The famed fig tree inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows can expect a larger crowd than usual congregating under its branches this Sunday night, as Angeleno’s 13th Annual Live & Dine LA guests will be noshing on ceviche, gazpacho and spit-roasted lamb during a night celebrating all the best the Los Angeles food scene has to offer.
“We obviously love Santa Monica,” Angeleno group publisher, Christopher Gialanella said. “We have a lot of readers in the Santa Monica, Malibu, Pacific Palisades area and we really wanted to capture a really cool outdoor environment.
“And we love the history of the fig tree that stands tall at the Fairmont. And they close out their whole front area for us so it’s one of the only signature events they do that caters to the real foodies in town. So we’ve had it at the Fairmont for the past couple years. And it’s really just a great space that’s conducive of the Southern California lifestyle.
“You know the beach, the food, culinary, so it’s really everything that we are in a particular area. So we definitely love the fact that it’s in Santa Monica.”
Yousef Ghalaini, executive chef at the Fairmont and FIG is honored to have the event on his home turf.
“I love the idea of hosting one of these events,” Ghalaini said. “You know, we do a lot of food and wine events and it’s nice to be hosts every once in a while because you know, you kinda see what it’s like from the other side. And when we get to host that means we get to put our best touches on it, we get to have the ‘home field’ advantage, which for this event is amazing. You know we get to make new friends with all the awesome chefs that come on to our property.”
Ghalaini said guests can expect an “awesome wood-burning oven outside” where FIG will be spit roasting lamb.
Apart from what FIG is bringing to the table, guests can expect culinary demonstrations prepared by award-winning chefs from all around LA, exclusive wine and artisanal cocktails, live entertainment by The Golden Coast All Stars, DJ Zen Freeman and Grammy-award winning artist Macy Gray.
Gialanella is excited for the “sweet sixteen” aspect of the event, as Angeleno is celebrating their 16th year in business.
“The idea of the event is to really celebrate all of the chefs that are featured in the restaurant issue that runs in July. And this year in particular is our ‘sweet sixteen’ year ‚Ä¶ and we wanted to do something really fun and creative this year to celebrate our sweet sixteen so we wanted to find an event that really encompassed everything that we are.
“So in addition to featuring 36 chefs were creating a sweet sixteen time capsule which is gonna be the past sixteen years of Angeleno. We’re going to take a cover that was pertinent for that specific year and we’re gonna have interior designers and retail stores create an inspired vignette that sort of reflects what the cover was that year,” Gialanella said.
A portion of the ticket proceeds from Live & Dine will go to Project Angel Food, an organization that delivers 10,000 meals a week to individuals with HIV, AIDS, kidney failure, heart disease, all forms of cancer and other terminal illnesses, who live below government poverty level.
“They are simply down on their luck,” said director of development, Mark Tucker. “They don’t have friends or family to help them ‚Ä¶ and today we help provide them with nutrition counseling, as we have two nutritionists on site. We have our own urban garden, so we grow a lot of our own fruits and vegetables. And we work in concert with their doctors to help bring them back to life.”
Gialanella said he was happy to create the partnership as he was touched by what the charity does.
“I’ve seen what they do and been given a tour of their facilities and I wanted to help them out,” he said.
Some of the restaurants included in this year’s event are Chaya, Aestus, The Little Door Santa Monica and the Hungry Cat.
The event will be held from 3 – 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20 at the The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. Tickets are available at livedinla.eventbrite.com for $95.