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The best of Food Bowl 2018

Los Angeles Times’ 2018 Food Bowl celebrates the best of food, farms and sustainability. The monthlong series of events will raise funds to fight hunger and food waste while allowing participants to sample some of the city’s greatest restaurants and meet world-class chefs like Australia’s Ben Shewry, Mexico’s Gabriela Cámara, China’s Yu Bo and New Zealand’s Monique Fiso.

Keep checking our coverage, which will highlight chefs and list where to eat and what’s in store for this year’s fest.

For tickets and a full list of events visit lafoodbowl.com

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What does L.A. taste like? One immigrant woman shows the diversity of the city through ice cream

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What does L.A. taste like? One immigrant woman is showing the diversity of the city through ice cream

Gelateria Uli founder Uli Nasibova shares how the different areas of Los Angeles County, including the San Gabriel Valley and Thai Town in Los Angeles, inspire her gelato flavors. Her Black Sesame flavor was inspired by black sesame buns from Chinese/Taiwanese restaurants in the San Gabriel Valley. And her vegan Coconut Lemongrass sorbet is an homage to the Tom kha soup from Jitlada in Thai Town.

You can sample Nasibova’s flavors at the Gelateria Uli location in downtown Los Angeles and on West Third Street. Gelateria Uli downtown: 541 S. Spring St., Suite 104, Los Angeles, (213) 900-4717 | Gelateria Uli West Third: 8044 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 424-3492, gelateriauli.com.

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Food Bowl calendar final week (May 28-31)

Redbird in downtown Los Angeles.
Redbird in downtown Los Angeles.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

5/28

4 p.m. — Outstanding in the field: Weiser Family Farms. Weiser Family Farms. $235 tickets

7 p.m. — Downtown Independent presents: “Barista” (2015). Downtown Independent. $10 tickets

5/30

6:30 p.m. — An evening with Destinee Almonte — West Coast Plymouth Gin specialist. Genever. Price varies

7 p.m. — Downtown Independent presents: “Babette’s Feast” (1987). Downtown Independent. $10 tickets

5/31

11 a.m. — Six Taste Downtown LA Food Tour. Downtown Los Angeles. $120 tickets

Canceled — The Chef Prince of Crenshaw. Earle’s restaurant. Canceled

6 p.m. — Oysters and Mescal. Cliff’s Edge. $15 Tickets

6 p.m. — Kakurega: Kappo style cocktail pairing tasting experience. Spago. $98 tickets

6:30 p.m. — “Farm Bill Party” with a purpose. Greenbar Distillery. Free, RSVP

6:30 p.m. — Wagyu beef dinner in the garden at Redbird with chef Neal Fraser and chef John Cox of the Bear and Star. Redbird. $150 tickets

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Food Bowl calendar week 4 | May 21-27

Tray-passed food circulates the crowd at Otium in downtown Los Angeles.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

5/21

6:00 p.m. — Phat Birds X Here’s Looking At You: Fried Chicken Dinner. Here’s Looking at You. $55 Tickets

6:30 p.m. — Chefs Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer at Kismet, hosted by Billy Harris. Kismet. $175 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — Downtown Independent Presents: “Eat Drink Man Woman” (1994). Downtown Independent $10 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — Screening of “City Of Gold” (2011). The Wiltern. $10 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — An In-Depth Look at Vespertine. REDCAT. $25 Tickets

5/22

5:00 p.m. — Beast Feast with chefs Curtis Stone, Josiah Citrin, Neal Fraser, Steve Samson and Electric City Butcher. Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant. $150-$200 Tickets

8:00 p.m. — Culinary Cocktails With L.A.’s Beverage Bosses. Skyline at the Kimpton Everly Hollywood. $25 Tickets

5/23

5:00 p.m. — Celestino Prix-Fixe Menu. Celestino. $58 Tickets

7:30 p.m. — Chef Tim Hollingsworth & Chef Monique Fiso Collaboration. Otium. $85-120 Tickets

5/24

4:00 p.m. — Outstanding in the Field at Manhattan Beach. Manhattan Beach. $235 Sold Out

4:00 p.m. — La Cienega Farmers’ Market – Farmer Demo. La Cienega Farmers’ Market. Free

5:00 p.m. — Farmer’s Market Tour & Farm-To-Table Tasting. Bistro de la Gare. $45 Tickets

6:00 p.m. — Where Mulholland Meets Manuela. Manuela. $12-$14 Tickets

6:30 p.m. — Past, Present and Future: Informal Food Economies in Mexican and Latinx L.A. L.A. Kitchen. $15 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — Pork 101 Butchery Workshop. Electric City Butcher. $200 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — Downtown Independent Presents: “Somm” (2012). Downtown Independent. $10 Tickets

Canceled — Chef Series Dinner With Luke Reyes at Boomtown Brewery. Boomtown Brewery. $80 Canceled

5/25

Week event (May 25-31) — Flights and Bites, a flight of three cocktails from Citizen bar guru, Eric Cearley, paired with three bites of food from Executive Chef Seth Greenburg. Citizen. $30 Tickets

5:30 p.m. — Jonathan Gold in conversation with chef Daniel Humm. Barnsdall Art Park $45-$60 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — L.A. Times Food Bowl Film Festival at The Kimpton Everly Hotel: “Tampopo” (1985) and “Jian Bing Man” (2015). The Skyline at the Kimpton Everly hotel. $55 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — Dinner: “Totally Wasted: How to Make the Best of What We’ve Grown.” Secret location. $150 Tickets

5/26

12:00 p.m. — Peruvian Feast at Rosaliné. Rosaliné. $125 Sold out

12:00 p.m. — Eat Drink Vegan: The Vegan Beer & Food Festival. Brookside at Rose Bowl. $45 Tickets

12:00 p.m. — “Off-The-Menu” Burger Competition. Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts. $75 Tickets

3:00 p.m. — Minibar Hollywood’s B.I.G. Awards — “Bloodbath 2018” — hosted by Salt’s Cure. Salt’s Cure. $35 Tickets

