Girls on Food

Event

A Shucking Great Time: #summerwithWolfgang Clambake

The #summerwithwolfgang events by Wolfgang Puck Catering just got bigger and better. I’m not sure how they can top this one, but here’s to hoping they give it a shot. This event was held at the legendary Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. The stadium was closed for this event and it was surreal to be in such a gigantic stadium without a crowd of people.

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Wolfgang Puck Catering and Legends Hospitality are partnering up to host private events at the Rose Bowl. There were demonstrations of how they would set up a party, including tours of the Rose Bowl, entertainment and the catering. Maybe someday Girls on Food will be so huge, we could host a party here.

Fellow Girl on Food Julieta and I started our tour in the Terry Donohue Pavilion with a couple of refreshing cocktails by The Cocktail Academy.

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Julieta had the breezy Strawberry Fix with gin, lemon, strawberry and club soda.

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I had the more complex Kentucky Maid with bourbon, lime, cucumber and mint. Both cocktails where perfect for a summer evening watching party guests play games on the field.

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As anticipated, the food was to die for. We started at the dim sum station, which was perfect for Julieta and I, cause we love Chinese food. This station was great because in addition to dim sum already steamed, I was able to get a fresh duck bao bun, which was one of the highlights of the night for me. The servers were also providing all kinds of hors d’oeuvres ranging from comfort food to more sophisticated fare.

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It’s not a stadium without hotdogs!

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These were chicken potpies encrusted with black truffle breadcrumbs. They’re so little and yet so decedent.

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Grilled cauliflower with edible flowers.

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Hamachi sashimi with a peach and pomegranate salsa.

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Pork tenderloin with English peas, edamame, mushroom sauce and roasted potato.

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After this indulgence, we wandered down to the Rose Gardens, which had a sample of how their private parties could be arranged.

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Love this set-up.

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Julieta and I were impressed (for obvious reasons) by the on-site oyster shucker from Oysters XO. Must’ve been tough for this guy to be serving aphrodisiacs to a bunch of women…

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Mini spicy tuna crepes.

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Mini lobster rolls with a squid ink bun.

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We got a tour of the locker room, which is gigantic. For this event, it was treated as a game room. We played a round of roulette and got to meet the UCLA cheerleaders. But the court of champions is where the summer clambake was happening, so we meandered over.

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Lots of Angel City Beer.

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Plenty of crustaceans to share!

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The spread for the clambake was ideal oceanic fare and included clams, crab legs, lobster claw, shrimp (with heads!), spicy pork sausage, potatoes and grilled corn on the cob. Then they top it off with butter and lemon. All the items were so fresh. Julieta especially dug the sausage and my favorite was the lobster claw.

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Life’s a peach! Every item in the dessert spread had peaches incorporated.

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Our favorite dessert was the peach cake. It was topped with fresh sliced peaches and had white peaches layered in with the buttery frosting.

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After this, we waddled back up to the Terry Donohue Pavilion for more desserts. We noshed on the angel fruitcake with fresh berries, which had a squirt tube for the sauce.

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Peach turnovers.

This event embodied summer and we can’t wait to see what #summerwithwolfgang is going to pull off next!

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Fired Up: Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox Annual Summer Brew Master’s Series

Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox

1101 S. Powerline Road

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

(954) 708 – 2035

tuckerdukeslunchbox.com

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Close your eyes. Imagine yourself enjoying a five-course feast coupled with seemingly endless amounts of beer. Now open your eyes. Yep, you’re still reading this post.

I am about to transport you to Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox Annual Summer Brew Masters Series, which included a five-course meal with a craft beer pairing with each step of the way. The Lunchbox is a local favorite but definitely an “if you blink, you will miss it” type spot, due to the location.

In partnership with Funky Buddha Brewery, Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox held their Annual Brew Masters Series and they graciously let me take part. I gauged the event menu beforehand and it was so bountiful that I did two workouts to prepare for the feast.

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This wasn’t your ordinary restaurant showcase. Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox is known for their world famous burgers, but the chef took a cuisine detour this evening. The first course was an appetizer of fried pig ears with chipotle aioli sauce paired with the Floridian; a blonde ale by Funky Buddha.

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Aioli is a mayonnaise based sauce and even though I am usually adverse to mayo-based anything, this was pretty tasty. It had just the right amount of kick with a smooth finish that was more chipotle than mayo. The pig ears had a texture similar to pork rinds, but with a lighter crunch. It was definitely an interesting start to the evening.

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The second course was a summer carnival staple: Corndogs with Hop Breath, an extra pale ale. However, the chef had a real twist in mind with this traditional fair food. Instead of a plain hot dog wrapped in breading, the chef infused chicken and veal into a sausage-like structure and used a waffle base for the famous corndog coating. The result? A corndog with a slightly sweet, fluffy outer layer, followed by the tender, perfectly blended texture of the chicken and veal. It was paired with hot pepper relish. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this course.

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The short ribs were up third and they were my favorite course on the menu that evening. The dish was paired with Big Guava Jelly, a beer that can be best described as an infusion of guava juice and blonde ale. The combination was heavenly.

