Scenes From Last Night’s Localicious
Public Kitchen’s uni and oyster shooter

Santa Monica’s Good Food Conference concluded for the second year last night with its Localicious event. Held at the same soothing seaside setting, with the same strong concept pairing excellent farms with great chefs, and the same great cause benefiting greater sustainability and better eating through, the biggest difference this year was the season. Held six weeks later than the premier lead, naturally, to different produce on our plates. This meant squash and spuds played a more central role than tomatoes and late-summer fruit, perhaps one of the reasons that dishes weren’t quite as memorable in 2012 as they were during 2011’s first go-around. However, there were some undeniable stand-outs, like Fig’s Ray Garcia condensing Thanksgiving dinner into a single soup, Vartan Abgaryan pairing uni with oysters in a shooter, and Milo & Olive’s outstanding grilled truffled cheese sandwich with butternut squash and Nueske’s bacon.

Along the way, we also got a glimpse of Venice’s forthcoming Feed Body & Soul, Evan Funke’s new Italian job, recently debuted dishes at Michael’s, and a South Bay ‘shroom purveyor called “Shitake Happens.” Come take a look at a few scenes taken from last night’s Localicious 2012.

At The Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica.
Executive chef at Hermosa Beach’s Abigaile.
Prepared Taleggio crostini, paired with wild mushrooms from Hermosa’s Shitake Happens.
Chef Matthew Dickson, formerly of Grace and Malo, previewed new dishes from his forthcoming seasonal, organic restaurant on Abbot Kinney, the highlight being a vegan soup with German butterball potatoes, pumpkin seed, blackened escarole, and cashew creme.
Offered a giant portion of creamy burrata in a caprese, days after unveiling kick-ass plans for his own Culver City Italian restaurant named Bucato.
The hands-down favorite of the night, for us and many others we spoke with, was this grilled cheese with truffle cheese, Nueske’s bacon, and butternut squash from Flora Bella Farm.
Vartan Abgaryan rocked our world with a pairing of uni with oyster.
Staged a Dia de los Muertos-themed table to serve its turkey albondigas.
Served pumpkin muffins with apples from See Canyon.
Scenes From Last Night’s Localicious