Thursday, May 21, 2009

Field Trippin': Top Chef Celebrity Cook-Off

So my bestie Kenny is obsessed with Top Chef. I've seen a few episodes because Padma Lakshmi used to be in my Acting Class in LA. I never really got into it because at the time I was sticking to my Acting guns & was against all things reality, the second season of Flavor of Love changed ALL that... YEAH BOOOOOOOOOOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! I know... TERRIBLE! 

Anywho, the Choi & I haven't been able to hang one by one because he's too busy knocking it out of the park on all his auditions & booking MAD work! I got invited by the VIP rewards program from The Grove to attend the Celebrity battle between last season's contestants Betty & Stefan, knowing Kenny would LOVE this I got us two tix. 

He canceled the day of because he had another audition. I then asked my other foodie pal Diana, but Lady Di had to cancel 3 hours before the event because her slave masters at Satan, Beelzebub & Lucifer ESQ made her work on her ONLY day off. 

SO now the mad dash was on, I have over 1300 friends on Facebook so I posted a status update for someone anyone to join me & YES I know or have met them all at some point in my life, not a loser collector like those weird people who don't know you that "follow" you on Twitter... I will NEVER get that site but I LOVE Lys' little anecdotes.... sorry rambling! 

So as the clock was ticking it was on like Donkey Kong to find someone to dine with me, as the time dwindled & no one was able to join me or offered to I felt myself slipping into that lonely place. 

As a foodie & cook I have no problem eating alone, hell it's one of the joys of being single watching diners around you get increasingly more uncomfortable watching me thinking that I was stood up or that I must be one of those psycho hot chicks so that's why I'm "alone"... LOVE that! 

Still no one bit as the time got nearer I suddenly found myself feeling terrible, feeling lonely & started to talk myself out of getting ready & going. I haven't felt that way about dining I don't think EVER, shopping, eating & watching movies I love to do alone. 

Part of it was that I had these grand plans with Kenny & I wanted to do something special for him & the other part is that I am a seemingly confident person & I put out there in front of my Facebook world that I was in need of company. 

I was mortified & literally changed my status every 15 minutes basically freaking out how I had No one to eat with me.... ain't no shame in my game when it comes to guilt trips. It was now 30 minutes before the event. I decided to close the laptop, suck up the tears that were trying to well up, put the dog on & book it over to the Grove. 

When I got there I noticed all the couples & large groups of friends huddled to enjoy their evening under the stars with great wine & food, I had my moment & then let it go. The set-up was beautiful! I found myself just getting more & more excited about the food & nothing else mattered. 

When I said at the table I was alone 1 of the security was gentlemanly enough to escort me in, I felt FAB!That was so darling of him. I remember looking around & there was this woman flailing her arms in the air for someone to come over, I smiled at her & kept walking, as I passed her she grabbed my arm & she's like "HEY didn't you hear me? We have room for one more" I was shocked, no one in LA talks to strangers or one another so I told her that I genuinely thought she was speaking to someone behind me. 

The blossoming Foodie

We got to talking & hit it off immediately, I introduced myself to everyone at this fantastic table but I was just enthralled by this woman & wanted to know everything about her & thank her profusely. We couldn't stop yapping & the abundance of wine flowing did have a hand in that, I swear 20 minutes into our conversation I introduced myself & gave her my name & then she told me hers. 

Her name was Olga, my Grandmother's name... my Grandmother that died 2 years ago... literally 4 days before I met Olga was the 2 year anniversary of my Beloved Grandmother's passing, I just started balling right then & there, it was a sign this was the company I was to have that evening & honestly the best company a girl could ever ask for. 

Although the setting was samples from the more popular restaurants at The Grove, the sampling of the Duo Of Wagyu from The Whisper Lounge nearly knocked me out it was so good, I remember thinking & then exclaiming to the table I don't care how much that steak costs I am going to the Whisper Lounge & having an entire one to myself it was so buttery & delicious sweet Jeezus, 10 seconds after I said that the MC asks who wants to come up & grab a plate? 

The wine made me leap out of my seat & he picked me... I felt like I was on The Price Is Right... again, well that's another story, anywho one of the winners got there before & took my treasured grilled Wagyu when he offered her the Tartare.... 

I wanted to kick her in the back of the head, but as I got up there there was an entire grilled Wagyu on the cutting board & I asked if he can give that to me also, the crowd ROARED it was awesome so he did. I walk back to my jubilant table & decided it would taste so much better if we shared it. 

One of the guests was on a date with her foodie lover & I literally watched this girl become a foodie before my very eyes, it was awesome! Olga ran to get us some forks & the 6 of us grubbed it was an incredible feeling.

The sampling, Wagyu Tartare, Grilled Wagyu & Carrot cake... YUM!♥♥♥
Our winning plate
Tuna from Morel's

Chicken Tortellini from Maggiano's

Then the battle between Betty & Stefan began, I swear by this time I was a bottle & a half into this dinner... we were trashed! I was heckling & talking all dirty to Stefan, he LOVED it & gave me a pair of panties that said cockychef... fierce & I was cheering for Betty like a schoolgirl, she ended up giving me her dish also! 

My table loved me even more than ever it was fantastic, my dear Olga.... feeling very nice wandered onto the stage & told Stefan all the stuff wrong he was doing & helping herself to the Judge's plates, I went to last year's winner Ilan's table & he invited me to come to his new restaurant Grobel's that opens in Downtown in August HA!

I even went to the Whisper Lounge after to congratulate the Chef that made the amazing Wagyu. I ended up knowing the bartender, we went to acting class together so he gave me a free drink, when he asked what I was doing there? I told him I had to met the Chef that kicked ass today, he told me "he's alright, not that big of a deal" 

I answered are you KIDDING me... I start going off on him & he laughs, I look down & there's the chef.... whoah! He brought me more tartare, I ordered the best bacon & brie burger EVER & they prepared my favorite grilled Wagyu with lobster mashed potatoes & truffle mac n cheese. ♥♥♥♥

It was a wrap & hands down the best foodie experience ever & I can't thank my Grandmother enough for making it happen for me. I felt blessed & the realization of the best friends, experiences & satisfaction always happen when food & wine are involved. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Olga telling Stefan "what's up"... HA

Can't wait to cook for someone wearing just these!
The Champ Ilan is here!
Betty's dish
The fountain at the Grove

The Whisper Lounge boys
I'm OBSESSED with this burger

Wagyu with lobster mash & truffle mac

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