This May, for the entire 31 days of the month, we're throwing a dinner party and you're all invited. The second annual Los Angeles Times Food Bowl, our monthlong food festival, is returning, with more than 200 dinners, panel discussions, volunteer projects and other events celebrating L.A.'s diverse culinary scene.
In addition to bringing guest chefs from around the world and featuring the many chefs, farmers, restaurateurs, bartenders and food folks from Southern California, the festival is engineered to promote conversations and raise money to combat food waste, hunger and food insecurity. For more details and a calendar of events, check out the 52-page guide in your Sunday paper or go online.
As our restaurant critic Jonathan Gold succinctly put it: "This year's Food Bowl is the biggest food festival in the history of Los Angeles. And I can hardly wait." This year, Gold will be presenting the second Gold Award, given last year to Wolfgang Puck, to Border Grill's Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. The Restaurant of the Year award, given last year to Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson's Locol, will be announced at the Things in a Bowl launch party on April 30 at the downtown restaurant Rossoblu.
The Food Bowl's opening night event is on May 1 with chef José Andrés, "Changing the World Through the Power of Food," presented by L.A. Kitchen at the Wiltern.
A bevy of chefs and others will host or participate in dinners, panel discussions, classes, pop-ups and other events. Joining Feniger, Milliken and Andrés at the festival will be Carlos Salgado (Taco Maria), Yu Bo (Yu's Family Kitchen, China), Fuchsia Dunlop (U.K.), Yoshihiro Narisawa (Narisawa, Japan), Virgilio Martínez (Central, Peru), Diana Kennedy (Mexico), Ben Shewry (Attica, Australia), Michael Voltaggio (Ink.well), Niki Nakayama (n/naka), Nyesha Arrington (Native), Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza), Josef Centeno (Orsa & Winston), Wolfgang Puck (Spago), Gabriela Cámara (Contramar, Mexico), Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson (Kismet), Monique Fiso (Hiakai, New Zealand), Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park, NoMad) and Nancy Silverton (Mozza).
We're also bringing back Night Market, a five-day street festival featuring more than 50 food vendors, plus outdoor dining areas and entertainment, held in downtown's Grand Park from May 16 to 20. New this year will be the Gold Film Festival, a mini-film festival curated by Gold with screenings hosted in various neighborhoods around the city.
Other special events include a tribute to the late Jitlada chef Tui Sungkamee; a pizza festival celebrating many of L.A.'s pizzerias with special guest Enzo Coccia, from Naples, Italy; a charity bake sale with L.A.'s leading pastry chefs; the second-annual fried chicken party; and the return of Beast Feast.
This year, we're introducing the No Beast Feast, a celebration of vegetable cuisine, with all proceeds to be donated to Girls Inc. and the James Beard Foundation women's leadership programs to support the advancement of young girls and the empowerment of women in the hospitality industry.
It's going to be a terrific month of food, so we hope you'll bring an appetite and join us.
Los Angeles Times Food Bowl 2018 charitable partners are L.A. Kitchen, Food Forward and Midnight Mission. Citi® is the festival's founding partner; sponsors include Nissan, Maker's Mark, Hornitos and the Italian National Tourist Board. Connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @ LAfoodbowl (#LAfoodbowl #31DaysofFood)