An Access Pass into New York High Society

Want an access pass to New York High Society?  Recently New York’s Time Out Magazine released an article sharing the smartestest affordable way to make it happen is with the admission of a pricey drink.  – Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor

The Time Warner Center might be little more than a glorified shopping mall, but even jaded New Yorkers can’t deny that the location, overlooking Columbus Circle, provides some stellar views. One prime spot to enjoy them is from the comfort of a leather chair at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel’s (Time Warner Center, 80 Columbus Circle, at 60th Street, 1-212 805 8800) Lobby Lounge, perched 35 floors above the southwest corner of Central Park. Naturally, the drinks aren’t cheap (signature cocktails are $17 apiece), but the Fifth Avenue and Central Park South skylines, glittering through walls of windows, make spending those extra bucks worthwhile. READ MORE

View Atop A60 at the Thompson Hotels - New York

Golden Globe 2010 Menu: Feeding the Stars

2009 Golden Globe Award Winner Kate Winslet

As one of Hollywood’s most celebrated events of the year, the Golden Globes are viewed by millions of people in over 150 countries worldwide. And we generally know what to expect by the time the 67th annual ceremony rolls around on Jan. 17— the bright lights, gilded statuettes and round tables filled with celebrities. The only thing you probably aren’t used to seeing is what the stars are eating for dinner.

The thought of some celebrities actually eating a real meal might surprise the fans who watch them on screen showcasing their well-trained physiques, but part of the time-honored traditions of this event—held every year at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills—is the food.

This year is no different, albeit a little less flashy than you might expect. According to a recent Associated Press article, the menu includes herb-crusted mozzarella and grilled eggplant salad over vine ripe tomatoes, braised beef short ribs and artichoke sweet pepper ragout, as well as sautéed sea bass with truffle endive fritto.

Moet, still the official champagne brand of the Globes for the past 16 years, will be adding some social lubricant to the party with personal-sized bottles topped with mini-champagne flutes.

For dessert, a chocolate concoction, called “The Envelope Please,” includes a dark chocolate truffle filled with chocolate mousse and mandarin orange jelly sitting next to a chocolate envelope with a thin letter-sized piece of chocolate poking out of it.

With approximately 1300 guests in attendance, the challenge of serving and satisfying the diverse pallets of everyone from Zoe Saldana to Mickey Rourke has to be a challenge, And can you imagine having to plan a menu six months in advance just to make sure everything is perfect? Soon a team of over 100 chefs will be working from 6 a.m. to midnight the day of the awards all the way to the last minute before service ends.

But maybe it helps that the culinary staff will be using some familiar products. With an eye towards fresh, California cooking and the use of native products, the menu for the Globes this year is steeped in predictably tasty local flavors. Organized by Beverly Hilton executive chef Suki Sugiura (a four-time veteran of the Golden Globes) the menu is one that seems to symbolize Hollywood’s health-conscious culture, minus the dessert. And even though Hollywood surpassed $10 billion dollars in box office profit, it’s nice to see that the menu keeps things modest and light.

Article by Nate Jackson

The History and Food of the Golden Globe Awards

Chef Suki Sugiura is now in his fourth year of planning the menu and cooking for Golden Globe attendees.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 will mark the first time the Golden Globe awards ceremony will broadcast live all over the United States. Ricky Gervais will serve as host for the 67th incarnation of the awards show presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  First held in January 1944, the Golden Globes celebrate the best in film and television.  The first award ceremony was held at the 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles and consisted of an informal and short awards presentation. The first awards recipients included: “The Song of Bernadette” (Best Picture), Jennifer Jones (Best Actress), and Paul Lukas (Best Actor). 

 Even though the ceremony has been held at various sites, including the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel now serves as the official annual site of the ceremony.  As usual, Hollywood’s top players will come together in spectacular and fashionable harmony to celebrate and honor one another in a dinner party-type fashion. While sitting at conversation-inducing round tables, award attendees will partake in, both, fine wines and foods.  

Suki Sugiura, executive chef at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, is in charge, for the fourth time, of feeding Hollywood’s elite.  Planning six months in advance, the professional chef works with a kitchen crew of 100 and works from 6am-12 midnight to ensure the tastiness of his work.

The official menu of the 2010 Golden Globes includes:

—Garden herb-crusted California mozzarella with grilled eggplant on vine-ripened tomato and arugula radish salad

—Mediterranean herb-braised California beef short rib with artichoke sweet pepper ragout, along with sautéed filet of Pacific sea bass with truffle endive fritto and aged balsamic extra-virgin olive oil

—White chocolate envelope filled with mousseline of lime and citrus cake alongside a chocolate dome sponge cake with Cointreau and mandarin orange center topped with chocolate glaze and gold leaf, garnished with raspberries.