5:00 p.m. — Fireside Chat & Collaborative Dinner with Curtis Stone and Ben Shewry of Attica. Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant. $395 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — L.A. Times Food Bowl Film Festival at the Kimpton Everly Hotel: “Mildred Pierce” (1945) And “Secret of the Grain” (2007). The Skyline at the Kimpton Everly hotel $55. Tickets

7:00 p.m. — Dinner: “I’m Hungry — Eating With the Planet in Mind”. Secret Location. $150. Tickets

5/27

10:00 a.m. — George Motz’s Burger Day at Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg L.A. $varies Tickets

11:00 a.m. — Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Chef Demo. Santa Monica Farmers’ Market. Free

12:00 p.m. — Attica Invades Everson Royce Bar. Everson Royce Bar. Free

4:00 p.m. — Outstanding in the Field: Autonomy Farms. Autonomy Farms. $235 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — Downtown Independent Presents: “The Exiles” (1961). Downtown Independent. $10 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — L.A. Times Food Bowl Film Festival at the Kimpton Everly Hotel: “Mildred Pierce” (1945) and “Tampopo” (1985). The Skyline at the Kimpton Everly hotel. $55 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — Dinner: “What the Fork: Are We Going to Feed 9 Billion People When We Are Unable to Feed 7”. Secret Location. $150 Tickets

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Night Market at Grand Park is happening now

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Food Bowl Night Market opening night.

Here are some scenes from the opening night of Night Market, a five-day takeover of downtown L.A.’s Grand Park that is part of the Los Angeles Times’ Food Bowl. The first night featured an Outstanding in the Field Filipino dinner, plus food trucks along the streets and booths filling the blocks in front of City Hall. The event continues until Sunday night. Tickets can be purchased here.

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Learn about Māori cuisine from New Zealand chef

Chef Monique Fiso
(Hiakai)

Join Otium chef Timothy Hollingsworth and New Zealand chef Monique Fiso for a collaboration dinner featuring a seasonal menu using local ingredients and focused on wood-fire grilling on the restaurant’s outdoor patio. The collaboration dinner is scheduled for May 23 at Otium in Los Angeles.

Fiso also will take part in Plant Power: The No Beast Feast, a garden party focusing on the region’s bountiful produce. Hosted by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken and featuring an international lineup of prominent chefs, this seasonal, vegetarian and vegan extravaganza will showcase innovative vegetable-driven cuisine paired with fine wines, beers and handcrafted cocktails from female winemakers, brewers and distillers. The dinner is taking place on May 19 at Coral Tree Plaza at Border Grill.

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The best pizza makers at Food Bowl

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L.A. Grow and Los Angeles Times Food Bowl brought pizza makers from all over the world to the Hollywood Palladium for Pizza Fest: A Tutta Pizza!

On Sunday, the parking lot of the Hollywood Palladium was packed with 1,000 pizza enthusiasts and some of the world’s best pizza makers for the Food Bowl A Tutta Pizza festival. The event included pizza tastings from 20 pizzerias, restaurants and trucks, cooking workshops, demonstrations and panel discussions with pizza chefs Enzo Coccia (La Notizia), Nancy Silverton (Mozzaplex and Triple Beam), Zach Pollack (Cosa Buona) and Daniele Uditi (Pizzana).

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Calendar Week 3 - May 14 to 20

Pez cantina and Holbox will collaborate for mariscos & mescal tasting on Thursday at Pez cantina.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

5/14

6:30 p.m. — An evening in chef Sang Yoon’s private test kitchen. $195 Sold out

7:00 p.m. — “Tampopo” (1985). Downtown Independent. $10 Tickets

5/15

9:00 a.m. — L.A. Chef Conference. Free

4:00 p.m. — Culver City Farmers Market. Free

5:00 p.m. — Screening: “Soul Kitchen” (2009). Arena Cinelounge Sunset. $14 Tickets

6:30 p.m. — 70th anniversary of Factor’s Famous Deli. $218+ Tickets

7:00 p.m. — Screening: “Secret of the Grain” (2007). Arena Cinelounge Sunset. $14 Tickets

5/16

5:00 p.m.Night Market: May 16 - 20. Grand Park. $10 Tickets

Farm-to-table vegetarian five-course tasting. Plate 38. $65 Tickets

6:00 p.m. — Filipino Feast. $235 Sold out

6:00 p.m. — Somebody Feed Phil Tonight. iPic theaters. $150 Tickets

6:30 p.m. — “Masa Para Ayuda” at Hotel Bel-Air, Wolfgang Puck. $195 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — “A Touch of Spice” (2003). Downtown Independent. $10 Tickets

7:30 p.m. — Dinner, Dessert and a Movie. Casita del campo $40 Tickets

8:00 p.m.
— On Ink and Eating: An Exploration of Food and Beverage Tattoos. Ever Bar at the Kimpton Everly Hollywood. Free

5/17

12:00 p.m. — Westwood Village Farmers Market chef-to-farmer event. Free

5:00 p.m. — Chocolate & Travel Workshop. Messhall Kitchen. $25 Tickets

5:00 p.m. — Rosé Soiree — A Toast to Spring at SoCo. SoCo collection. $45 Tickets

6:00 p.m. — Nadine Redzepi & Jonathan Gold book signing and Q&A. Grand Park. Free

6:30 p.m. — Dinner in South Pasadena. Crossings. $150 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — The Whaling Club at Stowaway. El Dorado $varies

7:00 p.m. — Pez Cantina and Holbox Collaboration: Mariscos & Mescal Tasting. Pez Cantina. $65-$90 Tickets

8:30 p.m. — Amazon Wine & Prime at Night Market. Grand Park. Free

5/18

8:00 a.m. — Toast-maggedon 2018. Friends & Family. $varies

12:00 p.m. — Women in Leadership Luncheon and Panel. Cut by Wolfgang Puck. $125 Tickets

12:00 p.m. — Urban Gardening. Organic Harvest Gardens. $30-$50 Tickets

2:00 p.m. — Corkage: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Valentino. Free

7:00 p.m. — “Jian Bing Man” (2015) and “Secret of the Grain” (2007). The Skyline at the Kimpton Everly Hotel. $55 Tickets

5/19

10 a.m. — Six Taste Delicious Dumpling Food Tour #1. San Gabriel Valley. $80 Tickets

