This month, Angeleno and ChefDance founder Mimi Kim once again opened up the gates of the gorgeous C.E. Toberman Estate in the Hollywood Hills for the Pre-Sundance Film Festival Sneak Peak of ChefDance 2019.
This is Kim’s 16th year hosting ChefDance, which takes place during the prestigious Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The five-night series features celebrity chefs preparing unforgettable dishes and was created by Mimi in response to the preponderance of passed appetizers and lack of sit-down dining options at the festival. What started as an intimate gathering at Kim’s Park City house has grown to become one of the most anticipated events during Sundance!
Upon entering the mansion (and passing a gorgeous evening panoramic view of the Hollywood skyline), guests were treated to a luscious red wine from Antica Napa Valley, a perfect accompaniment for a stroll through the ornate living room and the stunning courtyard. Back in the sitting area, the comfortable couches were the best seat in the house to enjoy the brief program arranged by Kim, featuring an incredible and moving live performance by American R&B Singer-Songwriter Liv Warfield as well as an inspirational poetry reading by Skyler Griswold of Future Generations Now.
The evening culminated in a set of truly spectacular eats from Casey Lane, leading chef for ChefDance’s Opening Night. Chef Lane, known for restaurants like The Tasting Kitchen in Venice, has been busy in L.A. recently, opening up a slew of new projects, including Viale dei Romani in West Hollywood and Breva (the restaurant for the newly renovated Hotel Figueroa). The menu featured some of Lane’s most famous dishes, with a fun little twist. When the Chef arrived at C.E. Toberman, he was immediately struck by the multitude of wood-fired ovens, so he made sure to incorporate those into his culinary creations, a skill he said hearkened back to his early days in the industry.
One of the surprising standout dishes was the Chicken Liver Toast, with just enough crunchy bread to accompany the well-marinated, melt-in-your-mouth liver. The Salmon Cornetti was tasty and fun, featuring a salmon puree atop a generous helping of creme fraiche, all jammed into a miniature cone. And the Fig Bruschetta was a very intriguing take on the classic Italian appetizer, utilizing a juicy marinated fig and an accompanying strong fromage blanc.
Fresh from the wood-fired ovens, the servings of enormous broccoli were perfectly charred and seasoned. But the real treat here was the beautifully orange Wood Roasted Delicate Squash Panzanella, roasted just enough to bring out its flavors and create a smooth texture, topped with pine nuts and watercress.
Mimi was busy entertaining guests throughout the evening, and talking up some of the other events she organizes, including more intimate and themed Storyteller Dinners that are held throughout Los Angeles. With chefs like Casey Lane lined up for ChefDance, attendees might be talking more about the food than the films after the sun sets on Sundance!
Learn more about the upcoming ChefDance event at https://www.chefdance.com/.