Bubbles and Plant-Based Cuisine in Venice, Courtesy of Matthew Kenney & Moët

May has been FOOD BOWL month in Los Angeles, a 31-day festival of curated events produced by the Los Angeles Times to celebrate the city’s dynamic and diverse culinary scene and bring awareness to food waste and hunger through programs with chefs and food-justice activists. The charity partners include No Kid Hungry, PATH & Food Forward.

Last night I was among the two dozen or so journalists and influencers invited to a “friends + family pairings dinner” at Plant Food + Wine in Venice. These dinners have been held every Friday night in May, a collaboration between Chef Matthew Kenney and his plant-based lifestyle brand Plantlab and the luxury champagne purveyor Moët & Chandon.

Both companies are committed to sustainability. Chef Matthew wants to “craft the future of food to support the rapidly global demand for cuisine that is sustainable, nourishing and flavorful.” His restaurants include Plant Food + Wine in both Venice and Miami, Double Zero in NYC, Make Out in Culver City, plnthouse at the 1 Hotel in South Beach, Florida, and Matthew Kenney NM at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills.

Moët & Chandon has a long-term vision of sustainable growth. It holds dual certifications in “High Environmental Value” and “Sustainable Viticulture in Champagne.” Their commitment to green initiatives has deep, deep roots; after all, this is a Champagne house that dates back to 1743. By 2018, the vineyards will be completely herbicide free. In addition to carbon footprint reduction goals, water reduction and energy consumption reduction initiatives, electric vehicles and tractors are used for all daily operations.

The food that Chef Matthew and his team beautifully plated was every bit as luxurious as the bubbles. Dishes included smoked hummus crostini paired with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008, hearts of palm ceviche complemented by Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial Rosé, a gorgeous vegan heirloom tomato and zucchini lasagna with macadamia ricotta and pistachio pesto that was served with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008.

Plant Food + Wine’s lovely patio is available for buyout and culinary workshops are offered on the second floor of the restaurant, which overlooks that plant-filled space.

As part of its ongoing, multimillion dollar renovation, Hotel Crescent Court celebrated the opening of Beau Nash, its new champagne bar and cocktail lounge. The luxury hotel is located in Uptown, just steps away from the Dallas Arts District.

 

Every year, the Austin chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events hosts a fundraiser. In 2017, this annual Taste of NACE event took place at downtown Austin’s Trinity Hall and benefitted the Foundation of NACE and a local partner, Adventures with Autism, Down Syndrome and Epilepsy. The Taste of NACE event, which has become a nationally recognized, award-winning fundraiser, featured some of Austin’s top culinary talent, a silent auction, live entertainment and dancing. naceaustin.com

 

The Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel celebrated its grand opening in September. The hotel includes 15 floors, 288 rooms, 16 suites, 19 meeting rooms and 30,000 square feet of ballroom and event space. Located next door to the newly developed Toyota Motors North America headquarters and the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters, the hotel features a provocative and diverse collection of art that underscores its inventive West of Zen design theme.