Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Buick Regal Discovery Tour - Chef Marcus Samuelsson

After ten weeks and ten U.S. cities, the Buick Regal Discovery Tour, sponsored by Buick, Travel & Leisure, and Food & Wine, has finally finished its last leg of the tour at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. If you remember, I attended the event in Dana Point, CA two weeks ago at the St. Regis Monarch Resort. I attended the last session of the tour on this past Sunday evening in Beverly Hills. Attending the second time, it was still fun, great and an unforgettable experience.

During this ten week tour, Buick raised $100,000 on  behalf of Feeding America. For every $1 could feed seven people, so this meant that 700,000 people were fed, thanks to Buick. Buick partnered up with Feeding America and made donations on behalf of the guests that attended the events in each city that the tour visited during the ten weeks of touring.

Guest Registration Area

Michael Green made an appearance for a mixology during the last leg of the tour. As usually, he was very entertaining and made yet another great demonstration for the guests.

At the St. Regis Monarch Resort in Dana Point where he made his appearance, he created a "Coco Tonic Mocktail" during his demonstration as well as the "Malt Scotch Cocktail" with accentuations of rosemary, lemon and pear and "Scotch Pear Cocktail" to pair with Chef Michael Psilakis' "Fried Pork and Beef Meatballs".

This time, he created the "Ginger Green Tea Sour Mocktail"  to which the guests sampled during his demonstrations as well as the "Ginger Gin Sour Cocktail" that was paired with Celebrity Chef Samuelsson's "Shrimp & Red Grits" later on for the Chef's cooking demonstration.

Michael Green with the "Ginger Green Tea Mocktail"

Michael Stern, who also made an appearance at the St. Regis Monarch Resort in Dana Point last month, made another appearance at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. While he mentioned some similar information, I also learned some new information. If you want to find great food, just get in your car with your windows opened and follow your nose! If you plan to travel this holiday season and you want to impress your family, visit Michael's RoadFood website!

Buick Lacross

All guests got a chance to test drive the 2011 Buick Regal during the event. The family line of 2011 Buick Enclave and 2011 Buick Lacross were also there on display for the guests to view. These were all beautiful luxury vehicles.

Executive Chef Jorge Chicas of "Trés" and "The Bazaar by José Andrés" at the SLS Hotel, also made a culinary demonstration for the guests and created a "watermelon and tomato skewer" and "watermelon and tomato salad".

At last, we arrived to the large conference room where we got the chance to see Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson, winner of Top Chef Masters season two and author "New American Table" with co-author Heidi Sacko Walters, do a demonstation and tasted a sample of one of his recipes, "Shrimp & Red Grits". Like the other vendors before him on the same day, he put on a great presentation for the guests and the sample was delicious.
"Shrimp & Red Grits" paired with Michael Green's "Ginger Gin Sour Cocktail"

After Chef Marcus' presentation, all guests received a copy of his book, "New American Table" where he also personalized and autographed for everyone in attendance. Buick was gracious enough to order copies of his book and donate to the guests.

Chef Marcus was also generous enough to take photos with all the guests

Monday, November 29, 2010

Louks Greek Gourmet

Lunch was on Sprint today.

The wireless provider is celebrating the launch of its 4G technology today (Nov. 29) by giving away free lunches in four locations in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Sprint partnered up with four food trucks — including the NomNom Truck – to provide free meals from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Others involved included Dan Dan BBQ, Louks Greek Gourmet and the bacon-centric Lardon truck.

Each location acted as a mobile hot spot, so diners could eat, Tweet and take advantage of Cyber Monday deals during the freebie food truck event, Sprint said.

This article was from the O.C. Register.

Louks Greek Gourmet was found in downtown Fullerton at Amerige Ave and Harbor Blvd today. Customers had the choice between a beef gyro, chicken gyro or vegetable gyro and a drink from the Louks Greek Gourmet truck. Each gyro included tzatziki, tomato, fries (INSIDE) and red onion. The photo on the left was the chicken gyro and yes, the fries were INSIDE the sandwich! This was very tasty and definitely worth trying. For more reviews on Louks, visit them on yelp.

Tzatziki is a Greek and Turkish meze or appetizer, also used as a sauce for souvlaki and gyros. Tzatziki is made of strained yoghurt (usually from sheep's or goat's milk) mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, usually olive oil, pepper, sometimes dill, sometimes lemon juice and parsley, and sometimes mint added. Tzatziki is always served cold. While in Greece and Turkey the dish is usually served as an accompaniment, in other places tzatziki is often served with bread (loaf or pita) as part of the first course of a meal.