For more information about the menu, see Golden Globes 2010 Menu: Feeding the Stars and for details about the 2010 Golden Globes please visit:

 Article by Catrina A. Sally

The New York Food Scene from Fine Dining to Street Food

Photo by Multi Cultural Cooking Network

Once, I watched a documentary revealing the perception of  many people from all over the world in regards to the United States.  The conclusion is there is New York and then there is the rest of the United States. No place is quite like the fashion, food and cultural capital.    Those

photo by

Yankees,  the smell of pretzels on the streets of Manhattan, bagels, pizza, the Appollo and course that accent help to make New York one of the stand out places in the world.

Street Food and Pizza Shops:

As a New Yorker who happens to live in Los Angeles, I fondly recollect some of the food of New York especially the street food and pizza shops.  The zeppola, jamaican beef pattie and thin crust pizza are classic New York to be found in Italian Pizza shops.  Shisk ka bobs, and hot roasted nuts add flavorful scent to brisk New York air.

Fine Dining:

Moreover, New York is known for having the best restaurants in the world such as Tavern on the Green, Union Square Cafe, The Russian Tea Room, The Rainbow Room and more.

Tavern on the Green

Best Neighborhoods for dining:

*The East Village and Williamsburg in Brooklyn are considered among the best neighborhoods to dine.

Article by Crystal A. Johnson

When Fine Dining Meets Comfort

Fine dining restaurants are full service restaurants with specific dedicated meal courses. Décor of such restaurants feature higher quality materials with an eye towards the “atmosphere” desired by the restaurateur. The wait staff is usually highly trained and often wears more formal attire. Fine-dining restaurants are almost always small businesses, and are generally either single-location operations or have just a few locations.-(Wikepedia)

More and more, people are looking for the perks on fine dining in more casual but chic environments.  Patrons want good service, superb wine lists, creative presentation and splendid food.  Lamb chops followed by bread pudding dessert seems to find their way on the same menu more often.

(Photo Credit: MCCN at Nine Thirty Restaurant W Hotel)

The Fine Dining Restaurants of Vegas “Top Chef”

The Houston Chronicle recently did a piece on Top Chef, recognizing the Chefs and fine dining restaurants of Vegas.  Here is the listing.


Chef Alessandro Stratta’s sumptuous Alex serves what he calls French Riviera dining. We call it stupendous. Everything about the enterprise — the lavish interior, the expert service, the exquisite food — is at the top of its game. Housed in Wynn Las Vegas, home to an embarrassment of culinary riches, Alex offers dishes such as John Dory with fondant potato, ocean trout with charred cuttlefish, crispy pork belly with peas and Serrano ham, braised American Wagyu short ribs with onion jam and roasted squab with seared foie gras. If you’re going for broke, you might as well splurge on the $295 tasting menu, including wines. After all, you only live once.

(Photo Credit/Star Bulletins: Chef Alessandro’s creation)

Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare

There’s a reason Paul Bartolotta won best chef in the Southwest at this year’s James Beard Awards. His restaurant in Wynn Las Vegas has been described by food critics as one of the most breathtaking seafood experiences in the world. Much has been written about the restaurant’s way with sea creatures flown in daily. But the true gauge is your own taste: Go for the whole branzino (sea bass), orata (sea bream) or roasted aragosta (spiny lobster). From the tiny clams in garlic tomato sauce to the seafood risotto to the turbot, Bartolotta is out to impress. And impress he does. The prices may shock Poseidon, but you’ll have to travel far to find a better Italian seafood experience.

BLT Burger

High-end restaurants may be suffering in this economy, which makes a burger (especially a good one) a logical dinner option. Chef Laurent Tourondel, seen in Episode 4, knows from a good burger, and his BLT Burger in Mirage is ready to serve up the quintessential American meal, paired with expert fries and thick milkshakes. The spiffy restaurant makes you feel like a grown-up player while plying you with kiddie comfort foods such as mozzarella sticks, onion rings, nachos, s’mores and Krispy Kreme doughnut bread pudding. Hard to resist, so don’t even try.


Finding Thomas Keller’s bustling bistro in the Venetian’s Venezia Tower is a bit of a chore. But your rewards are many at this grand café from the chef whose French Laundry is one of the world’s most sought-after dining experiences. Bouchon serves up expert French bistro fare, including goat cheese salad, duck confit, roasted leg of lamb, croque madame, brandade, steak frites and profiteroles. It’s homey fare in a casual setting that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bread is heavenly. Don’t miss the rillettes of salmon (and excuse to consume even more bread). The raw bar is ready to serve you oysters and a cold glass of Sancerre. In the middle of the desert, you feel you’re in Paris.


