On the Town: Recess Eatery event features celebrity chefs; Patrons Club holds annual installation event

The red-carpeted "Spectacular Event" at Recess Eatery equaled anything Hollywood could turn out. The restaurant on North Brand was bathed in klieg lights and scurrying paparazzi.

Last Wednesday, more than 50 hungry visitors acted like Hollywood VIPs as they sipped and supped on the unique appetizers by Recess proprietor Chef Sevan Abdessian.

The fare included succulent lamb chop lollipops, ahi tuna sashimi sticks, mini-vegetable quiches and truffle popcorn, all topped off by rich chocolates from Glendale's Mignon Chocolate. The hazelnut cups were to die for. Guests munched on the Recess patio under a full moon.

The purpose of the event was to show off five celebrity chefs, all of whom have been on Food Network shows "Chopped" and "Cutthroat Kitchen." Chef LaLa (her stage name) led the pack. She has also been a guest chef on "The Doctor Oz Show." The four other chefs introduced at Recess were Hiroki Ohata, Aaron Williams, Rahm Fama and Penny Davidi.

In the middle of the light dinner of appetizers, each chef made some brief comments to their fans. Said Chef LaLa, "Life starts at the kitchen table. There, we have our best memories."

LaLa had previously joined former California First Lady Maria Shriver in Watts for the California School Garden Network, featuring teaching gardens in schools and other community settings.

Chef Sevan must be added to the list of celebrity chefs, since he also appeared on "Chopped" and "Cutthroat Kitchen." Last year, he hosted a series of "practice dinners" at Recess, open to the public and leading to his star turn on "Chopped."

His wife, Tamar Kevonian, complemented her husband well as event director, even though she calls herself "chief dish and bottle washer."

For this event, Kevonian worked closely with Reneh Simonian, chief executive officer of Cravate Soiree, a concierge service for travelers and party planners.

As the evening ended, satiated guests gathered around two Nissan GTRs on display in front of the restaurant. They were from Glendale Nissan and introduced by Internet/Fleet Manager Vahan Van Papazian.

He referred to both cars as "Ferrari Killers" and said, "They are considered one of the top 10 fastest production cars in the world." Each has six cylinders, 546 horse power and are dual clutch.

One of the display cars was red, the other blue. Car aficionado and La Crescenta resident Rich Rands admired the red one. He said he just may decide to start saving for its $108,000 price tag.

A few more VIP photos taken in front of the brightly lit step-and-repeat banner and the chef-studded evening came to a close.

Members of the Patrons Club of Glendale Community College held their annual installation of officers at the Polynesian-themed Castaway restaurant in Burbank. Last Thursday, more than 50 members held a brunch instead of a luncheon.

Following brunch, the officers were installed by Paul Schlossman, club adviser and the college's dean of student affairs.

"Since 1947, the Patrons Club has provided financial assistance to the students of Glendale Community College," Schlossman said.

The club has raised tens of thousands of dollars donated to deserving students at the college during those 67 years. This year, the club raised more than $25,000 for student scholarships.

The 2014 board is made up of President Betty Musacco, First Vice President Carolyn Payne, Second Vice President Marianne Jennings, Third Vice Presidents Geri Castillo and Shirley Wright, Treasurer Judy Gorham, Recording Secretary Pat Beggs and Corresponding Secretary Margaret Hammond.

Also recognized was the club's oldest member, Glendale resident Gertrude Ness, who will be 108 years old in April. She was accompanied by daughter, Jo Ness.


RUTH SOWBY may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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