Vinny Dotolo and partner Jon Shook are incapable of keeping their fleshly tendencies out of every possible course at their Fairfax restaurant Animal -- consider that their most talked-about dessert is the bacon-chocolate crunch bar. So when LA Weekly's Jonathan Gold suggested a panel of meat-loving chefs for the first-ever LA Weekly LA Weekend event, the Animal auteurs were an obvious choice. Gold has called the two "the Jay and Silent Bob of the food world, perpetually red-eyed and rarely seen outside of one another's company, preparing food or talking about it, slapping up massive catered feasts at Hollywood parties or scheming World Media Domination." This week, Dotolo was added to the Saturday lunchtime panel.
More red meat:
Octavio Becerra, whose walk-in refrigerator at his restaurant Palate Food + Wine, often has the gory presence of a Francis Bacon tableau, will also be onstage, along with Campanile's Mark Peel, who can disassmble a lamb carcass faster than most of us can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and Susan Feniger of Ciudad, Border Grill and now the brand-new Street. She's a great believer in the planet-friendly philosophy of using meat sparingly for flavor.
As for the host, no one has ever doubted Jonathan Gold's love of meat. Here's a taste:
"There's something about the smell of charring meat, the fire, the island of warmth and light in the cold dark, that can practically compel you to stand around, to eat off soggy paper plates balanced on the roof of your car, to inhale varieties of sweet, dilute fruit juice that you ordinarily wouldn't drink on a bet, to watch the cone of marinated pork blackening on its flame-licked spit as if it were the final minutes of the World Cup. You munch still-muddy radishes to sweeten your breath, but the stink of onions and garlic and cilantro and pig flesh will haunt you like a friendly ghost for days."
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--Jonathan Gold, "Quest for Fire: Out of the Flames," Feb 9, 2006
After the panel, grab a hot dog from the Let's Be Frank truck, which will be parked outside the Nike Montalban Theater for most of the day on Saturday to feed attendees of LA Weekend's second day. And from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday complimentary vodka cocktails will be served in the theater's Belvedere Lounge with music from DJ KIDDKIT. By the way, on Friday night, during the kickoff to the weekend events, you'll find the Kogi taco truck outside the theater.
Jonathan Gold's Carnivore! panel starts Saturday at noon at the Nike Montalban Theater, 1615 Vine St. in Hollywood, between Sunset and Hollywood boulevards. The event is free. Check the LA Weekly LA Weekend website for more info.