Los Angeles Chefs Leave the Kitchen for the Boat – Fishing for Japan Relief in San Pedro

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At 6 am on Sunday morning a sleepy-eyed crew of chefs and eaters boarded the Monte Carlo in San Pedro Bay for an afternoon of food, drink and fishing.  The mission: to raise money for Japan relief.  Tickets were sold and chefs invited, so long as they brought enough tasty treats to fill the many hungry bellies on board.

With a cast that included some of LA’s most popular chefs, including Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Alain Giraud of the soon-to-be-open Maison Giraud, Brian Moyers of BLT Steak and Dave Dahni of the ever-popular Grilled Cheese Truck, the passengers and crew set out to find fish.

Meanwhile, hotel pans and to-go boxes full of goodies slowly appeared in the galley.  Breakfast consisted of ham and brie sandwiches on baby baguettes and petite prosciutto and arugula sandwiches on pretzel rolls courtesy of Joan’s on Third.  It wasn’t even 7:30 am when Providence’s chocolate-chip cookies and BLT’s Macaroons began to circulate.  All the while, Donato of Providence popped bottles of Prosecco and took the role of onboard mixologist.

Around 10am Dave Dahni took the helm of the boat’s tiny kitchen and began searing his signature grilled cheese sandwiches on the griddle – the Cheesy Mac and Rib was present as was a vegetarian option featuring gruyere, shaved fennel, arugula and balsamic.  The pint-sized kitchen became a revolving door with chefs sending out more dishes – quesadillas with tomatillo salsa, steak tartare and gazpacho with calamari came next.

Other than Joan’s heroic shark catch, the show-stopper of the day was undoubtedly Cecconi’s Truffle Sliders.  Not your average slider, these mini-burgers were topped with truffle oil, truffle salt and shaved fresh truffles.  The smell alone was intoxicating.

Six quick hours later we were back at port feeling full and happy.  As Chef David LeFevre wisely said, “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day…teach a man to fish and he’ll get drunk with his buddies every weekend.”

Thanks very much to Lucy Lean who organized the adventure.  For more information on future fishing trips, check out her website Ladles and Jellyspoons.  Rumor has it that another boat full of cooks and foodies will depart this August, so stay tuned.  Below is a peek at the photos from the day..