The bucolic surroundings of UCLA’s Royce Quad once again provided the backdrop for what devoted foodies call “the best culinary event of the year.” This annual food fest brings together celebrities along with the crème de la crème of top chefs from Los Angeles and across the country who donate their time and talents to fight the battle against pediatric cancer.
Hosts chef Suzanne Goin, Caroline Styne (The Lucques Group), and David Lentz all hit the stage during the auction, along with MC Billy Harris to raise more than $1.2 million. Items auctioned included a trip to Tuscany with a dinner and lunch at chef Nancy Silverton’s villa and a movie night with “Everybody Loves Phil” host Phil Rosenthal at his home before a flight to Mexico City for an eating adventure. Even pop-star Pink was part of an auction item to personally pour her Two Wolves Estate wines at a Rosewood Montecito dinner with Michelin-starred L.A. chefs Michael Cimarusti and Josiah Citrin. The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl’s Back Beat BBQ party at a legendary recording studio with Food Network chef and fellow musician Bruce Kalman brought in approximately $70,000.
Return supporters in attendance included Joe Mantegna, Timothy Olyphant, Laura Dern, Nolan Gould, Camilla Belle, andKirstenVangsness. Long-time supporter, talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel took to the stage and donated a chef’s dinner at his home with Adam Perry Lang, Christ Bianco and Marc Vetri. The bidding raised $80,000 before Kimmel and wife Molly McNearney added an extra $20,000 to keep consistent with their past record of raising $100,000.
The Courier spotted the Beverly Hills Hotel crew and chef Michael Santoro, who were handing out an interesting combo of beet and blood orange soft serve to help ease the 90-plus-degree heat. Ludo Lefebvre was not at the Montage for the final days of his residency but at the event. He handed out a crispy parmesan treat for the crowd and posed for selfies with fans. Chefs Brian Rigsby and Andrea Shirey were serving Colman pork with bourbon peaches and pecans before gearing up to cook this Saturday for the FX Networks and Vanity Fair Emmy Awards bash at Craft in Century City.
The Courier also caught up with chef Michael Fiorelli grilling skirt steak. He is about to open his new Italian venture, Olivetta, on Melrose Avenue this fall with U.K. restaurateurs and Bravo-lebrities Matt and Marissa Hermer (who was spotted there, braving the heat), and a restaurant designed by the famed Fettle of London. The afternoon of fantastic fare also included two tents with cocktails for a cause, an array of wines spanning the globe, children’s activities, silent auctions, branded shopping, and an amazing soundtrack playing everything from Aretha to Joplin and Bowie to Morrissey.
For additional information about Alex’s Lemonade Stand, visit https://www.alexslemonade.org/.
Photo by Cody Rappaport ABImages