May 9, 2014, Restaurant High’s industry-only 2014 conference “Rock the Obstacles” was held at the Ritz-Carlton/J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live and addressed the obstacles of the restaurant industry. Hosted by law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Restaurant High featured over 60 expert-led roundtable sessions and seven panel discussions – including the chef’s panel and marquee. In one day Restaurant High addressed the matters of finding investors, branding your concept, trying to ensure longetivity, and many more. With over 400 restaurateurs from across the United States and hot topics like minimum wage, better pay and health coverage, this event was informative for everyone. All proceeds were donated to The Kitchen Community, led by Kimbal Musk, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating “community through food” by building Learning Gardens in schools across America.
Celebrity Chef Guy Fieri, well known for his show Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives, made an appearance for his Cooking with Kids Foundation, a foundation that encourages and educates kids to learn how to cook for themselves, their families and their friends. It instills self-esteem, self-reliance and a healthy lifestyle. He held a question and answer session with local elementary school chefs and brought them on stage. Fieri also interviewed special rock star guest Mark McGrath from Sugar Ray.
Local Orange County restaurants were in attendance including BJ’s Restaurants, Bruxie, King’s Seafood, Lazy Dog Restaurants, Slaters 50/50, and The Habit. Mendocino Farms and their amazing culinary team provided a Pastrami and Pork Belly station for a power lunch and Lemonade, the fast-casual modern cafeteria, the talk of the conference with their new location opening in Dubai, provided the afternoon break meal.
The official after-party, “Rock the Edison,” was held at the The Edison in downtown L.A to fundraise and support The Kitchen Community. With music, cocktails and dancing, the atmosphere brought a legendary nightlife of old 20’s style and cabaret and ended the night with success.