What if we scheduled a food festival that starts with the chef of Bon Appetit's best new restaurant in America, Alma's Ari Taymor, and added the chef of Jonathan Gold's best restaurant in Southern California, Providence's Michael Cimarusti? What if we scheduled panels on sustainability and cooking classes and demonstrations on mixology? That's just what we've done at this year's Los Angeles Times festival of food and wine, The Taste, which once again will be held over Labor Day weekend at the Paramount Studios back lot.
Tickets for the events, each of which will feature complimentary tastings from dozens of restaurants, wineries and spirits brands, are $65 and are available online while supplies last. After Aug. 29, prices will go up to $85.
Cimarusti is co-hosting the festival's first themed session on Aug. 31, "Field to Fork," with Times Food Editor Russ Parsons. Taymor will start the morning with the first cooking demonstration. He'll be followed by pastry legend Sherry Yard, formerly of Spago and now with the soon-to-arrive Helms Bakery. Then Cimarusti is scheduled to cook, followed by Fig chef Ray Garcia. There will also be a panel discussion on sustainable seafood with Parsons, Cimarusti, Mary Smith from Santa Monica Seafood and Sheila Bowman from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
That evening, Gold will host the "Flavors of L.A." with Sang Yoon of Lukshon and Father's Office. In addition to Yoon, there will be demonstrations from Josef Centeno of Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá, Bryant Ng of the Spice Table and Brooke Williamson of Hudson House and Tripel. The panel discussion will be on the ins and outs of pop-up restaurants, with Craig Thornton from Wolvesmouth, Nguyen Tran from Starry Kitchen and Gary Menes from Le Comptoir.
Sunday will start with a family-friendly "Labor Day Block Party," hosted by Mozza's Nancy Silverton and Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter. Cooking demos will be led by KCRW's Evan Kleiman and DeLish's Fred Eric, with the championship of Times columnist Steve Lopez's Firehouse Cookoff thrown in. There's also a panel discussion on competition barbecue with Bigmista's Neil Strawder, the Rub Co.'s Ryan Chester and Lady of Q's Sylvia Curry.
The Taste will wrap up Sunday night with "Cocktail Confidential," hosted by Deputy Food Editor Betty Hallock, Destination Cocktail columnist Jessica Gelt and master mixologist Matthew Biancaniello. Acabar's Octavio Becerra, Rivera's John Sedlar, Hinoki & the Bird's Kuniko Yagi, and Ink's Michael Voltaggio will be cooking with cocktail input from Julian Cox, Brandyn Tepper and Gabriella Mlynarczyk. There will also be a craft cocktail demonstration by Biancaniello, Allumette's Serena Herrick, Lucques' Christiaan Rollich and 1886's Brady Weise.
Information: Visit The Taste event page online.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun