Iconic food writer Jonathan Gold and multi-talented chef/restaurateur SUSAN FENIGER join Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) for food-themed music and gastronomy conversation at the concluding two concerts of its innovative "Westside Connections" chamber music series at Santa Monica's Broad Stage, which pairs LACO's virtuosic musicians with celebrated food legends for a tantalizing and amusing exploration of the relationship between music and culinary arts. LACO Concertmaster Margaret Batjer curates the series. Each evening includes an opportunity for audience questions.
"Good food and good music are a natural pairing," says Batjer. "LACO is delighted to present these stellar culinary celebrities as we explore in these whimsical and informative programs the many ways music influences and enriches society and our lives." Now in its 4th season, the "Westside Connections" series has previously explored the effects of music on the mind, poetry and the creative process.
Los Angeles Times food columnist Jonathan Gold, the first to win a Pulitzer Prize in food criticism, is the special guest for LACO's penultimate "Westside Connections" evening, which also features soprano Elissa Johnston, on Thursday, March 22, 2012, 7:30 pm. The artfully designed musical feast spotlights Bernstein's La Bonne Cuisine, which includes recipes for Plum Pudding and Oxtail from Madame Saint-Ange's famous 1927 cookbook, complete with the composer's instruction in the fine art of preparing French delicacies, and Bolcom's hilarious Surprise, with some rather unique ingredients. Timothy Andres' Sorbet cleanses the palate before the main course: the virtuosic Sextet written by Dohnányi in the tradition of Brahms and showcasing the unusual instrumentation of piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet and horn. Gold's signature reviews of ethnic restaurants throughout Southland neighborhoods, as well as his coverage of all types of cuisine in Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles magazine and Gourmet, among many other high-profile publications, have earned him widespread acclaim and a vast following. A collection of his articles is featured in his book, Counter Intelligence: Where to Eat in the Real Los Angeles. The program also features LACO music director Jeffrey Kahane on piano.
"Westside Connections" concludes Thursday, April 5, 2012, 7:30 pm, with special guest SUSAN FENIGER, who adds her unique stamp to a program featuring Saint-Saëns' 1907 Fantasie, a delicious aperitif to Martin?'s 1927 La Revue de Cuisine, which portrays a witty pop, Charleston and ragtime-cum-tango farce about cooking utensils, pots and lids. The entrée is Ravel's 1903 masterpiece, String Quartet in F major. Feniger's passion for food and genuine love for the authentic flavors of street and home cooking have propelled her wildly successful career as chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and radio/TV personality. She is co-chef/owner of the Border Grill restaurants and Border Grill Truck (with business partner, chef Mary Sue Milliken), owner of Susan Feniger's STREET and veteran of Food Network's Too Hot Tamales. Feniger has also co-authored five cookbooks including City Cuisine, Mesa Mexicana and Cooking with Too Hot Tamales. After a recent stint on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, she was a featured chef at the US Open and cooked for the Real Housewives of Orange County.
Westside Connections is supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation. These concerts are also sponsored by the Faucett Family Foundation, Ann Moore Mulally, A Friend of LACO and K. Eugene Shutler.
"Westside Connections" tickets ($45 per concert) are on sale now and may be purchased online at laco.org, by calling LACO at 213 622 7001 x 1, or at the venue box office on the night of the concert, if tickets remain. Discounted tickets are also available by phone for groups of 12 or more. The Broad Stage is located at 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA, 90401.