Like any other Labor Day in Southern California, there will be hundreds of events going on with more to do than can be done. There’s one thing that must be on your calendar, though: THE TASTE presented by The Los Angeles Times.
THE TASTE is a series of five events taking place over the long holiday weekend. All events include unlimited samples of food and drinks from local restaurants and well known chefs. The five events are:
- Field to Fork – Saturday, 9/2 • 11 am- 3 pm (21 and over) – Times Food Editor Russ Parsons and Chef Ray Garcia of FIG hosts an event inspired by fresh, local ingredients and the pleasure of cooking seasonal dishes. (MB Post)
- Cocktail Confidential – Saturday, 9/2 • 8 – 11 pm (21 and over) – Bartenders take center stage as we raise a glass to the simple joy of fine mixed drinks in the company of friends.
- Flavors of L.A. – Sunday, 9/2 • 11 am – 3 pm (21 and over) – Times Restaurant Critic Jonathan Gold and chef, author and host of KCRW’s “Good Food” Evan Kleinman host a day full of international authentic dishes– via Los Angeles’ best restaurants.
- Dinner & Drinks – Sunday, 9/2 • 8 – 11 pm (21 and over) – Times Deputy Food Editor Betty Hallock and “The Beer Chicks”, Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune, host an evening of inspired conversations and pairings of signature dishes with artisanal brews, custom cocktails and wine.
- Labor Day Picnic, Presented By Target – Monday, 9/3 • 11 am – 3 pm. (All ages) – Times Test Kitchen Director Noelle Carter and baker/restaurateur Zoe Nathan of Milo & Olive and Huckleberry host a Labor Day celebration designed to bring the whole family together to put honor the sandwich – from ice cream to burgers to tacos to bánh mì.
Along with the cuisine, there are events inside the event, including cooking demonstrations and seminars.
I was fortunate enough to attend a few of the events last year. Not only was each session very well put together, but the variety of food and beverages available was top notch. This year looks to be no different.
Here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect.
Last year, all of Los Angeles was the setting for THE TASTE, from Beverly Hills to Downtown. This time around, all events will take place at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. The spacious lots at this working studio will provide plenty of room for vendors and participants alike.
The list of restaurants participating in THE TASTE is a laundry list of the upper echelon of dining in Los Angeles. Be sure to check out the complete list as well as the list for each day to make sure you find your favorite.
Not be be outdone by the foods being served, the beverages and their purveyors shine at THE TASTE in their own light. Each event features many different wines and liquors along with the crafty mixologists that serve them. Heck, the beverages even get their own event: Cocktail Confidential.
One of my favorite rums, Goslings, is in the line up for Cocktail Confidential. I certain they’ll be serving their signature cocktail the Dark ‘n Stormy, a blend of their black rum and very own ginger beer.
Also, be sure to track down Strand Brewing at the Sunday night event, Dinner & Drinks. They’ll be there representing the South Bay and serving their premium, handcrafted ales. Made right here in Torrance!
Plenty of LA’s foodie elite will be present at THE TASTE including The Times’ Jonathan Gold and KCRW’s Evan Kleiman who are hosting the Flavors of LA event on Sunday. Many more well known chefs, writes, and TV personalities are sure to be on hand as well.
At last year’s event, we ran into some of our favorite chefs. One of the coolest encounters had to be chatting with Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ fame and his new joint, A-Frame. Food Network was well represented with Melissa D’Arabian and Arti Sequeira both present at the picnic. Nicole met up with Food Network chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Claire Robinson. Also from the Food Network, Debi Mazar demonstrated one of her recipes. Who will show up this year!?
The Bottom Line
Entry into each of the events is $65 in advance and $75 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online through the LA Times’ website.
One thing to note is that all events are limited to ages 21 and up with the exception of the Labor Day picnic. As a concession for forcing attendees to get sitters for the previous nights, kids 12 and under can attend the Labor Day picnic for free with a paid adult. Last year’s picnic was especially kid friendly with arts and crafts just for them along with plenty of burgers, pizza, and Target’s snazzy lemonade stand.
For complete information on all of the events taking place during THE TASTE, check out the LA Times website.
Los Angeles Times’ THE TASTE, Labor Day Weekend 2012