L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade: A Recap of the 2012 Event
L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Stand is arguably the premier charity auction/food and wine event raising money -- a lot of money -- for pediatric cancer research. Hosted by Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) and David Lentz (The Hungry Cat), it was held for the third year in a row at Culver Studios in Culver City on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Rachael Narins L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Stand
The "decadent chefs cookout" brought out more than 1,200 people, including a bevy of celebrities, celebrity chefs and lots and lots of guests with deep pockets, gladly willing to donate their time and money for the worthy cause. There were more 40 restaurants, bars distilleries and wineries offering their finest to attendees. The lemonade stand itself, which was the first thing you saw as you entered, served Red Robin freckled lemonade. The lemon-strawberry drink, which was refreshing on such a hot day, was served up by local schoolchildren and tween TV stars as a reminder of the lemonade stand started by then-4-year-old Alexandra "Alex" Scott, who began this inspiring project while fighting (and ultimately succumbing to) her own cancer.
The day was bright and warm and the general atmosphere was jovial, but there were certainly moments of stark reality when remembering Alex and all the children fighting for their lives. It was especially touching to hear pop singer Michelle Branch, who performed and then spoke about her neice's own current battle.
The food was served up by Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill), Zoe Nathan (Huckleberry, Milo and Olive), Christina Olufson (Lucques), April Bloomfield (Spotted Pig), Matt Accarrino (SPQR), Nancy Silverton (Mozza), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto) and Michael Voltaggio ( ink.) -- who was celebrating his birthday. (See the entire list here.)
There was not a bad item to be had, but some of the standouts included Providence chef-owner Michael Cimarusti's Ipswich fried clam sandwiches, a seemingly bottomless raw seafood bar with oysters, shrimp and uni from David Lentz and the spicy lamb and walnut kofte with carrot salad from Russell Moore of Camino in Oakland. Also from the Bay Area, the always above-and-beyond Nancy Oakes and her team from Boulevard in San Francisco, brought a gorgeous octopus with purple potatoes and sea beans.
The day raised more than $500,000 towards the cause. The live auction was preceded over by Viveca Paulin, wife of actor Will Farrell. Among the fantasy trips being offered was a 7-night trip to Singapore and Bali with a dinner at chef Ignatius Chan's Iggy's, won by Caroline Styne; and a Pig-A-Palooza for 20 with Neal Fraser (BLD) and Zach Pollack and Steve Samson (Sotto), won by Honorary Host Neil Patrick Harris' partner and local caterer, David Burtka. If you know either of them, we suggest you start cozying up now for an invite for what is certain to be a perfect night.
Rachael Narins Falafel. Michael's Genuine Food and Drink, Miami
If you missed out this year, make sure you can find a way in next go round, or take a moment to donate online to the cause.
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