Head judge Tom Colicchio’s posh steakhouse in MGM Grand is probably the ultimate Top Chef restaurant. The same laser eyes that Colicchio trains on contestants are focused on his menu of grilled and roasted meats from the top of the beef heap. But as we saw in Season 6’s episode with Natalie Portman, Craftsteak is more than a temple of cow; it also serves impeccable seafood and the most pristine vegetables. If you’re craving Vegas razzle-dazzle you won’t find it in this rather serious dining room. But you will find expert service and terrific food.

Click to See Info on the following Restaurants Below

  • Daniel Boulud Brasserie, Fleur de Lys Restaurant

  • Joel Robuchon, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
  • Olives-Todd English’s Mediterranean restaurant
  • Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood


For more on this article, visit:

Ashley Judd Gets Her Just Desserts: The Hollywood Hero Award

Ashley,Ellen and Morgan(Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd & Ellen Burstyn/ Photo Credit: Crystal A. Johnson)

USA Today held its Annual Hollywood Hero Award on Tuesday, November 1oth.  The 2009 award recipient was Ashley Judd for her commitment to social causes and charity around the world.  The event was held at Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills.  A-list stars were in abundance including Debra Messing, Magic Johnson, Molly Sims, Morgan Freeman, Ellen Burstyn and many more. 

The Food at the Montage

After working the red carpet it was off to a splendid dinner held prior to the ceremony.   Take a look at what was on the Menu:

First Course


Strawberries, Marcona Almonds and Organic Parmesan with a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette



Fennel, Roasted Peppers and Potato Gratin with Smoked Tomato Broth




Crispy Praline and Malted Milk Latte


*Molly Sims and Mandy Moore attended the Dinner-GUYS, THEY ARE NOT ON THE MENU!

Molly Sims and Mandy Moore

 article by Crystal A. Johnson

Why Taste?

Taste of Burbank, Taste of Chicago, Champagne and Truffle tastings are all the rave across the country. Why should you attend these events?  It is like one stop shopping and it tastes so good.

Taste of Burbank

Downtown Burbank recently had its Taste of Burbank to raise funds for the local YMCA.  Priced at $30, attendees got the opportunity to taste cuisine of Cuba, Thailand, France and more.  Music filled the air while people danced and ate all night long.  Portos, Z Pizza, Exotic Thai and many other restaurants in Burbank participated.

Champagne and Truffle Tasting

Crystal with Champagne 2

I recently got the opportunity to attend the Beverly Hills Morton’s Steakhouse Champagne and Truffle tasting.  The champagnes featured were Piper Sonoma Brut, Piper Hiedsieck Brut and Piper Hiedsieck Rose Sauvage.  Before sampling of the Vosges Truffles, waiters served us with smoked salmon wedges, broiled sea scallops and petite filet mignon sandwiches.  All of these appetizers were divine.

Chocolate lovers, contain yourselves, I am moving on to the decadent part.  From white truffle ambrosia paired with the Brut to the Naga sweet Indian curry coconut and deep milk chocolate truffle paired with the Rose Sauvage, there are nuisances to discover.  Balance your sweeter chocolate with a more dry champagne and the less sweet chocolates with a more smooth champagne.  This experience was priced at $45.

MSU 056 About Taste of Chicago

In 1980 a group of restaurateurs approached the Mayor of Chicago with the idea of a food festival on the Fourth of July, and Taste of Chicago was born. Inspired by a “build it and they will come” attitude, a $150,000 budget, and confidence the event could attract 75,000 people, plans for the one-day food frenzy got under way. The festival was held in a three-block area of Michigan Avenue bordered by the Chicago River and the upscale stores and buildings that were then beginning to grace the Magnificent Mile; and between the architectural wonders of the Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower.

It was a huge success, (250,000 attended the first “Taste,” and food and soda sales grossed $330,000) destined to change the way Chicago celebrates the Fourth of July.

MCCN Dines at the Beverly Hills Hotel for Multicultural Affair

by Crystal A. Johnson

The YWCA Annual Black & White Benefactrix Ball was held at the Beverly Hills Hotel in the Crystal Ballroom.  The black tie fundraising event benefits the YWCA of greater Los Angeles.  Many at risk youth benefit from the programs.  Their theme is eliminating racism and empowering women.  Please take the time out find out what the organization is doing in the community at

MCCN Host  Erika L. Holmes and I got the opportunity to attend the inspirational event.   We hope the article leaves you inspired to cook, dine or donate:

Salad_YWCA-LA_Black_&_White_Ball_09_1small For starters we have a mixed leaf salad with arugula as the prominent leaf with a wedge of goat cheese.

Erika thinks our dinner is off to a good start.


Next up the main course which consists of perfectly tender cod and beef tenderloin.   Our sides were nicely plated carrots, squash, asparagus and mashed potatoes.


The grand finale consists of different desserts.  Erika eyed my black & white chocolate molten cake accompanied with a dollop of freshly made chocolate ice cream.


Erika is quite happy with the switch.