Chef Gregg Wangard makes a splash at Ocean and Vine.

Foodies rejoice. Gourmands will be in pig-out paradise this weekend as celeb chef Wolfgang Puck pulls out all the stops at his annual American Food and Wine bash. The eating extravaganza takes place this Saturday on the backlot of Universal Studios. It’s a must-go-to for any Food Network groupie, who can gaze at one’s favorite stars while grazing on glorious grub.

This year’s outdoor feast features 50 of the world’s most celebrated chefs. And talk about an all-star line up! The big cheeses in this bunch include barbecue baron Bobby Flay, Iron Chef Mario Batali, sushi swami Nobu Matsuhisa, downtown taste maker Joachim Splichal, Campanile’s Mark Peel and Golden Gate guru Gary Danko.

Of course Mr. Puck culls from his own very talented cooking clan, so expect to see Lee Hefter of Spago and dessert diva Sherry Yard, who whips up those Academy Award-winning sweets at Oscar time. There will be plenty of ways to wash it all down, with more than 60 wineries showing off their great grapes. Caymus, Drew Family and Ferrari-Carano will be among the wine makers on hand as well as Topanga Vineyards and our very own Rosenthal and Semler Estates. Since the first food fair in 1982, the Puck Lazaroff Foundation has raised more than $11 million to benefit Meals on Wheels. Yummy!


Unlike San Diego and O.C., where fine fare and splashy panoramas go together like caviar and champagne, L.A. isn’t exactly drowning in ocean-view offerings. That’s one reason why the recently opened Ocean and Vine in Santa Monica is becoming such a popular place for the chic to meet and eat.

The outdated Lavande restaurant in the Loews Hotel has been completely gutted and transformed into a sleek dining den complete with colorful abstracts, bamboo bar and a cozy fire pit. But the real attraction is the food. Chef Gregg Wangard comes up with truly innovative cuisine such as Hawaiian big eye tuna served like little popsicles on cute sugar cane sticks topped off with brown sugar soy reduction.

Other delights include cumin-scented muscovy duck, hama hama oysters on the half shell and three-cheese fondue. And for dessert-how about a tasty chocolate platter served with a nice peek at the Pacific? Bon Appetite!


Spanish tapas and spicy paella will be the fare of choice at Saturday’s Dolphin Ball. Every year, The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation fundraiser taps into an exotic locale for its theme, and this time it’s Spain. So break out castanets. They’ll be stomping up a storm at this fab fiesta!