Gourmet Games 2015

Paula Abdul, John Salley Test Their Tasting Skills for Faster Cures



The event: Contestants in the “Global Gourmet Games” battled it out Apr. 25 by assessing the ingredients in appetizers, calculating the calories in main courses and determining the fat content in desserts served at an international feast at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The congenial competition, which awarded prizes for enthusiasm in addition to high scores, did more than educate guests about foods. The event also raised $3.3 million for Faster Cures, a center of the Milken Institute dedicated to speeding and improving medical research.

The scene: Lest anyone doubt that financier Michael Milken, acting as the night’s emcee, wears many hats, gala guests watched him switch headgear throughout the evening. And although most questions involved foods, in one instance teams earned points for correctly guessing the origin of Milken’s bright red topper from Tibet.

The teams: Paula Abdul said …  

To read my entire story in the Los Angeles Times, click here. To see more pictures, scroll down the page.

As an aside, my team had a respectable score, but we were far behind the winners. The Games are a humbling experience, because as a lifelong dieter, I thought I knew more than a little about calorie counts and fat content, but the Games proved my taste buds wrong. Of course, the chief chef – Beth Ginsberg – said she does tricks, which you’ll see if you read my story.

Former NBA star John Salley talked of his vegan diet and plans for a vegan food company. Reaching up to take a selfie of us, he – at 7 feet tall – appeared in the picture to be in the stratosphere, compared to my being miles below on the ground.


Top Photo: From left, the night’s emcee Michael Milken with players Paula Abdul and NBA star John Salley (photo, Paul Bliese/ courtesy of the Milken Institute)

Second Photo: John Salley and Ellen Olivier, this website’s author, in a selfie 



Chapman Film Students Learn from Accomplished Women in Film & TV

Kohn Gallery celebrates Tom LaDuke’s ‘Candles and Lasers’ exhibit

Wisdom from Judge Judy, named “Woman of the 21st Century”

Dodgers Turn into Fashion Models — all for a good cause

Stephen Schwartz Stages a Magical Preview for Princess Cruises

Interstellar Comes Alive at Royal Albert Hall

Backstage at the Geffen features Lady Gaga, honors Mellody Hobson, George Lucas, David Furnish, Sir Elton John

‘Still Alice,’ Producer Maria Shriver. New Kids’ Joey McIntyre honored at ‘A Night at Sardi’s’


Gourmet Games 2015

Published Apr. 30, 2014 – Ellen Olivier, SocietyNewsLA.com