Sunday, August 16, 2009
In early August, thanks to Project by Project, I received a press pass to attend their Seventh Annual Plate by Plate Event to benefit the Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program. Project by Project is a national volunteer organization made up of entrepreneurs whose goal is to serve the needs of Asian American non-profits. Each year, local chapters will select a different underrepresented community-based organization and will tailor a year-long campaign to help that non-profit with its fundraising, community outreach and public awareness efforts. 2009 has been the year of the Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program (API SBP). Since 1999, the mission of API SBP has been to assist low income immigrants in the Chinese, Korean, Japanese Thai and Filipino communities start their own small businesses. For more information about Project by Project, visit www.projectbyproject.org and if you'd like to learn more about the Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program, go to www.apibsp.org.
As for the Plate by Plate event itself, it was a fun evening with around 40 different food and beverage stands for attendees to eat and drink from. Most of the food was Asian-inspired and drinks included everything from wine to sake, beer to rum, etc. Great eats abound but I definitely had my favorites, starting with the Crab Quiche with Lobster Sauce from Maison Akira. It's hard to resist rich offerings from the sea, especially when they're as delicious as that dish.
A few tables down from Maison Akira was Michel Cordon Bleu and the Sweet Temptation Company and they came together to make a Smoked Salmon Mille Feuilles. Basically, the smoked salmon and either cream cheese or creme frache was in between layers of pastry that was light and flaky. The addition of the caviar added just that much more to this tasty treat.
I've been hearing a buzz about Mo-Chica Peruvian Restaurant for awhile now, so I was quite interested in tasting what they had to offer. One forkful of their Sea Bass Ceviche with red onions and Peruvian corn and I was hooked. I really enjoyed the kick of spice that hit my palate from start to finish. Mo-Chica has now made it to the top of my restaurant to go list.
Seafood was the name of the game because at an adjoining table to Mo-Chica, Wabi-Sabi Sushi was serving up Pan-Fried Oysters with a Tomato Yuzu Salad. I really liked the tartness and acidity of the salad when eaten with the oyster.
One dish that was a perfect two-bite appetizer came from Maitreya Bar and Grill and it was their Ahi Tuna Taco in a crispy shell. I've never had ahi tuna in a taco before and that crispy shell was the perfect vehicle. Texturally, this taco was fun to eat because of the firm-softness of the tuna and than the light crispiness of that taco shell.
The last savory dish of the night that was a hit with me was the cold soba noodles from Roy's Hawaiian Restaurant (the downtown LA location). It wasn't a fancy dish by any means, but it was nice to end with something uncomplicated before sampling from the dessert stations.
Of everything I had that night, the "dessert" that surprised me the most was the Ice Cream Beer Floats from Scoops. I've been reading about them from various food blogs, but this was my first time having one myself and it amazed me how much I enjoyed it. They had to different floats, but the one I liked the best was the Lemon and Lychee Ice Cream with Berliner Weisse made from a 3% ABV sour beer from The Bruery. Matt who writes the food blog Mattatouille was helping to man the Scoops table and he mentioned that the beer being used was a sour beer. It definitely went well with the ice cream choice.
Other desserts that I enjoyed included the Mango Coconut Truffle from The Restaurant at the Getty and the Taro Cake from Vanille.
The MC for the evening was James Kyson Lee, from Heroes and along with live entertainment, a dozen celebrity sous chefs helped to man some of the tables so that attendees would have the chance to meet them in person. They included reality tv stars like Ruthie Alcaide from Real Word and Jerrell Scott from Project Runway, actors like Dante Basco from Take the Lead and Hook and Archie Kao from CSI: Las Vegas and more. Also in attendance was Debbie Lee who was third place in the The Next Food Network Show.
There was also a silent auction going on, but I completely forgot to check it out, but I heard the gift packages were pretty nifty. To end, it was a wonderful evening with the proceeds going to Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program, a organization truly worth supporting. I'm sure that the 8th Annual Plate by Plate event will be just as fabulous, so be sure to keep an eye out for it in 2010.
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See what my fellow food bloggers thought of this event:
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