Your food festival update: Who’s coming to the Taste

Guests roam the Paramount Studios backlot during the Dinner With a Twist evening of the Los Angeles Times' Taste event last year.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

Because it’s never too early to plan what you’re having for dinner — or, in this case, eating over the course of a long weekend on the backlot of Paramount Studios. Call it an extended pop-up, a block party, a curated cocktail mixer or just a place to get together and Instagram food all day before heading to Amoeba or a night of negronis and 3 a.m. taco trucks.

The Taste, the Los Angeles Times’ annual celebration of Southern California’s culinary scene, takes place over Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4, and draws together not only a lot of hungry Angelenos, but some of this town’s best restaurants, chefs and bartenders. Here’s a list of who’s coming:

OPENING NIGHT — Friday, Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

This is the opening night party, attended by Times food staff plus many of the weekend’s hosts and participants. Restaurants include Badmaash, Little Pine, Love & Salt, Manhattan Beach Post, Son of a Gun and Sweetfin Poke.


FIELD TO FORK — Saturday, Sept. 3, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Hosted by Amy Scattergood, The Times’ Food editor, and Michael Cimarusti, chef-owner of Providence and chef-partner of Connie and Ted’s. A conversation on the new artisan grain movement with Nan Kohler (Grist and Toll), Alex Weiser (Weiser Farms) and Roxana Jullapat (Friends and Family). Cimarusti, who advocates for sustainable seafood, will share his socially-conscious kitchen tips during a live demo. Madcapra’s Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer will team up for a vegetarian cooking how-to. Restaurants include Aqui es Texcoco, Doomie’s Home Cookin’, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Kye’s Montana, L.A. Chapter and Salazar.

DINNER WITH A TWIST — Saturday, Sept. 3, 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times restaurant critic, Jenn Harris, Times deputy Food editor, and Ray Garcia and Michael Lay, chef-owner and beverage director, respectively, of Broken Spanish and B.S. Taqueria. A conversation about the current L.A. dining and cocktail culture. Garcia and Lay will highlight Mexican American flavors steeped in tradition and crafted with a modern sensibility. Kris Morningstar and Ryan Wainwright (Terrine) will showcase local terroir. Gold and Harris will host a group demo with three market-driven bartenders: Katie Emmerson (the Walker Inn), Nathan Oliver (Wolf) and Tobin Shea (Redbird). Restaurants include Church & State, Hache LA, Leona, Public School, the Bellwether and the Raymond 1886.

SUNDAY BLOCK PARTY — Sunday, Sept. 4, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Hosted by Noelle Carter, Times test kitchen director, and Mary Sue Milliken, co-chef-owner, Border Grill. Duff Goldman (Charm City Cakes West/“Cake Masters”) will show off his pastry-meets-sculpture skills in a live demo. Milliken will serve up modern Mexican fare while Ramiro Arvizu and Jaime Martin del Campo (La Casita Mexicana/Mexicano) will demonstrate dishes from south of the border. Carter will host a discussion on resourceful ways to maximize ingredients with Bruce Kalman (Union/Knead & Co. Pasta Bar), Chris Cormier (L.A. Mission) and Michael Flood (L.A. Regional Food Bank). Restaurants include Chichen Itza, Donut Farm, Hinoki & the Bird, Mainland Poke, Simbal and the Guild.

FLAVORS OF L.A. — Sunday, Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times restaurant critic, and Kris Yenbamroong, chef-owner, Nigh + Market. Gold will explore new Filipino cuisine in a roundtable with three chefs: Charles Olalia (Rice Bar), Gary Menes (Le Comptoir) and Alvin Cailan (EggSlut/Unit120/Amboy). Yenbamroong will demo his Thai cooking. Nyesha Arrington (Leona) will share a seasonal recipe. Baroo’s Kwang Uh will showcase his freestyle Korean food. And Tricia Carr (the Concoctologist) will lead a cocktail demo with aperitifs, bitter liqueurs and rosé wines. Restaurants include Guisados, Herringbone, Knead & Co. Pasta Bar, Oh Man! Ramen, the Little Jewel of New Orleans and Wolf.


Details and tickets: Connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ TheTasteLA (#TasteLA).

The Taste is presented by Citi and produced in association with Best Events. Sponsors include Acura and &Tokyo. Opening-night tickets are $150. Tickets for each of the Saturday and Sunday events range from $100 to $125, with a $25 discount on individual tickets available exclusively to Los Angeles Times subscribers. L.A. Times The Taste has adopted the L.A. Regional Food Bank and the Collins College of Hospitality Management as charity beneficiaries for the 2016 event.


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