|Animal's fried chicken for a good cause|
Why this event, while intimate, is one of the best feel-good food fests in town: It pulls an amazing roster of celebrity chefs and celebrities (we spied Jimmy Kimmel, singer Michelle Branch, and Jason Ritter, to name a few), the food is always fantastic, and it generates thousands and thousands of dollars for Alex's Lemonade to help battle childhood cancer. This year the event drew more than $500,000, most coming from the live auction - two Pigapalooza dinners with Neal Fraser and Sotto's Zack Pollack and Steve Samson cooking up an entire piggy feast pulled in some big dollas, as did the private dinners cooked by an incredible team of chefs. It's simply a foodie paradise.
Of course, the way most people donate is to buy a ticket and stuff their face for an afternoon. The sun was out in full force, but it didn't keep us from eating some of the best fried chicken legs we've ever had (Animal), fried chicken oysters (ink.) and fried Ipswich clams (Michael Cimarusti's forthcoming Connie & Ted's). There were dueling pizza ovens - Pizzeria Bianco and Mozza - both putting out incredible pies. By the end, we couldn't muster a morsel from the amazing Tavern dessert table (shocking, really), but we did steal a bite of Duff Goldman's light and damn-near-perfect cake from CakeMix.
We opted out of doing a shot of booze from the Varnish ice luge, even if putting our lips on a giant piece of ice sounded as cold and refreshing as it got, but we drank whatever was refreshing and cold, including a ginny concoction with kiwi and cucumber, and some great local wines. Check out the slide show below for a few more of our favorites sights and bites from the day. And definitely mark your calendar for next year. You won't want to miss it.