Grub For A Great Cause: L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Culinary Cookout

This is seriously near and dear to my heart. If you're looking for plans this weekend, look no further than L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Culinary Cookout this Sunday, Nov. 6 at Culver Studios. Host chefs Susanne Goin, Caroline Styne (Lucques, Tavern, A.O.C.), and David Lentz (The Hungry Cat), along with honorary hosts Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, and emcee Jimmy Kimmel are using food as a weapon in the fight against children's cancer.

Yes, this event will have tastings from the creme de la creme of our nation's superstar chefs at every turn, celebrity appearances from the big and small screen, and a too-good-to-be-true auction (Napa Valley Cookout for 10 at Robert Mondavi's house, anyone? Or how about a spectacular dinner for 12 made in your home by celeb chefs Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto), Michael Cimarusti (Providence), Matt Molina (Mozza), Michael Tusk (Quince), Paul Kahan (Blackbird), and Josiah Citrin (Melisse Restaurant) and paired with 100-point Robert Parker rated wines? If that's not enough, foodie-filled trips to Japan, Seattle, NYC, NOLA, Phoenix, San Francisco are also on the block.)

But most importantly, 100% of proceeds from each tax-deductible $175 General Admission and $400 VIP ticket will go to fund Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. I know, I know -- the tickets are anything but cheap, but here's the deal. As someone who has visited Cedars Sinai's Samuel Oschin Cancer Center nearly 100 times in the past two and a half years, I can't explain the gut-wrenching feeling you get when you see a small child suffering from cancer. That's not to take away anything from how hard it is to watch my own husband get poked, prodded and hooked up to chemotherapy infusions, but to watch the tear-streaked cheeks of a 3, 4 or 8 year-old child who has to endure painful shots, losing their hair, and endless rounds of medication is beyond heartbreaking.

Cancer in any form is horrendous. It steals our most loved ones right before our eyes, much too soon and far too fast. We need to find a cure and we need to find it now. Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer is trying to do just that. That said, is $175 a lot for a food event ticket? Sure, it's up there. But is $175 a lot when it comes to giving someone's child, someone's little brother or sister, or your child's best friend another chance at a long life? I don't think so.

If you need extra incentive, let me drop a few names of the participating celeb chefs and mixologists to tantalize your taste buds (and loosen that grip on your wallet):
Vintners, ticket sales, ALSF donation and parking details after the jump...

That's quite a list, isn't it? Practically a who's who of Top Chef Masters contestants. However, I certainly can't forget the vintners. After all, what else would there possibly be to pair with all that fabulous food? Here are just a few of the winemakers who have generously donated their time and wine to the event:
  • Alta Maria
  • Bonaccorsi
  • Dragonette
  • Elizabeth Spencer Wines
  • Grassini Family Vineyards
  • Hollywood & Wine
  • Inception Wines
  • Jorian Hill
  • Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
  • La Fenêtre
  • Lang & Reed
  • Lioco
  • Martian Ranch
  • Melville Vineyards
  • Penfolds
  • Presqu'ile Winery
  • Preston Vineyards
  • The Rare Wine Company
  • Stephen Ross Wine Cellars
  • Villa Creek
  • Click here for the full list
Tickets must be purchased prior to the event, so get on it. You only have a few more days. There are several tiers of tickets, and all of them are tax-deductible:

2010 LASF Event
Exclusive invite to Chefs dinner featuring menu by Nancy Silverton and Marc Vetri to be held the evening of Saturday, November 5, 2011. 
Dinner includes: meet-and-greet with chefs and exclusive beverage tastings
Early admission/first-taste opportunity at L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Admission to VIP seating area at L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade
Admission to After Party at The Hungry Cat

Early admission/first-taste opportunity at LALAL. Admission to VIP seating area.

Tasting of Chefs Signature Dishes, Open Bar

Includes drinks and select food at The Hungry Cat, Santa Monica, from 4pm to 12am

Can't attend but want to help? Make a donation to ALSF help stop childhood cancer here. All major credit cards are accepted.

L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade Culinary Cookout
When: Sunday November 6, 2011 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Where: Lawn of Culver Studios, Culver Studios, Culver City, CA 90232. View map.
Website: www.alexslemonade.org
Twitter: @alexslemonade

Parking: Valet is available at the event. Parking is available inside the Trader Joe's parking structure on Ines Street. Please do not park in surrounding neighborhoods.

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