Pigging out but avoiding the pig

Nobo Matsuhisa

I’m just home from the American Wine & Food Festival.  The first thing I did when I walked through my door was turn on ESPN to catch up on  today’s college football games scores (congrats Trojans!!!). With nothing else on until the 11 p.m. news, I decided to watch the Food Network for the first time ever. REALLY.

I know there are many people addicted to the Network. People who have no interest in cooking find it therapeutic to watch cooking shows and they’re chef groupies. I’ve been a foodie for years, have written about fine dining trends for a couple of years, co-host a food-related radio show and have attended a few food festivals over the years. But I have never felt any more compelled to watch chefs cook on television just like I’ve never had a desire to watch my favorite clothing designers sketch any designs. Just give me the finished product, whether a dish or a dress, and that’s the best way to satisfy me.

I do love to get to know the chefs and was in heaven at tonight’s event, held at Universal Studios Backlot to benefit Meals on Wheels programs of Los Angeles through the Puck Lazaroff Foundation. I couldn’t help but gush when I saw Nobu Matsuhisa. That’s him above (right). I told him how honored I was to eat a spicy tuna roll personally rolled by him. And he truly seemed to appreciate my comment. Then I had two of his Kobe beef tacos and a chunk of black miso cod. I had a time getting Laurent Tourondel to remember me. Then I reminded him that I gave him hotel suggestions for Antibes and he remembered our exact meeting at one of his New York eateries. Wolfgang Puck asked if I had grown taller since he last saw me in his Spago Beverly Hills restaurant three weeks ago. He’ll never forget me. He had so many restaurants set up that I can’t remember what I had at which one but everything was sensational. I introduced myself to Patina’s Joachim Splichal and told him I’ve quoted him before in my stories. “Quote me again,” he said, handing me his card before I gobbled down his oh-so-fab ravioli with mango. I recognized Thomas Keller, whose mussels, clams and Louisiana sweet shrimp were so delicious, although he doesn’t have his name on his chef’s jacket like most others. And as much as I think he’s a rock star in the kitchen, I didn’t introduce myself to him. I only wanted his food. I wanted to meet Gino Angelini just because he’s Italian but I was pretty full by the time I found his station and wasn’t in the mood to chat.

By then, I was ready to go home having eaten more meat than I should have considering I just finished 10 days on the Master Cleanser. But I did avoid all wine and pork, including this little fella:

AWFF 2009 002

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