L.A. Times Celebration of Food & Wine: September 5, 2010

L.A. Times Wine & Food Festival at Paramount Pictures Studios | Photo credit to isayx3 on Flickr

It’s another culinary bazaar (we here in Los Angeles know how often these come around) but this time, it’s our city-wide flagship publication pulling out all the stops. It looks like the L.A. Times will live up to their name, too, because there are names to be had at this event held at on New York Street (yeah, pretty funny) in the backlot of Paramount Pictures.

Feelin’ a little indie with your wine? There will also be music, as She & Him are scheduled to headline the event with a full set. Angela McClusky will support.

Demonstrations will be taking place for your pleasure and education, as will panels by the following:

  • Michael Voltaggio – Winner, Top Chef Season 6
  • Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo – Animal Restaurant
  • Mark Peel –Campanile, The Tar Pit, Top Chef Masters Seasons 1 & 2
  • Suzanne Goin –AOC, Lucques, Tavern and The Hungry Cat
  • Jimmy Shaw -Loteria Grill
  • Ludo Lefebvre – LudoBites
  • Betty Fraser – Grub, Top Chef Season 2
  • Chris “C.J.” Jacobsen – The Yard, Top Chef Season 3
  • Alex Reznik – Ivan Kane’s Cafe Was, Top Chef Season 7
  • John Sedlar – Rivera
  • Barrie Lynn – The Cheese Impresario
  • Ricardo Zarate – Mo-chica
  • Russ Parsons – Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Noelle Carter – Manager, Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen
  • Rene Lynch – Assistant Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Jessica Gelt – Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times
  • Betty Hallock – Deputy Food Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Krista Simmons – Associate Editor, Brand X

And of course, high brow or not, it wouldn’t truly be a Los Angeles food event without food trucks present. Don Chow Tacos, Wahoo’s, The Sweets Truck, The Buttermilk Truck, DosaTruck, Coolhaus will all be there if you so prefer your food off a 4-wheeler.

Wine, sake and spirits from various vendors will help you wash down your bites. Blackheart Spiced Rum, Broc Cellars / Broadside Wines, Conway Family Wines, Dutcher Crossing Winery, Evan Williams Hong Reserve Bourbon, Flora Springs Winery & Vineyards, Gekkeikan Sake, Hook & Ladder Winery, Lunazul 100% Agave Tequila, Kook Soon Dang Beer, Michael David Winery, Rideau Vineyard, Sinatra Family Estates, and Venteux Vineyards will all be present during the event.

If you buy in advance, you’ll save $10. The best part is that general admission attendees also get to enjoy a good number of pours (8 to be exact) with their food. But if VIP is more your speed, you’ll get unlimited pours and in addition, you’ll get to taste bites from these participants. Benefiting from ticket sales are Share Our Strength and the Los Angeles Times Family Fund, so you can feel good that you’ve spent your day also supporting worthy causes.

Seems like a it’ll be a great debut. I’ll see you there.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

12 – 8 PM

$125 VIP Admission ($135 door)
$55 General Admission ($65 door)
$40 Concert Only, advance and door


L.A. Times Celebration of Food & Wine at
Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

The Dine LA Chef Roundtable

Joachim Splichal, Josiah Citrin, Karen Hatfield, Susan Feniger, Wolfgang Puck, Mark Peel

At Redcat in downtown on June 8, 2010, there will be a discussion on the Los Angeles food scene by none other than chefs most responsible for shaping the city that we all know and love to eat in, today. Observe the heavyweights wax poetic about their start in the industry, their proteges, and where exactly they think LA’s culinary landscape is headed, next. The panel will take place from 7 – 8 PM with a Q&A by the audience to follow.

What’s more, Starry Kitchen will cater the event afterwards with their delicious home-cooked Thai/Vietnamese-influenced food as chefs and guests mingle. This event is free but space is limited.

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

7PM – 9PM


REDCAT Theater
631 W. 2nd Street,
Los Angeles CA 90012



The Tar Pit Brings All Class, No Scuz

Gin Gin Mule
Gin Gin Mule

Mark Peel of Campanile and Audrey Saunders of Pegu NYC have teamed up to crash straight into the post-speakeasy era, and they’re dragging us with them. We’ve landed in the 40’s – after Prohibition, of course – and the beautiful Art Deco interior of The Tar Pit is our proof. Elegance and class ooze from the cushion of each booth lined up along the wall while live jazz gives the ambiance a cozy touch.

Photo courtesy of Caroline on Crack

Old American classics line the bar and dining menu while Saunders’ specially-created cocktail menu lands its place as the freshest compilation in town (for now). Probably the nicest breath of fresh air is the price point being $11 per cocktail – reinforcing the notion that you don’t have to bleed at the nose for a solid cocktail…and that you should stop paying $16 for a ordering the Grey Goose-Red Bull.

Once I absorbed my surroundings, I was relieved I’d worn a dress. Indeed, I wondered if the death of the speakeasy meant the birth of the unspoken, ante’d up dress code in LA. Who are we kidding these days? I took my mother, hailing from the midwest, to see Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat at The Pantages and she was shocked to see people wearing jeans to the theatre.

Another indication The Tar Pit aims to evolve the scene is the surprising lack of whiskey drinks on the menu – quite a departure from the other well-known mixology bars in town. You’ll find plenty of gin, however, with a dash of rum, tequila and vodka. Samples of most of their original cocktails were being passed around in coupe glasses on media night, which were perfect for sampling a little bit of everything (even sharing with fellow bloggers) while not getting absolutely trashed in the process.

Of the ones I did get to try, Cucumber-mint creole – made with gin, aquavit, sherry, muddled cucumbers & mint, fresh lemon juice – was a good, refreshing mainstay to have on the menu. The Gin gin mule, their classic gin and ginger beer cocktail, is seasoned with mint and garnished with a slice of lime and candied ginger – the latter of which is a wild card with me, actually.

Tied for my favorite cocktails, one of which actually wasn’t served en masse this particular night, were the Palm frond (lemon myrtle-infused gin, green chartreuse, muddled mint and simple syrup) and Jamaican firefly (dark rum, housemade ginger beer, fresh lime juice, simple syrup). The Palm frond comes with a reed of lemon grace through which you can enjoy your cocktail. Since I like darker spirits, I guess I preferred the Jamaican firefly just barely over the Gin gin mule – or more accurately, prefer dark rum with my ginger beer over gin.

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