Highlights of Angeleno Magazine's Great Chefs Night Out 2010 at the Fairmont

— by Caroline on Crack

Angeleno's Great Chefs Night Out by Caroline on Crack

Dishing out the Burmese Melon Salad by Susan Feniger's Street.

On August 1, food enthusiasts, restaurant critics and of course great chefs converged at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica for Angeleno Magazine‘s Great Chefs Night Out 2010 and 8th Annual Restaurant Awards, which was hosted by Angeleno‘s James Beard award-winning food and travel editor, Brad A. Johnson. We were all there to celebrate his picks for the restaurant awards.

The list of this year’s winners:

In the VIP hour before the food fest, we had gathered in a staging area near the bungalows overlooking the Pacific Ocean where we toasted and clapped as each award recipient took the stage to receive their award plate. Never one for standing around and clapping in the hot sun, I impatiently sucked down my Oxley Gin cocktails, antsy to get started on the eating already.

Finally they turned us loose on the grounds surrounding the Fairmont’s famous fig tree where all the restaurants were set up to dole out the tasting portions of their signature dishes. I immediately set out to find the highly desired plates first before the lines got too long and they ran out of food. Fortunately that never got to be a problem for me. What did become problematic, however, was the fact that my stupid stomach is too small. By the time I reached the halfway point of the event, I was done! Fortunately my friend, blogger Busy Beth was able to go on for me and let me know what I was missing out on. Argh.

In any case, here are the highlights of the evening for me:

  • Those Oxley Gin cocktails: 1) That there was a seemingly neverending supply, 2) that Aviation was particularly tasty.
  • Petrossian’s creamy cauliflower panna cotta with caviar which I thankfully ended up having again at the Petrossian’s 101 Caviar dinner. And one fellow diner made no attempt to hide the fact that he was on his 6th visit to the Petrossian table.
  • Chef Ludo’s heirloom tomato smoothie, squid ink vodka jelly and seaweed tartar. Mmm, if only they could start serving this delicious concoction at Jamba Juice. Heh.
  • Michael Voltaggio’s burrata and peach pebbles a la liquid nitrogen made for an invigorating treat.
  • 123 Tequila’s tequila and chocolate pairings, which were deliciously ingenious. Who would have thought that the two would go together so beautifully? Especially that dark chocolate with liquid cardamom and caramel center and the anejo!
  • Running into blogger friends: Food GPS, Mattatouille, Gourmet Pigs, Lindsay and Julie of LAist, My Last Bite, estarLA, Lesley of Tasting Table, Hadley of Grub Street LA….man, who am I forgetting?
  • Stumbling down the red carpet after one too many Aviations much to the amusement of my friends snapping pictures.
  • The unofficial after party on the hotel’s Sunset Terrace where I enjoyed another cocktail with friends while dipping my toe in the fountain and watching the sun set.

This truly was an event not to be missed, made even better by the gorgeous setting, the quick lines and the hordes of foodie friends.