Sick of your friends asking, "What you doing for Labor Day Weekend?" and you saying, "Not sure..." and them saying, "Yeah me too. I was thinking maybe a quick Aruba jaunt. Not sure though. Maybe Crete."? Me three. So I did something about it. And you should follow suit.
For the fourth consecutive year I'll be spending my Labor Day Weekend on the Paramount lot at the LA food fest of all LA food fests: Los Angeles Times' THE TASTE (read and salivate over my delicious eats there last year here and here). Like always, there's a helluva lot of top-notch chefs, restaurants, bites and demos over the three day weekend - with a bulk of the action going down on Saturday and Sunday. Some U.E. faves will be on hand, including the likes of The Church Key, Love & Salt, Canele, Eggslut and Kye's.
The official deets are below. Get your tix at this website on the internet.
· Field to Fork – Hosted by Russ Parsons, Times Food Writer and Columnist, and Gary Menes, Chef/Owner of Le Comptoir; Sat., Sept. 5th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
California’s bounty of fresh produce inspires this homage to seasonal cooking, punctuated with engaging demos from Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Sherry Yard (Helm’s Bakery) and Niki Nakayama (n/naka). In addition to offering a glimpse into these locally-inspired perspectives, the event will feature a roundtable moderated by Parsons that examines the rise of the “root-to-stem” philosophy with Menes, Bruce Kalman (Union) and Ari Taymor (Alma). Restaurants include Hinoki & The Bird, Kye’s, M Café, Mayura Indian Cuisine, Michael’s on Naples and Westside Tavern, along with Choctal ice cream.
· Dinner with a Twist – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, Jenn Harris, Times Deputy Food Editor, Michael Fiorelli, Chef of Love & Salt, and Master Bartender Vincenzo Maríanella; Sat., Sept. 5th, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
The city’s boldest bites and cutting-edge libations come together in a celebration of pairings highlighted by demos from Love & Salt’s Fiorelli and Marianella; The Church Key’s Steven Fretz and Devon Espinosa; and Petit Trois’ Ludo Lefebvre. Belgian Chef Daniel Joly and Master Beer Sommelier Marc Stroobandt will be on hand for a food and beer pairing demo presented by Stella Artois, and Los Angeles’ innovative cocktail scene will shine in a group demo from Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza), Zach Patterson (Melrose Umbrella Co.) and Josh Goldman (Soigne Group). Restaurants include Aqui es Texcoco, Diablo Taco, Ensaymada Project, Estrella, Ford’s Filling Station, Rocio’s Mole de los Dioses and The Churchill.
· Sunday Brunch and BBQ – Hosted by Amy Scattergood, Times Food Editor, Noelle Carter, Times Test Kitchen Director, and Corina Weibel, Chef/Co-Owner of Canelé; Sun., Sept. 6th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Over-the-top eats from some of the city’s favorite brunch purveyors and pit masters will be served up in conjunction with demos by Carter, Weibel, Roy Choi (Kogi/A-Frame/POT) and Neil Strawder (Bigmista’s Barbecue). Scattergood will lead a discussion focused on the varied, innovative ways that fire is used in the kitchen with Quinn Hatfield (Odys + Penelope), Michael Kahikina (Barrel and Ashes) and Francisco Perez (Aqui es Texcoco). Restaurants include Canelé, Doomie’s Home Cookin’, POT, The Churchill and The Hudson, along with Diablo Pops.
· Flavors of L.A. – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, and Carlos Salgado, Chef of Taco María; Sun., Sept. 6th, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
The depth, breadth and diversity of flavor that make Los Angeles one of the most exciting places to dine are showcased in the closing-night celebration. Taco maestros Salgado and Wes Avila (Guerilla Tacos), along with critically-lauded chefs Curtis Stone (Maude) and Suzanne Tracht (Jar), will each choose a favorite dish to demo for festival-goers. Delving into the latest SoCal culinary phenomenon, Gold will discuss Things in a Bowl with Alvin Cailan (Ramen Champ/Eggslut), Christine Moore (Lincoln/Little Flower Candy Co.) and Minh Phan (Porridge + Puffs). Restaurants include Bar Pintxo, CHAYA, Gasolina Café, Joe’s Restaurant, Madcapra, Racion and Worldwide Tacos.