An Extraordinary Dinner with Fellow Bloggers

A Salad of Steamed Baby Beets, Frisée , Cumin-Paprika Fried Organic Garbanzos, Shallots and Greek Feta

The inspiration for this dish came from our dinner at AOC. Here, organic garbanzo beans are fried in olive oil with diced shallot, smashed garlic clove, hot paprika, and ground cumin.

Organic frisée is layered with very thinly sliced shallots, steamed baby beets splashed with good red wine vinegar and sea salt and freshly ground pepper, topped with Greek feta cheese. Warm garbanzo beans with the cumin-paprika olive oil is spooned over the top. The red wine vinegar on the beets plus the fragrant olive oil on the beans makes a great “deconstructed” vinaigrette. (I am excited to submit this dish, too, to “My Legume Love Affair” Event by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook Blog).

Last week, the folks at Foodbuzz invited Featured Publishers to dine at Suzanne Goin’s awesome AOC restaurant in Los Angeles. Ben of Château Petrogasm blog selected the refreshingly esoteric wines to pair with this extraordinary meal including one of the few domaines that make excellent red Sancerre, Domaine Vacheron 2005. Ben’s wine blog of tasting notes through images is pure genius…

We dined together on a fabulous multi-course menu of:

  • chicken liver crostini with pancetta
  • roasted dates, parmesan and bacon
  • marinated beets, olives, fried chickpeas and feta
  • leek and cantal tart with thyme and pancetta
  • smoked trout, persimmon, endive and creme fraiche
  • petrale sole, split peas, ham hock and truffle butter
  • grilled skirt steak with roquefort butter
  • rabbit ragout with dijon, chestnuts and tarragon
  • chanterelles, ricotta gnocchi and sherry cream
  • sweet potatoes with bacon, romesco and spinach
  • sheep’s milk cheescake with cassis compote and almond croustine
  • chocolate and hazelnut dacquoise with gianduja mousse and salted caramel ice cream

  • Strangers just a few hours earlier, we departed after hugs and well wishes.

    Wonderful photos of all these dishes are posted at Foodbuzz Los Angeles by Jen of eating plum blog. If you think these dishes sound delicious, you must see her outstanding photography.
    You absolutely must visit Evie, she is hilarious. In her post on Mushroom Barley Soup, her advice on serving the soup is to “use a bowl, not a plate. These decisions can be so difficult.” Go to Hot Dish! to see what I mean.
    And Kat of Dirt Cake blog is the Pastry Cook at Spago Beverly Hills, lovely and very passionate about her craft…be sure to check out her yummy post on Oatmeal Cream Pie with a crème brûlée center.
    What is Foodbuzz?
    Foodbuzz: the first-ever community site devoted exclusively to food and dining content—an unparalleled resource for searching, surfing and sharing with fellow foodies everywhere.

    Maybe you already know Ryan the Girl, of The Pink Spoon blog and Managing Editor at If the future of Foodbuzz is determined by the quality of the people involved, it cannot help but be a smashing success.
    Before leaving AOC, I bought Suzanne Goin’s cookbook, Sunday Suppers at Lucques in which she penned, “Don’t wait til Sunday.” In addition to her fabulous recipes, she tells many charming personal stories. Her cooking style is pure and fresh and the book is an inspiration to cook local, organic, seasonal dishes using all the senses.

    A heartfelt thank you to the folks at Foodbuzz for hosting this event and especially for fostering a unique camaraderie among strangers with a like passion for all things food related.

    16 thoughts on “An Extraordinary Dinner with Fellow Bloggers”

    1. I am so jealous, I missed the AOC dinner because I was in France. Sigh…hopefully next time we can all meet up. 🙂

    2. Wow – that baby beets salad pic is awesome… I’m stuffed from a fish-&-chips (healthy version) dinner and that pic made me hungry all over again!

    3. Hi Maryann – yes, new friends, very fun. There are not so many opportunities to make new friends, this was one of them, very special.

      Hi Simona – garbanzo beans, your ceci…I had never thought of frying them in olive oil with spices. Chef Suzanne Goin did not do it exactly like I did (I took the quicker way, with canned beans) but they were excellent nonetheless, and the oil plus the red wine vinegar on the beets made a lovely dressing. Please try it 🙂

      RM – I truly hope you can make it next time as I would love to meet you! Your food and photography are fabulous. It is so much fun to meet others with a passion for food.

      Sylvia – Wish you could have been there. Guess it is a little far 🙂 I sense you would have really enjoyed it, and brought a lot to the party.

      Hi Joe- glad to know you! Thanks for stopping by…I’m off now to visit you for the first time 🙂

    4. Hey Joe- my mistake – I DO know you, you are 1WineDude! So glad you came by. I found you originally through Chateau Petrogasm (I used to be in the wine business, so I am always interested in the latest). Please keep in touch.

    5. Lori, you make me blush…I’m afriad my photography has miles more to go…but thank you for the encouragement! And it was WONDERFUL meeting you. Hope we run into each other again soon!

      How did the fried garbanzo beans turn out?

    6. Sounds like a wonderful evening, and a night to remember with fellow foodies, how fun is that?? I love the ceci’s!!

    7. Lori, what beautiful images and words about our evening! Having you there was just fantastic, and I hope you enjoy Sunday Suppers…What an inspiring book.

    8. Hi Jen – it is the feeling of your photos that really captures the evening.

      I am highly recommending frying your garbanzos, chickpeas, or cecis (depending on where you’re from)
      with some shallots, garlic, hot paprika and cumin. It added another dimension to the salad and made a flavorful dressing with the red wine vinegar on the beets. Let me know if you try it.

    9. Hi Ryan – thank you again. That was a very very special evening.
      Great choice on the restaurant, and her cookbook is one of my favorites now!

    10. Hi Lisa – if Foodbuzz hosts a dinner in your area, don’t miss it! It was wonderful here, I’m sure you would enjoy it.

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