Ever come across some goings-on-about-town in your ‘hood and think “omg, I’m THE coolest person for knowing this totally underground awesome thing exists” then find out it’s been going on for, like, 3 years? That happened to us a few weeks ago. But whatever, it was still fun and I’m still wicked rad (that’s what the kids are saying these days, right?).
Things like farm-to-table restaurants, pop-up kitchens and cooking classes as a night on the town are popping up everywhere and here in SoCal all of them are going strong. My foodie friend Emily was in town, so along with gorging ourselves on Mexican deliciousness, we ventured to the frosty confines of a wholesale seafood warehouse for Collaboration Kitchen, a culinary collusion between Specialty Produce, Catalina Offshore Products, and local chefs. The instructions were vague (mostly because they came from B half-reading his email out loud): show up. dress warm. bring wine. Well OK then. We’ve apparently been missing out on quite the to-do. Even local celeb Sam the Cooking Guy was in attendance enjoying the chow with his wife – prompting B to scold me for not stopping to say hi when scooching past him to get to the rest room. Which would have been particularly classy because I would have been doing the pee pee dance while asking for a photo with The Cooking Guy.
Sadly, the photos are crap, but the food was interestingly delicious. This particular Collaboration Kitchen featured chefs of Baja and made me want to brave rush hour traffic and the overwhelming compulsion to outlet shop to cross the border for a taste of the up and coming Baja restaurant scene (which, from what I hear is 100% worth it…a trip is in the works for the not so distant future). You can find the whole line up and recipes on Collaboration Kitchen’s Facebook page, but here are a few things I managed to capture:
The Scene from the “running late and easily confused” seats
Shrimp Huatape – Flor Franco
Big Ass Fishy
Half eaten Green Pargo & Escabeche – Chad White
Oyster & Potato Soup – Diego Hernandez-Velasco Baquedano
I expected to hate this – I’m not a fan of oysters at all. But when in Rome and all that…I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t taste (or feel) like a baked potato covered in phlegm.
Erizo Style Fish “Pibil” Tacos – Javier Plascencia
(also half eaten…I have very clear priorities)
The give-away of the night – Andrea’s Truffles
These were seriously the bonus round to end all bonus rounds. I don’t even like truffles and I’m moving into Andrea’s house or wherever she makes these as soon as she lifts the restraining order.
But seriously…order these. We liked them so much that I’m traveling 3000 miles with 80 of them next weekend. If they make it that far. I should probably NOT carry them on – for safe keeping.
A huge thank you to Specialty Produce, Catalina Offshore Products, and all of the talented chefs who made this Collaboration Kitchen happen…I’m sorry we didn’t find you sooner, but we’ll certainly be back!