As you know, last weekend, we attended two events at the LA Food & Wine Festival. I already shared the Brew B’Que adventures, but our first event was the Grilled Cheese and Great Wines demo with Laura Werlin. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were excited to be there! Two foodies at our first Food (and Wine) Festival. We were in heaven! We even walked the Red Carpet at LA Live How cool is that? TA-DA! That’s right, we’re (almost) famous!
After we relaxed a little at The Cosmopolitan VIP Lounge, had free bloody mary’s and took ridiculous pictures in their photo booth (Don’t worry Marie, there are some things I WON’T publish! LOL!) we headed to the “Event Deck” for our demo. We were early, so it gave us a chance to look around. “Dan Dunn’s Booze, Blues & BBQ” demo was prepping their food, so we watched them cook for a while. Everything smelled so good! (Quick note to Baby Blues BBQ in Venice – I am in-love with your cornbread – please send the recipe ASAP. Thank you.) Just beyond the BBQ demo was our demo tent!
We found seats in the front row and settled in! In front of us were four wine glasses, a tasting mat and a bottle of water to wash it down. Nice!
How is this for a display to put you in a cheesy mood?
Dana Cowin of Food & Wine Magazine was there to introduce Laura Werlin.
THAT was exciting too! Dana Cowin! WOW! :-)
The first plate of cheese was served and we were ready to go!
Well, almost ready to go… after serving us this plate, they took it back. Apparently, one cheese was wrong. This is the second plate they brought to us. Can you see what’s different?
If you guessed the cheese at the top of the picture, you’re right!
Laura Werlin is a such a professional! After the wrong cheese plate came out (and was changed) they served the first sandwich. Turns out, that wasn’t supposed to be the first sandwich, but the third. She was gracious and rolled with all the mistakes. I’m certain she was irritated at whomever was in charge of plating her sandwiches, but she didn’t show it. They didn’t even serve her until she asked for a plate. The group was a bit rowdy in the back and at times it felt like things were out of control. That was disappointing, but not Laura’s fault.
Regardless of the mistakes, the food was fantastic. I’m glad we were in the front row. Laura was funny and engaging and I learned a lot about grilled cheese sandwiches. Who knew they could be so diverse? Sweet. Spicy. Tangy. Endless possibilities!
This was the first sandwich served. Double cheddar with Tomato Jam. Like a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup all rolled into one! There was toasted cheese on the outside of the bread as well as melting in the middle. YUM!
“The Californian” was next up. It is Humboldt Fog Cheese on Cinnamon Raisin bread with Jack cheese, chipotle en adobo sauce and toasted almonds on top. Interesting combination of spicy and sweet. I’ve never heard of Humboldt Fog Cheese. It’s a bit like a goat cheese. It was soft and creamy with a thick, buttery feel across your tongue.
Next was Camembert and Comte with Mushrooms on a baguette. This was my favorite. It had shallots and garlic, thyme, fresh cracked pepper and of course those delightful cheeses. I can’t wait to try this one at home!
Last on the menu was Gruyère and Gorgonzola with Hazelnut Butter. This was done on Italian bread with honey. It was a sweet treat, perfect for dessert. Can you imagine serving a grilled cheese sandwich for dessert? Why not! It would certainly be different. :-)
We had great wines to pair with our cheese plates and sandwiches. I was happy to discover how similar wine tasting is to coffee tasting. Working for that famous coffee company, we do tastings and pairings all the time. Pairing food with coffee completely changes the profile and flavor of the coffee, compared to just drinking it alone. Different cheeses do the same thing with wine. A great pairing enhances the wine, while a not-so-great pairing dulls the flavors and subtleties of the wine.
Grilled Cheese, Please. 50 Scrumptiously Cheesy Recipes” is Laura’s new book, so of course we had to get her to sign our copies. Now I have TWO autographed cookbooks in my collection!
I can hardly wait for LAFW next year! We’ll be back to meet the Chefs, sample great food, learn new techniques and of course, walk the red carpet again!