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Chief Cooks and the Chefs du Jour

January 12, 1994|BETTY GOODWIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The 14-year-old tradition of having the husbands of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles Guild activists don toques and aprons to help a chef prepare a gourmet meal for high-paying guests still works.

Signing on as sous chefs for a day, a physician, an attorney and about a dozen assorted businessmen (including "head sous-chef" Hugo Rosenstein, a glazing contractor) arrived Sunday in tennis garb and blue jeans to eat a three-course lunch at Pinot Bistro in Studio City and then to work.

With one eye on the TV to watch the Raiders beat the Broncos, the volunteers followed the instructions of chefs Joachim Splichal and Octavio Becerra. They did enough grunt work to serve 150 four-course dinners plus hors d'oeuvres.

The event raised about $75,000 for Planned Parenthood, which provides reproductive health care and education at 10 clinics and one mobile unit in Los Angeles County.

Explaining why only men did the cooking, dinner co-chairwoman Nancy Sanders said: "In the future, I'm sure we'll accommodate women. We don't consider ourselves a sexist organization." The men produced a menu that included mini corn blinis with marinated salmon, potato chips with duck confit and peppered crackers with scallop tartar. Next: a salad with forest mushrooms, white fish with garlic mashed potatoes, chicken provencal and chocolate creme brulee .

"Try a blini with salmon. I worked all day on these damn things," said an amateur sous chef passing a tray.

An artful arrangement of teapots depicting such edibles as cauliflowers, lemons and grapes decorated the tables. As their party favor, each couple took a pot home.

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