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.

Perhaps your attendees have hopped on those electric bikes and e-scooters that are scattered all over metropolitan areas throughout California. That’s old news, no question. Yet it’s a sure bet they’ve never been on a Vintage Electric Cruz Bike, because only 250 of them ever have been made. Mad Dogs & Englishmen Bike Shop in Carmel has a fleet of these smile generators, as well as a fleet of knowledgeable guides to lead scenic group tours. 

 

 

The annual education luncheon and trade show of the Sacramento Sierra Nevada chapter of Meeting Professionals International brought out many fancy hats and the smaller accessories known as “fascinators,” a nod to the “Derby Days” theme. Held in the Clubhouse at the Cal Expo racetrack, the event’s bar served up mint juleps, another merry bow to the theme.

 

Downtown Los Angeles has gone through a renaissance these past few years with a staggering number of hotels and restaurants opening or reinventing themselves. Among the most vibrant of these properties is The Mayfair Hotel, which brings a history, authenticity and creative energy that feels distinctly DTLA. The Mayfair was first established in 1926 and was the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it opened.