The Greek word is derived from the Turkish cacık, which denotes a similar dish, cacık.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Xoia - Vietnamese Cuisine

Xoia is a Vietnamese Restaurant in Echo Park, CA. While the food is not authentic Vietnamese and the restaurant is small, the restaurant has a modern decor. Vietnamese curry food is spicy. Depending on the person's taste, it may be mild to moderate spicy and Vietnamese curry food is a great source of food to consume on a cold, dreary and rainy day.

Papaya Salad

Spring Rolls
Pho Tai - Beef Broth with Rare Steak
Chicken Curry Noodle Soup

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and be safe out there! Don't forget to eat lots of turkeys and pumpkin pies for me too!

More importantly, be grateful for your friends, family and what you already have and don't take them for granted. Tell your loved ones how much you love them....EVERYDAY. Don't wait until Thanksgiving, Christmas or birthdays to say so.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Buick Regal Discovery Tour

Over the weekend, I attended the Regal Discovery Tour, a unique cultural event at the St. Regis, Monarch Beach Resort, near Dana Point, CA and it was sponsored by "Food & Wine", "Travel & Leisure" and "Buick." It was an unforgettable experience where guests learned culinary secrets from one of the top chefs in the country, enjoyed products crafted by local artisans, discover an insider's look into American travel and taste custom cocktails paired to gourmet cuisine. This event was a part Buick's partnership, Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization. The event was free to all guests while Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, and Buick made donations to Feeding America on behalf of all guests attending and a generous $100,000 was raised during this two-day event. This tour continues on to Los Angeles on December 4 and 5 for those who missed it this past weekend!

Guest Registration area

Buick was one of the vendors there and had show displays of the Regal. After getting a short speech about the vehicle, guests were allowed guests to test drive the vehicle. While the vehicle was really nice, I didn't test drive or take photos of the vehicle...automotive photography was not my forte.

Michael Green, who was another vendor at the event, hosted a free beverage tasting and allowed the guests make a tasty "mocktail" drink. A "mocktail" was basically a non-alcholic beverage. People could use the same ingredients to create this beverage and add vodka or rum to it if they wished for parties. Michael was very entertaining, so anyone who is hosting a birthday party, bacherlor/bacherlorette party. wedding, corporate events or other large events, I would recommend Michael to bartend and entertain your party! Actually, I'm not sure if he will bartend at these events, but you should send some inquiries!

Ingredients for the Coco Tonic Mocktail where guests could create during the demonstration

I forgot his name, but he was from Divine Desserts, etc located in Laguna Beach, CA. He co-owns the store with his wife who wasn't at the event. He doesn't create cakes, but he creates awesome cupcakes and cookies, and caters to parties and events as well as catering to customers with food allergies!

He had red velvet cupcakes with fondant for the event guests to sample. They were delicious! He was personable, funny, and definitely worth working with.

Red Velvet Cupcake from Divine Desserts, etc. made with Chocolate cake with red food coloring and fondant frosting. He mentioned that the red was from the "South".

Michael Stern was also another vendor at the event. While he didn't have any samples to offer to the guests during the event, he did offer a lot of great advice on where we could eat during traveling. He didn't make any suggestions to eat at fine dining restaurants or in touristy areas, but who wants to eat at Denny's when you're on vacation or business trip when you can eat like the locals? With the holidays coming up very soon, are you traveling out of state or to a different part of the state that you've never been to? Visit Michael's website which offers a lot of great information!
Have you heard of Chef Michael Psilakis? I haven't until this weekend, despite that he is a big name chef and was very well-known with many of the guests at the event. He told stories about how he started in this business and currently co-owns two restaurants in New York, "Kefi" and "Gus & Gabriel", both serving Greek style cuisines, and owning one Mediterranean style restaurant, "EOS", in Miami, Florida.

Chef Psilakis did a cooking demonstration for the audience and created the "Fried Pork and Beef Meatballs" which was also pair with the guests' choice of either the "Scotch Pear Cocktail" or "Coco Tonic"; both beverages created by Michael Green.

Fried Pork and Beef Meatballs (from Chef Psilakis) paired with Scotch Pear Cocktail (from Michael Green)

At the end of Chef Psilakis' presentatation, all the guests in attendence recieved a free copy of his cookbook, "How to Roast a Lamb" to which was a generous gift! I don't cook gormet meals, however, I am honored to receive this.