This past weekend guests attended the Culver City Centennial Food and Wine Festival. Presented by Wescom and produced by Todd Elliot Entertainment this festival benefited three charitable organizations. Meals on Wheels, The Culver City Backpacks for Kids Program, as well as Rick Joswick and Greg Krentzman. The festival brought tons of food, wines and craft brews for a good cause!
Held at the Courtyard by Marriot Hotel in Culver City the event served as the perfect way to spend a lovely Sunday afternoon. Upon entry I quickly noticed the amount of local food vendors. This festival sent your tastebuds into overload as there was every kind of food you could imagine was on site. From pizza and olive oils to Mediterranean and Indian, there was no shortage of food!
The silent auction had items such as a stay in Morongo, a gift basket with delicious items including items from Trader Joes, a rare photo of Marilyn Monroe, and more. The proceeds were to benefit the charities of the evening.
The Naked Juice truck let attendees sample their signature smoothies, or their newer cold-pressed juices and flavored coconut water. Smitten Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream gave attendees scoops of ice cream to beat the heat!
One of the most talked about restaurants of the event stems from a newer restaurant, LA Gastronomy. The restaurant is located near the Venice Pier and prides itself on not serving your average meal. During the festival a spicy alligator taco and its cured salmon toast (caper-dill aioli served on pumpernickel bread,) was served. The hype - worth it!
"I typically gravitate to the weirder and more freakish types of things. I saw alligator and it's a mix between exotic meats and something people are willing to experience," states Matteen Khalifian, Executive Chef Owner of LA Gastronomy. "LA is a place where people do things differently and we represent that. That is the concept of the restaurant."
Although the restaurant has been in business for a few months you can believe the hype is real. Their menu is beaming with originality and our tastebuds can't wait for more of it!
The alligator tacos were the hot item of the day. So much so that the restaurant actually ran out of tortillas and used Postmates to deliver more! Postmates, a delivery service, was onsite and giving new members $100.00 credit upon signing up!
Martian Winery, Rutherfod Ranch Wines, 1000 Stories Wines, The Red Rule, and Butternut Wines were a few of the wines on site from the BNA Wine Group. Each different in their own right and showcased many of the different wine regions in California. A few that stood out to me, for obvious reasons, was Obvious Wines (pun intended.) The wines sampled at the event delivered a very sweet, fruit forward, semi-dry wine, which is done exceptionally well! Some attendees even made remarks that they would wear the scent as a perfume if they could.
Boisset Collection had a spread of wine accompanied by cheese and chocolates. Each attendee was able to get the most out of each wine as well as ideas of how to pair. The service and knowledge of the staff was exceptional and an experience that is not common at these types of events.
While mingling and checking out the products guests were able to listen to music by DJ Gabe of Culver City and guitar by Kevin G. Fantastic Paul kept guests entertained as a strolling magician from the hit television show, America's Got Talent.
Although the venue was packed with eager attendees sipping on fine wines and decadent cuisine, and being that it is the festivals' first year, there is still a lot of room for growth. The future does look promising for this one and we can't wait to see how next year pans out!