LA Times The Taste 2015

The Taste

You don’t want to miss one of the best. if not the best foodie events of the year. I speak with experience, this event has never disappointed.   It has a block party feel as you walk down those imaginary streets of the Paramount Studio Lots.  Every scheduled event time has a different feel.  The Saturday day event always has the anticipation of kick off.  Saturday night, OMG I love this (See Video).  I’m from Brooklyn, NY so when you’ve got a DJ mixing on the fire escape while fumes filled with different aromas of street foods ascend in the air then been you’ve been transported to New York as only Hollywood can do make believe. Picture brownstones and the multi-cultural foods everywhere.  The Day events have more of a family feel especially Sunday; however, Sunday niight is probably my least favorite.  It is like closing time at a bar when you get a sense that the party is over.  But if this is your only chance to escape to the event then by all means just go.  The perk is Sunday evening tends to be the least crowded which means shorter lines.  – by Crystal A. Johnson

Sitting curbside on the paramount lot at the Saturday night event.


Field to Fork – Hosted by Russ Parsons, Times Food Writer and Columnist, and Gary Menes, Chef/Owner of Le Comptoir; Sat., Sept. 5th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

California’s bounty of fresh produce inspires this homage to seasonal cooking, punctuated with engaging demos from Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Sherry Yard (Helm’s Bakery) and Niki Nakayama (n/naka). In addition to offering a glimpse into these locally-inspired perspectives, the event will feature a roundtable moderated by Parsons that examines the rise of the “root-to-stem” philosophy with Menes, Bruce Kalman (Union) and Ari Taymor (Alma). Restaurants include Hinoki & The Bird, Kye’s, M Café, Mayura Indian Cuisine, Michael’s on Naples and Westside Tavern, along with Choctal ice cream.

Dinner with a Twist – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, Jenn Harris, Times Deputy Food Editor, Michael Fiorelli, Chef of Love & Salt, and Master Bartender Vincenzo Maríanella; Sat., Sept. 5th, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

The city’s boldest bites and cutting-edge libations come together in a celebration of pairings highlighted by demos from Love & Salt’s Fiorelli and Marianella;  The Church Key’s Steven Fretz and Devon Espinosa; and Petit Trois’ Ludo Lefebvre. Belgian Chef Daniel Joly and Master Beer Sommelier Marc Stroobandt will be on hand for a food and beer pairing demo

Vietnamese Soup

presented by Stella Artois, and Los Angeles’ innovative cocktail scene will shine in a group demo from Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza), Zach Patterson (Melrose Umbrella Co.) and Josh Goldman (Soigne Group). Restaurants include Aqui es Texcoco, Diablo Taco, Ensaymada Project, Estrella, Ford’s Filling Station, Rocio’s Mole de los Dioses and The Churchill.


Sunday Brunch and BBQ – Hosted by Amy Scattergood, Times Food Editor, Noelle Carter, Times Test Kitchen Director, and Corina Weibel, Chef/Co-Owner of Canelé; Sun., Sept. 6th, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Over-the-top eats from some of the city’s favorite brunch purveyors and pit masters will be served up in conjunction with demos by Carter, Weibel, Roy Choi (Kogi/A-Frame/POT) and Neil Strawder (Bigmista’s Barbecue). Scattergood will lead a discussion focused on the varied, innovative ways that fire is used in the kitchen with Quinn Hatfield (Odys + Penelope), Michael Kahikina (Barrel and Ashes) and Francisco Perez (Aqui es Texcoco). Restaurants include Canelé, Doomie’s Home Cookin’, POT, The Churchill and The Hudson, along with Diablo Pops.

Flavors of L.A. – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, and Carlos Salgado, Chef of Taco María; Sun., Sept. 6th, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.

The depth, breadth and diversity of flavor that make Los Angeles one of the most exciting places to dine are showcased in the closing-night celebration. Taco maestros Salgado and Wes Avila (Guerilla Tacos), along with critically-lauded chefs Curtis Stone (Maude) and Suzanne Tracht (Jar), will each choose a favorite dish to demo for festival-goers. Delving into the latest SoCal culinary phenomenon, Gold will discuss Things in a Bowl with Alvin Cailan (Ramen Champ/Eggslut), Christine Moore (Lincoln/Little Flower Candy Co.) and Minh Phan (Porridge + Puffs). Restaurants include Bar Pintxo, CHAYA, Gasolina Café, Joe’s Restaurant, Madcapra,Racion and Worldwide Tacos.


The Evolution of Taste of Mexico in Los Angeles


Now in it’s 4th year, the Taste of Mexico festival has expanded not only in size but become a day and night event.  This year was the launch of the Farmer’s Market Picnic.  People brought their blankets and relaxed under umbrellas.  If you have never been attended then look for unlimited food and drink sampling.  The night time event uses twice as much room as day but with the successful launch of the day maybe it will be bigger next year.

