May 23, 2024

Celebrities, chefs, celebrity chefs and guests noshed and quaffed at the 11th annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Stand benefit Saturday at UCLA, which raised more than $1.4 million for childhood cancer research.

Among the supporters rallying to raise money via live and silent auctions were “Ted Lasso” star Christo Fernandez, Timothy Olyphant, Melanie Lynskey, Jason Ritter, Dakota and Elle Fanning, Joe Mantegna and “Criminal Minds” star Kirsten Vangsness.

“The food is super delicious and there’s a good vibe, plus we’re supporting childhood cancer,” said Fernandez, “Everything I’ve tried has been so good, so international.” The “Ted Lasso” star known as Dani Rojas said one of the highlights for him was Ludo Lefebvre’s tapioca bites, with the lauded French chef’s kids manning the fryers while he was out of town.

For the first time since before the pandemic, more than 100 chefs, mixologists and vintners served up creative tastes on the sunny Royce quad lawn at the event hosted by Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne along with David Lentz. Jay and Liz Scott, the parents of the late Alex Scott, who started Alex’s Lemonade Stand as a fundraiser when she was just 4 years old, gave an inspiring speech about the charity’s mission and achievements.

Bidders at the live auction raised over $370,000 for prizes including tickets to see Taylor Swift in New Orleans, Super Bowl tickets and a dinner with Jimmy Kimmel and his wife Molly and their favorite chefs. The Women Chefs Dinner, featuring female winemakers and chefs including Suzanne Goin, Nancy Silverton, Giada de Laurentiis, April Bloomfield and Caroline Styne, raised a record $150,000.

Standout tastes included Providence and Connie & Ted’s chef Michael Cimarusti’s shrimp dogs, Adam Perry Lang’s barbecued brisket, which is always in high demand, Chris Bianco’s lemon pizza, sea urchin from David Lentz and Sea Stephanie, Bestia’s spicy prawns, chanterelle yakitori from Lark Seattle, and ceviche tostada from Guelaguetza’s Bricia Lopez. Though temps weren’t as high as in previous years, Hoxie spritzers helped cool down the spicier dishes, while cocktail lovers enjoyed Thunderbolt’s watermelon margaritas and oenophiles sampled wines from Wavy Wines, Holus Bolus, Hitching Post and many more.

(Pictured: Caroline Goin, Timothy Olyphant and Christo Fernandez)

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