What’s Cooking at The Taste This Weekend?

Michael Voltaggio & Co. Cooking Demo at The Taste of Beverly Hills, 2010

Hello, Labor Day Weekend!

So many events, so little time. So many events within events, as well. Such as with The Taste, which has been revamped since last year’s The Taste of Beverly Hills 3-day event ran concurrent with L.A. Times’ own cooking, food truck and tasting debut.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, as they say. And so the 4-day, 3-location extravaganza, a collaboration between L.A. Times and Food & Wine, begins today. Through Monday, nine 3- and 4-hour events will span The Beverly Hills Hilton, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood’s Paramount Studios and a block of Downtown Los Angeles.

So, which The Taste sessions will I be attending? If I weren’t hampered by a LudoBites 7.0 reservation tonight and FYF Fest (to see friends OFF! and others) tomorrow, I would pick these:

Burgers & Beer (Tonight/Friday, 7 – 10 PM)

With quality restaurant participants like Rustic Canyon, Blue Palms Brewhouse, Osteria La Buca, The Spice Table, City Tavern, The Gorbals and Westside Tavern – it’s a lineup that easily coaxes me out of my burger-hype-averse funk. With The Beer Chicks curating the beer list at this event, it’s a definite shoe-in. Check the full participant list, which also includes breweries.

Secrets From The Kitchen & Cellar (Saturday, 11 AM – 3 PM)

This is the session with intriguing demos, sure-to-be entertaining panels and top-notch restaurants all bundled in one. Get the inside take on Ludo and Krissy Lefebvre’s LudoBites operation and the first season of Ludo Bites America. Listen to Jonathan Gold, Michael Voltaggio, Craig Thornton (Wolvesmouth) and Walter Manzke talk about the industry in the age of tweeting. Learn insider tips on farmers’ markets from Russ Parsons. The cooking demos by Celestino Drago and Scarpetta’s Scott Conant are sure to be educational and interesting.

…And, while you’re at it, sneak some bites and sips in from my personal favorites of the session: Black Market, Ray’s and Stark Bar, Chaya, Craft, Cafe del Rey, Locanda del Lago, Osteria La Buca, Scarpetta, Sotto and Wood & Vine.

Taco Tryst (Saturday, 7 – 10 PM)

Need I say more? Nouveau and O.G. tacos collide, here. Yes, the Kogi King, Roy Choi, will be host on this night. But the real tastes I’d look forward to are brought to you by Antojitos Carmen, Guelaguetza, Loteria Grill, Mariscos Chentes and Yamashiro.

Street Eats (Sunday, 4 – 8 PM)

The panel led by Betty Hallock will be the main event for this session as she leads Roy Choi, Sang Yoon (Father’s Office, Lukshon), Jet Tila (Wazuzu) and Mario Alberto (Chimu) through a discussion about Los Angeles as a (the best) food city.

While you’re there, don’t miss bites from Akasha, Cast Iron Gourmet, Coolhaus, Jitlada, Osteria La Buca, Pitfire, STREET, The Foundry on Melrose and The Grilled Cheese Truck.

Desserts After Dark (Sunday, 8 – 11 PM)

This is pretty self-explanatory, and though it may be after dark, I’m thinking that dessert on Sunday may also be my dinner. Look for sweet treats from the brand-new Fonuts by Waylynn Lucas, Craft, Farmshop, Oliverio, Pazzo Gelato, Simplethings and Sweet Rose Creamery.

***

I wish I had time to list all the wines and spirits that are also participating, but you’ll have to see the individual event pages for those. Don’t forget the 40% off code (WEB) when you buy your tickets. The all-inclusive price of $125 and $150 gets knocked down to $75 and $90.

Have fun this weekend, whatever you do. Enjoy the long one, and see you on the flipside.

The Taste: Friday – Monday, September 2 – 5, 2011

Tickets

40% off code: WEB

9900 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Paramount Pictures
5555 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Broadway Blvd.
Between 8th and 9th
Los Angeles, CA

Picks For Fashion’s Night Out Los Angeles

Studio Beauty Mix, Fred Segal Melrose

Tonight’s the night! Exactly a year ago I was in New York during Fashion Week and had an absolute blast during the first ever Fashion’s Night Out. Goodie bags, champagne, cocktails, discounts, free make-overs, cupcakes – you name it. But we’re doing our best here, in LA, so I thought I’d highlight the events going on around town that I would want to hit up.

For the complete listing, just head on over to the Official LA FNO site, which groups the retailers by neighborhood. You can also check out Mondette’s run-down, which expertly and succinctly lists what each store is doing for tonight’s special occasion. The @FNOlosangeles and @FashionWeekLA twitter accounts are also great resources. And while you’re out there on the town, don’t forget to bring your appetite because the food trucks will certainly be out in full force.

I’ll be elsewhere tonight but if I were to make a night out of succumbing my wallet to temptation (and a portal to get me all over town in a jiff), I’d go here:

Custo Barcelona, Beverly Center

  • Free Custo Jelly Bag with $50 purchase. I love Custo’s vibrant designs and mix of fabrics and patterns. Not for gals who are most comfortable with the little black dress.

A Ferris Wheel and surrounding shops, Rodeo Drive

  • I’ve never seen a ferris wheel on Rodeo Drive, so maybe this is just a cheap thrill. Still, Rodeo’s the perfect place to be a tourist in my own city since the price points at many of these shops boutiques shoot my moon. A girl can dream…and canoodle.

Paige Denim on Robertson Blvd.

  • I love Paige Jeans. The store in LA will be giving away a prize every hour on the hour starting 7 PM. If you buy a pair of jeans, you’ll get a Carasoin Spa gift. Refreshments and bites will be served.

The Dandy Warhols play Fred Segal, 8100 Melrose

  • I can’t really argue with putting music in the mix, especially on an occasion celebrating fashion. The Portland alt rock band will be playing a live set. And while you’re there…

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