Chocolate

Los Angeles Chocolate Salon

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Los Angeles Chocolate Salon is HERE!

LA Chocolate Salon

Chocolate Lovers… The 9th Annual Los Angeles Chocolate Salon takes place Saturday, September 26 in Pasadena. Immerse yourself in everything chocolate at this one-day event featuring world-class Chocolatiers, celebrity guest speakers, tastings of artisan and premiere chocolates, chocolate liqueurs, and enjoy chocolate demonstrations by noted Los Angeles Chefs and Pastry Chefs.

Participating Chocolatiers will be judged in this prestigious event based on flavor, artistic style, design, overall quality and more judging categories.

chocolates at the LA Chocolate Salon

No stranger to the prestigious Chocolate Salon is Amy Jo (Valenza) Pedone, founder of Valenza Chocolatier, who shares that luxury chocolates are a true art form that takes a lot of patience. Recently, Amy Jo stopped by Bikini Lifestyles for a chat about all things chocolate and her recent success at the International Chocolate Awards.

Amy Jo Valenza Pedone

Amy Jo Valenza Pedone

BL: Why chocolate, Amy Jo?

AVP: Passion. It comes from passion. In 2008, I was working in a corporate job that wasn’t “me”, I lost my cousin to ovarian cancer and my world just caved in. I remembered the times I cherished most were making chocolate truffles and holiday cookies with my mom. Chocolate comes from my soul.

BL: That’s a good soul to have. What did you do?

AVP: I had no kitchen or culinary experience so I studied with an accredited chocolate program for one year and then journeyed back to my roots to Italy for my apprenticeship. From Milan to Torino, I worked with master Chocolatiers in the Piedmont region of Italy which is known as the capital of chocolate. I also learned to make traditional Italian chocolate pieces from the areas largest Italian chocolate maker ICAM Choco Scuola. [For Amy’s full story, read ABOUT at ValenzaChocolatier.com]

BL: Your chocolates are amazing. What is your favorite part about it?

AVP: Seeing the expressions on people’s faces when they taste my chocolate… that is the ultimate satisfaction. Each of my chocolates has a story behind it. They are hand-rolled, made to order with no preservatives, no additives, no machines… just quality ingredients including the finest Italian ingredients and a lot of love.

Valenza signature chocolates

Valenza signature chocolates

BL: What tips do you have for the home-chef?

AVP: There is a science and skill behind chocolate. The easiest to make at home is to make a Dark Ganache because there is no tempering required. Use a 2 : 1 ratio; 2 dark chocolate, 1 heavy cream. You can steep the heavy cream in fresh herbs, citrus to get different flavor profiles.

BL: A lot of home-chefs get frustrated when they do everything the same but their chocolates come out differently. Any tips?

AVP: Many factors are involved in getting chocolate tempered just right. Room temperature, humidity, quality of the chocolate are just a few of the elements that can vary and must be on target to get consistently good results. And, patience. If there is anything chocolate has taught me, it’s patience.

Amy Jo’s Valenza Chocolatier chocolates took “Best of Salon” at the 2014 Los Angeles Chocolate Salon. This year she will be showcasing some of her Italian specialties. Stop by, taste some of her incredible chocolates and say hi to Amy Jo at the 2015 LA Chocolate Salon on Saturday. And, visit ValenzaChocolatier.com for more on where to buy Valenza Chocolatier chocolates.

