Friday, February 25, 2011

R'evolution on the Road: Los Angeles

Chefs Folse and Tramonto with their Louisiana team
For the second straight year I have been invited to prepare the “Only in Louisiana Brunch” for the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. This year I was happy to introduce Chef Rick Tramonto to the participants as well as our Louisiana team including Chef Jay Kimball and Chef Fred Heurtin.

The brunch marked the first time Rick and I participated in a national event of this scope since creating Home on the Range, our restaurant development company. The event was held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, the original home of the Oscars.


The “Only in Louisiana Brunch” has quickly become one of the “must attend” Grammy events. Rick and I even had an opportunity to interview Kermit Ruffin, a Louisiana Grammy nominee for his Treme soundtrack.

Sauce Piquante Bayou Lafourche on
Griddle Cakes
Dishes such as seafood gumbo, crawfish étouffée, chicken sauce piquant, shrimp rémoulade, white chocolate bread pudding with Bourbon sauce and Pontchatoula strawberries on powdered sugar-coated beignets as well as oysters on the half shell were featured on the menu.

One of the high points of this trip was the day Rick and I spent at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in San Gabriel, CA, a suburb of L.A. Of particular interest to us were the gardens where we saw the “mother vine” of the California wine industry.

Mission San Gabriel Arcangel
Also on display were the original wine-making equipment for claret, which was made from zinfandel grapes, as well as a white wine made from Muscat. We held oranges from genetically authenticated trees that were brought by Spanish missionaries and planted on this site. To our amazement the cactus were fruiting during our visit. Apparently, cactus fruit was a prominent food at this early mission. And, the olive trees were spectacular.
 


Salmon dish at Bouchon Restaurant

Obviously, on trips like this we dine at restaurants owned and operated by the “best of the best” in our industry. We began our “food experience” with a casual lunch at Mozza where everything from pizza and pasta to roasted bone marrow and Brussels sprouts were served. And, we sampled every dessert on the menu. From there it was dinner at Bouchon. After beginning with soup, we enjoyed a smorgasbord of offerings including frog legs, pork belly, salmon,  French-roasted chicken and of course, an array of desserts that were to die for. We went on a guided tour of the Viking kitchen and prep areas. What a magnificent facility! Lunch at Spago was incredible followed by an evening at Bazaar, which was the perfect culminating meal on our “culinary voyage of discovery.






Chefs in the Garden of San Gabriel Arangel
Events like this enhance our partnership and camaraderie, and allow us to explore other worlds of cuisine. At the same time it allows us to showcase our cuisine in places people only hope to be seen. We look forward to our next culinary adventure!
-JF









For more photos from Chef Folse's Trip to LA and updates on the Restaurant R'evolution, please visit www.facebook.com/RestaurantRevolution.

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