This past Saturday night, we were fortunate to snag tickets to the SoCal installment of Project by Project’s 8th Annual Plate by Plate Tasting Benefit event at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. (This event also takes place in New York and San Francisco.) We had not attended this event previously and were graciously hosted by Belle Hsu, Marketing Director of this 100% volunteer–based non–profit organization. Each year, Project by Project (PbP) throws this event to benefit a different community–based non–profit dedicated to helping the American Asian Pacific Islander community by donating a massive amount of time and effort and the net proceeds of the event. This year’s partner is Health Justice Network, a community advocacy service organized through the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California.
Against the serene backdrop inside the picturesque Wallis Annenberg Building, the live entertainment kept the mood high while celebrities and local dignitaries supplemented the army of volunteers serving up savory food and dessert delicacies prepared by talented chefs from many of the best restaurants in Los Angeles, as well as samplings from premier wineries and beverage companies.
“Tasting Benefit” is an apt description for this event, which raises the bar for celebrations of this type. Food tastes included ample portions from a wide variety of food purveyors, including Bistro LQ, The Blvd at Beverly Wilshire, Cafe Pinot, Charlie Palmer, Craft Los Angeles, The Foundry on Melrose, Fraîche, Hot Stuff Cafe, Jamaica’s Cakes, Jar, JiRaffe, Jitlada Southern Thai Cuisine, La Cachette Bistro, La Grand Orange, Maison Akira, Mo-Chica, Musha Tokyo Cuisine, Nobu West Hollywood, One World Vegetarian Cuisine, Plush Puffs, Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine, Starry Kitchen, Susina Bakery, Thompson Beverly Hills, Wokcano and Yogurtland. There were so many, it was impossible to sample them all, but we especially took note of the salmon tartare on a crisp potato chip from Fraîche, a black cod creation resting on a lettuce leaf from Nobu and a hamachi and caviar delight served up by Roy’s. We also enjoyed roasting our own gourmet marshmallows from Plush Puffs and an assemble–it–yourself dessert from Yogurtland (lemonade passion fruit with toppings hit the spot).
There were some very nice wines on hand, including a Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon from Trinchero Napa Valley, a Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah from Derby Wine Estates and a Sauvignon Blanc from Napa Cellars, just to mention a few. But the event didn’t stop at wines. There were specialty beverages from water to herbal teas to sake to infused vodkas to beers and ales. Leah liked an interesting MoMo Cosmo (MoMo Nigori Sake with natural flavors) and we both savored a great limoncello (and we know our limoncello!) from the Ventura Limoncello Company and more.
As the evening progressed, there were some guest speakers (brief and to the point) and people eventually wandered through the silent auction room, talking, having their pictures taken in front of a cartoon kitchen set, and bidding on art, dinners, jewelry, keepsakes, dinners, vacations and much more.
We should mention that the volunteers who staffed the food, beverage and auction tables were smiling and gracious the entire evening, obviously dedicated to the charitable purpose of the event. The live music (not to mention the food and drinks) continued throughout the evening until the guests reluctantly retired to the exit door and received goodie bags full of interesting things. For those of you who couldn’t attend, we put together a short video to show you what you missed. See you at this event next year?
Disclosure: We were granted complimentary media passes to this event.
August 17, 2010 at 1:58 pm
Jay B. said:
That food looks so good. I wish I could make dishes like those.
What fun! Hope the drinks were as good as the food looks! Hope to see you next year.
Yes, the drinks and the food were great. This event is a good one to attend.
Plush Puffs Gourmet Marshmallows said:
Thanks for the shout out to Plush Puffs! More importantly, really glad you liked the marshmallows. We were really happy to participate at such a fun event for a great cause.
Wow! Looks like you’ve been hitting all the good events this summer. Too bad I was on vacay last week and missed it. Maybe next year.