spotted both C.J. and Antonia standing behind us, observing the cooking demos that preceded their showdown. We walked over and asked if they would take a picture with us. Here we are in front of the Michael Kors store.
totally sad i was not there. instead, i ate a lean cuisine butternut squash ravioli. meh.ReplyDelete
How fun! I love CJ and Antonia, TV, and food :)ReplyDelete
How was their food? I loved Antonia and imagined I wouldve loved her cooking--from what I saw on TV. Isn't that the strangest thing? I LOVE Top Chef and form such strong opinions about food I've never tasted!ReplyDelete
What a fun event!!! Some of those food items sound super yummy.ReplyDelete
How fun! Too bad all I get to eat right now is saltine crackers.ReplyDelete
How cool! I'm a huge Top Chef fan. It would have been so neat to go to this.ReplyDelete
I love that picture of Eddie mid-bite. And I totally called it that your post would be up before mine!ReplyDelete
*kicking myself* I love CJ! So bummed that I missed it!ReplyDelete
I had no idea there was a Sherry Council of America, but it looks like they put on a great event. I will have to tell DH about this, he is a sherry fan.ReplyDelete
BTW, DH and I will be heading out to Pizzeria Mozza (I can't believe I got in!), so I had to cancel Water Grill. I do want to make it out to WG eventually, and taste the red velvet pudding that you wrote about! Thanks again for all your help.
Glad you had fun! We saw CJ at the SaMo Farmer's Market. I hadn't watched that season, but Brent recognized him and his super huge stature.ReplyDelete
that grove. always making dreams come true.ReplyDelete
I love CJ and Antonia! I think CJ is the best looking guy with one nut that I know =PReplyDelete
You and Antonia had the same sheen on your face...but she's been cooking...
I so wanted to go to this because I thought it would be a great experience. Looks like I was right. :)ReplyDelete
this sounds awesome. and that food looks delicious...i'm slightly jealous.ReplyDelete
man, i wish i could've joined you. even though i don't know them from adam, i love that last picture.ReplyDelete
Wan cracks me up. That does sound like so much fun! Anyone up for a cooking class with Brian Malarkey?ReplyDelete
I don't post comments that often but I read frequently. :-) I thought about you last night at the LA Food & Wine Festival at the Pacific Design Center. The food was incredible! I tried to take pictures but my point & shoot doesn't do so well in the dark.ReplyDelete
I was very enamored with CJ. *swoon*ReplyDelete
antonia was my favorite on that show. loved her.ReplyDelete
I'm so jealous. This event sounds awesome!!ReplyDelete
CJ is hot, the Grove food looked mediocre, but the big screens in back were genius. They should use those everytime lest the audience becomes very disengaged from the cooking process, which is probably what happened last Thursday. What fun though, eh?ReplyDelete