11 a.m. — Santa Monica Farmers Market chef demo. Free

1 p.m. — Cooking and Mixology at Pez Cantina. $75 Tickets

Spirits by the Train. Los Angeles Union Station. $40-$60. Cancelled

4:00 p.m. — No Moderation: An Evening of Southeast Asian Cooking. L.A. Kitchen. $10 Tickets

5:00 p.m. — Warm This Bowl: With Minh Phan, Food Forward & Friends. Private Eastside location, which will be released upon ticket purchase. $225 Tickets

6:30 p.m. — Plant Power, the No Beast Feast. Coral Tree Plaza at Border Grill. $150-$250 Tickets

7:00 p.m. — “Mildred Pierce” (1945) and “Jian Bing Man” (2015). The Skyline at the Kimpton Everly Hotel. $55 Tickets

5/20

10:00 a.m. — Mar Vista Farmers’ Market. Free

10:00 a.m. — Six Taste Delicious Dumpling Food Tour #2. San Gabriel Valley. $80 Tickets

10:30 a.m. — Salt and Vinegar Party. Lasa $30 Tickets

11:00 a.m. — Clean Made L.A. Civic Center Studios + Parking Lot. $Varies

11:30 a.m. — CicLAvia Food Bike Tour of DTLA. La Kretz Innovation Campus. $30 Tickets

12:00 p.m. — Family Garden Workshop: Seed to Table. Hauser & Wirth. Free

1:00 p.m. — Flavor of L.A. CBS Studio Center. $75. Tickets

3:00 p.m. — Food Bowl Charity Bake Sale. Grand Park. $1 Donation

3:00 p.m. — Writing About Home Cooking With Jonathan Gold. Blankspaces. Free

4:00 p.m. — Pique-Nique Laissez Faire. Melody. $80 for two. Tickets

7:00 p.m. — “Araya” (1959). Downtown Independent. $10. Tickets

7:00 p.m. — “Tampopo” (1985) and “Secret of the Grain” (2007). The Skyline at the Kimpton Everly Hotel. $55 Tickets

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At Lawry’s The Prime Rib, not much has changed in 80 years, and that’s the point

If you step into Lawry’s The Prime Rib in Beverly Hills with the expectation of an old-school dining experience, you will not be disappointed. Walls are adorned with a mash-up of Asian art and portraits of European nobility. A large bouquet of roses sits atop the hostess stand. The idea of sipping a martini at the bar — with its red leather, wood paneling and gleaming lamps — seems right.

As you wait for your dinner guests, an octogenarian shuffles by, her hands gripping a walker. The strains of “Happy Birthday” drift in from the main dining room.

There are very few surprises at this meat-centric restaurant — and that is part of its charm.

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Video: Chefs honor Jitlada’s late Suthiporn ‘Tui’ Sungkamee

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Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee, the late chef of Jitlada whose spicy southern Thai cooking helped change the city’s culinary scene, was remembered during the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl. “Tui,” as he was known, died of lung cancer last October at age 66.

Friends of the late Suthiporn “Tui” Sungkamee of Jitlada gathered at the Line Hotel this week for a tribute to the gifted Thai chef who died in October. L.A. Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold and Sungkamee’s sister Jazz Singsanong spoke to the crowd during the event, which raised money for the American Cancer Society.

Attendees dined on food from Kris Yenbamroong (Night + Market), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok), Jet Tila, Louis Tikaram (E.P. & L.P.), Roy Choi (Kogi), Langer’s, Cassell’s Hamburgers, Pizzeria Mozza and Wanderlust Creamery.

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Food Bowl Week 2 | May 7 - 13

There will be a fried chicken party May 9 at Far East Plaza, with Howlin’ Ray’s, Honey's Kettle and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken
(Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times)

5/7

5 p.m.

Scratch Bar & Kitchen five year anniversary dinner — 16101 Ventura Boulevard
Encino, CA 91436. Cost $150. Tickets

5 p.m.
Pok Pok & Night + Market collaborative meal dinner — Sahm, 2533 Lincoln Blvd. Venice CA 90291. Ticket price includes Chang beers. Cost $100. Tickets

5:30 p.m.
Meals by Genet will serve roasted chicken leg quarters with twice-baked potatoes and sautéed vegetables with a butter lettuce and French dressing — Meals by Genet, 1053 S. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90019 Cost: $35. Tickets

6:30 p.m.
Prohibition Era 1927 Tijuana: A Six-Course Dinner, Cookbook Signing & Celebration of the History of Tijuana in L.A. Cuisine — Casa Vega, 13301 Ventura Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 91423. Cost: $120. Tickets

5/8

All day
Taste on Melrose - Free

5:00 p.m.
Screening of “The Search for General Tso” (2014) and pop-up dinner — Arena Cinelounge Sunset, 6464 Sunset Blvd. Hollywood, Ca. 90028 Cost: $25. Tickets

6:00 p.m.
Wolfgang Puck, Walter, Manzke, Jean-François Piège and Hugo Bolanos at Hotel Bel-Air — 701 Stone Canyon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077. Cost: $195. Tickets.

6:30 p.m.
Tribute to Tui Sungkamee (Jitlada) with Kris Yenbamroong (Night + Market Song), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok), Jet Tila, Louis Tikaram (E.P. & L.P.), Roy Choi (Kogi), Langer’s, Cassell’s Hamburgers and Jazz Singsanong (Jitlada) for a night to celebrate his life. — The Line Hotel, 3515 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010. Cost: $75. Tickets

7:00 p.m.
Book signing and roundtable of “Brunch Is Hell: How to Save the World by Throwing a Dinner Party.” — Red Herring, 1661 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90041. Cost: $55 Tickets

7:00 p.m.
An evening of raclette and wine — Cheese Store of Beverly Hills 419 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 Cost: $80. Tickets

7:30 p.m.
Weekly Wine Dinner — Cliff’s Edge, 3626 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles Cost: $75. Tickets

5/9

Cancelled
Hermosa Beach Farmers’ Market at the pier chef-to-farmer event — Hermosa Beach Farmers’ Market, Canceled

