Le Grand Fooding Crush Paris – Los Angeles
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 N Central Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Dining date: 4/26/13 and 4/27/13
This past weekend, Le Grand Fooding made its first foray into Los Angeles. The traveling event, hosted in San Francisco and New York in past instances, seeks to promote chefs of both nations cooking a sort of bistronomics concept – fine dining concept in a more affordable atmosphere. The event was a two-day affair at downtown’s Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (in addition to an exclusive pre-event dinner cooked by Craig Thornton (Wolvesmouth) and Miles Thompson (Allumette) – full pictures here).
The chef lineup was pretty impressive, with 11 big-name chefs from both LA and Paris. Some of the chefs cooked on only one day and a handful cooked on both days. General admission tickets were $50 and included one dish from each chef and a glass of champagne. Ticket prices went up in three tiers, all the way up to a $125 VIP ticket that included early entrance, a secluded dining area, and an extra dish from a VIP-only chef. Tickets sold out in a hurry, but I managed to purchase a base level ticket for each day.
For the two evenings, MOCA’s outdoor venue was set up with a DJ tower, multiple chef booths and an impressive Veuve Clicquot tower.
While “food tickets” ensured only one serving of each chef’s food to each attendee, two things were unlimited (included in the price of admission) throughout the night – S. Pellegrino/Panna water and Intelligentsia coffees (!!!).
Now, onto the food:
A two-day chef, Inaki Aizpitarte was probably one of the most highly anticipated chefs participating, from current 15th best restaurant in the world Le Chateaubriand. His seemingly-simple dish would be one of the highlights for me.
Fresh Beans, Herbs and Brown Butter – Inaki Aizpitarte (Le Chateaubriand, Paris)
In between opening restaurants, Josef Centeno was a Friday chef, representing LA with another of my favorites – this citrusy ceviche.
Amberjack Ceviche, Lime, Cara Cara, Watercress, Rice Cracker – Josef Centeno (Baco Mercat, LA)
Another Friday-only appearance, Roy Choi brought the Kogi truck out for some of his popular tacos.
Kogi Classic Short Rib Taco (Remix) – Roy Choi (Kogi, LA)
Greg Marchand of Frenchie in Paris prepared lamb sliders on Friday.
Pulled Lamb Sliders – Greg Marchand (Frenchie, Paris)
Ludo popped in on Saturday serving a variation of a dish he’s serving at new restaurant Trois Mec.
Barbecued Carrots, Smoked Mascarpone Chantilly, Candied Orange – Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, LA)
I can’t say I fully understood it, but Jordan Kahn had one of the most beautiful dishes of the event on Saturday.
“Color Dissonance” – Jordan Kahn (Red Medicine, LA)
Representing France on Saturday was Sven Chartier of Saturne, preparing a cool, sweet crab dish.
Crab, Beetroot, Horseradish – Sven Chartier (Saturne, Paris)
Nancy Silverton made a two-day appearance serving an Italian grilled beef dish paired with arugula-like rucola and parmesan.
Grilled Beef Tagliata, Rucola & Parmigiano with Aged Balsamico – Nancy Silverton (Mozza, LA)
Another two-day dish was this one from a food truck showcasing French cheese. The deconstructed pizza was an interesting and tasty take on the classic.
Drinkable Pizza Tomatoes-Anchovies-Oregano, Cheese Bread, Besties – Jean-Francois Piege (Jean-Francois Piege, Paris) and Carolynn Spence (Chateau Marmont, LA)
The last of the food offerings was from the Lemonade chain in LA. I thought the organizers could’ve had a more interesting option here, but the desserts were solid enough – my favorite was the warm apple pie pocket with whipped cream.
Salted Chocolate Caramel ‘Ding Dong’ Cake – Lemonade, LA
Passion Fruit Macaron Fruit Salad – Lemonade, LA
Apple ‘Dolly Madison’ Style Pie with Crunchy Whipped Cream – Lemonade, LA
I thought this was a pretty fun event, a little different from some of the all-you-can-eat, larger scale festivals we have. The chef lineup was small but very strong, and the venue was just small enough to kind of feel intimate. Lines weren’t too bad; there was plenty of time to leisurely hit each booth within the three hours. However there was one issue – I don’t know all the specifics but the Silverton booth ran out of food midway through on Saturday. We almost didn’t get it (luckily was one of the last servings), but that shouldn’t happen when the ticket process ensured one serving for each attendee. Regardless of that snafu, I’d be excited to see Le Grand Fooding return to LA to bring its unique lineup of French chefs to our city.
Click below for the complete picture albums for each of the three events I attended:
Pre-Event dinner cooked by Craig Thornton (Wolvesmouth) and Miles Thompson (Allumette)
Main Event Friday
Main Event Saturday