On Sunday, September 5th, Satish and I went to the inaugural LA Times’ Celebration of Food & Wine event set on the Paramount Pictures studios in Hollywood, CA. A portion of the proceeds benefited Share Our Strength and the Los Angeles Times Family Fund. The event was sold out online and only a 100 tickets were available at the door. After waiting in three different lines, we were all checked-in, had our tasting tickets, and ID bracelets. There were sampling of wine and food throughout the day. Here are highlights of the full day of events:
With fellow blogger Aarti Sequeira , she is so sweet and funny!
The Food Network Garden, featured four out of seven trucks from “The Great Food Truck Race.”
The line for the Nom Nom Truck was outrageously long! Even though we really wanted to taste their famous Bahn Mi, it was too hot to stand in line for 1+ hours.
Nana Queens serving up their puddings and wings
Jazmina Banionis of Rajin' Cajun, also contestant truck on Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race
The Cooking Channel's own Ice-Cream was also present, serving flavors such as Salted Caramel on the sweltering day.
Crepes from Crepes Bonaparte- French crepes on the go!
Demonstrations and Panels included Question and Answer sessions with food bloggers, top chefs, celebrity chefs, and cooking demos.
A panel discussion with Top Chef Michael Voltaggio and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal Restaurant moderated by Betty Hallock.
Successful food bloggers, Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) and Aarti Sequeira (Aarti Paarti/Winner, The Next Food Network Star” Season 6) share their secrets and tips with an eager audience. Moderated by Rene Lynch (Assistant Food Editor, Los Angeles Times)
Farm to Table Cooking Demonstration featuring Suzanne Goin (AOC/Lucques/Tavern) – slow-roasted wild salmon with cornbread-poblano pudding and succotash salsa. The salmon is almost red because it's so fresh.
Aida Mollenkamp (“Ask Aida” on the Food Network/”Foodcrafters” on the Cooking Channel) gives a Cooking Demonstration – Flatbread with Crisp Bacon, Caramelized Onions, and Figs, Cardamom-Scented Pickled Fennel, Baked Ricotta Appetizer, and a Plum Blossom Cocktail.
Food Trucks and Tastings:
Buttermilk, a homemade gourmet breakfast truck bringing it to the streets. They are innovative and gooood!
Buttermilk's' Red Velvet Pancakes with Cream Cheese and Fried Donut- nothing is a tad bit healthy, but it was worth it!
a Dosa Truck roaming the streets of LA!
Chef DAS, contestant on the Next Food Network Star. He is so nice and doing good for the community.
We ended up giving our tickets away- it was way too hot to drink alcohol
The overall event was fun with plenty of demos and educational opportunities for foodies. I felt that I was at a fancier “Off the Grid”, with a little bit more hooray. It was great to see some of the celebrity chefs walking around the festival, taking pictures and talking to fans. However, they soon disappeared to their exclusive VIP section separated by a white picket fence. Once they crossed the fence, they were able to indulge in fancier food from restaurants like Lago and Mar’sel’s, where champagne and oysters were offered. On the other side of the white picket fence, the street food trucks lined up feeding the hungry masses “gourmet” food like banana bread pudding and tacos. There was no focus on sustainability or health at this festival. Very disappointingly most vendors were not using compostable serving ware and recycling bins were far too less. Next year, hopefully, LA Times will give more focus to these issues.
The white picket fence separating the VIPs from the regular ticket holders.
LA Times Food and Wine Celebration