The LA Beat is extremely lucky to attend a number of food events throughout the year, but Alex’s Lemonade is especially close to our hearts. The enthusiasm is contagious as everyone carries on the spirit of Alexandria “Alex” Scott, a little girl with cancer whose front yard lemonade stand grew into a foundation that raised over a million dollars during her lifetime. The foundation continues hosting lemonade stands large and small in her name. LA Loves Alex ‘s Lemonade is definitely on the larger end of the spectrum, with world-renowned chefs and mixologists pitching in to raise money for children’s cancer research. Last year’s LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade raised half a million dollars in one day.
This year the cookout will be held this Saturday, September 20 from 12 noon until 4pm at Wilson Plaza at UCLA. It’s a super kid-friendly afternoon, with free admission for children 12 and under and lots of kid’s activities. The day is always alive with giggling children. Chefs often bring their own kids, making for an unusually informal and convivial family atmosphere. Between sampling food and drink, be inspired by childhood cancer hero stories, and bid during the live auction, which includes James Beard Award-winning chefs offering to work their magic in your very own kitchen!
Founded and hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat), the event attracts chefs from all over the United States. LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade is one of the few events to feature chefs from my beloved New Orleans. This year we look forward to tastes from John Besh (Restaurant August, Luke, Besh Steak, etc) and Donald Link (Herbsaint). Representing other culinary regions are Nancy Oakes and Dana Younkin (San Francisco’s Boulevard Restaurant), Giada De Laurentiis (Giada Vegas), and Rocco Whalen (Cleveland, OH’s Farenheit and Cleveland & Charlotte).
LA Locals include Roy Choi (Kogi BBQ), Michael Cimarusti (Connie & Ted’s, Providence), Michael Voltaggio (Ink), Scott Conant (Scarpetta), Benjamin Ford (Ford’s Filling Station), Neal Fraser and Greg Hozinsky (The Strand House, Redbird), Kris Yenbamroong (NIGHT + MARKET), Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec, Petit Trois, David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach Post, Fishing with Dynamite), Mary Sue Milliken (Border Grill Restaurants, Truck & Catering).
Highly anticipated appearances include Michael Fiorelli and Rebecca Merhej, who will be giving us a preview of Manhattan Beach’s next great restaurant, Love & Salt, as well as Bruce Kalman of Union in Pasadena, which has been chosen to compete in Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” competition, scheduled to air in January. Mixologists like Eric Alperin and Max Seaman of The Varnish, and Christiaan Rollich of Lucques/Tavern/AOC will be joined by New Orleans’ Neal Bodenheimer and Turk Dietrich of Cure. There will also be vintners and brewers providing refreshments, as well as the ever-present lemonade stand.
General tickets are$195. Culver Studios 9336 Washington Blvd Culver City, CA 90232