Cooked to blissful tenderness, the short ribs were coated in Thai basil ginger sauce with a Coke reduction. The meat was served with white asparagus, which is something I have never had before but after tasting it I can see why the chef chose it. Its a more delicate taste than green asparagus. The flavor of the short ribs was powerful and the white asparagus complimented the dish without bringing too many competing flavors.

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If Indian based dishes are your fancy then you would have loved the fourth course. The chicken korma was topped with a smooth cashew curry sauce and served with white Indian rice. The beer pairing for this dish was the Hop Gun, an IPA which is one of the hoppiest beers you can enjoy. By this point, I was stuffed but there was one more course and it was definitely worth the wait.

The grand finale course was a fried chocolate cake with coconut sorbet, drunk beets and pistachio praline. It was coupled with Funky Buddha Brewery’s own craft beer titled “I’m so excited! I’m so scared!”. Any beer with a “Saved by the Bell” reference in the name deserves a high five!

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The beer, a rich, chocolatey coffee imperial stout, was the perfect compliment to the final course.

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The dessert was topped with Bacardi 151 and lit on fire. After the flame died down, I was able to dig into the dish. I started with a spoonful of fried chocolate cake and followed by the coconut sorbet. That was a delicious bite with an added bit of kick from the beets, which had begun melting into the ice cream.

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There was an initial kick and let’s just say that the boozy vegetable delivered an extremely strong dose of Bacardi 151. I loved that the chef created something memorable and infused so many different elements into his dessert.

Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox will be doing another round of their Annual Summer Brew Masters Series on July 28th. If you are or will be in the area, it is definitely not one to miss. You can find more information here. To stay current with Tucker Duke’s Lunchbox events, visit their Facebook page or Instagram.

 

GOF Sneak Peek: Whole Foods Playa Vista

Whole Foods’ new Playa Vista location officially opens Wednesday, 6/17, but, GOF got the inside scoop a little sooner than the locals. Below is a tour through photos of the new digs.

It may have been gloomy outside but the staff was full of pep!
It may have been gloomy outside but the staff was full of pep!

 

 

Whole Foods

12746 W. Jefferson Blvd

Playa Vista, CA 90066

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/playavista 

Yes, I will.
Yes, I will.
Inside the new location
Inside the new location, it will be packed with produce come Wednesday.

This location is huge, it’s 35,000 square feet huge. This location isn’t limited to just groceries, if anything, it’s like a health emporium. There is a 5 level parking structure with plenty of spaces, free wi-fi and iPhone app Instacart provides home delivery service to locals. The use of natural lighting makes this location easy on the eyes. The panels and coloring used on the walls make it feel fun and sunny- just like Playa Vista. They nailed representing the location very well. I love that the art panels are made with repurposed materials. WF can’t resist a chance to recycle.

Bulk goods- one of the best money savers at Whole Foods
Bulk goods- one of the best money savers at Whole Foods
Can you ever go wrong with lots of cheese? I think not.
Can you ever go wrong with lots of cheese? I think not.
The Breakfast buffet- a Whole Foods staple.
The Breakfast buffet- a Whole Foods staple.

We all know and love WF for their efforts in creating over 420 stores that sell natural and environmentally conscious items. Now, we can know and love WF for their restaurants. You heard me right, this location has a restaurant and bar. In addition to a beer and wine license, they got liquor license. This is a first for WF and I hope starts a trend. The Astro Pub is where it all happens.

Where the magic happens
Where the magic happens.
The bar, when you see it, it'll be packed.
The Astro Pub bar. Next time you see it, it’ll be packed.

I cannot wait to invite my girlfriends for a happy hour drink (or two!) and a grocery shopping session. The art-deco themed Astro Pub has a countertop bar, table service, indoor and outdoor seating. The menu has a wide variety of treats including apps, pizzas, cast-iron skillet dishes, pub fare, seafood and sushi. Even the pickiest eater can finding something yummy on the menu.

Love the kitsch seating!
Love the kitsch seating!
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A Michelada popsicle cocktail? Win. Perfect for upcoming LA heatwaves.
Cooling off with a cocktail.
Cooling off with a cocktail.

Besides the Astro Pub, this location offers some other unique treats. There well-known breakfast buffet features a savory oatmeal station. Brown sugar and raisins are so last year. This station features 3 unique oatmeals: Mediterranean (eggplant, feta cheese, kalamata olives), Thyme and Shallot (thyme, shallot, mushrooms) and my personal favorite, Chicken Curry (chicken, curry, bell peppers).

Savory Oatmeal Bar.
Savory Oatmeal Bar.
My favorite, the Chicken Curry Oatmeal.
My favorite, the Chicken Curry Oatmeal.

 

Playa Vista in "healthy" font.
Playa Vista in “healthy” font.

The juice bar offers fresh made juices and smoothies. They are also going to start making ice cream sandwiches (inner child is rejoicing!). It also features a Sambazon Acai machine, which disperses the antioxidant rich acai like frozen yogurt. That’s healthy and great… but I really want that ice cream sandwich!

Acai bowl topped with granola, berries and bananas.
Acai bowl topped with granola, berries and bananas.
Beer aisle.
Beer aisle.

