Feeding the Artists at Life Is Beautiful

Some of the city's best chefs participated in a super-VIP culinary experience.

Chef Dan Krohmer of Other Mama was asked by Life Is Beautiful organizers if he’d like to serve up delicious meals for this year’s artists.

Situated beyond the VIP area next to the Downtown Stage, the Artist Hospitality tent was an intimate gathering space with picnic tables on lush grass. Krohmer is known for taking great pride in everything he creates at Other Mama—from his salts to soy sauce. For Life Is Beautiful, he, along with a rotating roster of his chef friends, delivered food that not only tantalized the taste buds, but fueled creative minds.

Krystal Ramirez

“The goal was to have three elements each night: one that was more delicate and fun, one that was more stick to your ribs, and the final, something interactive,” Krohmer says.

On day one, Krohmer and chef Yoya Takahashi from Hamasaku in Los Angeles, served up Japanese-inspired dishes like cold ramen noodles with roast pork. Artists also had the opportunity to enjoy made-to-order hand rolls from the hand-roll bar with choices of spicy tuna, spicy salmon or vegetarian, or build it into a hearty poke bowl.

The second day of Life Is Beautiful had Italian-driven fare. Krohmer was accompanied by executive chef Jonah Resnick of Carbone. Demonstrating the ancient art of making fresh mozzarella, Resnick kneaded the milky, tender cheese just prior to slicing and serving in his summertime caprese salad with salsa verde. The fresh mozzarella topped his meatball sliders, which were crafted with a blend of veal, pork and beef smothered in Jersey crushed tomatoes. Also on the menu was chicken parmesan sliders, as well as a garlicky seafood salad with a medley of ocean delicacies, including calamari, shrimp, clams and scallops.

On the third and final day, pizzaiolo Chris Decker of Metro Pizza transformed their famous dough to make skirt steak with peppers and onions, folded in a grilled flatbread. “Our dough grills up really nice and we also thought the addition of a meat component would go great with Dan’s seafood.” Krohmer served up crab tostadas and a vegetarian version topped with black bean and avocado along with chilled, fresh oysters on the half shell with assorted toppings.

The offerings were available all three days from 4 to 6 p.m. “I loved being involved with Life Is Beautiful,” Krohmer says.