A kitchen fire ripped through Coral Tree Café in September 2008, leaving the popular Brentwood restaurant closed for a year. To celebrate Coral Tree’s phoenix-like rebirth and to raise money for the firefighters who saved the building from complete oblivion, Coral Tree is hosting a panini competition on January 19, 2010, which the owners are dubbing a “Panini-Off.”
Five Panini-Off finalists were selected based on taste, visual presentation, creativity, and panini practicality (easy-to-eat). The five finalists are Cecilia Fabulich (Shanghai Spice Pork Loin Panini), Tsz Chan (Holiday Ham Panini), Nico Juber (Nico’s Perfect Panini), Michael Haddad (Breakfast Panini with Egg, Prosciutto, Gruyere and Chive Oil) and Chloe Coscarelli (Mango Masala Panini)
The five finalists will prepare their panini at the Panini-Off Finals on the evening of Tuesday, January 19, 2010, before Coral Tree customers and a panel of five judges: Food GPS Founder Joshua Lurie, Coral Tree Café co-founder Robert Niskefat, CitySearch Senior Editor Mar Yvette, LAist.com Co-Editor Lindsay William-Ross and Richard Klein, Founder of Chefmakers Cooking Academy. The winner of the Panini-Off will have their recipe on the Brentwood café menu board and receive a $250 gift certificate to Coral Tree Café.
The finals will also act as a fundraiser where 10% of the day’s gross revenue will go to the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund, a non-profit organization that is part of the Los Angeles Firemen’s Relief Association and offers programs to provide assistance for local firefighters and their families. When a firefighter is killed in the line of duty, the fund helps widows pay rent, buy clothing for their children or put food on the table. The fund also helps disabled firefighters suffering from burns, wounds, lung problems and job-related cancers. For more information, visit www.LAFRA.org.