Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

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08

Jun

  • pinitbutton I am Sold to the Highest Bidder
celestino drago sophie gayot 300x238 I am Sold to the Highest Bidder

Chefs Celestino Drago (left) & Ian Gresik (right) with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot


The 22nd Annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters held on May 14th in the “Midwest Street” backlot of Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California, was a huge success. At the sold-out event, more than 1,400 guests enjoyed food prepared by 45 top chefs paired with wines from more than 70 California wineries. Chefs and winemakers were all in attendance to give partygoers all the explanations they needed.


Every year, the event benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The money raised, $23,000,000 over 22 years, including $1,667,500 this year, is used for vital research and care centers. Thanks to the new treatments, people with cystic fibrosis are now living one year longer for every year of research. When this event began, patients were living into their teenage years. Now, the median age is approaching 40.

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  • pinitbutton Living One Year Longer for Every Year of Research
sophiegayotroryherrmann 300x276 Living One Year Longer for Every Year of Research

Chef Rory Herrmann, sous-chef Katie Hagan-Whelchel from Bouchon Beverly Hills with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot
 

When I attended the 21st annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters on May 15, it was no surprise that I did not have time to get to all of the 45 restaurants and 71 wineries that were donating their food, wines and time to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The very same thing happened too, last year!   
 
1,400 epicurean guests wined and dined for a good cause at the sold-out event held on the “Midwest Street” backlot at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. The generosity of the crowd in conjunction with 900 live and silent auction items raised $1,590,000 for the Foundation’s vital research and care centers. I admired the entertaining energy of premier auctioneer DawnMarie Kotsonis, who sold an Imperial of 2005 Château La Mission Haut-Brion for $22,000 as well as a 6-liter 1996 Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée Saint-Vivant for $10,000.


20

May

  • pinitbutton So Many Chefs, So Little Time
sophiegayotcurtisstone 300x243 So Many Chefs, So Little Time

Chef Curtis Stone with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

One and a half million dollars was raised Saturday at the 20th Annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters, which benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The event took place at the “Midwest Street” set lot at Warner Brothers in Burbank. Forty-five celebrity chefs prepared an amuse-bouche which was paired with wine donated by over 65 wineries.

 

There were so many chefs and wineries that I didn’t have the chance to talk with everyone, even though I was there for over four hours. I started my tour with John Cuevas from Muse at Montage Beverly Hills, who prepared a salad of local watermelon, marinated green beans, feta and anchovy. I tasted Curtis Stone’s chicken liver parfait after waiting in line behind a crowd of fans getting his autograph (some even had Stone tattoo their arms!). Much later in the evening I ended my tour with chef Warren Schwartz of Westside Tavern (our current Los Angeles Review of the Week). Unfortunately I didn’t get to try his grilled hanger steak with brown butter béarnaise because it was too late in the evening.

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