Photo by Multi Cultural Cooking Network

Photo by Multi Cultural Cooking Network

I love this event but having gone since the first year it does seem that a bit of the vision has been comprised “to show that Mexico cuisine is more than tacos.”  Now with multiple restaurants involved rather than the founding four (La Casita Mexicana, Frida, La Monarca and Guelaguetza), the shift has gone tacos.   High volumes of people require quick and easy food to sample.  The size of this event has easily quadrupled in four years.  And even though, there is a plethora of tacos being offered,  in many cases chefs are raising the bar on what is a taco.   There are unique offerings like quail, octupus and more.  Historically, La Monarca normally takes center stage as the providers of desserts; however, his year they made room for Compañía de Café.    Media sources like the LA Times and more are raving about this new establishment.  Now contributor Dave Miller(Dave Miller’s Mexico blog) and I disagreed on our thoughts in relation to this cafe and its offerings.  Dave is more traditional and authentic whereas I appreciated and enjoyed the fusion like Mole poundcake.  Hibicusus coffee and tamarind coffee drinks.   See MCCN Interview Below.

And of course there was Tequila.  See our interviews with Tequila Centenario and with Amor y Tacos.

LosAngeles Times The TasteLA by Night

Photo by Crystal Johnson- Multi Cultural Cooking Network

MCCN has been covering Los Angles Times Taste event for years and not one time had we ever attended the evening event portion…our mistake.  If you are looking for a party revolving around fine and innovative food then the The Taste Los Angeles is the event for you.  LA’s best restaurants were showing off with incredible fusions and traditional cultural cuisines.  On Saturday night there is definitely a block party atmosphere set on the Paramount lot completely with dj’s.   People were dressed to impressed and having a really good time.  Sunday night, the pace slows down but the flavors don’t.  Many attendees mentioned how they appreciate the being held during cooler temperatures.   Whether folks attends by day or night, they can enjoy culinary trip all set on Paramount’s Studio mock street scene.

Octopus tacos

Octopus Taco by Chichen Itza

Your tongue will travel around the world with a taste of Mexico,  Vietnam, Japan, American southern barbecue and more.  One of the impressive menu items was the Octopus Taco with Calamari ink served up by Chichen Itza.  Chaya served up King Crab with cauliflower and panna cotte. 9021Pho served a delicious curry chicken soup.

Five star dessert offerings came from the Ensaymayda Project,  B Sweet and Sprinkles.  Filipino Ensaymada is a soft, sweet bread smothered with a mixture of sugar and butter icing and generously topped with shredded cheese. What the Ensaymada Project offers in addition the classic ensaymada is a twist on cupcakes like Red Velvet.  The owner would describe it as,  moist brioche swirled with red goodness, slathered with a smooth frosting and finished off with red velvet cake crumbs creates a medley of textures. ”  See our interview with owner/culinary creator Charli Heredia-Reyes about the Green Tea Red Bean Ensaymada.  Then there is nothing more comfort food than bread pudding and B sweet brings fun and innovate spins to bread pudding with flavors such as Red Velvet, glazed donut and chocolate banana bread pudding.   B Sweet has a dessert bar, food trucks and bread pudding flavored ice creams sold in stores.  Sprinkles had many offering of their famous cupcakes.  MCCN staffers enjoyed the S’more cupcake with a chocolate cake topped with slightly roasted marshmallow.

The most interesting drink we had was the Veruca Salt which consisted of housemade celery drink, 209 Gin and a smoked sea salt lined rim of the glass imparting a unique twist to the flavor.

MCCN Goes Inside the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival 2014

Happy diners enjoying mussels with a green curry coconut milk sauce and Wine at the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival

Honestly, the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival is one of the best events a foodie, a chef or restauranter could hope. .  Food beyond compare, great wine, and you are driven in a Lexus from festival venue to venue. Fun, Fun, Fun.

The Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival is the Cinderella belle of the ball of foodie events. Expect celebrity chefs and chefs from some of the very best restaurants.   Menu items included octupus paired with eggplant, wonton wrapper taco shells filled carne asada, and savory corn panna cotta topped with bacon and black truffle salad to name a few. 

Malibu Pier Restaurant Chef Jason Fullilove does the finishing touches to his California Sea Bass Crudo

Malibu Pier Restaurant Chef Jason Fullilove does the finishing touches to his California Sea Bass Crudo

We can’t forget the wine. Among the wineries there were Landmark Vineyard, Blackbird Vineyard and many more.  There seemed to be a lot of red wine and surprisingly a lot of Rosé.  Many wine snobs snub their nose to Rosé but is a great   summer drink.  If you were looking for a good cocktail Celebrity Cruise Lines provided their signature cocktails to sample.  

Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival is the all-star show and party of food.  

See Photo Gallery on Multiculturalcookingnetwork FB Page

Written by Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor

Los Angeles Times The Taste – A Labor Day Weekend Must Do

If the Los Angeles Times Taste event is not on your radar then please tune in.  It is a great annual labor weekend to do list event featuring the finest restaurants in So Cal.  There are also many wineries represented, beers and lots of cocktails Cooking demoflowing.  There are cooking demonstrations too!

Folks battled the heat to enjoy the event by day and others attend the night time sessions.I have been attending the event for years and I strongly recommend it.  I admit I have only gone in the day but this year I am going to check out the night time scene.  The event takes place on the Paramount Lot with vendor along the made for Hollywood movie streets.

Los Angeles Times Members save $25.  

Click Here for Schedule and Ticket Pricing


by Crystal A. Johnson

MulticulturcookingNetwork, Editor

Los Angeles Taste of Soul 2011

Ribs, fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, fried catfish, cobler…are you in heaven? Nah, but the food is going to be out of this world at the 6th Annual Taste of Soul happening Saturday, October 15th from 10am-6pm. So it might just be a good idea for you to satisfy that soul-food craving soul with some of the best cookin’ this side of heaven.  READ MORE