Valenza chocolates logo

Valenza Bon Bons of Gold are the signature artisan chocolates for the Golden Foodie Awards and recently advanced to the World Finals of the esteemed International Chocolate Awards. Her one-woman chocolate business will compete as the only United States company in a nut-based category next month, taking place October 17 in London on the main stage at The Chocolate Show at Olympia National Hall. With the submission of only this product from their collection, Valenza Chocolatier® was awarded SILVER for their Gianduiotti Maximo in the Nut/Gianduiotto category in the 2015 Americas Competition of the International Chocolate Awards. Made with 100% imported Piedmontese hazelnuts and 61% dark single bean Venezuelan chocolate, their Gianduiotti are truly authentic, based on the traditional Italian rules dating back to 1865 in Torino, Italy from the shape, percentage of Piedmontese hazelnuts, method of forming and foil wrapping by hand. With this win, a formal invitation was granted for these handmade chocolates to journey across the world to compete at the World Final, against the Italians who are known for award-winning Gianduiotti (Gianduia).

“To have the opportunity to compete against the Italians in this category is truly an unbelievable honor. This brings a high-level of authenticity and validation for my business mission, which is to create Italian inspired artisan chocolates and confections in the United States” said Amy Jo.

Valenza Chocolatier® was awarded the 2015 Six Star Grand Master Award for Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America by The International Chocolate Salon and TasteTV based on cumulative awards during the 2014 year, included Gold Award for Best Salon at LA Chocolate Salon plus twenty-two other awards.

tastings at the LA Chocolate Salon

The Los Angeles Chocolate Salon this weekend… Celebrating chocolate lovers in Southern California, meet Amy Jo Valenza Pedone and other participants including chocolatiers, confectioners, and culinary artisans, among these:

Get your tastebuds salivating with a look at participants here, LAChocolateSalon.com (go to PARTICIPANTS)

•Marco Paolo Chocolates
•Valenza Chocolatier
•Amara Chocolate & Coffee
•Mignon Chocolate Boutique
•Taza Chocolate
•Sweet Milalani
•Choctal
•Droga Chocolates
•Copper Cauldron Candy Co
•Chocxo Bean to Bar Chocolatier
•Marti Chocolatt
•Tequila Alquimia
•Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts
•Meetup.com
•Chocolate Television
•Chocolate-themed art creations from Eye Heart Art
•and more…
•Amano Artisan Chocolate
•Amella Caramels
•The Tea Room Chocolate Company
•David Bacco Chocolatier
•Truffles N Toffee
•Fera’wyn’s Artisan Chocolates
•Pacari Chocolate
•Chocolatier Eve
•Les Beaux Chocolats
•Dove Chocolate Discoveries
•Gourmet Blends
•Monterey Chocolate Company
•The Gourmandise School
•New Orleans Bill
•TasteTV

Guest Speakers, Authors, and Presentations:
• Demonstrations from Le Cordon Bleu instructors
• Award-winning KABC Radio Host and creator of The Bikini Chef® Susan Irby on healthy eating and chocolate
• The Gourmandise School from Santa Monica.
• Lee Scott Theisen Ph.D.
•Amy Reiley, Author Fork Me, Spoon Me & Romancing the Stove
•Dave Shelton, Actor/Screenwriter
• Jessica Ferraro, Bar Cacao
and more!

Just what is a salon? SALON:
1.An assembly of guests in such a room, esp. an assembly, consisting of the leaders in society, art, politics, food, etc.
2.A hall or place used for the exhibition of works of art.
3.A shop, business, or department of a store offering a specific product or service, esp. one catering to a fashionable clientele
4. Or, a fabulous place to taste gourmet, luxury, award-winning chocolates!!!!

Chocolatiers at the Los Angeles Chocolate Salon

Chocolatiers at the Los Angeles Chocolate Salon

WHEN:
Saturday, September 26, 2015
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
Full details at: LAChocolateSalon.com

WHERE:
The Pasadena Center, Conference Building
300 Green Street
PasadenaCenter.com

TICKET INFORMATION:
*All Tasting & Events Included with Entry*
Adults: $20 Advance Purchase
Adults: $25 Door
Children under 6: Free*
Children, 6 to 12: $10
*Applies to 2 children per adult. Each additional child under 6: $10