6:00 p.m.
Caviar Bumps & Bubbles — Roe Seafood, 5374 E. 2nd St., Long Beach. Cost: $60 Tickets

6:00 p.m.
Fried chicken party. Participating restaurants will include Howlin’ Ray’s, Honey’s Kettle and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken — Far East Plaza, 727 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Cost: $45-95 Tickets

6:30 p.m.
34th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Film screening: “Jimami Tofu” — Regal L.A. Live, 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. Cost: $14. Tickets

7:00 p.m.
Aperitivo Italiano: everything you need to know. Led by Giammario Villa, this event will explore amazing cocktails and afternoon drinks alongside an endless variety of small savory bites — Italian Cultural Institute, 1023 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles. Cost: $60. Tickets

5/10

11:30 a.m.
SEELA Central Avenue farmers’ market food demos Cost: Free

6:00 p.m.
Jean-François Piège, Walter Manzke, Wolfgang Puck and Hugo Bolanos at République — 624 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles. Cost: $195. Tickets

Cancelled
Latte art competition at Jane Q. Cancelled

7:00 p.m.
“The Battle of the Century” (1927) and “The Cook” (1918) — Arena Cinelounge Sunset 6464 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. Cost: $14. Tickets

7:00 p.m.
“Killer of Sheep” (1977) — Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles Cost: $10. Tickets

5/11

5:00 p.m.
Baking for mom — Blvd Kitchen, 3545 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. Cost: Free

5:00 p.m.
A cadre of cooks — The Bocca, 1234 Feastly Dr., Venice. Cost: $75-95 Tickets

7:00 p.m.
“The Lunchbox” (2013) — Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles Cost: $10. Tickets

7:00 p.m.
Top chefs: in conversation with Jonathan Gold. Scheduled participants include Bruce Kalman, Michael Voltaggio and Brooke Williamson — The Paley Center for Media, 465 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Cost: $25. Tickets

5/12

5:00 p.m.
Playa Vista Farmers Market chef-to-farmer event — Playa Vista Farmers Market, 12775 W. Millennium Drive, Playa Vista. Cost: Free

9:00 a.m.
SoCo Farmers Market second Saturdays — SoCo Farmers Market, 3315 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa Cost: Free

9:00 a.m.
Harvesting grapefruits for good with Food Forward — Historic Orcutt Ranch Cost: Free, RSVP

Cancelled
Power of Food: Food as a High-Performance Drug, with Erik Oberholtzer — Tendergreens Westwood, $10, cancelled

9:30 a.m.
Pre-Mother’s Day brunch at Homegirl Cafe — Homegirl Cafe, 130 Bruno St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Cost varies. Tickets

10:00 a.m.
Slow Food Los Angeles preservers class — Institute of Culinary Education, 521 E. Green St., Pasadena. $25. Tickets

10:00 a.m.
Culinary tour of Italy — Italian Cultural Institute, 1023 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024 $65. Tickets

10:00 a.m.
The Grand Central Market Cookbook Live! — Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles $0-5. Tickets

10:00 a.m.
Six-taste Koreatown food tour of Sun Nong Dan, Cassell’s Burgers, Chunju Han-il-Kwan, Street Food of Seoul, Zion Market — Koreatown. $90-115. Tickets

10:30 a.m.
How Trader Joe’s Changed the Way America Eats — Central Library’s Taper Auditorium, 630 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90071. Free

11:00 a.m.
Santa Monica Farmers Market chef demo. Executive chef Nick Shipp of Upper West and Shiho Yoshikawa of Sweet Rose Creamery will pair up to create a dish — Santa Monica Pico Farmers Market, 2200 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica. Free

11:00 a.m.
A seat at the table with River LA and CicLAvia — Marsh Park, 2944 Gleneden St, Los Angeles, CA 90039. $40. Tickets

11:00 a.m.
Breakfast with Phil Rosenthal, who created “Everybody Loves Raymond.” — Dynasty Typewriter theater, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. $15. Tickets

12:00 p.m.
SEELA Crenshaw farmers’ market food demos — Crenshaw Farmers’ Market at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, 3650 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90008. Free

12:00 p.m.
80 years of Lawry’s — Lawry’s The Prime Rib, 100 La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211 $150. Tickets

12:00 p.m.
Forces in food: An interactive culinary conversation with Ellen Bennett of Hedley & Bennett and Friends — Hedley & Bennett Factory, 3864 S Santa Fe Ave, Vernon, CA 90058 $45. Tickets

3:00 p.m.
Identity L.A. in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month — City Hall and Grand Park, City Hall and Grand Avenue, downtown Los Angeles. Free

4:00 p.m.
Sugar & Stilettos presents the Murray Neidorf Memorial BBQ. $30-$50. Tickets

5:00 p.m.
SEELA Echo Park Farmers’ Market food demos — Echo Park Farmers’ Market, public parking lot No. 663 and Logan Street, Los Angeles. Free

6:45 p.m.
Say Cheese! — Grand Central Market, 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013 Free

5/13

9:30 a.m.
Taste of the Red Line food tour — Metro Red Line Universal City Station, 3901 Lankershim Blvd., Los Angeles. Cost: $50-$55. Tickets

12:00 p.m.
…A tutta pizza! — Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 $40-125. Tickets

12:00 p.m.
SEELA Atwater Village farmers’ market food demos — Atwater Village Farmers’ Market Public, 3528 Larga Ave., in public parking lot 646, Atwater Village. Cost: Free

3:30 p.m.
Ya-mama-zaki: Mother’s Day whiskey tasting and female stand-up comedy show — MiniBar Hollywood, 6141 Franklin Ave. Cost: $65. Tickets

7:00 p.m.
Downtown Independent presents: “My Dinner with Andre” (1981) — Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St., Los Angeles. Cost: $10. Tickets

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Photos: Jose Andres on the power of food at Food Bowl

Chef Jose Andres and guest chef Susan Feniger engage in a conversation on the power of food May 1 at the Food Bowl.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

At the opening night of Food Bowl, chef José Andrés joined L.A. Kitchen’s Robert Egger on the stage of the Wiltern to talk about humanitarian relief and the power of food. Guests Zooey Deschanel, Ron Finley, Susan Feniger, Nyesha Arrington, and Tim Kilcoyne also helped judge a sous chef cooking demo, with local chefs making a dish that could be scalable for thousands as part of post-disaster relief efforts.

