For some reason Wednesday night the stars aligned in my favor and I was able to get a seat at the sought after Patina Alumni Dinner. The one night event was the 22nd anniversary of the celebrated Patina Restaurant highlighting every executive chef that has worked the kitchen over the past two decades. The list shines with nine of the best masters of the culinary arts today. It was a night of sublime eating, every dish that came out of the kitchen was on par with a grand slam. A hard act to follow but each chef held their own.
Joachim Splichal and Michael Otsuka grabbed the spotlight with hors d’oeuvres…. appetizing creations to whet the palate. Joachim dazzled with potato chip sandwiches, scallops and american caviar. Michael took over the reins with porcini and barley stuffed cabbage. Followed by rabbit rack chop with fennel pollen, onion jam and prosciutto bread crumbs.
All photos taken by: Nicole Presley
On to the main menu…..
Octavio Beccera wowed the dinner goers with a beautiful dish reminiscent of a floral bouquet. Fall Terrine- rabbit, squab, and foie gras perched on top of persimmon, fig, green apple and sprinkled with pomegranate clusters and pistachio aillade. This dish had me convinced that it was made by angels in a fall garden, but NO….. it was Octavio. He created complete bliss.
The next plate was a seasonal glazed vegetable mosaic by Tony Esnault. To me it looked like Japanese anime food, soft on the eyes with colors that would make up the quintessential spring day. I expected this dish to be cold, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover all the vegetables were warm. Each piece of this lovely mosaic is flawlessly poached separately. Once the vegetables each reached their optimum cooking time they were brought together like a stained glass collage. This is a signature dish at Patina and could be found on the menu now.
Theo Schoenegger made Uovo in ravioli with white truffle butter and burgundy truffle shavings.
David Feau prepared Saint Pierre vent basque with squid ink, prosciutto and red pepper.
Then a gorgeous poached lobster made it’s entrance into the room. Sitting atop of Mole Santa Cruz surrounded by butternut squash and fried kale, dressed to the 9′s in a lime brown butter sauce. The crowd went wild. Chef Eric Greenspan should have done a victory lap.
Walter Manzke made sure to please the press serving up his roast duck along side a tourte gibier in a salmis sauce. This dish left my fellow food blogger friend The Glutster‘s tongue wagging (who was seated next to me). Hadley Tomicki from Grub Street LA (who sat across from us) had left a few duck morsels on his plate. The Glutster sniffed them out and requested Hadley’s last bite…. Literally.
Sarah Koechling brought the dinner to a close nicely with her light as air Green Apple and Coconut Battera adorned with crispy meringue, one sweet marigold and matchstick green apples. The combination of green apple and coconut is genius…. this dessert made me blush as I scraped my plate clean.
141 South Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213 972 3331