Follow us on Twitter @ChocolateSalon


Esters Wine Shop Santa Monica

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

ESTERS logo

Co-Owner and Wine Director Kathryn Coker curates a 200-plus bottle selection, with small plates from Executive Chef Jeremy Fox, grab-and-go artisanal food items, and more  

ESTERS Wine Shop

Let co-owner and wine director Kathryn Coker help you pick out that perfect bottle for a picnic or dinner. There are over 200 selections of wine to choose from. And any bottle you purchase on-site can be enjoyed at the bar for a corkage fee of only $15, so go all in with that magnum! Executive Chef Jeremy Fox has now added sandwiches to-go in the marketplace section like a vegetarian number with burrata, roasted red peppers, Moroccan olives, parsley, and olive oil or one with Olympia Provisions ham, butter, cornichons, and radishes—both on freshly baked Milo & Olive ciabatta.

Kathryn Coker, Esters Wine Shop SM

Kathryn Coker, Esters Wine Shop

How ESTERS came to be… Restaurateurs Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan continue to grow their restaurant family from within, partnering with Kathryn and Tug Coker and existing Rustic Canyon team members to open Esters, an integrated wine shop, bar, and market experience in downtown Santa Monica, CA.

ESTERS Santa Monica

Housed in the historic Telephone Building, a 1937 Art Deco landmark, Esters is across the hall from the restaurant group’s newly opened Cassia, where Kathryn also curates the wine program. The shop, whose name is derived from the chemical compound that contributes to a wine’s bouquet, offers a classic and diverse selection of more than 200 wines from small producers and boutique wineries, whose stories Co-owner and Wine Director Kathryn knows and loves. Esters appeals to shoppers on-the-go, with a marketplace offering a wide variety of artisanal items, as well as to guests lingering over glasses of wine, with paired dishes from Rustic Canyon Executive Chef Jeremy Fox and Pastry Chef Jun Tan, here in the chef de cuisine role.

“With Esters, we’re creating a cozy, approachable, neighborhood atmosphere where people can pop in for a glass of Champagne and a bite to eat with friends and family, stock up on specialty items for a dinner party or picnic, as well as learn more about wine by exploring our fun and unique selection,” says Kathryn, whose passion for wine led to her overseeing the wine program for Rustic Canyon and creating the initial list for Milo & Olive.

The broad and eclectic wine list offers something for everyone—from connoisseurs to novices—and accommodates a wide range of budgets. In the $40-75 range, guests can expect great Burgundies (Kathryn’s personal soft spot), Grower Champagnes, and funky biodynamic wines produced by little-known winemakers from Santa Barbara to Sicily. A high-end wine room showcases bottles priced above $75, and the “Tug’s Picks” section, which honors Tug’s keen eye for value, features affordable weeknight bottles, mostly priced under $25. At least 15 wines are poured by the glass at any given time, with opening highlights including 2012 Pierre Morey Bourgogne Aligote, NV Domaine Robert Sérol Cote Roannaise “Turbullent” sparkling rosé from the Loire Valley, and 2013 Soliste Narcisse Pinot Noir from the Sonoma Coast.

A thoughtfully curated selection of craft beers, specialty imports, and premium spirits from small production distilleries around the world is also available. Rustic Canyon Bar Manager Aaron Ranf pours a selection of sipping mezcals and stirs up classic cocktails including Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs.

In addition to an array of cheeses and cured meats from boutique salumerias across the country, Jeremy and Jun continue their commitment to local, seasonal products, incorporating them into light dishes that complement Kathryn’s wine selections, such as Smoked California Fish in a jar with pickled ramps, Cook Pigs Ranch Pork Terrine with grape mustard, and Cucumber Panzanella with dill and house-cultured yogurt.

ESTERS Wine Shop SM

The marketplace component features grab-and-go artisanal items and rare, limited-edition products from friends and suppliers whose work inspires the team. Highlights include housemade sandwiches, loaves of Zoe’s renowned breads from Milo & Olive, gourmet chocolates from Compartés, raw honey from Massey Honey Co., Solstice Canyon almond butter, and Bottle Stock wine accessories.

