SoCal Restaurant Show recently went to the Mark for Events in West LA to check out our past guest, The Modern Mixologist, Tony Abou-Ganim in a special mixology class called ‘All Hands on Deck’. Presented by Shellback Rum, we created three signature cocktail creation and had some great bites provided by the Mark of Events caterers. Great way to celebrate National Rum Day! As always, we’re all over Southern California to share more great events with our amazing audience. Where will we be next?
All Hands on Deck with Tony Abou-Ganim and Shellback Rum
Samson and Pollack are the co-executive chefs and partners (with restaurateur Bill Chait) in Sotto on Pico Blvd in West Los Angeles. The exterior has a very New York-brownstone feel. The restaurant is actually located a few steps below the sidewalk. Above is Picca featuring the cooking of executive chef Ricardo Zarate.
Steve Samson’s mother is Italian so the foods of Northern Italy are something he grew up with. During the time he was with Piero Selvaggio of Valentino fame (Santa Monica & Las Vegas) he traveled extensively in Italy to master regional Italian cuisine. Sotto is actually their interpretation of Southern Italian fare.
Zach is not Italian. His love affair with Italy started when he was a college student studying architecture in Florence. He is a master at preparing the authentic Naples-style pizza. His special Italian wood-burning pizza oven was actually shipped to Los Angeles from Italy and assembled on-site by skilled Italian masons.
In the mornings they bake the Sotto bread in that oven.
In 2009 Samson and Pollack first collaborated at the well-received Pizzeria Ortica for David Myers located near South Coast Plaza. Samson was the on-site working chef there and Pollack was the pizzaiolo. They immediately attracted the attention of the Orange County food writers and the crowds of diners soon followed.
On Tuesday evening, June 25th Sotto is hosting the Donkey & Goat Wine Dinner. Donkey & Goat is an emerging biodynamic boutique producer out of Sonoma County and is attracting quite a lot of attention.
The dinner, served family-style, will feature different preparations of Sonoma goat!
Here’s an inspirational story for you. Three, energized young Korean-Americans (brothers Yong & Ted Kim and their chef, Chris Oh) join forces to sell Korean style sausages at Street Festivals in L.A. Word of mouth catches on quickly and long lines form at each new festival. By happenstance they audition for Season 3 of Food Network’s “Great Food Truck Race.” They had no previous experience running a food truck. Unbelievably they are accepted and compete in a grueling cross-country seven week marathon starting in Long Beach, CA. At the finale the L.A. guys reign supreme. They win a cool $50,000 and the brand new food truck.
It all of that wasn’t enough on Oct. 6th they opened their retail sausage emporium (eat in or take-out) in West L.A.’s Little Osaka. Scion also build them a slick, street-legal, custom mobile grilling machine that needs to be seen to fully appreciated. Wow!
If you follow Food Network’s“Great Food Truck Race” then you know they changed things up dramatically for Season 3 and the level of competition was even harder. This season the contestants had no experience operating a food truck. Each team was given the food truck of their dreams to start things off in Long Beach last Summer. Each week as a team was eliminated they needed to turn their keys over and go home. They were competing for their own custom, fully equipped food truck (representing the competitor’s chosen cuisine) and a cool $50,000 cash prize.
The dramatic finale was Los Angeles versus New Jersey. Our very own Yong Kim, Ted Kim, and Chef Chris Oh from K-Town prevailed with their Seoul Sausage Co. concept. They made friends all across the country on the way to the finale in Maine. It’s their signature fusion sausages and innovative flaming fried balls (which were developed during the show.) They didn’t have enough money in the beginning to buy a sausage machine so they had to adapt their menu.
Yong, Ted, and Chef Chris will all be with us to recount their incredible journey! They have just opened a Seoul Sausage Co. outlet in Little Osaka in West L.A. The truck will be back on the streets of L.A. in November.
Next is Chef Susan Feniger who is well-known in Los Angeles as half the founding team of Border Grill in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Las Vegas. She was a Food Network star early in the history of Food Network. Instead of slowing down in recent years Susan has revved up. Street, Susan’s personal tribute to International Street Food, opened in 2010 to great acclaim. A Street Cookbook was recently released. Susan also more than held her own on a very tough season of Bravo’s“Top Chef Masters.”
How about a glass of wine with all the conversation? Sommelier William Lewis of The Winery Restaurant and Wine Bar in Tustin’s The District is next in the house. William was the recipient of the “Wine List of the Year” Award at the recent Golden Foodie Awards in Newport Beach. He’ll speak about what to expect from a Sommelier and how he arrives at his suggestions for truly inspired wine and food pairings.
Finally it’s Cal Poly Pomona’s20th Anniversary Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 20th & 21st from 8 to 5:00 p.m. hosted by their Farm Store and the College of Agriculture. Admission to this family-friendly event is free and some 50,000 pumpkins will be in the patch! Pumpkin Festival Hotline is (909) 869-2215.