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Chef Susan Feniger is a guest at Food Bowl.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Chef Jose Andres greets the crowd May 1 at the Wiltern while hosting a conversation on the power of food during Food Bowl.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Guests arrive to try food prepared by L.A. Kitchen before Chef Jose Andres hosts a conversation on the power of food during Food Bowl.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

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Four great L.A. fried chicken restaurants, two of them part of Food Bowl

Fried chicken in L.A. is crispier than ever.
Fried chicken in L.A. is crispier than ever.
(Clockwise from top left: Alen Lin; South City Fried Chicken; @shamoothefoodie; @HungryHugh)

Is Los Angeles a fried chicken town?

The hours-long lines at Howlin’ Ray’s at the Far East Plaza in Chinatown seem to suggest so. As do the number of non-fried chicken restaurants with some version of a fried chicken sandwich on the menu. Places like Tokyo Fried Chicken in Alhambra (imagine giant karaage, Japanese-style deep-fried chicken, with ponzu), OB Bear in Koreatown (we dare you to find a better spicy Korean chicken wing) and Honey’s Kettle in Culver City (something akin to actual magic happens in those kettles) have made this city a fried chicken town for a while now. Here are four newer restaurants with sandwiches, plates and trays of fried chicken you’re probably going to want to track down sooner rather than later.

South City Fried Chicken will be featured during this year’s Los Angeles Times Food Bowl. You can try its fried chicken sandwiches at the Fried Chicken Party on May 9 at 6 p.m. at the Far East Plaza in Chinatown. Other participating restaurants include Howlin’ Ray’s, Honey’s Kettle and Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken. Tickets range in price from $45 to $95.

Max Henriquez of Phat Birds will be featured during this year’s Los Angeles Times Food Bowl. Henriquez will cook a fried chicken dinner with chef Jonathan Whitener of Here’s Looking at You, at the Koreatown restaurant on May 21. Tickets are $55.

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Miles Thompson and other L.A. chefs will be at Santa Monica farmers market

Chef Miles Thompson at Michael's in Santa Monica.
Chef Miles Thompson at Michael’s in Santa Monica.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Where can you find the freshest produce in Southern California? For many of us, that answer is our local farmers market. In addition to just-picked fruit, vegetables and other seasonal items, these markets offer customers the opportunity to interact directly with the farmers, asking questions and seeking out tips and recipe ideas.

For the next few weeks, chefs will demonstrate how to pick the best produce, cook with fresh ingredients and expand your knowledge of farm-to-table culture with a series of demonstrations using market produce as part of this month’s Food Bowl. The demonstrations kick off Wednesday at 11 a.m. with Miles Thompson, executive chef at Michael’s in Santa Monica. While the menu may evolve, Thompson plans to demonstrate grilled squash from Fresno’s Her Farms with refried beans from Kandarian Farms in Los Osos, Calif., blueberries from the Central Coast’s Two Peas in a Pod and green blueberry caper salsa verde with green blueberries from Murray Family Farms in Bakersfield.

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Carlos Salgado’s Taco María is The Times’ 2018 Restaurant of the Year

The Los Angeles area has seen a number of remarkable restaurants open in the last several years, including spaceship fantasies with no recognizable foodstuffs, sushi bars plucked whole from the better precincts of Tokyo and dining rooms so devoted to local produce that it occasionally seems as if they have massive gardens of their own backing up to the kitchen.

Yet no restaurant in years may have had quite the impact that Taco María and its chef Carlos Salgado have had on the Southern California scene. The restaurant, which serves tasting menus of Salgado’s Mexican-influenced cooking, is at the center of a culinary movement that seems to grow in importance each year. By regarding tortillas with a seriousness familiar to any fanatical French baker, by using perfect seasonal produce and by treating regional Mexican dishes with both imagination and respect, Salgado has propelled California-Mexican cooking into the jet stream of abstracted modernist cuisine.

And that he has done all this in an almost anti-luxurious dining room in a Costa Mesa hipster mall, an hour’s drive from many of his fans and colleagues, is almost a miracle. Taco María has given not only Los Angeles but his native Orange County a sense of place — a place where roasted guinea hens with mole, tortillas stuffed with sturgeon and asparagus velouté with spring garlic stand beside crocks of mushroom chorizo and marinated Baja blood clams.

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The party begins at the L.A. Times 2018 Food Bowl

Mary Sue Milliken, left, and Susan Feniger of Border Grill accept The Times Gold Award at the 2018 Food Bowl party at Rossoblu restaurant.
(Scott Varley / scott@scottvarleyphoto.com)

The launch party for the second annual Los Angeles Times Food Bowl was held last night at the Italian restaurant Rossoblu in downtown Los Angeles. A crowd gathered to celebrate this year’s restaurant of the year, Taco Maria, and Gold Award winners chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. Japanese chef Yoshihiro Narisawa was on hand, as well as Japanese drummers, and food from Night Market, Shibumi, Rossoblu, DTLA Cheese, Scopa Italian Roots, Honey’s Kettle, Chengdu Taste and Locol, last year’s restaurant of the year.

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Shibumi serves up a bowl of beef shin, tendon, konbu, shitake and sansho tsukudani with takuan-daikon pickles over rice.
(Scott Varley / scott@scottvarleyphoto.com)
Chef Steve Samson, owner of Rossoblu, left, serves up some appetizers to chef David Schlosser of Shibumi.
(Scott Varley / scott@scottvarleyphoto.com)

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At 95, Mexican food expert Diana Kennedy is growing her own coffee and making her own tortillas

Diana Kennedy's home in Zitácuaro is in the process of being turned into an ecological center.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

To get to Diana Kennedy’s house, outside Zitácuaro, Mexico, about 100 miles west of Mexico City, you go up a dirt road jutted with rocks, through two gates, past rock walls overhung with bougainvillea and blue plumbago, pink lilies and darting butterflies, and up a flight of stone steps to an outdoor patio that features two adobe beehive ovens and two solar stoves, one lately arrived from Spanish chef José Andrés, who also sends them to disaster zones.

