Eat To Feed Others: Taste of The Nation Laguna Beach, Benefitting No Kid Hungry

At the Montage Laguna, for No Kid Hungry's Taste Of The Nation Laguna, wearing WAYF

At the Montage Laguna, for No Kid Hungry’s Taste Of The Nation Laguna, wearing WAYF

Well, I figure the best way to get y’all excited about No Kid Hungry’s Taste Of The Nation in Culver City (coming up on Sunday, June 7th) is to show you what a fun time I had at Taste of The Nation in Laguna Beach this past weekend at The Montage Laguna Beach.

Yep. Pretty much me in a  nutshell the whole night. No date? No problem. Delicious food. Wine. Friends. Good cause. And best yet? All for @NoKidHungry at @montagelaguna . Bite I'm eating right now? @FordsFillingStation Ben Ford's Seared Sea Scallop with Pea Sprout Salad, Preserved Lemon & Toasted Hazelnuts. Holy yum.

Yep. Pretty much me in a nutshell the whole night. No date? No problem. Delicious food. Wine. Friends. Good cause. And best yet? All for @NoKidHungry at @montagelaguna . Bite I’m eating right now? @FordsFillingStation Ben Ford’s Seared Sea Scallop with Pea Sprout Salad, Preserved Lemon & Toasted Hazelnuts. Holy yum.

Details are at the bottom on how you can buy your tickets to have your own foodie dreams come true, all while helping our nation’s kids get fed! But, for now, here’s my Taste of The Nation Laguna story.

As a Team No Kid Hungry member & influencer, I arrived, with a hungry belly – and a full heart – ready to eat, drink, and raise money and awareness for No Kid Hungry.

On the carpet for No Kid Hungry Laguna Beach

On the carpet for No Kid Hungry Laguna Beach

First up? Delicious Riverain Cabernet and cheeses and charcuterie from The Cellar and Center Street Cheese Shop.

The perfect first course to kick off my tastebuds! Riverain Cabernet and delicious cheeses and charcuterie from The Cellar and Center Street Cheese Shop.

The perfect first course to kick off my tastebuds! Riverain Cabernet and delicious cheeses and charcuterie from The Cellar and Center Street Cheese Shop.

Next up? The vegetarian portion of the evening. And it was surprisingly downright delicious to this Texas girl!

Beefsteak's Marcel Vigneron's Smoked Bowl with Brown Rice, Quinoa, Veggies, Spicy Sauce, Avocado and Crispies

Beefsteak’s Marcel Vigneron’s Smoked Bowl with Brown Rice, Quinoa, Veggies, Spicy Sauce, Avocado and Crispies

 

Then, it was time for the flavors of the sea with the plentiful ocean-fresh seafood options! After all, our view was all ocean, there at the beautiful Montage.

The Montage's Craig Strong's Grilled Octopus and some Sauv Blanc

The Montage’s Craig Strong’s Grilled Octopus and some Sauv Blanc

 

Twenty Eight's Shirley Chung's Chilled Noodle with Uni

Twenty Eight’s Shirley Chung’s Chilled Noodle with Uni

 

My 3 favorites of the evening? THESE GUYS.

Faith & Flower's Chef Michael Hung's Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Soy Braised Konbu, and Foie Gras Panna Cotta

Faith & Flower’s Chef Michael Hung’s Yellowfin Tuna Poke, Soy Braised Konbu, and Foie Gras Panna Cotta

Chef Ben Ford's Seared Scallops with Pea Sprout Salad, Preserved Lemon and Toasted Hazelnuts

The Filling Station’s Chef Ben Ford’s Seared Scallops with Pea Sprout Salad, Preserved Lemon and Toasted Hazelnuts

Gastropub's heavenly Venus Clams with Tabasco  Butter and Reyes Blue Mousse…and beer!! The beer would be Noble Ale Works Spicoli

Gastropub’s heavenly Venus Clams with Tabasco Butter and Reyes Blue Mousse…and beer!! The beer would be Noble Ale Works Spicoli

And, lastly, the meat options!
I started out light with Alma’s Chef Ari Taymor’s Beef Tartare with Fermented Walnuts and Blackberries. It was a divine balance of savory, nutty and sweet!

Alma's Chef Ari Taymor's Beef Tartare with Fermented Walnuts and Blackberries

Alma’s Chef Ari Taymor’s Beef Tartare with Fermented Walnuts and Blackberries

The line was out of control for this one:

Chianina's Steakhouse's Chef David Coleman's Spit Roasted Whole Chianina Beef Leg Trio, California Style BBQ Sliders, House Made Corn Tortillas, and Grilled Flatbread with Pickled Ramps

Chianina’s Steakhouse’s Chef David Coleman’s Spit Roasted Whole Chianina Beef Leg Trio, California Style BBQ Sliders, House Made Corn Tortillas, and Grilled Flatbread with Pickled Ramps

And, the eating & drinking didn’t end when the event did!

With new friends, s'moresing it up around the fire pit at the VIP reception

With new friends, s’moresing it up around the fire pit at the VIP reception

I stayed on for the special VIP reception, where I got to enjoy more of what the Montage chefs had to offer, got to meet the chefs, and eat s’mores!

Clearly excited to meet Chef Ben Ford (fun fact? He's also Harrison Ford's son)

Clearly excited to meet Chef Ben Ford (fun fact? He’s also Harrison Ford’s son)

The VIP reception eats, courtesy of The Montage:

Fried Mac & cheese balls

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Fried Lobster

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Grilled Cheese & Sweet Tomato Bisque

My FAVE!!

My FAVE!!

Foie Gras Cones

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S’mores!!!

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Late night antics in the photobooth with new friends:

Why yes, there WERE cigars

Why yes, there WERE cigars

So, NOW, it’s your chance. Tickets for the LA Taste of The Nation event at Media Park in Culver City are on sale now! General admission tickets are $110 and VIP tickets are $160. I say, go ahead and spend that extra $50 because it’s for my FAVORITE cause, and you get all that VIP access you’re gonna want. And talk about a romantic date!! Be sure to bring your sweetheart, because what’s better than eating, drinking and being with the one you adore?

Feed the kiddos by tasting to your heart's content!

Feed the kiddos by tasting to your heart’s content!

I’ll see YOU there!

xoxo,

Dawn