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Go Fish! Chefs + Food Lovers Take to the Water to Celebrate 'Made in America'

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It was overcast and chilly just after noon on Sunday in San Pedro when a group of chefs and food lovers piled aboard the Monte Carlo for an afternoon of fishing, eating, and celebrating. Though "Go Fish L.A." excursions take place every couple of months, organizer and L.A.-based writer Lucy Lean brought together food, food folk, and the fun of fishing to help celebrate the release of her beautiful new cookbook "Made in America."

Coming aboard along with the chefs was some amazing grub for the trip, and copies of the cookbook for signature gathering. Many of the chefs who grabbed rod-and-reel (or came along for the good cheer) are featured in the cookbook, which celebrates American cuisine, and many brought with them the very same food for which they provided the recipe for the book.

As we got our sea legs and prepared to motor out of the harbor we indulged in fresh cinnamon rolls brought by Juan Carlos Kuramoto, who was representing Michael's in Santa Monica and Chef Michael McCarty. Chef Mariah Swan of BLD passed around a fragrant bakery box brimming with her gleaming donuts, including one fluffy, sticky, delicious Salt and Pepper Caramel one that I gobbled up.

It wasn't long before an impromptu cocktail of Remy Martin and Ginger Ale (The "Go Fish L.A.," proposed Dave Danhi of The Grilled Cheese Truck) was being mixed up and passed along, and once we got out further on the water, Alex Macy of the Sunset Beer Company shared pours of a variety of beers selected for the trip.

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In the galley, cooking and assembly got underway immediately, and throughout the five-hour voyage the seafarers were treated to a Carolina smoked pork slider with Brussels sprout and Fresno chili slaw from Brian Moyers of BLT Steak, Morralitos (jicama wrapped guacamole bites) from Chef Hussain on behalf of Chef José Andrés of The Bazaar at the SLS Hotel, mac n cheese short rib grilled cheese sandwich from Danhi of the Grilled Cheese Truck, Kobe Truffle Sliders from Andrea Cavaliere of Cecconi's, and the best mushroom soup you will ever eat (and thankfully the recipe is in the book) from Josiah Citrin of Mélisse.

Still hungry? How about two killer cookies: Huge salty Valrhona chocolate chip cookies from Michael Cimarusti of Providence, and an amazing double chocolate with espresso cookie from out-of-towner Doug Taylor from B&B Restorante in Las Vegas.

It was easy to pace yourself with snack breaks while the boat was motoring, and intense fishing when we stopped. As a first-time fishergal, I did respectably: I caught two little guys who will likely be tonight's dinner. The wonderful crew helped us untangle lines, troubleshoot our rods and reels, and get our fish into our designated sacks. For sport, a jackpot for the biggest fish was held, with the winner being a "Go Fish" trip regular (who shared my fish sack, but bested my luck by far).

A couple of copies of "Made in America" circulating onboard will be seen again and up for grabs to benefit Alex's Lemonade. The first will be auctioned off at the LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade November 6th and the other one will be auctioned online in December; both are full of signatures and inscriptions from a great many of the chefs from all over the country who are featured in the book.

If you want to get in on the Go Fish fun (and it was definitely fun), check the Fishing section of Lean's site Ladles and Jellyspoons for details about the next fishing trip.