Friday, August 19, 2011

Battle of the fall food fests: Will you go to the Taste or Los Angeles Food & Wine?

Todd English hosts Los Angeles Food and Wine's bowling night

Are food festivals the new film festivals? Los Angeles only recently started to see multi-day food festivals; last year, the L.A. Times' first Taste festival was held on the same weekend as the Beverly Hills Celebration of Food and Wine. This year, the Taste has vastly expanded to a four-day multi-venue festival over Labor Day weekend, while the founders of the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival are also plotting four days for Los Angeles Food and Wine from October 13-16 at various venues including L.A. Live. It all sounds like good fun, but the prices are somewhat outrageous. These are festivals strictly for a well-heeled crowd who might be getting their first exposure to "street eats" while safely ensconced on the Paramount lot.

Here's a brief guide to help choose if one or both is the way to go:

L.A. Times' the Taste:
Selected food celebs: Giada de Laurentiis, Aida Mollencamp, Marcela Valladolid
Local luminaries: Ludovic Lefevbre, Susan Feniger, Roy Choi, Michael Voltaggio, Sang Yoon, John Sedlar
Always fun to see: Julian Cox, the Beer Chicks, Jet Tila
Coolest events: The Art of Mixing at Paramount, $125; Taco Tequila Tryst at Paramount, $125
Food Noir, Downtown, $125
There's an app for that: The Taste app available for iphones.
Charity tie-in: Orgs that benefit include Share our Strength, Los Angeles Conservancy, L.A. Times Family Fund

Los Angeles Food and Wine:
Selected food celebs: Tom Colicchio, Rick Bayless, Daniel Boulud, Paul Prudhomme, Todd English, Tyler Florence, Bradley Ogden, Charles Phan
Local luminaries: Nancy Silverton, John Sedlar, Roy Choi, Sang Yoon, Michael Cimarusti, Josiah Citrin, Ben Ford, Walter Manzke, Joe Miller, Suzanne Tracht
Coolest events: Brew B'Que on the Santa Monica Pier, $95; Pins, Pigs 'n Pinot at Lucky Strike with Todd English, $125; California Clambake with Tom Colicchio, $350.
Too late: Already sold out are the $2,000 founders dinner, lunches at Cut and Patina, and Rick Bayless on the Magic of Mexican Cuisine.
Charity tie-in: Wolfgang Puck's Sunday Brunch ($500) benefits St. Vincent's Meal on Wheels

1 comment:

Flea said...

It seems every event is over $100, is this true? The events sound compelling, but I'm not sure I'd want to hang out with this "rich-only" crowd.