Just so you’re not confused by the headline, this blog is not about a train powered by Krug Champagne or even drinking Krug while riding on a train. It’s about listening to the group Train performing live while drinking Krug Champagne during Saturday night’s Los Angeles Food & Wine event, which left quite an unforgettable memory.
Last night was the opening of the first Los Angeles Food & Wine which was held at L.A. LIVE. To celebrate the evening, mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Randy Jackson took the stage. They are both food lovers, and are great supporters of restaurants and the hard working people they employ.
The event was truly red carpet, as the entire area where the chefs and wineries had their booths was completely covered with it, which was great for those wearing high heels. It made the setting quite elegant for sampling Daniel Boulud’s charcuterie, Kerry Simon and Nona Sivley’s tuna tartare with caviar (SIMON L.A.), Lissa Doumani’s savory Japanese pancakes (Terra) and Michael Ginor’s escargots, to name just a few. Kristen Schaefer, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ mixologist, was serving “The Alameda cocktail” (Hangar One blueberry vodka, green Chartreuse, blueberry and pomegranate juice, fresh lemon, and thyme-infused honey), and not too far away, Maison Marques & Domaines was pouring Louis Roederer Cristal 2004.
I have had the pleasure of meeting French chef Bruno Lopez many times throughout his career. I’ve tasted his dishes when he was working at different The Ritz-Carlton hotels, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire (now a Four Seasons), and the Hotel Bel-Air. I was most impressed with his peach gazpacho with truffle oil, which he made when he was at the restaurant of the Raffles L’Ermitage hotel (now part of the Viceroy Hotel Group). I was sorry when he stopped serving the public when he became a private chef at the French Consulate Residence in 2009.
Last Friday, I got to congratulate him on his skills yet again, but the setting was quite different. Lopez received the esnigns from French Consul General David Martinon making him an officer of the Ordre National du Mérite Agricole, in recognition for his work in promoting French cuisine in the USA.
Among the many things über-chef Wolfgang Puck likes, there is coffee. His passion for the black drink led him to create a line of cold brewed iced coffees in 2009 with pastry chef Sherry Yard and Craig Lieberman, president of Woodway Beverage Partners.
The trio has developed four flavors: Vanilla Fusion, Double Blend Mocha, Crème Caramel and Café au Lait. Made with certified organic ingredients, they are prepared using a cold-brewing process that reduces the tannins and the bitter taste often found in hot-brewed drinks. The results are delicate flavors at only 120 calories for an 8.5-ounce bottle, while other brands are around 250. Watch my exclusive video with Wolfgang Puck talking about the drinks.