L.A.-based Oonagh Ryan Architects designed Esters, which seats 50 indoors, to seamlessly flow between the wine bar and retail aspects, combining raw, modern elements with an eclectic mix of new and vintage furnishings. Salvaged steel-frame windows have been gracefully repurposed into an enclosure for the high-end wine cellar, and a large, beaded chandelier hangs over a custom wood and steel communal table. A 20-seat, U-shaped bar anchors the 1,600 square-foot space and features a hand-plastered front with decorative molding and a fluted terrazzo and brass counter. White marble coffee tables, a rich green velvet loveseat, and linen-clad chairs add an elegant and whimsical vibe, reminiscent of a Parisian flea market. A fruit-tree enclosed patio comfortably seats 40 and features colorful, tile-topped tables and a weathered zinc communal table—ideal for enjoying wine and small plates al fresco. Coming this fall, guests can look forward to winemaker visits, classes, and tasting flights.

Esters Wine Shop
1314 7th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Esters, the new wine shop, bar, and marketplace in Santa Monica has extended their opening hours, so if you’re craving a cooling glass of Rosé or some Beaujolais during the day, problem solved. They are open at 11 a.m. every day until 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday (closed on Mondays until after Labor Day) and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information, please visit www.esterswineshop.com or call 310.899.6900.

Become a fan of Esters on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

(Photo Credits: Emily Hart Roth)


Sofitel and Trimbach Wines – The Perfect Pairing

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Trimbach Winemaker dinner

Sofitel and Trimbach Wines : The Perfect Pairing

Sofitel Wine Days

As Sofitel closed out another successful celebration of wine and food during Sofitel Wine Days, I had the pleasure of meeting one of the premiere featured winemakers at the Trimbach Winemaker dinner. Trimbach wines are harvested and bottled in the Alsace region of France, which is located along the fartherest eastern border of France. Situated along the Wine Route, the Ribeauville village is sheltered between the Vosges Mountains and the vineyards and has been home to the Trimbach family wines and neighboring vineyards since 1626.
Trimbach wines

Now, that’s what you call vintage wines! Twelve generations of winemakers have put their passion into producing these highly acclaimed wines just as their family founder, Frederic Emile Trimbach, received the highest distinction at the International Wine Fair in Brussels in 1898.  And on this night in 2014, these highly acclaimed wines were to be selectively paired with the cuisine of Chef Marius Blini of Softel.

Champagne beginnings

I was invited to dine by Nilou Rahmani, the Esterel Restaurant Manager and a woman very engaged in working with the culinary and wine team to bring the freshest foods prepared in the highest quality and pairing with fine wines. To my delight and in true French fashion, I began my evening with a social chat with friends over a glass of champagne in the Sofitel lounge preparing my tastebuds for the delectable dinner ahead. With Executive Chef Marius Blin and Trimbach wines at the helm for the evening, I knew I was in good hands.
Chef Marius Blin

Upon entering the elegant Esterel restaurant, I was greeted by another Frederic ~ Frederic Zemmour, the Sofitel Los Angeles’ Food and Beverage Manager who seated me and my guest in a luxurious booth with a Chef’s table-like view of the kitchen. Perfectly poised to see the Chef at work. Frederic shared that the Trimbach wine Ambassador, Anne Trimbach, would be arriving shortly and I gleened in anticipation. And thus, dinner began.

Chanterelle Mushrooms stuffed bone marrow
The first course was a Roasted Marrow Bone “stuffed” with chanterelle mushrooms and garlic puree served with persillade toast and paired with Trimbach Pinot Noir. Persillade is a seasoned mixture of fresh parsley, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and customarily some seasonings all finely chopped together to create a delicious paste of sorts which, in this case, has been paired with chanterelle mushrooms. YUM! The Trimbach Pinot Noir features red fruit and blackberry aromas and comes from the best terroirs and is only produced “in the very best years”.

