Q&A with Chef Suzanne Goin

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On Sunday, November 7, Chef Suzanne Goin of A.O.C., Lucques and Tavern is putting her skills towards a great cause.  She, along with some amazing chefs from around the world, are raising money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand.  Suzanne, her partner Carolyn and her husband David have organized L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand.  For tickets and more info click here.  I had a chance to ask Suzanne some questions about the event.

1) How did you get involved with Alex’s Lemonade Stand?
My husband David Lentz and I were invited to Marc Vetri’s (Vetri in Philadephia) event for Alex’s Lemonade a few years ago. We were so moved by Alex’s story and hearing her parents speak (we were basically bawling and thanking our lucky stars for our healthy kids) that we were inspired to come back to L.A. and start our own event. David actually started giving a portion of proceeds of one of his most popular cocktails (Luke’s Lemonade) to the foundation–he has raised over $30,000 so far.

2) What will you be making for the event?
In light of all the amazingly talented chefs coming from out of town, David and I decided to focus on organizing and running the event rather than cooking. The Hungry Cat will have a cocktail bar and we will be providing desserts from Lucques and Tavern. But we wanted people to focus on trying all this food that they can’t usually have here in LA.

3) There is a live auction as part of the event featuring you and several other incredible chefs.
Yes, Caroline, David and I basically called in all the favors we have ever earned over the years and we have some fantastic lots.
-A women’s chef dinner for 12 at the winners home–Alice Waters, Nancy Silverton, Giada De Laurentiis, Sherry Yard, me and for wine–Ann Colgin…
-A private tour of the best of underground L.A. food world with LA WEEKLY’s Pulitzer Prize winning Jonathan Gold
-Hour and a half basketball clinic for 3 people with Tony Parker…followed by floor seats at a Lakers game and dinner at WB24
-New Orleans foodie dream trip with private experiences with Susan Spicer and Donald Link..as well as 3 nights hotel and dinner and lunch at all their restaurants
-A day in the kitchen prepping and cooking at CHEZ PANISSE followed by dinner in the kitchen and a case of wines from Sin Qua Non (you don’t have to drink it all there!)

4) What does the money raised go to?
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation is committed to finding a cure for all childhood cancers. To date, they have funded over 150 research projects at more than 50 institutions across the country (quite a few at our own Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles). In addition to funding cutting-edge research into finding better treatments and ultimately cures, they also fund nursing grants to improve the quality of life and care of children with cancer. The Alex’s Lemonade Stand Travel Fund helps families with travel expenses as they travel for treatments that their children need.  Our annual Childhood Cancer Symposium brings childhood cancer families together to learn about the disease, treatment and beyond.

5) There are chefs participating from all over the country.  How were they chosen?
We wanted the event to have a really festive relaxed vibe–and we wanted super-tasty rustic satisfying food…and we wanted to have fun! So we invited our favorite chefs–favorite for their food and favorite for their personalities—this is such a talented, lovely and warm group of people.

6) Whose food are you most interested in tasting?
ALL OF IT! Donald Link’s house-made sausages and Jonathan Waxman’s Grand Aioli and definitely at the top of my hit list.

7) What will be some of the highlights at the event?  What can we look forward to?
We have brought in some fanastic mixologists–local favorite Eric Alperin from The Varnish, Neal Bodenheimer from Cure in NOLA—so there will be great cocktails…plus over 25 vintners pouring their own wines (so you have a chance to chat with them and try so many different things)…plus we just added live local music from THE RESCUES and BRETT DENNEN plus KCRW’S ANNE LITT doing the DJ duties…It’s going to be a PARTY!!!