“This is trabajo,” Kennedy says forcefully, her expressive face mapped by laugh lines, her short, white hair tucked into a pastel scarf and a broad straw hat. “Life is not easy here; there’s no Walmart around the corner.”

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Food Bowl Week 1 | April 30-May 6

"In Praise of the Tortilla" with chefs Carlos Salgado and Gabriela Cámara is set for May 3 at Taco Maria.
(Christina House / For The Times)

4/30
6:30-10 p.m.
Food Bowl launch party - An all-star lineup of select chefs serving Things in a Bowl at Rossoblu & City Market South. Cost: $95 includes food and beverages. Tickets

5/1
12:30 p.m.
An intimate lunch with chef Yoshihiro Narisawa - Orsa & Winston, 122 W 4th St., Los Angeles. $95 Tickets

2 p.m.
Family-style Mediterranean feast - Hummus Bar & Grill, 18743 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana. Cost $40 Tickets

7 p.m.
José Andrés “Changing the world through the power of food” - The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Cost: $15 - $50. Tickets

7:30 p.m.
Weekly wine dinner - Cliff’s Edge, 3626 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Cost: $75 Tickets

5/2

11 a.m.
Santa Monica Farmers Market chef demonstration: Chef Miles Thompson of Michael’s Santa Monica, Third Street Promenade and Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica. Free

noon
Mayura Indian Restaurant signature dishes - 10406 Venice Blvd., Culver City. Cost: $18 – $24 Tickets

6:30-9:30 p.m.
Next Generation Bowl Bash - The Spare Room Hollywood, 7000 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. Cost: $75 Tickets

5/3

5 p.m.
The Immigrant Dinners - Momed, 3245 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village. $10-$16 Tickets

5:30 p.m.
In Praise of the Tortilla: Carlos Salgado and Gabriela Cámara - Taco Maria, 3313 Hyland Ave. Suite C21, Costa Mesa. Cost: $120 Tickets

7 p.m.
Nancy Singleton Hachisu demonstrates recipes from her book “Japan: The Cookbook” - the Gourmandise School, 395 Santa Monica Place, No. 329, Los Angeles. Free

5/4

5:30 p.m.
Demonstration laps in a Porsche 911, followed by dinner at Restaurant 917 - Porsche Experience Center, 19800 S. Main St., Carson. Cost: $150 Tickets

5:30 p.m.
Chef Josef Centeno will team up with Nancy Singleton Hachisu, author of “Japan: The Cookbook” - Orsa & Winston, 122 W. 4th St., Los Angeles. Cost: $150, optional wine pairing for $65 Tickets

6 p.m.
Hip Hot in Monterey Park, Meizhou Dongpo in Century City, Szechuan Impression in Alhambra and Yu’s Family Kitchen in Chengdu, China - the Sichuan Summit, 307 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. Cost: $18 Tickets

5/5

3 p.m.
Masters of Taste, a benefit for Union Station Homeless Services - Rose Bowl. Cost: $89-$165 Tickets

6 p.m.
Journey Through the Cuisines of Mexico - Million Dollar Theatre, 307 South Broadway, Los Angeles. Cost: $15 Tickets

6 p.m.
Sichuan dinner , 978 N Broadway, Los Angeles. $88 Tickets

5/6

noon
Brunch at the Heroes Garden, a benefit for Westside Food Bank - Heroes Golf Course, 11640 San Vicente Blvd. Cost: $75 Tickets

noon
KCRW’s Good Food Pie Contest - Royce Quad, UCLA, 340 Royce Dr. Free

11 a.m.
Staff meal: Matt Weaver of Aburiya Raku, Jon Yao of Kato and other chefs - Kato, 11925 Santa Monica Blvd. Cost: “a la carte” Tickets

1 p.m.
Film screening:” Ulam (“Main Dish),” director Alexandra Cuerdo’s new and extended cut of the Filipino food documentary. Cost: $14 Tickets

6 p.m.
E.P. & L.P. Presents “Street Elite:” Chef Louis Tikaram (E.P. & L.P.) and guest chefs Matt Abergel (Ronin in Hong Kong) and Dan Hong (Mr. Wong in Sydney, Australia). 603 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood. Cost $85 Tickets

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Why is a good cook so hard to find these days in L.A.?

(Illustration by Lehel Kovacs / For The Times)

Rumors of a labor crisis in the Los Angeles restaurant industry began about four years ago as a grumble — whispering at the farmers market, the occasional kvetching on social media — but as more and more ads for line cooks go unanswered and scheduled interviews bail without so much as a call or an apology, L.A. chefs and restaurateurs are practically shouting from the rooftops: “Where are all the cooks?”

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Fuchsia Dunlop on inventive chef Yu Bo, and a possible Los Angeles restaurant

Chef Fuchsia Dunlop, left, and Chef Yu Bo.
(Handout)

Based in England and the author of five cookbooks, writer Fuchsia Dunlop and Yu Bo, who currently runs a restaurant called Yu Jia Chu Fang (Yu’s Family Kitchen) out of his home with a prix-fixe, seasonal menu, will appear at Food Bowl on May 4. He’ll be showing some of his signature dishes, including a set of 16 cold vegetable appetizers, Dunlop says . “It’s a demonstration of the famous Sichuanese culinary maxim that each dish has its own style, and a hundred dishes have a hundred different flavors.”

We recently caught up with Dunlop to discuss Sichuan cooking and what chef Yu Bo is cooking.

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Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken will receive The Times’ second Gold Award

As part of Food Bowl, May’s monthlong festival of food, dining and sustainability, the Los Angeles Times is presenting the second annual Gold Award to chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. The Gold Award is to be given to a California chef annually, with the idea of honoring culinary excellence and expanding the notion of Southern California cooking. The award, which last year was given to Wolfgang Puck, celebrates intelligence, innovation and brilliance as well as sensitivity to aesthetics, culture and the environment.

It is hard to imagine anyone who has shaped the idea of what a Los Angeles chef might be than this year’s honorees, who have worked as partners since their early years of apprenticeship and who have run restaurants together here since the early 1980s.