Anne Trimbach and Chef Marius Blin

About this time, I had the pleasure of meeting Anne Trimbach. As mentioned above, Anne is the Trimbach family wine ambassador and the grand niece to family founder, Frederic. “Does the Trimbach family use steel casks to age the wines?” I ask. “Never, never,” replies Anne. “We use nearly ancient oak barrels – some dating back to 1717 – that are so old they have neutral flavors.” Anne went on to explain that she grew up at the winery, what fun that must have been, and that they keep a close track on the measure of sugar in the grapes to determine when to harvest. Curious, I inquire, “When harvesting, do you use machines to pick the grapes or hand harvest?” Anne proudly exclaims, “Trimbach grapes are hand-picked, hand-harvested lending to the quality of the harvesting process.” Oooooh, I’m intrigued. Next course, please.

Chef Blin preparing the branzino

Chef Marius Blin chose Seared Branzino for the entree. Branzino, if you are not aware, is a white fish that is usually grilled or pan seared whole or fileted with the skin on. Chef Marius opted for pan seared white fish filets served with braised leek and fennel, California sunchoke puree, and yet Chef took the dish to a whole new dimension by adding a poached oyster and local caviar polished with his classic beurre blanc sauce.
Plating the branzino and Esterel

Wow, talk about a dance party in your mouth. The piece de resistance? A wine pairing of Trimbach Riesling. Well balanced subtle flavors and fruit, this elegant wine was perfectly paired with Chef Marius’ Branzino and Anne also recommends pairing with other fish such as smoked, grilled, or fried fish and white meats such as pork.

Branzino with oysters, caviar and tomatoes

The Cheese course arrived with a delicious pairing of Trimbach Pinot Gris. Let’s start with the wine first… one of the most remarkable Alsace grape varieties, the pinot gris combines full-bodied, dry fruitiness with a hint of smokiness that appropriately pairs with foods that possess depth of flavor. You can’t get anymore depth of flavor than an array of flavor-forward cheeses. When it came to cheese, Chef chose the Schloss Marin Farm cow’s milk cheese, Bay Blue Pointe Reyes Farmstead (cow), San Andreas Bellwether Farm sheep’s milk cheese accompanied by roasted red grapes, chocolate macadamia tuiles, and fresh honeycomb. Ummmmm, we could stop here and my tastebuds would be thriving in happiness. But, there was one more course to come. Dessert.

The Cheese plate

Strawberry Basil Sorbet highlighted the end of a savory evening and was accentuated by almond meringue, hibiscus flower, micro mint, a macaron shell and one of the most revered Trimbach wines – the Trimbach Gewurztraminer “Reserve”. Pair with spicy dishes, Asian-inspired cuisines, strong cheeses and featured here, fruit-based desserts.
Sorbet

If “the accidity of a reisling keeps you alive”, as Anne Trimbach states. Then, we shall all be alive indeed. Cheers!

