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Last Sunday, the sun was shining when the fourth annual L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade benefit for pediatric cancer research was held on the lawn of Culver Studios. Founded in 2000, Alexandra "Alex" Scott (1996-2004) was a four-year-old neuroblastoma patient who held a charity lemonade stand in front of her home to help raise money for cancer.  In one day, she raised $2,000 and by the time she passed away in 2004 at the age of 8, she had raised, with the help of others, more than $1 million. Almost 10 years later, more than $60 million has been raised to fund over 300 research projects with the goal of ending childhood cancer. Los Angeles Chef Suzanne Goin and her business partner Caroline Styne (AOC, Lucques, Tavern), along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat) created LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand and each year an extraordinary group of chefs, vintners and mixologists donate their time for one of Los Angeles’ best and most worthy food and wine events. To date, the Los Angeles event has raised more than $1 million and this past week’s event raised more than $530,000.
We have been heading down to New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail since 2009 and each year we have wanted to eat at Cochon. But, the ever-popular restaurant is always booked and we were never organized enough to make a reservation in advance. But, not this year! When you’re down in NOLA there is one thing you can’t deny, good old southern cooking. And, if you’re in the mood for southern comfort food with a kick of Cajun, then Cochon is a necessary stop.  Chef and Owner Stephen Stryjewski, Winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation's “Best Chef South”, and Louisiana native Chef Donald Link, Winner of the 2007 James Beard Foundation's “Best Chef South”, opened Cochon in 2007, which was a finalist for the James Beard Foundation “Best New Restaurant”. Makes sense why it's hard to get a reservation!