The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America: Los Angeles

The 10-city tour visited the City of Angles

Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese by Blue Circle Foods

On Friday, October 6, Vibiana, the 19th-century cathedral turned event space in downtown Los Angeles, was taken over by the national nonprofit culinary arts organization, the James Beard Foundation. The best local chefs in the LA dining scene joined forces for Taste America, the Foundation’s annual 10-city tour, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year.

The event kicked off with a tasting reception and silent auction. Reception tastings included local favorites Felix, Maude, Shibumi, and Kismet. Howlin’ Ray’s brought their famous chicken wings, which had guests waiting in line just like at their DTLA brick-and-mortar, where customers have waited up to three hours for a bite. National sponsors Blue Circle Foods, Kerrygold, Robert Mondavi Winery, and TABASCO® Brand also participated.

Following the reception and silent auction, the four-course seated dinner commenced with the first two courses created by All-Star and James Beard Award winner Barbara Lynch of Barbara Lynch Gruppo in Boston; the main course created by Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie and Ted’s in Los Angeles; and a dessert by Shannon Swindle of Craft Los Angeles. The live auction offered a wide selection of food and entertainment packages for the highest bidders.

All-Star Barbara Lynch and Michael Cimarusti of Providence

All-Star Barbara Lynch and Michael Cimarusti of Providence

All-Star Barbara Lynch and Michael Cimarusti of Providence 

The emcees, Food Network personalities Simon Majumdar (Cutthroat Kitchen) and Monti Carlo (Help My Yelp), graciously introduced the food and chefs, and helped contribute to the entertaining feel of the evening.

The event helped raise money for the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Scholarship Fund, so attendees were eating for a great cause.

The next day, the Foundation hosted free interactive cooking demonstrations and book signings at Sur La Table® with chefs Barbara Lynch and Michael Cimarusti, as well as delicious tastings from national sponsors and local artisans.


For more information on the James Beard Foundation and Taste America, check out its website.