by Sophie Gayot
There were many events during the Third Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival. It was not possible to attend of all them, so choices needed to be made. When I saw that Curtis Stone was hosting Lexus Live on Grand on Saturday, I did not hesitate to trade a quiet evening at home for a giant food and wine party with the Walt Disney Concert Hall as a backdrop.
Guests stood in line on a red carpet completely covering one block of Grand Avenue, which was closed for the five days of the festival, to taste dishes from some twenty chefs. They included GAYOT 2011 Best Restaurateur in the U.S. Michael Mina, Rick Bayless (Frontera Grill, Red O), Kamal Rose (Drew Nieporent’s Tribeca Grill), Charles Phan (Slanted Door), Justin Everett (Cavallo Point), Traci des Jardins (Jardinière, one of the GAYOT 2013 Hot 40 Restaurants in the U.S.), Susan Feniger (STREET), Gregorio Stephenson (Nobu Malibu), Robert Liberato (STK Los Angeles), Neal Fraser (Redbird), and Verite Mazzola (Taberna Arros y Vi). I got so busy talking with them that I only had time to try wines from Inception Wines.
But the longest line of all was the one in front of Stone’s booth. As charming as usual, he and his team were serving a delicious tuna ceviche they had prepared for 3,000! If you cannot have “Take Home Chef” at your house, you can have his recipe which is below. And soon you will be able to dine at his first restaurant in America which will be in Beverly Hills, at 212 S. Beverly drive. The yet-unnamed restaurant will be small, some 35 seats; we can guess that the wait time to get a table will be long.
Curtis Stone’s Tuna Ceviche with Chili, Pepper, Lime and Soy
Vegetable oil, for frying
6 garlic cloves
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1 red jalapeño chili, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coconut milk
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 (packed) tablespoon grated palm sugar
2 drops toasted sesame oil, to taste
1 lb ahi tuna, cut into 2 cm. cubes
2 small firm but ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, cubed
2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh mint
• Heat the oil in a large wok over medium heat.
• Using a mandolin, very thinly slice the garlic and shallots.
• Add the garlic to the hot oil and fry for 1 minute or until crisp and golden.
• Using a mesh spoon, transfer the fried garlic to paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
• Repeat with the shallots.
• Stir the lime juice, chili, coconut milk, soy sauce, palm sugar and sesame oil in a large bowl to combine.
• Add the tuna and let stand for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until the lime juice begins to “cook” the outer edges of the tuna and the outside becomes a white color.
• Using a slotted spoon, remove the tuna from the marinade and arrange in the center of 4 serving plates, dividing equally.
• Top with the avocado, basil and mint.
• Drizzle with the marinade.
• Sprinkle with the fried garlic and shallots and serve immediately.
You can click on each photo to enlarge. Photos © Sophie Gayot