"I've only made one foam in my life," Bruce Kalman jokes as he stands in front of us at our most recent SAVEUR Supper. As chef of Union Pasadena in sunny California, and the upcoming Knead Pasta Bar in Downtown LA's Grand Central Market, Kalman sticks with simple foods—like pasta and pig—and transforms them using his favorite local ingredients. And, while Californians may be quick to say that they have the best produce, we think that the locally-caught sardines and the honey- and lardo-dressed stone fruits that Kalman picked up at the Union Square Greenmarket for our New York dinner were hard-to-beat.
After mingling with one another and getting our fill of pre-dinner snacks, like stracciatella cheese-topped toasts that had guests chasing passed plates, we grabbed one more old fashioned (made with WhistlePig rye whiskey, a Vermont whiskey) and took our seats at the table, where we ate plate after plate of handmade pasta, smoked suckling pig, and the creamiest polenta we've ever had. There were many drinks and there were many dishes, but they all had one thing in common: they were simple and they were awesome. But enough talking—check out the gallery above to see for yourself.