I love a good food festival and I’m happy to report that Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival is back after a very successful inaugural year last year. It will take place from August 9-12 at locations all across the city. If you’re not familiar with Los Angeles Food & Wine, it’s pretty much the Olympics for foodies, although it’s not a competition and everyone is a winner. I went to four of their events last year and had an amazing time and ate a lot of incredible food. Top chefs from all over the country, including Hubert Keller, Susur Lee, Michael Mina, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Chiarello, Graham Elliot and Kerry Heffernan, as well as many of the best chefs in Los Angeles, are participating this year.
Events range from grand tastings to special dinners at some of LA’s top restaurants to cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs such as Richard Blais and Michael and Bryan Voltaggio. There are around 40 events in all and include a decadent champagne and caviar tasting night at the Montage, an Asian night market hosted by Andrew Zimmern from the Travel Channel show “Bizarre Foods,” and an Italian food and wine celebration at LA Live hosted by Giada De Laurentiis. A portion of Los Angeles Food & Wine’s proceeds go to benefit a great cause, St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. Some events are already sold out. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
UPDATE: Los Angeles Food & Wine did not disappoint this year! I attended a couple events and had an amazing time. Highlights included meeting chefs Michael Chiarello, Susur Lee and Floyd Cardoz, as well as seeing some of my local favorites including Ricardo Zarate, Antonia Lafaso and Susan Feniger, and of course trying each of their dishes. My favorite savory dish was a Lobster Pig in a Blanket from new Downtown restaurant Towne. My favorite dessert was a Nutella Banana Panini with Bacon, Toffee and Espresso Nibs from Chef Hedy Goldsmith of Michael’s Genuine Food ‘n Drink in Miami. It was so good!
Wine-wise, the highlight was a wine tasting led by Delta Airlines Sommelier Andrea Robinson (who knew Delta had their own Sommelier?!), who introduced eight California wines which are part of the new Delta Winemaker Series. These specially selected wines, including a Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara-based Inception Wines and a Viognier from Miner Family Winery, will be available on flights between JFK and LAX, as well as JFK and SFO.