Postcard From Los Angeles Food And Wine Festival

Los Angeles, California

Photo by: Barnaby Draper Studios

Barnaby Draper Studios

Los Angeles, California

Chef Graham Elliot is a "Navy brat" who has traveled the world and all 50 states. In 2004 he was named one of Food & Wine magazine's "Best New Chefs, and in 2008 Graham opened the Graham Elliot restaurant, which earned a Michelin star in both 2011 and 2012. The restaurant recently hosted President Obama’s birthday dinner. In addition to appearing on Iron Chef and Top Chef Masters, Graham co-stars alongside Gordon Ramsay and Joe Bastianich in the series MasterChef. When he's not traveling the globe in search of gastronomic inspiration, he resides in Chicago with his wife and business partner, Allie, and his children, Mylo and Conrad and Jedediah. He recently hosted an event at the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival.

I went here to: Be part of the greatest collection of culinary talent ever assembled, as well as get the word out that I'm actively looking for a place in LA.

I traveled here with: Merlin Verrier -- my restaurant partner.

The best way to travel here is:
By boat, or fixed-gear bike if traveling from Williamsburg, Silver Lake or Logan Square.

I stayed at: The JW Marriott Los Angeles at LA LIVE, as that is where the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival put us up to stay. It was great to be surrounded by talent that I admire.

When it comes to packing, be sure to bring: Your iPad.

The best thing I ate was: The Lobster Roll at Blue Plate Oysterette.

When I travel here, I always eat at: Border Grill -- I'm always inspired by what Mary Sue (Milliken) and Susan (Feniger) are cooking up!

The best event I attended was: Summer at the Shore! I hosted the event, and any excuse to get close to the ocean -- I'll take it.

I wish I hadn't: Booked such an early return flight.

Don't miss: MasterChef Finale -- Monday, September 10, 2012!

Next time I will definitely: Allow myself more time to venture out and explore the diverse neighborhoods of LA.

My favorite part of the trip was: Running into Andrew Zimmern at breakfast.

My advice would be: To unlearn everything you've ever been taught about food and wine, and come with an empty stomach and open mind.

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