Sunday, November 02, 2008

November events

Not as many food/drink going-ons this month, given the intermittent showers and of course, Thanksgiving that quite a few LA/OC restaurants are already prepping for, but here's a few nice picks for this month:

Asides from the aforementioned Grace dinner benefiting youths pursuing culinary careers, the other must-try-if-you-can event this month is the 22nd Annual Great Chefs of LA dinner benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California taking place at CBS Studio Center on Nov. 9. Highlighting a "Go Green, Go Organic" theme, the foods and beverages will, naturally, have a sustainable and environmentally-friendly focus with an emphasis on local- and organically-grown products. Hosted by
Govind Armstrong of Table 8 and 8 oz. and with Gino Angelini from La Terza and Angelini Osteria as chef of honor, the Great Chefs lineup include Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo of Animal, Raymond Alvarez of Border Grill, Josie Le Balch of Josie, Jason Travi of Fraiche , Neal Fraiser of Grace and many more plus wines from about 15 wineries and vineyards. $150/person.

For the scotch lovers, on Nov. 14 there's the
15th Annual Single Malt & Scotch Whisky Extravaganza at Loews Santa Monica. With over 85 scotch whiskeys to taste (plus "expressions" from Japan, New Zealand and Ireland) with vintages going back 40 years! And if the thought of trying all these fine aged alcohol got your stomach knotted up, don't fret - there's a full dinner buffet at the event and it's included with the ticket price, so you won't be tasting them on an empty stomach. At event's end, attendees receive a trio of premium cigars to enjoy (or give away if you're like non-smoking me; but a classy gift nonetheless for tobacco enthusiasts.) $130/person and advanced purchase only by calling 800-990-1991.

And if you want a get a head start on learning about your bubblies before buying your celebratory bottles for the holidays, LearnAboutWine is doing a Champagne Sunday School on Nov. 16 where you learn about the production, styles and tastes of champagnes and sparkling wines from all over. Better prep that smug smile too when all your New Year's friends "Ooo" and "Aah" at all that you've learned here ;) $69/person advanced.

Finally, for something comparatively less pricey, fellow foodblogger Pleasure Palate is putting together a unique
Minas Gerais dinner at downtown's Wood Spoon restaurant on Nov. 20. For those not familiar (like me before I did a little googling) Minas Gerais is a Brazilian state well-known in the country for its flavorful cuisine, particularly its emphasis on farmhouse-style cooking using fresh ingredients, aromatic seasonings, and rustic approaches with cast-iron and earthen cookware and wood-fired ovens. It's not a cuisine readily available around town so definitely worth a look into. $43/person.



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