The Los Angeles Times announced the acclaimed co-hosts, diverse restaurants, unique demonstrations and thought-provoking panels planned for The Taste, its annual celebration of the Southern California culinary scene, to be held over Labor Day weekend on Paramount Pictures Studios backlot.
Chef Michael Fiorelli (Love & Salt), Master Bartender Vincenzo Marianella, Chef Gary Menes (Le Comptoir), Chef Carlos Salgado (Taco María) and Chef Corina Weibel (Canelé) join The Times’ Food staff as co-hosts of the festivities, which will feature five distinct events.
Attendees can expect to enjoy unlimited tastings from the region’s most renowned kitchens coupled with pours and sips that reflect the local cocktail and nightlife culture.
Chef-led cooking demonstrations will reveal the magic that goes into signature dishes, while a series of discussions led by Times Food staff will cover topics ranging from the time-honored use of fire to the Jonathan Gold-coined trend of Things in a Bowl.
The Taste will bring thousands of food lovers together for the city’s premier feast:
- Opening Night; Fri., Sept. 4th, 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
An intimate fete attended by The Times’ renowned Food staff, the festival co-hosts and participating chefs and bartenders will offer a curated selection of distinctive bites, premium cocktail and wine offerings and live entertainment.
Restaurants include BierBeisl Imbiss & Bakery, Chichen Itza Restaurant, Coni’Seafood, Horse Thief BBQ, Komodo, Sotto Restaurant and THEBlvd Beverly Wilshire.
- 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.
Los Angeles Times The Taste is produced in association with Best Events. Sponsors include The Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, Knob Creek, Hornitos Tequila, Stella Artois and Don Julio Tequila.
Opening Night tickets are $150. Tickets for each of the Saturday and Sunday events range from $100 to $125, and a $25 discount on individual tickets is available exclusively to Los Angeles Times subscribers.
Details and tickets: latimes.com/thetaste. Connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ TheTasteLA (#TasteLA).