For reservations at Esterel restaurant at Sofitel LA, visit SofitelLA

For more information about Trimbach wines, visit Trimbach.com


Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach Opens…

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

Ceviche

Fast becoming a restaurant scene to contend with, Laguna Beach welcomes Tortilla Republic’s newest location. In an inviting, luxuriously comfortable beach style, Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach celebrates its highly recognized contemporary Mexican fare with the culinary team of Executive Chef Chris Tzorin and consulting Chef Cathy Shyne.
Emapanadas
Having known Chef Tzorin’s uniquely delicious culinary style, you can imagine my delight when I discovered he was on board. I have been a fan of his signature mole’ creations since first meeting him while judging the chef competition at The Chocolate Event about four or five years ago. Since then, Chef Tzorin has been succeeding in the kitchen and on the television airwaves. It comes as no surprise that Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach draws inspiration from the coastal community as well as beautiful Southern California.
Chicken Mole
Utilizing seasonal fresh ingredients and often organic ingredients, signature dishes include Sweet Potato and Beef Empanadas with chimichurri sauce, and cilantro; Shrimp Zarandeado Salad with sautéed shrimp zarandeado style, mixed greens, romaine, melon, jicama, tomato, roasted almonds, queso fresco, and kiwi vinaigrette; Torta de Carnitas with pulled pork, cabbage, candied oranges, pickled jalapeños, black beans, monterey jack cheese, tomatoes, guacamole, and torta bun, with your choice of soup or mixed green salad; Pescado a la Parrilla Taco with tequila passion fruit slaw, pico de gallo, avocado, salsa de mesa, and cilantro crema; and Short Rib Chile Verde Burrito with prime all natural short rib, slow roasted tomatillo & jalapeño chile verde sauce, monterey jack cheese, house rice, and black beans.
Shrimp Salad
The restaurant also features imaginative brunch dishes, such as Huevos Rancheros with two eggs sunny side up, roasted peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, Monterey jack cheese, black been purée, ranchero sauce, crema, and avocado; Egg White Mole Burrito with egg whites, spinach, cheddar cheese, mole de poblano, pico de gallo, and avocado; Seared Albacore Tuna & Sweet Potato Hash with two poached eggs, wilted micro greens, caramelized onions, and jalapeños; and Fresh Roasted Corn & Blueberry Pancakes with whipped salted butter, and maple syrup.
Tacos
From the bar, guest can enjoy Prickly Pear Bellini, Spicy Bloody Mary, Michelada, and Tomato Fresca, while taking in the unobstructed beach views. Open-air dining is a highlight here with two outdoor open-air dining terraces and a courtyard patio boasting a retractable roof.

Tortilla Republic Laguna Beach officially opens Wednesday, October 8, 2014 with a special open-to-the-public ribbon cutting ceremony beginning at 5pm.

Tortilla Republic
480 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
949.393.4888
www.tortillarepublic.com

www.facebook.com/TortillaRepublicLagunaBeach
www.twitter.com/iloveTRLB

Open for lunch: 11am to 3pm Tuesday-Friday
Brunch: 10am to 3pm Saturday-Sunday

Beef Rib Burrito

ABOUT TORTILLA REPUBLIC
Tortilla Republic in Laguna Beach features modern Mexican cuisine in a sophisticated setting. From the owners of Taste on Melrose and Taste in Pacific Palisades, John Halter, Morten Kaag and Mina Azami, the Laguna Beach location is the newest Tortilla Republic in the portfolio for the restaurant group—the first opened in August 2011 in Poipu, Kauai, and the second location opened in West Hollywood, CA in March 2012. In conjunction with renowned interior designer Kirk Pereira, Halter, Kaag and Azami designed Tortilla Republic to reflect a polished aesthetic including custom furniture inspired by their travels to Mexico. Consulting Chef Cathy Shyne and Executive Chef Brandon Warren have created a farm-to-table menu using fresh ingredients and organic produce.


