Finger Lickin’ Good Fried Chicken Fest Comes to L.A.

Food GPS and Helen Springut host first Los Angeles Fried Chicken Fest

Ricardo Zarate of Picca and Mo-Chica is preparing crispy quinoa-crusted chicken for the Los Angeles Fried Chicken Fest.

Nine of Los Angeles’ top chefs are celebrating fried chicken with their interpretations of the comfort food at the Los Angeles Fried Chicken Fest at The Coop, to be held Sunday, Aug. 26.

Chefs, including James Beard semi-finalists Josef Centeno of Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá, David LeFevre of M.B. Post, and Ricardo Zarate of Picca and Mo-Chica, are preparing versions of fried chicken with Mary’s Free Range Chicken from Pitman Family Farms.

LeFevre is preparing a truffle-honey-laced fried chicken with kohlrabi slaw for the inaugural event, which will be hosted by Los Angeles-based website Food GPS and Helen Springut.

"I like our preparation because the truffle honey and crispy chicken play well off each other and the kohlrabi coleslaw cuts the richness of the chicken with its lime and cilantro," said LeFevre.

Ricardo Zarate is whipping up a dish of crispy quinoa-crusted chicken, roasted potato, and peanut sauce.

"My dish is an interpretation of taking two culture's traditional dishes and fusing them into one: American fried chicken and my personal interpretation of Peruvian rabbit and peanut stew," said Zarate, who is using chicken in this version, instead of rabbit. "Here, I've taken the chicken and coated it with crispy quinoa, fried it until golden brown, then served it with a delicious peanut sauce."

Other participating chefs include 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chef Bryant Ng of The Spice Table, who is preparing curry fried chicken with mashed potatoes and lamb gravy, and Top Chef Masters runner-up Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill, who is making aji amarillo fried chicken and heirloom bean salad.

"I love this multi-bean salad because it reminds me of summer. Based on a recipe my mom used to whip up, this one packs in six varietals of beautiful heirlooms," said Milliken. "I've always been a huge fan of the aji amarillo chile, which lends the right amount of heat to the crisp, juicy fried chicken."

Tickets are $45 per person through Aug. 19 and $55 per person thereafter. Ticket prices are all-inclusive and each ticket holder receives a piece of fried chicken and a side dish from each participating chef, including creations by James Beard Award-winner Matt Molina of Mozza, Sarintip "Jazz" Singsanong of Jitlada, and Top Chef runner-up Marcel Vigneron and Haru Kishi of The Coop.

The Los Angeles Fried Chicken Fest also includes bottomless cocktail punches from Josh Goldman of Mess Hall, featuring Knob Creek bourbon, rye, and single barrel, and El Tesoro Tequila, as well as endless craft beer from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Share Our Strength, a charitable organization whose goal is to end childhood hunger in America by 2015.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.