At the original City Café on Melrose, Feniger and Milliken turbocharged the idea of a neighborhood restaurant, and at their ambitious City Restaurant on La Brea, which served finely realized versions of dishes from a dozen countries, they blurred the boundaries between street food and fine dining in ways that some of us are just now beginning to appreciate. (Feniger later formalized the blurring at her short-lived Street.)

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Chef José Andrés is a gamer, and he’s creating food for gamers at the new Esports Arena in Las Vegas

On a recent, rainy Thursday at the new Esports Arena at the Luxor casino in Las Vegas, celebrated Spanish chef José Andrés sits in a private room, sunken into a computer chair with stitching and padding fit for a race car driver. Every few seconds red and blue lights ping-pong off the walls and the ceiling.

“I’m a 48-year-old millennial,” says Andrés, just as music appropriate for a “Game of Thrones” battle starts to blast out of his iPhone X.

Andrés, a man who owns well-regarded restaurants around the world, sometimes teaches at Harvard, created the World Central Kitchen to help with global disaster relief, and was recently named Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation, has just opened the “Fortnite” game, the one in which zombies attack after a giant storm kills most of the world’s population. Wearing a “we are all dreamers” T-shirt, jacket, jeans and scuffed sneakers, Andrés fits in with the rest of the crowd, who have come to celebrate the opening of the 30,000-square-foot video game arena.

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Culinary SOS: Brown Sugar Kitchen’s waffle recipe

The best waffles commercially available, I am prepared to state, come from Brown Sugar Kitchen, a small, fragrant breakfast diner on Mandela Parkway in West Oakland.

The waffles, Tanya Holland’s cornmeal-enhanced riff on Marion Cunningham’s famous yeasted waffles, are crisp, light and so violently leavened that they threaten to leap from the waffle iron in which they are cooked. If you drive up from Los Angeles about 6 a.m., you can be at Brown Sugar Kitchen by noon. The hour you spend in line on a weekend morning will be the longest hour of your life.

Holland includes a splendid recipe for these waffles in her book “Brown Sugar Kitchen,” and it works as well in my battered old waffle iron as it does at the restaurant. You mix the batter the night before, chill it in your refrigerator while you sleep, and stir in a bit of baking soda just before you pour it into your hot iron. (Remember to grease the iron well, or your first waffle will tear into delicious waffly shards when you attempt to lever it out onto a plate.) At the restaurant, Holland serves it with a sticky syrup made from boiled-down cider, but I always end up using good maple syrup instead, because I am lazy and I am a barbarian. They are the best waffles you will ever taste.

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Jonathan Gold says hello from Tokyo, where there are cherry blossoms and, even better, Narisawa

If you want to understand why Narisawa is often considered to be among the best restaurants in the world, you might have a look at Satoyama Scenery, a kind of seven square inches of edible forest floor that is constructed from sprigs of mountain herbs, a scattering of cherry blossoms, rough cylinders of fish skin and roots transformed into what look like fallen twigs, and a powdery tumble of earth and mosses fashioned from pulverized grains, fermented soybeans and a bit of matcha tea.

The tableau is assembled on a slice of raw log, more bark than planed surface. A small bamboo jigger brims with cold, oak sap-seasoned water — what you imagine raindrops sipped from fallen leaves might taste like. On a cloudy glass plinth nearby, three delicately fried ayu, glazed with cherry-blossom essence, swim in a formation familiar from woodblock prints. And while you are near the center of Tokyo, in a modernist restaurant hidden in a rear courtyard of an office complex, your mind is, at least for the moment, in the mountainous countryside, at that nexus between civilization and nature — satoyama — that is at the center of so much Japanese literature and art.

Am I out of town again? I am, and I apologize.

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Signature dishes for Food Bowl

Seasonal vegetables are prepared by Spring chef Tony Esnault, who will have a prix-fixe menu of "Things in a Bowl" during May.
Seasonal vegetables are prepared by Spring chef Tony Esnault, who will have a prix-fixe menu of “Things in a Bowl” during May.
(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times)

There will be plenty to eat during the 2018 Food Bowl food festival and these restaurants will feature a special dish throughout the month of May with “Things in a Bowl”:

*Angelini Osteria — Chef Gino Angelini has designed a “Cacio e Pepe” newpotato gnocchi with fava beans, pecorino Romano, zucchini flowers and black pepper. 7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

*The Chori-Man — Chori-Man will feature a curried new-potato salad with a different specialty chorizo or salchicha everyweek. 2309 S. Alma St., San Pedro

*Amazebowls — Amazebowls is launching a new-potato salad bowl. 300 S. Santa Fe, Unit P, Los Angeles

*Angelini Alimentari — Chef Gino Angelini has brought the flavors of his house-cured guanciale and new potatoes to this breakfast item, a frittata that also has Parmigiano-Reggiano and toasted crostino. 7317 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles

*Upstairs 2 Restaurant — Offering lemongrass grilled new-potato cao lau with soy-lemongrass marinated new potatoes, five-spice roasted pork, chewy noodles, lettuce, bean sprouts and mixed Vietnamese herbs, all topped off with fish sauce spiked pork jus, wonton crisps and a house chile sauce. To complement the dish, Upstairs 2 will offer two “booze bowl” pairings: the five-spice bourbon bowl, a blend of bourbon, five-spice agave, black tea and lime, or the lemongrass gin bowl, with gin, cucumber, lime, lemongrass syrup and a float of sparkling wine. 2311 Cotner Ave., Los Angeles

*Hugo’s Restaurant — For “Things in a Bowl,” Hugo’s will offer two all-day
breakfast bowls: a chorizo bowl and a vegetable noodle bowl, both featuring new potatoes. The dishes will be available throughout the month of May, starting May 2. 8401 Santa Monica Blvd.,West Hollywood

*Manuela — New potatoes, avocado, chili tonnato, benne seeds. 907 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles

*Baroo Los Angeles — The Baroo grain bowl incorporates new potatoes. 5706 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles

*Little Sister Manhattan Beach — Vietnamese chicken curry, lemongrass, new potatoes and fresh herbs are served with a baguette, pâté, limes and hot sauce. 1131 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach

