May has been FOOD BOWL month in Los Angeles, a 31-day festival of curated events produced by the Los Angeles Times to celebrate the city’s dynamic and diverse culinary scene and bring awareness to food waste and hunger through programs with chefs and food-justice activists. The charity partners include No Kid Hungry, PATH & Food Forward.

Last night I was among the two dozen or so journalists and influencers invited to a “friends + family pairings dinner” at Plant Food + Wine in Venice. These dinners have been held every Friday night in May, a collaboration between Chef Matthew Kenney and his plant-based lifestyle brand Plantlab and the luxury champagne purveyor Moët & Chandon.

Both companies are committed to sustainability. Chef Matthew wants to “craft the future of food to support the rapidly global demand for cuisine that is sustainable, nourishing and flavorful.” His restaurants include Plant Food + Wine in both Venice and Miami, Double Zero in NYC, Make Out in Culver City, plnthouse at the 1 Hotel in South Beach, Florida, and Matthew Kenney NM at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills.

Moët & Chandon has a long-term vision of sustainable growth. It holds dual certifications in “High Environmental Value” and “Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne.” Their commitment to green initiatives has deep, deep roots; after all, this is a Champagne house that dates back to 1743. By 2018, the vineyards will be completely herbicide free. In addition to carbon footprint reduction goals, water reduction and energy consumption reduction initiatives, electric vehicles and tractors are used for all daily operations.

The food that Chef Matthew and his team beautifully plated was every bit as luxurious as the bubbles. Dishes included smoked hummus crostini paired with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008, hearts of palm ceviche complemented by Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Rosé, a gorgeous vegan heirloom tomato and zucchini lasagna with macadamia ricotta and pistachio pesto that was served with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008.

Plant Food + Wine’s lovely patio is available for buyout and culinary workshops are offered on the second floor of the restaurant, which overlooks that plant-filled space.

Fellow, a gorgeous new restaurant and private event venue (capacity 650) in West Los Angeles, takes a sustainable and serious approach to its cocktail program. Bar director Adam Fournier, the  2021 U.S. World Class Bartender of the Year, repurposes kitchen and bar produce into cordials and kitchen stocks.

 

The smiling faces say it all: it’s great to be together again! In late June, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority welcomed 18 executive meeting planners from across the country to the destination, marking the first assembly of a new customer advisory board (CAB) focused on meetings, conventions and trade shows.

 

Darren K. Green, senior vice president of sales and services for L.A. Tourism, is feeling bullish on the future of meetings and conventions in Los Angeles. Here’s what he had to say in a recent chat with California Meetings + Events.

CAM+E: It’s great to hear that groups of all sizes can now meet in Los Angeles. Are large groups being cautious about gathering again, or are you seeing signs of a robust and quick recovery?