The 3rd Annual Golden Foodie Awards 2014

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Hollywood

Golden Foodie Awards
The 3rd Annual Golden Foodie Awards 2014
winner Cathy Thomas
On September 28, 2014, Orange County’s culinary elite don their red carpet attire – or in this case, golden carpet attire – for the 3rd Annual Golden Foodie Awards to be held at the Fairmont Hotel in Newport Beach. Produced by Pamela Waitt, the Golden Foodie Awards celebrates the best in local food, restaurants, chefs, and culinary writers. Each year, attendees enjoy a pre-awards reception filled with signature dishes and cocktails from restaurant nominees and sponsors followed by the awards gala event and post-awards reception.
taste at the Golden Foodie Awards
The Golden Foodie Awards features over 28 categories including Best Mexican Restaurant, Best Burger, Best Happy Hour, Best Bartender, Best OC Food Writer among others which are awarded by public voting which took place during the month of August. Other top categories are the Golden Chef award, Golden Pastry Chef, and Best New Restaurant which are voted on exclusively by the Golden Foodie Awards guild.
with Vicki Gunvalson at the Golden Foodie Awards with Vicki Gunvalson at the Golden Foodie Awards
This years celebrity presenters include OC Housewives’ Heather Dubrow, Vicki Gunvalson, and Shannon Beador, Los Angeles’ Charm City Cakes owner, Duff Goldman, Mercedis “MJ” Javid of “Shahs of Sunset”, and comedienne Frances Dilorinzo will host the gala awards event for the 3rd year in a row. Guests will enjoy sweet “golden” treats from Valenza Chocolatier “Bonbons of Gold”, Casey’s Cupcakes “Golden Velvet Cupcakes”, and gold kissed spheres of Golden Chocolate Rochers by Fairmont Hotel pastry chef, Jeffrey Kahle all designed specifically for this red carpet evening.
with Duff Goldman at the Golden Foodie Awards with Duff Goldman at the Golden Foodie Awards
Sponsors of the Golden Foodie Awards: Fairmont Newport Beach, Sub-Zero and Wolf, Kanantik Belize, Celebrity Cruises, Orange Coast Magazine, 95.5 KLOS and 790 KABC, KOHLER, Melissa’s Produce, Travelzoo, Ketel One, Orange County Register, Kean Coffee, Code Four, La Crema, Patrón, Sadie Rose Baking Company, The ACE Agency, The District at Tustin Legacy, Aloha POS, Surfas Culinary District, Greer’s OC and Piper-Heidsieck Champagne.
Chefs Yvon Goetz and Pascal Olhats Chefs Yvon Goetz and Pascal Olhats
The public is welcome to attend but seating is limited so purchase tickets as soon as possible for a taste of and inside look at the OC culinary scene. For tickets and more information, visit goldenfoodies.com
presenter Wing Lam presenter Wing Lam


ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen… Where It’s National Tequila Day Everyday

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Food

ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen… Where It’s National Tequila Day Everyday
Don Myers
National Tequila Day is July 24 but you don’t have to wait until then to celebrate… just head to Brea, California where ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen is tops in tequila and cuisine. Created by culinary mastermind, Don Myers, ChaCha’s takes “Mexican food” to a whole ‘nother level. You see, Don has been in the culinary world for decades. Not to make him seem old, Don is far from old, but he’s been honing his culinary chops since 1972! As Don says, “that’s BC!” and I am sure that he means that is bc – before I moved to California. With one successful restaurant after another, Don knows his way around a kitchen and a restaurant. And, a bar.

ChaChasMiracleMargarita ChaChasMiracleMargarita

Speaking of bar, let’s start there. ChaCha’s features nearly 50 different tequilas ranked by drinkability which translates to “your favorite”. Signature seasonal cocktails: Watermelon Margarita, Miracle Margarita, and the ChaCha’s award-winning Sangria Tradicional. Naturally, ChaCha’s has beer, wine, and can make virtually any cocktail you can dream of but these signature classics are a great place to start.

Sangria Tradicional Sangria Tradicional

With Happy Hour everyday and happenings every week such as Monday Night Date Night, Tacos and Tequila Tuesdays, Enchilada and Wine Wednesday, Locals Night Thursdays, and Sunday Brunch, there’s a tasty reason to go to ChaCha’s every day of the week.

Aguachile Aguachile

With foods like Shrimp cured in cucumber, lemon and orange juice, red onion, Serrano chilies, cilantro and mint – otherwise referred to on the menu as “Aguachile” – you will WANT to dine here every day. Other menu highlights: Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad, Camarones Adobados which is Large Grilled Shrimp marinated in lime and cilantro and served with summer squash, roasted corn, jicama, and adobo sauce, Open-Faced Short Rib Enchiladas consisting of corn tortillas with Guajillo braised short ribs, pasilla chile, achiote onions, and Guajillo sauce.