The 36 foot long beer aisle feels like it never ends. It’s beautiful. It just keeps going.

The cider collection.
The cider collection.

I learned on this tour that it takes a lot for hard cider to be sold at a WF. Many well-known ciders are rejected from WF for having too much high fructose corn syrup. Even with those rejections, there are still plenty of options here. Gluten-free friends, you have a new emporium.

The Poke bar. Mike is too cute to not feature...
The Poke bar. Mike is too cute to not feature…
Poke bar close-up.
Poke bar close-up.

I wish all WFs had a poke bar! Staff member Mike was also very educated on the product knowledge and created a fantastic mango sauce for us to sample the poke with.

Bulk up!
Bulk up!

There is also a Bulk Protein bulk station (see what I did there?). This is great for those who don’t want to commit to a huge plastic tub and want more variety.

My new favorite pastry- Filled Kouignettes
My new favorite pastry: Raspberry filled Kouignettes

Move over Cro-nuts. Kouignettes are taking over. These were amazing. They’re like if a  croissant and a cake made a baby, then stuffed the baby with raspberry filling and baked it. When it’s baked, the sugar gets crispy (similar to creme brûlée topping) at the bottom. You have to try one!

Getting my Kouignette on.
Getting my Kouignette on.
Draft kombuca and coffee
Draft kombuca and coffee

Their already fabulous organic and fair-trade Allegro coffee/espresso bar got some new features. First, is their draft Stumptown Coldbrew Nitro and the Allegro Draft. These coffees are frothy and have a sweeter finish. Second is the draft kombucha, from local supplier, Conscious Kombucha. The healthy hippies of LA, and those with sensitive stomachs, are going to love this. These draft beverages will make the Starbucks mermaid logo across the street glare in jealousy.

There were a couple of aisles that weren’t quite ready for us to snap a picture of, that you should know about. There will be a large selection of Paleo Diet friendly meals in the produce section. The bakery will be packed with desserts, including their tasty macaroons. The meat display also wasn’t ready, but I heard there is going to be a blueberry smoked bacon, which I cannot wait to try.

Whole Foods Playa Vista will be a game-changer in LA. I hope it’s a game changer for grocery stores all over the USA. You have to stop in and see it. It’s like Disneyland for foodies.

Are you keeping up with the Girls on Food on Instagram? Follow us at @girlsonfoodblog to see some salivating images that don’t always make the site! #foodporn

Whole Foods Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

#SummerWithWolfgang: Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Summer BBQ in DTLA

I am so fortunate to have been on the guest list for Wolfgang Puck Catering’s Summer BBQ. The rooftop party was held at L.A. Live in Downtown LA, which is such a beautiful venue. It’s elegant and has a picturesque skyline view. This view reminds me of how much I love the grit and the glam of DTLA. The guests were friendly and fun. I didn’t even get side eye for making the waiters let me take so many pictures of the treats they were supposed to be serving. The catering food and service was on par with what you’d expect from the name Wolfgang Puck.

I’m going to take you all on a journey of the event through pictures. Enjoy!
You have to enter L.A. Live through the Grammy Museum. I’m a Swiftie, so I geeked out pretty hard at this.
Loved my swine t-shirt made on-site by Hit + Run. Cute and Cozy.
Loved the ice bucket style sodas. There Mexican Cokes and handcrafted sodas. The Cherry Peach soda was the biggest hit.
This is the Garden Collins cocktail that was being served. Very light and refreshing.
There were plenty of carnivorous options. Yes, that’s Beer Can Chicken.
The Chefs were hard at work grilling for us.

 

The day may have started out overcast but it brightened up in time for the event.
Chicharrones with a blue cheese dressing, celery and drizzled with buffalo sauce.
Strawberry Bruschetta: Crostini topped with strawberries, slivered almonds and a little spinach. Perfect for a hot Summer day.
Duck Rillettes wrapped with Watermelon Radish.
One of my all-time favorites salads, grilled Caeser salad. Grilling the romaine brings a smokiness out of the lettuce. It’s a must try.
This is the most adorable Crudités set up I’ve ever seen. The Crudités are kept crisp by filling the pot with ice, and stuffing them in, as if you were gardening. The bucket of ranch is so cute too.
Traditional Caprese with a twist: The Heirloom tomatoes were paired with peach to add a touch of sweetness.
This event had fun games, including corn holing. I can’t type that with a straight face…
I decided to take a surf and turf approach. Top left: Pork topped with a chimichurri sauce. Top right: Lobster with corn puree. Bottom: Candied Bacon. All of these were awesome and the candied bacon really got my respect by not being too sticky. 

 

Onto the dessert portion: Flambé banana on top of Nutella pudding.
So tiny, yet so powerful: This was a red velvet wrap. The wrap was the cake and the filling was the cream cheese frosting. It’s like a mini-magical crepe.
It got a little chilly so I ended my food binge with a cappuccino from Long Shot Coffee.
I had to leave before sundown. A view of the Hotel Figeroa. And Arnold.
Thanks for looking! Make sure you follow us on Instagram @girlsonfoodblog to see our other food pics.