I’ve just returned from an early afternoon at The Taste, the Los Angeles Times Festival of food and wine. I wanted to run home and put this post together to let you know that there is still time for you to get a taste of The Taste too. There are continuing events this afternoon, tonight, and all day (and into the night) tomorrow. Some tickets are still available online or at the door (possibly) at $85.00 per event while supplies last.
At first glance, the festival is centered around the “tastes” of food from some of Southern California’s best restaurants. The tastings are set up over several “blocks” of Paramount Studio’s famed backlot. Scarfing a bag of brisket-topped Frito “fries” pie (from Fred 62) while sitting on the (fake) stoop of a (fake) brownstone on a (fake) Brooklyn street is so deliciously LA. That experience alone is worth the price of admission and is enough to keep most of us quite satiated. However, for those willing to forage a little further you’ll find discussions on food issues and of course, cooking demonstrations from the best chefs in So Cal.
The Taste- Cooking Demonstrations
This afternoon’s event was titled “Field to Fork”. I’m sure you can figure that the emphasis was on local sustainable ingredients and restaurants that fly with that concept. It was hosted by Times Food Editor Russ Parsons and featured demonstrations from several well-known chefs, including Ari Taymor (pictured below) from downtown’s Alma (Bon Appetit’s best new restaurant in America). It may have been early in the day, but Sherry Yard from the soon to be resurgent Helms Bakery showed off her pastry magic and Providence’s Michael Cimarusti shared a few tricks with salmon. Of particular interest to me was a panel discussion on sustainable seafood.
I may be back home madly pecking this post out, but I have plans to return to The Taste tonight. Jonathan Gold will host the “Flavors of L.A.” with Sang Yoon of Lukshon, Father’s Office, and Helms Bakery. The cooking demonstrations lined up for tonight come from Josef Centeno of Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá, Bryant Ng of The Spice Table, and Brooke Williamson of Hudson House. Get ready for a panel discussion on pop-up restaurants too. Five years ago I’d never heard the term, now pop-ups are a scholarly pursuit. You gotta love LA and The Taste.
Sunday belongs to Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter who will lead a “family-friendly Labor Day Block Party”. She’ll be joined by Nancy Silverton of Mozza fame (and so much more). You’ll find me at a few cooking demos too. KCRW’s Evan Kleiman and DeLish’s Fred Eric are on the schedule, as is the crowd-pleasing Firehouse Cookoff led by columnist Steve Lopez.
By this point, I’m sure I’ll be stuffed, but The Taste will be in full swing. Sunday night features “Cocktail Confidential” hosted by Deputy Food Editor Betty Hallock, Destination Cocktail columnist Jessica Gelt and master mixologist Matthew Biancaniello. I won’t be missing this event. My new book Savory Cocktails (buy a copy here) just hit the shelves. The book features a drink from Matthew Biancaniello and I’m hoping to thank him in person for his participation. GREG