I’ve lived my whole life here in Los Angeles, and it is a total privilege to be a native of this beautiful City of Angels. I have learned to take my first steps here and take great pride in being an Angelino. Yes, I root for the Dodgers. Yes, I love the fact that I can visit a snowy mountain top and a warm beach within the same day if I wish. Yes, I love that L.A. has one of the best food scenes in the United States. The history of my city is vast and amazing and I have learned about it through The Los Angeles Times as it occurred. This weekend my treasured Los Angeles Times will be hosting The Taste hailed as “The food and wine festival that is authentically L.A.” It will encapsulate the many food cultures that make up fine dining in this glorious melting pot of ours. My excitement expands past it’s snapping point to spend the Labor Day weekend (August 29 -31) in elastic stretch pants as I eat my way through the Taste.
My friend Average Betty and I got to preview a little bit of the Sunday Brunch hosted by Noelle Carter (LA Times Test Kitchen Director) at the actual Los Angeles Times test kitchen a few weeks ago. Noelle along with Russ Parsons (LA Times Food Editor And Columnist) hosted a gaggle of writers to some extraordinary eats as a little preview of what is to come. We noshed on chilaquiles from Mexican Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill, maple bacon cinnamon rolls (pictured above, recipe will run in the Los Angeles Times Food Section 8/30 Saturday) that Noelle made herself, and some of the most divine pastries (strawberry croissants) from Farmshop and almond brioche from Bouchon Bakery. Wowsers…. All I can say is if you don’t have tickets to this weekends event held at Paramount studios, I highly recommend you get on your computer this instant and buy a pass. The Taste will transform Paramount Pictures Studios’ backlot into the ultimate epicurean pop-up block party Friday, August 29th through Sunday, August 31st: Click here to purchase tickets. This food fest will be like no other and will really remind you what a food festival should be. Be ready for the most sublime flavors to pass your lips and take advantage of the fact that you can sample all the best restaurants of Los Angeles in one place at your disposal for a flat fee. It’s a great way to go down the list of where you must dine, and what you don’t need to desire afterall. I will be there with bells on and a big smile, cuz I know I’m in for a treat. See you there!
Check out the schedule below:
- Opening Night; Fri., Aug. 29th, 7:30 to 11:00 p.m.
The Times’ renowned Food staff, the festival’s co-hosts, and participating chefs and bartenders gather for a soiree with a focused collection of tastings, premium cocktail and wine offerings, and live entertainment. Restaurants include CAFÉ del REY, DeSano Pizza Bakery, Girasol, Guelaguetza, Hamasaku, Mexicali Taco & Co., Pedalers Fork, Phorage, Plan Check, Sotto, Sushi Roku, THE Blvd Restaurant, Waterloo & City.
- Field to Fork – Hosted by Russ Parsons, Times Food Editor, and Nancy Silverton, Chef/Co-Owner of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza; Sat., Aug. 30th, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Local flavors shine at this day defined by fresh, seasonal ingredients with demos from Silverton, Tal Ronnen (Crossroads), C.J. Jacobson (Girasol) and Bruce Kalman (Union). In addition to wine seminars that inspire the palate, the event will feature a roundtable about cooking with famers market finds moderated by Parsons with Roxana Jullapat (Cooks County), Josiah Citrin (Mélisse), Jessica Koslow (Sqirl) and Vincenzo Marianella (Copa d’Oro). Restaurants include BOA Steakhouse, Chichén Itzá, Eveleigh, Girasol, Lemonade, Lotería Grill, Lum-Ka-Naad Thai, Michaels on Naples, Napa Valley Grille, Palihouse Brasserie, Pono Burger, Tender Greens.
- Dinner with a Twist – Hosted by Betty Hallock, Times Deputy Food Editor, Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, John Sedlar, Chef/Owner of Rivera, and Master Bartender Julian Cox; Sat., Aug. 30th, 7:30 to 11:00 p.m.
LA’s formidable cocktail and culinary cultures collide with demos from chef & bartender duos including Sedlar & Cox, Ricardo Zarate & Deysi Alvarez (Mo-Chica, Picca, Paiché) and Michael Hung & Michael Lay (Faith & Flower). The collaborative spirit continues with a group demo featuring Alex Day & Devon Tarby (Honeycut, Proprietors LLC), Max Deaman & Mikki Kristola (The Varnish) and Naomi Schimek (The Spare Room). Restaurants include BierBeisl, Carnitas El Momo, Craig’s Restaurant, Grub, Public School on Tap, RivaBella, Sotto, The Churchill, The Misfit Restaurant + Bar, The Raymond.
- Sunday Brunch – Hosted by Noelle Carter, Times Test Kitchen Director, and Thomas Keller, Chef/Proprietor of The French Laundry and Bouchon; Sun., Aug. 31st, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Brunch gets its due at a family-friendly affair with demos from Carter, Karen Hatfield (The Sycamore Kitchen, Hatfield’s) and Casey Lane (The Tasting Kitchen). Russ Parsons will be on hand to discuss 20 years of The French Laundry with Chef Keller and Laundry alums Jeff Cerciello (Farmshop), David Breeden (The French Laundry) and Timothy Hollingsworth (Broad Museum Restaurant). Melissa Nicola (Nic’s Beverly Hills) will join Times columnist Steve Lopez to share edible creations from the students at CAKE (Culinary Arts Kids Eat). Restaurants include Del Rey Deli Co., Guelaguetza, Lotería Grill, Muddy Leek, my two cents, THE Blvd Restaurant, Wilshire Restaurant.
- Flavors of LA – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, and Michael Cimarusti, Chef/Owner of Providence, Chef/Partner of Connie and Ted’s; Sun., Aug. 31st, 7:30 to 11:00 p.m.
The closing night spotlights the city’s rich and varied tastes with demos from Cimarusti, Evan Kleiman (KCRW’s “Good Food”), Jimmy Shaw (Lotería Grill) and Amelia Posada (Lindy & Grundy). Exploring the art and science of foraging, Gold will talk found fare with chefs Ari Taymor (Alma) and Wes Avila (Guerrilla Tacos) and wild food expert Pascal Baudar. Culinary mixologist Tricia Carr will cap off the evening with a crushed cocktails how-to. Restaurants include Acabar, Ayara Thai Cuisine, Border Grill, Fishing with Dynamite, Horse Thief BBQ, Manhattan Beach Post, Meals by Genet, Mr. Chow, Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza, Phorage, Pine & Crane, Urban Garden.