A Punchy Evening

By admin

World champion Sugar Ray Leonard with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Saturday night I attended the 2010 edition of Vintage Hollywood, an organization formed in 2002 to raise funds to support charitable organizations that work to promote the health and well-being of Southern California’s diverse community. This year the proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

The king of the evening was definitely world boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard, whose Pacific Palisades house hosted the event. Food-wise, Christophe Happillon was the most popular with his Luna oysters from Carlsbad. The line to sample the dish was very long, as he was opening them “à la demande.” Don’t be fooled by the photo below; I was not really helping him. Readers can find him at Joe’s restaurant in Venice every Friday and at Church & State downtown Los Angeles every Tuesday.

The most interesting dish was the corn soup with lobster from chef Tony DiSalvo from Whist at the Viceroy in Santa Monica. Chef Olivier Rousselle from On Sunset at the Luxe Hotel Sunset Boulevard came close with his two tuna carpaccios and his Strawberry Charlotte served in an egg shell. Chef Brendan Collins from the new Waterloo & City restaurant in Culver City was a little disappointed that his countrymen did not beat the U.S. at soccer earlier in the day, but was happy to report that the World Cup had filled up his restaurant.

Lisa Strong, chef Craig Strong’s wife, enjoyed the scallops being cooked on the spot by sous-chef Meredith Manee of Culina at the Four Seasons at Beverly Hills. Lisa was representing her husband who was too busy cooking at Studio at Montage Laguna Beach, one of our 2010 Top 40 US Restaurants. But Strong will have to cook a dinner, sold during the live auction for $8,250 by actor/comedian Greg Proops, who was perfect as auctioneer. Strong will prepare a meal with fine wine pairings for eight lucky people that will be held in the personal wine cellar of Vintage Hollywood board member Hal Lampert and his wife Sharon.

Not surprisingly, I found Anthony Dias Blue at a winery table, Lioco Wine, and visited the Cargasacchi wine table, where I admired a skull sporting sunglasses. I learned from chef Eric Greenspan that he will be opening a grilled cheese sandwich place right next door to The Foundry on Melrose this autumn. I still need to get to chef Shelley Cooper’s restaurant First & Hope Supper Club. This was the second time I experienced her food at an event and not at her new downtown Los Angeles club/restaurant.

Despite a broken foot, Chef Suzanne Goin was graciously offering sandwiches from her successful Tavern restaurant in Brentwood. Joshua Klapper from La Fenêtre was busy pouring wine when I arrived at his stand. Luckily, general manager Nicolas Gourdon, from Joe’s in Venice, was there to comfort me with some home-made charcuterie. I had two more food tastings from chefs Susanne Tracht from Jar and Angela Tamura from Zuzu in Napa, before waiting in the long line at the Artisan Cheese Gallery across from Miner Family Winery.

As I write this, I realize that that I did not stop at Crumbs Bake Shop to try their cupcakes. Is that because I spent too much time at Florentino Artisan Ice Cream, Gelato & Sorbet? I have to admit that a lot of time passed as I tried their raspberry, mango and coconut sorbets, and espresso and chocolate ice creams, which were all really good. No wonder why I found radio host Rudy Maxa right there. Let us not forgot the other radio host Jim Thornton, from KNX1070 Newsradio, the emcee of the evening.

Click here to see GAYOT.com’s other blog posts related to Vintage Hollywood.

Please enjoy the photos below from this memorable event.

 You can click on each photo below to enlarge.