Let’s just take a moment to recap what this event is all about, though, shall we?
The Barristers of the Beverly Hills Bar Association and the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation established the Vintage Bouquet Food and Wine Event in 1988 to raise funds for various causes including, but not limited to, Wills For Heroes (a free program to provide wills to firefighters, police and first responders), free programs for victims of domestic violence, The High School Blue Car Project, which educates high school students about the law.
I was looking forward to this event for weeks. My sister, who was assisting me at the event, came over the night prior just so we could have a girls night sleepover out of it. We watched a lot of Mad Men and went through our wardrobe figuring out what to wear. We had to look our garden party best! Making sure we got up early to prep and leave on time, sister and I still managed to fall victim to tardiness (which makes me rage) by not being out the door early enough to give a cushion for directional errors, which we fell prey to when we drove up the incorrect Doheney. Road? Drive? In less than two block away from one another? Arg. I found out that I was not the only first-timer who made this mistake, though, which alleviated my stress just a smidgen.
To give you an idea of the loveliness of our surrounding, here is I picture I snapped just moments after arriving:
We wasted no time in getting down to the courtyard, checking in and getting our grub on. I figured out the perfect system of eat, wine, eat, wine, eat, wine with some socializing and a lot of picture taking in between.
Duck Shawarma – Momed
Duck | oven dried tomatoes | fig confit | garlic spread | pita
Comment: There is nothing about this that I do not like. All of the flavors are in perfect harmony with one another and the duck is positively transformed in both traditional tastes and textures.
2009 Honey Pie – Woodstock Collection, Cielo Farms ala Sip Malibu Wine Bar
45% Chardonnay | 45% Sauvignon Blanc | 10% Muscat
Comment: Gorgeously crisp and sweet blend. Reminded me of summer fruit fresh off the vine/orchard.
Strawberry ice cream & hot fudge – Dandy Don’s Ice Cream
Spicy Tuna Wonton Crisp – Napa Valley Grille
Comment: I could have run off with the platter these were on and eaten them all by my lonesome and still have wanted more.
Halibut Ceviche – Napa Valley Grille
Chardonnay 2010 & Cabernet 2007 – Peju Province Winery
Roast Beef Slider – Lawry’s Prime Rib
au jus | horseradish | creamed corn
Comment: Meaty Heaven. From the juicy tender meat that Lawry’s prides itself on, to the horseradish that packed a powerful punch, and the most delightful creamed corn I’ve ever tasted (many others were echoing my sentiments!), nothing about this sample was wrong.
Cabernet Sauvignon – Wicker Vineyards
Sous Vide Chicken Thigh – 3rd Street Station
| romesco sauce |
Crispy Brussels Sprouts – 3rd Street Station
pork belly | mustard
Comment: This dish had gourmet pub grub written all over it. It was bold and in-your-face (or, taste buds rather) and a sure-fire way to get anyone to eat their greens.
Elivette – Spring Mountain Vineyard
Beef Slider – Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Sophisticated Sparkly Soda – Diabolo
menthe | dragonfruit plum | blueberry lemonade | loco energy drink
Comment: The menthe tasted like a mintier version of 7Up while the dragonfruit plum stood out from the rest. I would drink this over traditional soda any day of the week.
Mary’s Fried Chicken Salad – Lexington Social House
farro | spring onion | pickled hen of the wood mushroom | Tabasco buttermilk dressing
Santa Lucia Highland Pinot Noir – Miner Family Winery
Lobster Shooter – Bistrot Bagatelle
| Yellow Tomato Gazpacho |
Comment: The absolute better alternative to traditional brine-riddled lobster bisque, I could eat an entire bowl of this and be one happy customer.
Chocolate Tiramisu – Palomino Restaurant
Sparkling Wine – Moreno BHLV
Comment: Bubbly, peppy, sweet but not addled with sugar, this is definitely what I would recommend popping open for celebrations or ringing in the New Year with. Gold and Silver bottles have no difference to the contents, merely a style preference. I always go for the gold.
Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Mousse – Wood & Vine
toasted crostini | caramelized onion marmalade
Comment: I could cry and kick myself for not going back for seconds. Creamy, sumptuous and rich.
Soppressata – Wood & Vine
Italian dry cured sausage | fennel | chili
Country Pate – Wood & Vine
pork offal | herbs | spices
Comment: Bold and rustic, this is the reason why charcuterie is an art.
Madagascar Chocolate – Pazzo Gelato
Trio of Sake – Dassai Sake
Dassai 50 Sparkling | Dassai 23 | Dassai 50
Comment: All of them were marvelous, but there is something so classic and elegant about the Dassai 23 that made it stood out from the others.
Weiner – BierBeisl
Comment: Sometimes less is more and that is definitely the case with this striking Austrian weiner. I am really looking forward to one day visiting BierBeisl and tasting more of executive chef Bernhard’s authentic Austrian cuisine.
Izze Sparkling Juice – Izze
pomegranate | grapefruit | clementine | peach | blueberry
Comment: I’d never tried these until today when I sampled the peach. Color me impressed; I’m buying a pack the next time I see them at the grocery store.
All of the food and wine was sensational and I could have honestly done another full sweep to get seconds but simply ran out of time. This event truly is a showcase of how talent, hard work, quality ingredients and a passionate love for your craft can dramatically alter the way people experience food and drink.
Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the wine, or the food or the beautiful setting, but everyone at the Vintage Bouquet was in elevated spirits. Some of the ladies were all about it and used their outfit as a springboard for showcasing their bold spring style:
Jennifer Hill – JHill’s Staffing Services & American Wine Society Chairperson
Jennifer is looking bangin’ in her turquoise dress and eye-catching earrings. In addition to owning and operating her own business, Jennifer also runs a career advice blog! I particularly like her Resume Do’s and Don’t's.
Pink Head Tattoo
This gorgeous Tarina Tarantino Pink Head/Sanrio Hello Kitty inspired tattoo belongs to Johanna Schofield and was inked by Big Mike.
I must have come off like a total basket case to this stylin’ lawyer, Erica. She looks so much like Princess Leia it’s uncanny. Plus, another polka-dot fancier!
Caitlin Biship for Moreno BHLV
A spokeswoman and model for Moreno BHLV, Caitlin matched her attire to the gold bottle of Moreno’s signature sparkling wine.
My sister and I jetted over to the LA Photo Party photo booth where guests can get their photos taken, printed and emailed to them in a matter of minutes. Here we are looking at our chicest:
It was a positive whirlwind of enjoyment, filled with mouth-watering treats and good will in the hearts of all those who gave their time and money to be there, set against the most spectacular backdrop one could imagine in Southern California.
“We [The Beverly Hills Bar Association Barristers] embody the core values of our profession: providing competent representation; promoting justice, fairness and morality; improving the profession; empowering individuals and helping them navigate through life; and professional development.
The Barristers have a wealth of talented and generous attorneys who are working within their chosen profession and who are eager to make a difference.”
- Leigh S. Leshner, Esq. – Vintage Bouquet Chairperson 2012