Open Faced Enchiladas Open Faced Enchiladas

And, make sure to share the fresh Guacamole, a delicious combination of Haas avocado, Serrano chile, fresh lime juice, and tomatillo salsa – the final ingredient for guac perfection. To finish, Homemade Churros – chile spiced chocolate sauce, fresh seasonal berries and cream top the cinnamon sugar crusted fried sensation. ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen is worth the drive any day, even National Tequila Day next July.

Homemade Churros Homemade Churros

ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen in Brea, California
110 West Birch Street
Brea, CA 92821
714.255.1040
for more information, visit: ChaCha’s Latin Kitchen


66th Primetime EMMY Awards

Posted on by Bikini Lifestyles in Hollywood

66th Primetime EMMY Awards

66th Annual Primetime EMMY Awards 66th Primetime EMMY Awards

The premiere night for television stars, the 66th Primetime EMMY® Awards will be held Monday, August 25, 2014 at Nokia Theatre at LA LIVE in downtown Los Angeles and broadcast LIVE on NBC television with red carpet arrivals at 4pm and awards show at 5pm Pacific Standard Time. Host, Seth Myers and Executive Producer, Don Mischer will be joined by the EMMY winners, nominees and guests at the annual Governors Ball which takes place in the West Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center and will be catered for the 19th year by Patina Restaurant Group.

EMMYS Governors Ball Laser Light show EMMYS Governors Ball Laser Light show

In another stellar creation from Event Producer, Cheryl Cecchetto and her team at Sequoia Productions, and in their 17th year as producers for the EMMYS Governors Ball, this year, the convention center Hall will be transformed into a “kaleidoscope of color” complete with an awe-inspiring laser light show, dynamic dance performances choreographed to the laser lights, and live performances by recording artist, Judith Hill backed by high energy Top 40 band, The Red Hot Band all dramatized with media-enhanced Versa TUBES and lasers and wall-to-wall harp strings created by 2,400 feet of brass wire.

Table decor for "Kaleidoscope of Color" EMMY theme Table decor for “Kaleidoscope of Color” EMMY theme

Governors Ball Committee Chair Russ Patrick states, “This year’s theme and decor are metaphors for creative excellence, vibrancy, and richness of our industry and the television season.” Adds Event producer, Cheryl Cecchetto, “Our ultimate after party will be a sensory of delight offering sights, sounds, and cuisine and hospitality that cannot be found anywhere else.”

Chef Alec Lestr Chef Alec Lestr

Under the direction of Patina Restaurant Group founder, Joachim Splichal, Executive Chef Alec Lestr and his team of over 200 chefs will create a kitchen of grandeur behind the floor-to-ceiling drapery cooking a-la-minute for the near 4,000 guests. On the menu for this year’s ball, Grilled Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad, Filet of Beef with Artisan Grapes, Idaho “90” Potato “bone”, and Chocolate S’Mores.

Beaulieu Vineyard Maestro Collection Beaulieu Vineyard Maestro Collection

The decadent dinner will be paired with wines by Beaulieu Vineyard featuring their Maestro Collection Sauvignon Blanc, 2011 Georges de Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and the 2012 Maestro Collection Napa Valley Port and NV Muscat de Beaulieu. Highlighting the “kaleidoscope of color” table decor are floral designs by Kevin Lee of La Premier Florist now in his 10th year with the EMMYS.
LA PREMIERE FLORAL DESIGNS

Watch the video preview here: 66th Primetime EMMY Awards Governors Ball
EMMYS BAND MENU
WATCH THE 66TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS MONDAY, August 25 LIVE on NBC television at 5pm Pacific Standard Time.

AUDI AUDI

Audi® is the Official car for the 66th Primetime EMMY® Awards