Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach 2012

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Chef Philadelphia

I’ve been on the Taste of the Nation Los Angeles committee since last year in an effort to help non-profit Share Our Strength achieve their goal of ending childhood hunger. Leading up to the June 10 event at The Lot in Hollywood, I took a southern swing to experience how the charity’s Laguna Beach branch supports the cause. Organizers gathered high-profile chefs from as far away as Philadelphia and paired them each with a California farm, as 400 guests enjoyed food and wine with a Pacific Ocean backdrop.

Chef New York
Floyd Cardoz (North End Grill) made the trip from New York City.

Food Festival Orange County
Cardoz plated grilled black pepper shrimp with arugula and watermelon.

Chef Los Angeles
Michael Voltaggio (ink., ink. sack) posed, then took our photo in return.

Food Festival Orange County
Voltaggio plated lengua with sweet pea guacamole, a corn chip, and horseradish queso.

The event was heavily weighted toward wine, but Haven Gastropub did fill glasses with three beers: Breakfast Stout, Imperial Russian Stout and Cream Ale.

Chef Philadelphia
Jennifer Carroll left 10 Arts last year to open her own restaurant in 2012, Concrete Blonde.

Food Festival Orange County
Carroll was another TOTN chef who served an adventurous cut of meat, presenting grilled Rohan duck hearts with Polito Farms blood & Valencia orange marmalade, and fennel.

Chef Los Angeles
Suzanne Goin (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, The Larder) clearly has charitable leanings, since she also helps organize the L.A. incarnation of Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Food Festival Orange County
Goin made Maine diver scallops with Weiser Farms fingerlings, green garlic and pistou.

Chef San Diego
William Bradley (Addison) made sure to invite his team to join him in our photo.

Food Festival Orange County
Bradley topped creme fraiche with soy, salmon (smoked, eggs), sorrel + Tutti Frutti tomatoes.

Chef Hawaii
Alan Wong is another event veteran and co-chairs the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival.

Food Festival Orange County
Wong opted for Korean-influenced surf and turf: gingered shrimp and soy braised short rib over gochujang, which he spelled phonetically on the card: ko choo jang.

Chef Orange County
Craig Strong (Studio) cultivated a row of garden beds since arriving at the Montage three years ago from The Langham Huntington, Pasadena.

Food Festival Orange County
Strong served lamb loin with Villa Romano Green Farms favas, harissa, African basil + socca.

Taste of the Nation Laguna Beach even featured a room of strawberry desserts starring Harry’s Berries, plus jars of their fire engine red strawberries, which we call “red gold.”


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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