The Best Bites and Bytes from the Third Annual LA Food & Wine Festival

So this year marks yet another wildly successful, hilarious and amazing weekend filled with food, drinks, chefs and crazy stories.  While I am SO SAD to not have spent the weekend with my OG LAFW Asian Posse (...and Chef Kerry Heffernan) there were still some pretty amazing bites and bytes.

First with the Bites.  What does it say about me that my favorite "Bites" were all of the alcoholic variety?   But seriously, Boozy Oysters and Alcoholic Whippets?!

Boozy Oysters - So Matt Biancaniello, Mixologist Extraordinaire WOULD have a booth called EAT YOUR DRINK... and what's more decadent than eating an alcoholic oyster?  Of course his alcoholic oyster was flavored with Shiso infused Cocchi Americano, Blueberry Juice Air, Cotton Candy Grapes, Ghost Chili Sea Salt and paired with a shot of Roasted Hatch infused Aloe Vera Booze.

Phew, that was quite a mouthful to say!

What it was...was interesting.  And spicy.  And sweet.  And original.  It was simply a bite of food that really made you think.

Chemistry and antics aside, what Matt managed to accomplish in one bite of food is something rare and amazing, balancing all 5 flavors in this surprising dish.

Alcoholic Whippets from Chef Andre Bienvenu! Now I must confess... Joe's Stone Crab was not on my list of places to expect the unexpected.  Where did I miss that memo?

But that's what festivals like this are all about right?  Discovering someone new, trying something you might have missed?

He first caught my attention with "Peking Duck Cotton Candy."  Yep.  You read that correctly.  On first bite it tasted like the sweet fluffy stuff we know so well.  But then the duck dust kicked in and then yep... there was that hint of duck.  Of sweet roasted duck.  And the tastebuds were instantly confused.

Then he had some seafood popcorn?  Sure?  I mean why not?  The food is a little gimmicky, but hey, if the flavors are there then suddenly it all is worth it.  Plus who doesn't like to have a little fun with their food?

OR a LOT of fun.  Now at the after-party on Saturday night I was greeted with a "omg have you had the alcoholic whippets yet?!"


YEP.  Patron, Espresso and Bailey's WHIPPETS.  Which may or may not have left me with a nasty hangover.  It could have been the lightbulb cocktails.

Regardless... Now that I've fully recovered I must know how this was done.  Anyone?

And onto the BYTES.  Sound Bytes that is...

Duff Goldman
"You want to know what would REALLY set the twitter world a-buzz? An umami burger IN a cronut… and serve it up ON a sharknado cake"

Scott Conant 

Brandi: Maybe we'll get the chance to cook together!
Scott: Oh, you cook? What do you like to make?
Brandi: Um… ummm. Well I make a boxer dropper dip!
Scott: … What?
Brandi: You know, it's a dip so good it'll make your boxers fall right off!
Scott: How do you know I wear boxers, I might be a briefs guy ;)

Scott: It's my new cookbook for all of the Scarpetta's
Brandi: Oh, so like a lot of family recipes?
Scott: You've never eaten at my restaurant. She's never eaten at my restaurant?!

David Burtka & NPH 
In the middle of interviewing David Burtka I got an annoying tap on the shoulder with a "Wrap it up. You gotta wrap this up right now. One more question!" Brandi & I look at each other and are like who's bugging us about interviewing David Burtka?!

Go figured. NPH wanted his hubby back.