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Comedy Biz Hungers for Meat at Beefsteak 4

Saturday’s fourth edition of the modern bacchanal known as Beefsteak brought together comedy heavy-hitters with meat — lots of meat — at Vibiana in Downtown L.A. The festive dinner was a benefit for the Los Angeles Food Bank.

Television writers and execs, for some reason, are notoriously enthusiastic and savvy eaters. So “The Simpsons” executive producer Matt Selman (Twitter handle @mattselmaneats) launched Beefsteak four years ago with ABC Studios comedy exec Cort Cass and “Tim and Eric” writer Eric Wareheim to provide an opportunity to eat, have fun and give back all at once.

 The trio worked with Amy Knoll Fraser and chef Neal Fraser, who recently opened Red Bird restaurant adjacent to Vibiana, to revive the 100-year old tradition of Beefsteak, a manly meal that involves quantities of prime meat washed down with cocktails and fine wines. While the early Beefsteaks were an excuse for political fundraising and speechmaking, the updated version welcomes women and helps the hungry. “If there was going to be gluttony, we should also have a charity component,” said Selman.

“It’s kind of like the Davos of comedy,” explained a Marvel comicbook writer. Of nearly 600 guests, many worked on shows such as “Adult Swim,” “@Midnight” and many more. Among the beefeaters were FX exec Chuck Saftler, who brought “The Simpsons” to the channel and “Glee’s” Jayma Mays and husband Adam Campbell (pictured).

For the fourth year, the organizers added roving magicians and a wine rave teepee in the former cathedral’s courtyard, not to mention acrobats in  cow costumes gyrating on trapezes before hundreds of pounds of tender filet mignon arrived, to be consumed sans utensils or plates as Beefsteak tradition dictates.

Before the seated dinner, Wolvesmouth chef Craig Thornton offered aesthetically-pleasing appetizers in the former rectory while guests also sampled Fraser’s beef testicle-topped crostini and foie gras mousse with fig jam. Desserts included truffle macarons and more foie gras — now that it’s legal — sandwiched into raspberry petit fours. Vegetarians — yes, they were allowed — filled up on roasted parsnips and steamed broccolini.

 

 

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