Taste of the Nation united over 40 of L.A.’s most talented chefs and restaurateurs on Sunday afternoon in Culver City’s Media Park to raise funds for Share Our Strength, in its ongoing mission to end childhood hunger in the U.S. Though First & Hope failed to appear, Church & State quickly ran out of food, and the weather looked a little ominous at points, TOTN still managed to be one of the town’s best tasting events when it came to the food being served and sense of commitment from the players. Ticket holders got an early taste of Ricardo Zarate’s chicken anticucho at Picca and of Nancy Silverton’s sliders at Short Order, while dishes like the lamp chops and mint pesto from Culina, Campanile’s olive oil fried egg, and Hatfield’s warm octopus salad were all big hits with the crowd. Meanwhile, a craft brew garden organized by Food GPS vied for drinkers’ affections with cocktails from 1886 at the Raymond, Julian Cox, and La Descarga, while Michael Voltaggio made ice cream in VIP. Come take a look at the food and personalities that helped make Taste of the Nation a smash success in our slideshow.
Peruvian lantern scallops and sweet shrimp with white corn panna cotta, marcona almonds, smoked strawberry gastrique and paella with chorizo, mussels, and chicken.
From left, Jonathan Gold, Mary Sue Milliken, and Kathy Griffin.
Ray Garcia’s Torta de Lengua.
Nancy Silverton and Amy Pressman’s sloppy bolognese sliders.
House-made pastrami with green tomato ketchup and pickled spring vegetables on rye brioche.
Chef-owner Jeff Cerciello.
Kaya Toast with coconut jam, soft fried egg drizzled in dark soy and white pepper.
Pastry chef Waylynn Lucas debuted hthe new treat she’s been working on, of which more than a few people said were better than donuts.
The French chocolate maker was in high spirits, pouring everyone Champagne.
Neal Fraser prepared Berkshire pork banh mi.
Sang Yoon made his Schezwan chicken pops and beer floats
Chef and owner of Father’s Office and Lukshon
We didn’t see Tom Colicchio, but John Keenan’s Liberty Farms duck fritters with cherry mostarda were there.
Kerry Simon prepared a scarlet scallop and yellow beets napolean with green garlic goat cheese.
The rock ‘n roll chef of SimonLA.
Ricardo Zarate made chicken anticucho from his forthcoming restaurant.
Lamp chops from the Four Seasons Italian were one of our favorite bites.
Spanish octopus salad, another favorite.
Tropical tres leches.
Nona Sivley and Kerry Simon’s lamb lollipops with hibiscus glaze on fava bean puree.
Alex Reznik’s coconut jalapeno with albacore, salmon, yellowtail, and aioli.
A new cocktail bar coming to Hollywood, with a drink French men would make for their mistresses.
The new Hollywood restaurant offered chef Mette Williams’ fried chicken and cornbread.
Mark Peel prepared olive oil fried egg on grilled bread with black olive tapenade and tomato concasse and it was wonderful!
Porcini rubbed barbecued short ribs with salsa verde. You know that was good!
Lobster and fresh almond gazpacho.
John Sedlar’s Melrose restaurant had chipotle tamales with steak.
Creme fraiche with buttermilk panna cotta with strawberry-rhubarb soup.
Porchetta sandwich with piquillo peppers and parmesan.
Stuffed chile with chorizo, dates, and sherry almond sauce.
Nectarine and almond dessert.
Nguyen Tran brought back his banana hammock.
Jose Andres’ place made grilled octopus tacos.
Sara Johannes provided the restaurant’s chow feung roll with braised beef short rib.