Vintage Bouquet Extravaganza at the Greystone Mansion
Last Sunday, the 26th Annual Vintage Bouquet Food and Wine Extravaganza took place at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.
Established in 1988, the event has grown in size and prestige featuring hors d’oeuvres by the area’s top chefs accompanied by live entertainment and a live and silent auction.
Proceeds from the event support the charitable causes of the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation including pro bono programs that focus on community outreach, legal education and access to the justice system.
About the Location
The Greystone Mansion is a Tudor-style mansion on a landscaped estate with distinctive formal English gardens. The estate was a gift from oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny to his son, Edward “Ned” Doheny, Jr., and his family. Following the purchase of the estate by the city of Beverly Hills in 1965, the property became a city park in 1971 and was subsequently added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.
The house and grounds have been used to film tons of movies and TV shows. In addition, it hosts special events such as the Beverly Hills Flower & Garden Festival and The Annual Hollywood Ball.
I was beyond excited when I received the invitation to attend an amazing event in such a special location. Hey, it was an unique opportunity to visit a place frequented by mega stars.
Celebrity Cruises brought their executive chef all the way from Miami to present attendants with one of their signature dishes. This is one of the many options available nightly at the ships’ dining room.
There was a lot of sophistication and flavor packed into their Cajun Shrimp sample. Lemon yogurt sauce was placed in the black, rounded plate. A layer of bulgur salad made with bell peppers, carrots, celery, parsley and mint was added on top. The dish was finished with juicy Cajun shrimp and a drizzle of lemon vinaigrette. After trying the delicious concoction, I was able to understand the Modern Luxury concept that identifies the company. As you can imagine, I visited their booth about five times.
A bakery called The Good Cookies & Beyond offered a wide range of sweet samples. They specialize in gluten free baked goods. Their carrot cake, chocolate cake, donut holes, brownies and cheesecake (with toasted coconut crust) were excellent.
El Fornaio – Beverly Hills delighted us with a farro salad, artisanal bread and tiramisu (for dessert).
To me, it was very exciting to observe the creativity behind the guys of Velvet Rope Bake Shop. They had cookies in fun and unique flavors such as rocky road with ghost pepper, habanero peanut butter & jelly and salted caramel apple oatmeal. I tasted the habanero and oatmeal flavors and they were pretty good. I didn’t have the courage to taste the ghost pepper cookies.
They also had small pieces of cake (carrot, red velvet, double chocolate) covered in chocolate. The goodies looked like sophisticated bonbons.
Lexington Social House served smoked beets topped with crème fraiche and anchovy roe. I am not a big fan of beets but these were really good.
Hubert’s Lemonade was offering bottles of their product in a variety of tantalizing flavors. They had blackberry, strawberry and regular lemonade, plus peach and original green tea.
I was surprised by the taste of the ice cream presented by The Original Ice Cream Lab. They served a flavor called salt lick crunch which is a mix of vanilla ice cream, pretzels and caramel. First, it was cool to see them preparing their ice cream, using liquid nitrogen, in about two minutes. The result had a good balance of sweet and salty. One flavor wasn’t overpowering the other.
Wood & Vine had chilled English pea soup served with citrus crème fraiche and wild salmon roe.
One of my favorite dishes of the day was the salmon and bay scallop ceviche (served with yuzu pepper sauce) from Chaya (they specialize in Asian-fusion cuisine). Too bad I was almost full when I arrived at their booth.
Taberna Arros y Vi had fava bean puree with goat cheese and micro greens (notice how they are big fans of Barcelona’s soccer team).
STK served steak with cucumber salad and heirloom tomatoes.
Dandy Don’s Homemade Ice Cream had a wide array of options to create your own customized sundae. It all started by picking the ice cream flavor (vanilla bean, chocolate, cappuccino crunch, Aztec chocolate, balsamic fig, blue moon, English toffee, white chocolate truffle). After that difficult decision, it was time to choose your toppings. Don’t forget the dollop of whip cream and the cherry.
Napa Valley Grille served flavorful mushroom agnolotti.
Brix Bites makes chocolate specifically developed to pair with wine.
I also tried Beverly Hills 90H20 spring water. They won the World’s Best Water Award for 2014. This water is only available at fine restaurants, luxury hotels, gourmet markets, and other select establishments worldwide.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House had a very generous offer of a burger (almost full size) and sweet potato mash. It was fun to watch (and smell) the on-site grilling.
It is not easy to pick favorites. All the food was delicious. However, after careful consideration, I have to crown favorite the salads made with Flor de la Patagonia Vinaigrettes. They are Argentinean style dressings (blend of olive oil and vinegar) crafted to enhance the flavor of fresh food. The ladies behind the booth prepared pasta salads to showcase the robust blackberry and the mellow oak vinaigrettes. I tried the American Salami versions (there were vegetarian options) and they were both stupendous. I had like four samples of salad and couldn’t have more because I was stuffed.
How did you like this short summary of the event? Pretty cool, right?
- Visit the following website if you are interested in attending the event next year: http://www.bhbaweb.com/vb/
- You can visit the mansion gardens and surroundings and take a look at the grandiose view daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- There is free parking near the mansion grounds.
Would you like to attend an event at the Greystone Mansion?
Disclosure: I attended the event with a media pass. However, all the opinions expressed here, as always, are my own.