Bringing Two Chefs From Across the City Together at LA Food & Wine

In the vast city of Los Angeles, there is an ever growing list of restaurants that I want to try. Two of the restaurants that have been at the top of my list are Alimento, Chef Zach Pollack’s restaurant in Echo Park, and Love & Salt, Chef Michael Fiorelli’s restaurant in Manhattan Beach. These two restaurants are located 24 miles apart from each other, but with Los Angeles traffic as it is, they seem like worlds apart. But from two sides of the city, these two chefs came together to make lunch during Los Angeles Food and Wine 2015.

Love and Salt

The lunch took place at Love & Salt in Manhattan Beach. Love & Salt offers a menu that is a mix of Italian, Mediterranean and Californian. Alimento offers a menu that blends Northern Italian cuisine with California influences. The essence of this lunch was to have two passionate chefs come and have fun cooking together, and that they did!

Chef Zach Pollack and Chef Michael Fiorelli

Lunch began with a selection of hand-passed appetizers prepared by both chefs:

Chicken Liver Bomboloni, black plum jam (Michael Fiorelli)

Chicken Liver Bomboloni, black plum jam

Pickled Mackerel Crudo, buckwheat cracker (Zach Pollack)

Pickled Mackerel Crudo, buckwheat cracker

Veal Tongue Tonnato, olive oil brioche (Zach Pollack)

Veal Tongue Tonnato, olive oil brioche

After enjoying glasses of Champagne Delamotte with the appetizers, we sat down to begin lunch.

Zach Pollack prepared the Grilled Mediterranean Octopus, soppressata, fava puree and almond agrodolce. A large tender piece of octopus it was wrapped with the spicy soppressate that was just crispy enough. The fava puree soothed the spices, as did the Miraval 2014 Cotes de Provence Rose paired with this dish.

Grilled Mediterranean Octopus, soppressata, fava puree, almond agrodolce

Michael Fiorelli prepared the Rabbit Porchetta with prosciutto, swiss chard, black rice and farro. Instead of using pork as is traditional in porchetta, Chef Fiorelli explained that because rabbit is a smaller animal, you get a perfect cut of center meat in the porchetta. The Carpe Diem 2012 Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley added a fruity brightness to this rich dish. And if this dish sounds good to you, the Rabbit Porchetta is a dish that is on Love & Salt’s regular menu.

Rabbit Porchetta, prosciutto, swiss chard, black rice and farro

Zach Pollack’s Lamb Ribs with Marsala candied eggplant, almonds and salsecco olives was heavenly. The ribs were fatty and the meat crispy. These were finger-licking good and the Tablas Creek 2013 Cotes de Tablas Rouge from Paso Robles was a good match.

Lamb Ribs, Marsala candied eggplant, almonds and salsecco olives

For dessert, Love & Salt’s Pastry Chef Rebecca Merhej prepared Blackberry & Frangipane Crostata with whipped mascarpone. What’s not to love about whipped mascarpone?

Blackberry & Frangipane Crostata with whipped mascarpone

Chef Zach and Chef Michael may live on opposite sides of the city but they share a love for  flavorful food. Thanks to LA Food and Wine for bringing these talented chefs together. And, now that I have had a taste of both of their styles, I need to make a trip out to each restaurant for the full experience.

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