Culinary Circus Flies through Pacific Palisades, CA

Sarah Robarts of Ballantines PR and her special guests, Norwegian chefs The Flying Culinary Circus. (Left to right): Chefs Trond Svendgard, Tor Arnesen, Hans Larsen and Mathais Bugge. Photo: Bruce Hulse.

It was definitely not a case of too many chefs in the kitchen when Ballantines PR principle Sarah Robarts hosted a dinner prepared and served by Norway’s international epicurean group, The Flying Culinary Circus, at her Pacific Palisades home last month, writes Michael Aushenker for Palisadian-Post.

The Palisades was one stop for Flying Culinary on an itinerary that includes Singapore, San Paolo and Malaysia before heading home to Oslo.

The Circus’ Tor Arnesen, Hans Larsen, Mathais Bugge and Trond Svendgard operate as kind of a Wu-Tang Clan of the gourmet world, with each member specializing in a different skill (Arnesen handles herbs/vegetables, Bugge concocts sauces/soup, Svendgard’s expertise is seafood while Larsen is the meat master). But as one guest noted, the 20-something chefs resembled a boy band.

The quartet formed after Bebe clothing founder Manny Mashouf attended their first gig in Central Park, circa 2005, and flew the chefs out to L.A. to cater his event. The team has been working exclusive ever since, cooking for such celebrities as Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson.

“We’re inspired by local cuisine wherever we go, but we try to make it our own,” Svendgard told the Palisadian-Post.

Lori and William Corbin, Dylinda and Craig Kaplan, Rachael Damavandi, Bruce Hulse and Theresa Heim were among the Palisadians at Robarts’ September 25 gathering, where the menu included quail and foie gras, Santa Barbara shrimps, and tuna sashimi with apple and wasabi sorbet.

Also present: photographer Brad Elterman, Britney Spears biographer Steve Dennis, and Matthew Jaime and Cesar Lomeli, producers of Tequila Real De Mexico, who served up such well-received signature cocktails as the jalapeno-flavored Real Mexican and the minty martini Beso Real.


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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.