This May marks the return of Food Bowl, the monthlong food festival from the Los Angeles Times, now in its third year.
Over the course of 31 days, the festival will celebrate the vibrant food community of the city through dining events, forums, panel discussions, pop-ups, cooking demos, culinary collaborations and cocktail parties.
At a preview party at the Manufactory in downtown Los Angeles on Tuesday, new Times Food Editor Peter Meehan shared part of the lineup for this year’s festival, which includes Enrique Olvera of Pujol in Mexico City and Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme in New York. And Meehan announced the return of a standalone Food section in April.
Among the other chefs and food folks coming to Los Angeles this spring will be Gaggan Anand of Gaggan in Thailand; Virgilio Martínez of Peru’s Central; Koji Kimura from Sushi Kimura in Japan; Angela Dimayuga of Standard International; Rodolfo Guzmán from Boragó in Chile; Musa Dağdeviren of Turkey’s Çiya; Andrew McConnell of Cutler & Co. in Australia; and Frederic Morin and David McMillan from Joe Beef in Montreal.
Joining the lineup are local chefs Niki Nakayama of n/naka; Michael Cimarusti of Providence; Arjun, Nakul and Pawan Mahendro of Badmaash; Wes Avila of Guerrilla Tacos; Fiona’s Nicole Rucker; Jordan Kahn of Vespertine; Sqirl’s Jessica Koslow; Nancy Silverton of Mozza; Kris Yenbamroong of Night + Market; and Spago’s Wolfgang Puck.
The festival will kick off with an opening night event at downtown’s historic Million Dollar Theater with Olvera; it will feature chefs, taqueros, architects and musicians from Mexico City and Los Angeles to mark the 50th anniversary of the sister city relationship between the two.
The festival will also see the continuation of the Gold Award, previously presented by the late Jonathan Gold and which will continue in his honor. It is given as part of Food Bowl to a distinguished chef; previous winners were Wolfgang Puck, and Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken. The Restaurant of the Year award will also be presented. Previous winners were Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s now-shuttered Watts restaurant Locol; and Taco Maria, Carlos Salgado’s Mexican restaurant in Costa Mesa.
One of the month’s highlights will be the Night Market, a five-day outdoor event at downtown’s Grand Park May 8-12. Food Bowl will again take over the park with food trucks, vendors, pop-ups and special events that include a fried chicken party, a taco tribute, a dumpling and noodle night and a barbecue festival featuring pitmasters from California, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.
In addition to celebrating chefs and their restaurants, street food, dining culture and cooking, Food Bowl will continue to discuss issues of food access, sustainability, hunger and waste reduction. As part of this effort, Food Bowl charity partners include L.A. Regional Food Bank, Food Forward and Midnight Mission.
Food Bowl sponsors include founding partner Citi, High West, Jose Cuervo, Sapporo and Wines of Germany.