Malibu Seen / By Kim Devore

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Ryan Seacrest and Dr. Judy Gasson, director of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, savor the flavors at Taste for a Cure. Photo by Vince Bucci

TAKE A CAB

Food and wine lovers rejoiced as this year’s Taste for a Cure featured fabulous sips of 2006 cabs paired up with mouthwatering morsels and crazy good palate pleasers.

The tasty event showcased 15 wines from the Stag’s Leap District, including Far Niente, Nickel & Nickel and Dolce.

The food, which was prepared by the latest and greatest chefs on the Los Angeles restaurant scene, was equally appealing. Sure, I know tall architectural food went out with the Regan Administration, but if it’s prepared by these tastemakers, I say bring it on.

Between the artistically presented sauces, perfectly placed garnishes and edible blooms, every dish looked too good to eat, but that didn’t stop us. Maybe host and famed foodie Barbara Fairchild had something to do with it.

Hot new eateries and top chefs were busy at work everywhere. John Rivera Sedlar had his crew making hand-made tortillas florales. The light-as-air corn creations resembled Bing cherries with the fruit fashioned from edible rose petals. His layered red and yellow gazpacho soup had a brilliant pop of color and came in modernistic shot glasses that looked like something Eli Broad might have in his new museum. “You have all the flavors and textures here,” said Rivera’s Matthew Washton, “warm, cool, spicy and sweet.”

But his standout was a delectable Spanish piquillo pepper that looked like red satin slippers stuffed with spicy chorizo, sharp fontina cheese and sweet golden raisins.

The ballroom at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel was decked out in the colors of spring with green grapes, white roses, freesia and tulips. The tables were topped with floating candles and twisted apple blossom branches.

All too soon it was time to take our seats for a serious cheese and salumi platter featuring that amazing prosciutto dequercia, a buttery smoky blue, dried dessert grapes, sweet candied walnuts and moist fig bread.

American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest co-chaired the event along with Fairchild, Jon Holman, Larry Maguire, Jay Sures and Dana Walden. Comcast Entertainment CEO Ted Harbert received this year’s Humanitarian Award. The delicious evening wrapped up with a special performance by Lifehouse and raised nearly half a million bucks to keep UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center on the cutting edge as a world leader in cancer research and treatment.

Got a hot happening or cool event? Send the 411 to kimdevore@malibutimes.com.