Maple-Glazed Pork Belly from Littlefork
Succulent, sweet, and fatty all at once, Jason Travi's maple-glazed pork belly was a hit. The simple Johnny cake polenta underneath helped to mellow out all the other strong flavors.
Wagyu Tartar Crostini from Paiche
Ricardo Zarate is arguably LA's hottest chef, and his tartar crostini—made with thin chunks of Wagyu beef and laced with Parmesan cheese sauce—was a fine showing.
Gravlax with Wasabi Caviar
Lines varied depending on the chef, but servers continually plied the room with snacks to tide over the hungry diners. This Nordic spiced salmon arrived on a thin bagel, topped with a punchy wasabi caviar.
2009 Todos from Jonata Wines
This blend of Syrah, Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon (along with a few other grapes) offered a hint of spice and dark fruit flavors. It was a nice refresher after so many savory dishes.
Poached Albacore from Cafe Pinot
This simple poached albacore was clean and light, with just a touch of garlic and yuzu kosho to make the whole bowl pop.
Chicken Liver Toast from Mar'sel
Michael Fiorelli's chicken liver toast was creamy, salty and a little bit smoky, primarily thanks to a few bits of bacon. The pitted and pickled cherries on top helped cut through the fat, while the Stella Artois cider washed it all down.
Mini Pork Buns from Plan Check
No, these aren't Chinese pork buns, but Ernesto Uchimura's piggy little sandwiches did hit the overload button with a ground pork patty, braised pork belly, and the restaurant's signature "leather"—a semi-dehydrated strip of sriracha and ketchup mixed together. All on a crunchy garlic bun, of course.
Oat and Plum Bars
These mini oat bars were warm and chewy, with a bit of plum mixed in for flavor and a dollop of cream on top to finish it all off. Back to the pork!
Braised BBQ Pork Cheeks from Cannery Row Brewing
These fantastic, thick cheeks come from Monterey Bay, by way of Chef Daniel Furey. Thick and meaty, with just enough juice to keep the whole thing tender, they were served over a roasted corn salad with a few cubes of watermelon.
2011 Sandy's Pinot Noir from Melville Winery
This wine, from Melville Winery in the Santa Rita Hills of Santa Barbara County, was crisp and slightly floral.
Chef Todd Fisher Feeds The Crowd
Back to the pork (again)! Here's chef Todd Fisher, of United States of Bacon fame, hand-feeding his BBQ corned beef to a few lucky eaters.
BBQ Corned Beef Tacos from United States of Bacon
Here's the finished product. Thick-sliced corned beef that's been kissed with flame and laid on with pickled apricots. Served, of course, on a duck fat-fried tortilla.
Shaved Ice from Post Ranch Inn
The most inventive award has to go to Yulanda Santos, of Big Sur's Post Ranch Inn. Her shaved ice not only cooled the palate, but were served in their very own brown sugar sandbox!
Grilled Stone Fruit Salad from Hearty Restaurant
The Hearty Boys from Chicago offered a decidedly meatless option, with beautifully grilled pears to balance an herbed chèvre cheese, nuts, and a few dabs of honey.
Marshmallow Infused Rum from Old Lightning
One of only a few cocktail vendors, Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix's upcoming Old Lightning Bar offered marshmallow-infused rums to the waiting hordes. With a little coconut shaved on top, these were a sweet, summery treat.
Watermelon, Burrata, and Speck from Pedaler's Fork
Here, a thick chunk of yellow compressed watermelon is balanced with thinly shaved speck and a creamy underbelly of burrata.
Flourless Chocolate Crunch Bar from Pedaler's Fork
Dan Murray's flourless chocolate crunch bar signaled the end of the afternoon. With decadent soft chocolate on top of a snappy base, the thin bar was a perfect final bite.