*Little Sister DTLA — Vietnamese chicken curry, lemongrass, new potatoes and fresh herbs are served with a baguette, pâté, limes and hot sauce. 523 W. 7th St., Los Angeles

*Maestro — Our featured potatoes get cooked in a Heston Blumenthal potato method: The potatoes have edges, nooks and cracks all throughout that make a glass-like crust on the outside but have buttery filling lurking in the inside. Served with a tender salt-cured cactus salad, avocado tomatillo salsa, fresno chilies, heirloom tomato and very tender octopus finished with cotija cheese. 110 E. Union St., Pasadena

*Spring — A prix-fixe menu of “Things in a Bowl” will feature favorites from executive chef Tony Esnault. 257 S. Spring St., Los Angeles

*Church & State — A prix-fixe three-course menu with optional wine pairing from executive chef Tony Esnault will be offered. 850 Industrial St., No. 100, Los Angeles

*Mayura Restaurant — Special feature of “Things in a Bowl” includes a special potato dish, butter chicken, Tandoori chicken, fish curry, breads, rice and salad. Reservations recommended. Cancellations should be made two days prior to the event. 10406 Venice Blvd., Culver City

*Hinoki & the Bird — Crispy and soft new potatoes with whipped lardo, trout roe and furikake. 10 W. Century Drive, Los Angeles

* Taste on Melrose — Taste on Melrose will offer different bowl specials all month in addition to the regular menu. 8454 Melrose Ave.,West Hollywood

* Border Grill — Octopus Diablo: bilbao chorizo, white beans, roasted peppers, white wine sauce. Branzino Veracruzana: fingerling potato, spring peas, cherry tomato, oregano, fish broth. New potato picadillo: impossible meat, raisins, almonds, olives, cumin, cashew crema, sautéed greens. Paleta: mango chutney, tajin, chile chamoy. 445 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles

* Jinya Ramen Bar — The bowl item will be Hokkaido Miso Ramen, with miso pork broth, fried new potatoes, pork chashu, green onion and corn and butter, served with thick noodles. 11239 Ventura Blvd., Studio City

* WP24 — Kurobuta pork sisig, citrus, chilies, herbs, seven-minute farm egg and new potatoes. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles

* Garlic and Chives — Guests are invited to try the Shaking Beef Filet Mignon, served with Cajun crispy new potatoes in a bowl. The tender beef is marinated in special house seasonings and tossed with bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and, of course, garlic. 9892 Westminster Ave., Garden Grove

* Rinjani — The dish will combine the sweet flavors of Java with the salty, spicier notes of Sulawesi island. The bowl includes braised new potatoes and short ribs, sautéed water spinach and stewed fish. 107 E. Broadway, Glendale

* Earle’s Restaurant — Earle’s is whipping up a burger bowl that will be served the entire month of May. 3864 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles

* Eagle Rock Kitchen — The Things in a Bowl item will feature Filipino food with new potatoes. 2501 Colorado Blvd., Unit F, Los Angeles

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Q&A at the Santa Monica farmers market with supervisor Laura Avery

Laura Avery supervises the Santa Monica farmers market.
(Calvin Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

Where can you find the freshest produce in Southern California? For many of us, that answer is our local farmers market. In addition to offering freshly picked fruits and vegetables and other seasonal offerings, the market offers customers the opportunity to interact directly with the farmers, asking questions and seeking out tips and recipe ideas.

One of the largest and most well-known farmers markets, the Santa Monica farmers market, started on a Wednesday in the summer of 1981 as a means to bring fresh produce directly to the city’s residents. The Wednesday market now averages 8,000 to 10,000 visitors a week (the city’s three other weekly farmers markets each average 3,000 to 5,000 visitors a week) and caters to a customer base that ranges from household shoppers to restaurants, chefs, produce companies and even schools. I recently caught up with the market’s longtime supervisor, Laura Avery, to talk about the market’s evolution over the years, as well as its various outreach programs.

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This chef has put on pop-up dinners in 15 countries and all 50 states

Jim Denevan, founder of Outstanding in the Field, speaks to guests on Weekend 1 at Coachella.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

There’s farm-to-table dining, and then there’s table-to-farm.

Outstanding in the Field, a roving restaurant-without-walls, brings guests straight to the source, presenting seasonal, site-specific meals in the farms, gardens and groves where the food was raised and harvested. Founded in 1999, it has since toured all 50 states and 15 countries, collaborating with hundreds of chefs and farmers. At each dinner, a communal table communes with nature, snaking through blades of soft grass or following the curve of a shoreline. Guests sit beside the people who grew their food. Founder Jim Denevan calls it “a picture of place.”

That Denevan offers an artistic metaphor is not surprising. Born in San Jose, Denevan worked in restaurants and on his brother’s organic farm as a teenager, but by the time he was executive chef at Gabriella Café in Santa Cruz in the mid-’90s, he’d also become an artist, creating drawings in the sand designed to be transformed — and ultimately erased — by waves, wind and weather. He practiced his land art at every low tide with the same kind of obsession, he says, that he brought to launching Outstanding in the Field.

Beginning with Outstanding in the Field’s first dinner, which he set on a local farm between a wall of ripe tomatoes and flowering gladiolus, to the present season, which includes four Food Bowl events at Manhattan Beach, Grand Park, Autonomy Farms and Weiser Family Farms, each meal elevates the idea of experience, a one-day-only, never-to-be-repeated moment in place and time. The Manhattan Beach event, which will serve more than 300 guests, takes inspiration from the Pacific, while Grand Park revitalizes a city space, Autonomy Farms recognizes women in the field and in the kitchen, and Weiser Family Farms captures the culinary and land art traditions of Peru. For Denevan, each dinner is its own piece of temporal art: He sees the geometry of a table as an extension of the natural geometry of a beach, park or farm, and the settings, food and people working in concert.

Recently, in between creating land art for the Form Festival in Arcosanti, Ariz., and an event at none-other-than Coachella, Denevan took a break to talk about chefs and farmers, composing outdoors, moonrises and the solar eclipse.

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Bring your appetite: Celebrate the second Los Angeles Times Food Bowl all month long in May

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.

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