This is the year I finally decided to attend LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade rather that simply admire the annual event via social media. What previously caught my eye was the stellar array of LA’s best chefs gathering at UCLA (on the Quad in front of Royce Hall) with attendees being the sated recipients of their amazing offerings. What drew them all in??
A magnificent cause, that’s what. Alexandra “Alex” Scott sadly passed away at the age of 8 from childhood cancer. Before she died in 2004, she started the ball rolling for a mission that to date has raised more than $150 million towards curing all types of childhood cancer via the Alex Lemonade Stand Foundation. Her family continues the cause today.
Suzanne Goin and Carolyne Styne (partners in The Lucques Group), along with David Lentz (The Hungry Cat) brought the event to LA and have since raised over $4 million dollars ($1 million in 2016 alone). This year’s total exceeded $1.3 million with 2,000 attendees. Well done.
Above l-r: Me with Giada de Laurentiis; Suzanne Goin & Carolyne Styne; with Nancy Silverton (Mozza and founder of La Brea Bakery) — Nancy hosted the night before at her home for key sponsors
The chefs provide a signature taste with the mixologists doing their thing and lots of vintners providing wine. LA icon Pink’s Hot Dogs was there — you could get beef, turkey or even vegan (but why would you?) The current generation of the Pink family was there as well …. long may they live and cook.
|Richard Pink with sister Beverly (l) and wife Gloria (r); skipping the chili on my half of the dog!
|Clockwise from upper left: BBQ expert Adam Perry Lang and team preparing tastes from the massive smoker — clearly the longest line of the day; Susan Feniger (Border Grill and one of the “Two Hot Tamales”); volunteers manning the booth with all-things-Alex for sale
Clockwise top left: Tracey Skupny’s Lang & Reed Cabernet Franc (a personal favorite!); two devoted family members; hosted Kids’ Area; the “tasting” tent featuring vintners and mixologists.
The biggest surprise was the number of chefs participating from all around the country. It makes sense for local restaurateurs to support the event as it is good for business while supporting a worthy cause (a win/win). But it is no small undertaking to transport themselves, staff and provisions from a distance. Bravo and thank you!
|Jimmy Kimmel is a longtime supporter of Alex’s and very gracious with his time!