by Sophie Gayot
As we say: “Ladies, first!” Sorry, Master Puck, but in the video above, Barbara Lazaroff is the first to present the 28th Annual American Wine & Food Festival that the two of you created 28 years ago in a parking lot below the original Spago on Sunset Boulevard. Some chefs, like Piero Selvaggio of Valentino, have attended all of these great charitable events since.
Last Saturday, more than 2,700 guests came to the Universal Studios backlot to meet more than 50 chefs, 80 vintners and food purveyors, as well as taste what they were showcasing. They were so numerous that I could not get to all of them, and even missed chef Amar Santana of Charlie Palmer of Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza at the FIJI Water stand whom I was supposed to interview. My apologies, chef! Below you can view my exclusive video interviews with the people with whom I did get to speak:
- José Andrés, chef at Jaleo and China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
- Sam Choy, chef/owner of Sam Choy’s
- Dean Fearing, chef of Fearing’s, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas
- Mark Ferguson, chef at Spago, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch
- Lee Hefter, chef/partner to Wolfgang Puck
- Eric Klein, executive chef at Spago, Caesars Palace Las Vegas
- Thomas Keller, chef/owner of Bouchon Beverly Hills, as well as Bouchon Yountville, Bouchon Las Vegas, The French Laundry, ad hoc, and Per Se
- Bella Lantsman, general manager/partner at Chinois on Main
- Mishel LeDoux, general manager at CUT, Beverly Wilshire
- Drew Nieporent, restaurateur: Corton, Nobu New York and Tribeca Grill
- Miriam Novalle, owner of T Salon in New York and Los Angeles
- Ari Rosenson, chef de cuisine CUT, Beverly Wilshire
- Piero Selvaggio , chef/restaurateur of Valentino in Santa Monica, as well as Valentino at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
A round of applause for the Las Vegas hotel that sent chefs from its nine restaurants despite the fact that it’s not even open yet! The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, scheduled to open December 15, had top toques José Andrés and David Myers wowing the crowd with their talents.
The Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation raised $1,400,000 that evening to benefit the Meals on Wheels Programs of Los Angeles. Over the years, the event, which helps serve thousands of meals each day to Los Angeles’ homebound, senior and disabled citizens, has raised more than $15 million. So, bravo to Barbara – once again, first – and Wolfgang!
You can click on each photo to enlarge.