The Los Angeles Times today announced the lineup for The Taste, its annual festival celebrating the flavors of the world in Southern California style. Hosted by The Times' Food staff and acclaimed L.A. chefs and bartenders, The Taste will transform Paramount Pictures Studios into the ultimate epicurean pop-up and block party over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1-3). Admission to each of the five events includes unlimited tastings from the city's best kitchens and a variety of wine, beer and seasonal cocktails:
- Opening Night; Fri., Sept. 1, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
The Taste's most intimate soiree features a focused collection of tastings, distinctive cocktail and wine offerings, and a chance to party on the backlot with The Times' hosts and the weekend's participating chefs and mixologists. Restaurants include Baran's 2239, Bourbon Steak, Chinese Laundry, Crying Tiger, Fat Dragon, Friends & Family, Georgie, Hatchet Hall, Lao Tao, Little Fatty, Mainland Poke, Scratch Bar & Kitchen, Side Chick, Simone, Tabula Rasa Bar and Tar & Roses.
- Field to Fork – Hosted by Amy Scattergood, Times Food Editor, and Sang Yoon, Chef/Owner of Father’s Office and Lukshon; Sat., Sept. 2, noon to 3 p.m.
Inspired by Southern California's agricultural roots and DIY attitude, Yoon and Miles Thompson (Michael's) will each share their farmers market savvy through individual cooking demos using their favorite bright and flavorful ingredients. Scattergood will lead a discussion about the importance of farms and eating local with Romeo Coleman (Coleman Family Farms), Alex Weiser (Weiser Family Farms) and Wes Whitsell (Manuela). Restaurants include Aqui es Texcoco, Banh Oui, Cento Pasta Bar, Coni'Seafood, Cruciferous, M Café, Maury's Bagels, McConnell's Fine Ice Creams, Robert's Catering Service and VCHOS Pupuseria Moderna.
- Dinner with a Twist – Hosted by
Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, Jenn Harris, Times Deputy Food Editor, Antonia Lofaso, Chef/Owner of Scopa Italian Roots and Black Market Liquor Bar, and Marco A. Ramos, Mixologist at Scopa Italian Roots; Sat., Sept. 2, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
L.A.'s dining and cocktail culture takes the stage with a chef-bartender demo by Lofaso and Ramos, and by Allan Katz and Jonathan Whitener (Here's Looking At You). Breana Jackson (Sugar & Spice: Baked by Bre), Danielle Bennett (Lady on the Rocks), Derrick Lewis (Not Your Mama's Kitchen) and Chef E Dubble (E Dubble Catering/Grilled Fraiche) will celebrate urban gastronomy with a collaborative showcase of their signature concoctions, and Meredith Hayman (Michael's), Gabriella Mlynarczyk (Accomplice Bar) and Brynn Smith (Sotto) will shake it up with a group demo. Restaurants include Barrel & Ashes, Beauty & Essex, Black Market Liquor Bar, Faith & Flower, Mayura Indian Restaurant, Pedalers Fork, Scopa Italian Roots, Szechuan Impression, The Bellwether, The Ponte and Wolf.
- Sunday Block Party – Hosted by Noelle Carter, Times Test Kitchen Director, and Sherry Yard, Chef/Owner of Tuck Room Tavern; Sun., Sept. 3, noon to 3 p.m.
Great food and good times are the order of the day at the block party on the backlot, where Yard will demystify pastry-baking for home cooks and David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach Post) will give a master class on making biscuits. Carter will host a talk with Chris Phelps (Salt's Cure) about what it means to brunch at some of the most innovative spots around town, with additional panelists to be announced. Restaurants include Cheezus, Cocobella Creamery, E.A.K. Ramen, Hotville Chicken & Chops, Hummus Yummy Food Truck, MessHall, Otium, Rosaliné, The Butcher's Daughter and Tuck Room Tavern.
- Flavors of L.A. – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, and Gilberto Cetina Jr., Chef/Owner of Chichen Itza and Holbox; Sun., Sept. 3, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Closing night of The Taste embraces the depth and diversity of flavors that make Los Angeles one of the most exciting places to dine through demos by Cetina, Wes Avila (Guerrilla Tacos) and the team behind Badmaash: Pawan, Nakul and Arjun Mahendro. Gold will explore Korean barbecue with masters of the grill: Jenee Kim (Park's Barbeque) and Chris Oh (Seoul Sausage Co.). Restaurants include Chichen Itza, Frankland's Crab & Co., Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken, Holbox, Luv2eat Thai Bistro, Meals by Genet, Pasta Sisters, Revolutionario North African Tacos, Same Same and Worldwide Tacos.