Let’s Dish: James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour, Los Angeles

The James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour has 28 stops this year and I was lucky enough to attend their LA dinner at the L.A. Hotel Downtown. Hosted in their new restaurant, Ziran, it was a real treat to be surrounded by a group of chefs, industry vets and people who just really love food! Lets just say it’s always a good sign when you have chefs in attendance. Tickets for Chicago’s event on April 16 are worth the price if you want to experience food from some of the best chefs in the city. See the details for the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour, Chicago here, and below check out my recap from the Los Angeles tour stop.

Who could resist a bite served in a little shell? This charred artichoke was as cute as it was delicious! It was a great way to start the night and definitely had us wanting more


This was the most interesting dish of the night. Our table let it melt slightly, which just made the dish even better. So many different tastes and textures that worked so well together. Bravo, Chef Ari!
Chef Ari Taymor, Alma, LA
Frozen Duck Liver, Smoked Maple, Coffee Granola, Carrots

Cooked perfectly on the rare side, you got the real taste of the scallop. The buttercup squash puree gave it a little sweetness and upped the creamy factor too.
Chef Bernard Guillas, The Marine Room, La Jolla, CA
Fennel Pollen Dukkah Crusted Diver Scallops, Field Peas, Buttercup Squash, Truffle Oil, Pain D’Epice

This is dish was really, very elegant and quite tender.
Fun fact: Chef Hong told the crowd that she wanted the garnish to mimic what rabbits eat.
Chef Elizabeth Hong, Osteria Mozza, LA
Rabbit Jus Raviolini with Rabbit Ragu and Mustard

Mixologist Sara Strom sure knows how to craft a cocktail and my favorite was paired with the Rabbit course. I love sage in any cocktail and it worked really well with the Amaro Nonino. Thankfully, I had a lamb lollipop coming my way next or I would have felt that way more.
Sara Strom, Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, CA
Knob Creek, Amaro Nonino, Creme De Muere, Lemon Juice and Sage Sprigs

Our host for the night, Chef Harry, went old school with his course. There was a beautiful layer of fat on top and the meat was tender and crispy in all of the right places.
Chef Kevin Harry, Ziran, Los Angeles
Roasted Lamb Lollipop, Purple Haze Gratin, Silky Carrot Puree, Roasted Asparagus

This dish had a brightness not only in color, but in every bite. Chef Scheehser told the crowd that he used herbs and produce found in his small farm, which is about 15 minutes from their restaurant. You could taste the freshness and it left my palate feeling refreshed.
Chef Brian Scheehser, Trellis Restaurant at the Heathman Hotel, Kirkland, WA
Lemon Infused Flan, Spring Rhubarb Syrup, Lavender and Sage Tuile

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