Southern California’s biggest Labor Day food event is getting ready to pop. The Taste will command center stage at Hollywood’s Paramount Pictures studio backlot for three gluttonous days (September 4-6) to serve up the best of the Los Angeles’ food scene with tastings, panels and demonstrations.
Over the long weekend, the Los Angeles Times food staff will co-host five unique ticketed events with Chef Michael Fiorelli (Love & Salt), Master Bartender Vincenzo Marianella, Chef Gary Menes (Le Comptoir), Chef Carlos Salgado (Taco María) and Chef Corina Weibel (Canelé). The schedule is as diverse as the restaurants, chefs, and cuisines spotlighted, starting with an intimate opening night party. The shindig will have live entertainment, cocktail and wine on offer, and a selection of bites from BierBeisl Imbiss & Bakery, Chichen Itza Restaurant, Coni’Seafood, Horse Thief BBQ, Komodo, Sotto Restaurant, and The Blvd Beverly Wilshire.
On Saturday, California’s harvests will be the focus of “Field to Fork,” hosted by Russ Parsons (LA Times Food Writer) and Gary Menes (Chef-Owner of Le Comptoir). Guests will drool over cooking demos from Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Sherry Yard (Helm’s Bakery) and Niki Nakayama (n/naka), and then enjoy a roundtable chat examining the rise of the “root-to-stem” movement with Menes, Bruce Kalman (Union) and Ari Taymor (Alma). Restaurants serving include Hinoki & The Bird, Kye’s, M Café, Mayura Indian Cuisine, Michael’s on Naples and Westside Tavern—plus Choctal ice cream.
That night “Dinner with a Twist” will be hosted by Jonathan Gold (LA Times Restaurant Critic), Jenn Harris (LA Times Deputy Food Editor), Michael Fiorelli (Chef of Love & Salt), and mixologist Maríanella. Forget wine pairings, this crew gets it right by mating cocktails and beer with food via demos from Love & Salt’s Fiorelli and Marianella; The Church Key’s Steven Fretz and Devon Espinosa; Petit Trois’ Ludo Lefebvre; Belgian Chef Daniel Joly and Master Beer Sommelier Marc Stroobandt. Guests will also witness a group cocktail presentation from Guelaguetza, Melrose Umbrella Co. and Soigne Group. Finish the night with bites from restaurants Aqui es Texcoco, Diablo Taco, Ensaymada Project, Estrella, Ford’s Filling Station, Rocio’s Mole de los Dioses and The Churchill.
And holy frijoles, the following morning kicks off with the “Sunday Brunch and BBQ,” hosted by LA Times Food Editor Amy Scattergood, Noelle Carter (LA Times Test Kitchen Director) and Corina Weibel (Chef/Co-Owner of Canelé). The crew will serve grub from some of the city’s brunch-iest chefs and pit masters, paired with demos by guests including Roy Choi (Kogi/A-Frame/POT) and Neil Strawder (Bigmista’s Barbecue). A hot discussion on fire in the kitchen will flare up between Quinn Hatfield (Odys + Penelope), Michael Kahikina (Barrel and Ashes) and Francisco Perez (Aqui es Texcoco).
Opening Night tickets are $150, while tickets for each of the Saturday and Sunday events range from $100 to $125.