L.A. Times hosts first-ever virtual ‘cook-a-thon’ event next week

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On Oct. 17 at 5:30 p.m., The Times will present its first-ever virtual cook-a-thon, an online fundraiser benefiting World Central Kitchen.

The two-hour live-streamed event, which will air on The Times’ YouTube channel and Facebook page, will feature 30 chefs, celebrities and other guests who will share recipe tips, offer sneak peeks of their kitchens and talk about their favorite dishes.

Cooking columnist Ben Mims and senior writer Jenn Harris will act as the evening’s hosts, with help from guest hosts Evan Kleiman of KCRW’s “Good Food” and Petit Trois chef Ludo Lefebvre.


Among the event’s highlights: World Central Kitchen founder and chef José Andrés (ThinkFoodLab) will present a special cooking demonstration, Australian seafood master Josh Niland (Saint Peter) will show viewers how to clean a whole fish, Vegas chef Lamar Moore (Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse) will demonstrate how to sear the perfect scallop, and restaurateur Greg Dulan (Dulan’s Restaurant) will share tips and tricks on cooking fried chicken.

With help from writer and producer Phil Rosenthal (Netflix’s “Somebody Feed Phil”), Eric Wareheim will showcase his culinary knife skills, Jack Black will talk about his favorite snacks, Danny Trejo will discuss his passion for spices and his “Machete” kitchen knife, and Jamie Lee Curtis will dish on her favorite L.A. takeout spots to order from during the pandemic.

In addition, Los Angeles Times Deputy Entertainment and Arts Editor Laurie Ochoa will present the fourth annual Gold Award to the 2020 recipient, Post & Beam, followed by a live discussion with restaurateurs John and Roni Cleveland.

L.A. chefs slated to appear include Daniele Uditi (Pizzana), Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (Border Grill), Dave Beran (Dialogue and Pasjoli), Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Jon & Vinny’s), Jonathan Whitener (All Day Baby), Nick Montgomery (Konbi), Steve Samson (Rossoblu) and Wes Avila (Guerrilla Tacos).

They’ll be joined by chefs from around the globe, including Alice Waters (Oakland), Ana Roš (Slovenia), Dominique Crenn (San Francisco), Éric Ripert (New York), Ferran Adrià (Spain), Fuchsia Dunlop (United Kingdom), José Andrés (Washington, D.C.), Josh Niland (Australia), Lamar Moore (Chicago), Musa Daĝdeviren (Turkey) and Zaiyu Hasegawa (Japan).

Part of The Times’ Takeout and Give Back campaign, which launched in August to raise awareness of local restaurants and communities impacted by the pandemic, proceeds from the cook-a-thon will support hunger relief efforts in collaboration with World Central Kitchen.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the culinary nonprofit — founded by Andrés and his wife Patricia in 2011 — has worked to provide more than 300,000 meals each day to people in need across the U.S. while partnering with local food trucks, restaurants and other small businesses.

Viewers who aren’t able to tune in live can also watch the cook-a-thon at a later date; the program will be available on Facebook and YouTube and will also air on Spectrum News 1 or on the Spectrum News App on Oct.18 at 1 p.m.