Hollywood’s funniest and hungriest actors, writers and executives got together Saturday night at Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles for the fifth annual Beefsteak dinner to benefit the Los Angeles Food Bank.
Organized by “The Simpsons” producer Matt Selman, ABC Studios comedy exec Cort Cass, writer-actor Eric Wareheim and chef Neal Fraser, the yearly event raises money for the hungry by feeding approximately 650 entertainment bizzers plenty of meat, in the tradition of the early-20th century beefsteak political dinners. Guests included “Mad Men’s” Ben Feldman, B.J. Novak, Phil Rosenthal, Busy Philipps, Bob Odenkirk, Brianna Brown and John Mayer.
Unlike the last century’s men-only dinners, women are welcome at the 21st century version, which featured Jonathan Sadowski and Joe Thomas doing magic tricks and music from the Shrines and DJ Jesse Kivel. While the dancing acrobatic cows of last year’s event didn’t make a return appearance, an actual onstage wedding added to the celebratory atmosphere. (Congrats, Abigail and Conrad!)
The event has a loose, insider feel, with no red carpet, little media presence and plenty of cocktails, including a bourbon old-fashioned bottled in glass flasks. “The best thing for me about the Beefsteak is that it is a Hollywood party with no agenda other than to stuff your face,” said Selman.
Chef Neal Fraser, chef-owner of Vibiana and its adjacent restaurant Redbird, grilled up trays of tender steak for apron-wearing guests to eat directly on paper table coverings. Pescatarians were able to feast on whole grilled salmon. At the VIP reception before the dinner kicked off, Badmaash restaurant served up curried brains on toast and chunks of lamb from a whole roast leg, while hors d’oeuvres served in the former cathedral’s courtyard included crispy pig ears, burrata cheese with persimmons, beef tartare and pork belly fried rice. Redbird and Vibiana co-owner and operator Amy Knoll Fraser was the event producer.