Small bites were a hit at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles on November 15. 
Guest chef de cuisine Daniel Corey from Luce, at sister property the InterContinental San Francisco, mixed up some of his favorite flavors with the help of the L.A. crew at this inviting Urban Oasis.
A jazz trio jammed as we imbibed the signature cocktail of the evening: “Six Geese a-Laying Martini,” a festive blend of Grey Goose L’Orange, Campari, orange juice and grenadine, shaken and served up, very cold.
Brilliant mozzarella with pesto, bold balsamico, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, grilled mushrooms, asparagus, yet more tomatoes, and crisp bread fans boomed freshness and flavor from the buffet.

The California InterContinental properties were each spotlighted, as was the coveted Presidente InterContinental  Cozumel  Resort and Spa.  The guest chef, whose restaurant Luce currently celebrates its fourth Michelin star rating, was then introduced.

In a casual Q&A, Chef Corey, who hails from Southern California, shared his own path from golfing, surfing and running to northern California and into the kitchen @ Luce.  Praising his predecessor there, he developed his own unique methodology and preference for local sustainable ingredients into cuisine identified as new American with world influences.  He maintains his active lifestyle and love of music, particularly jazz and reggae. 
Asked how he created the evening’s star appetizer, Chef Corey graciously took an all-ears audience  through the preparation: slow cooking the sugar and spiced pork belly @ 275 degrees for four hours until it caramelized…. preparing the charred jalapeno aioli and the pickled pearl onions…. placing these components on rye toasts, yielding an artful and exceptional amuse bouche. 
Reflexively, we accepted more of the offering by the passing server.  And the prosciutto arugula pizza, poke cone, spoonful  of crab, chilled apple soup in a shotglass…

For more amuse-ment…
InterContinental LA Century City @ 2151 Avenue of the Stars; intercontinentallosangeles.com.
San Francisco properties:
InterContinental San Francisco @ 888 Howard Street;  intercontinentalsanfrancisco.com, and
Luce: lucewinerestaurant.com.
Mark Hopkins @ One Nob Hill; intercontinentalmarkhopkins.com, home to the Top of the Mark sky-bar:  topofthemark.com.
Presidente Intercontinental Cozumel Resort & Spa in Quintana Roo, Mexico; intercontinental.com/cozumel.