Foodies rejoiced as Los Angeles Food & Wine returned to L.A. for the fourth year in a row on Aug. 21-24. The epicurean event, presented by Coastal Luxury Management, featured a who’s who of culinary talent, from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to République’s Walter Manzke. Stylish gourmands descended on a variety of tasting events that were headquartered in downtown Los Angeles and fanned out to other locales like Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Century City.
The fest kicked off in the shadow of Walt Disney Concert Hall with Ultimate Bites of L.A. presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred and hosted by celebrity chef Graham Elliot. The evening featured bites from L.A. chefs like Celestino Drago (Drago Centro), Ray Garcia (Fig), Eric Greenspan (The Roof on Wilshire, Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese), Michael Hung (Faith & Flower), David LeFevre (M.B. Post), Ari Taymor (Alma), Fabio Viviani (Cafe Firenze), among many others.
Friday began with a series of special themed lunches and dynamic chef pairings around town at Hinoki & the Bird with chefs Kuniko Yagi and Charles Phan, One Pico with chefs Sven Mede and Elizabeth Falkner, Osteria Mozza with chefs Nancy Silverton and Jonathan Waxman, Republique with chefs Walter Manzke and Michael Tusk, Scarpetta with chefs Scott Conant and Graham Elliot, and Faith & Flower with chefs Michael Hung and Dominique Crenn.
The day continued with a tribute dinner toasting chef Nancy Silverton at the Vibiana, an evening of champagne and caviar hosted by San Yoon (Father’s Office) at L’Ermitage Beverly Hills and was crowned by Asian Night Market hosted by Iron Chef Morimoto at the festival’s Grand Avenue base. At Asian Night Market gourmands nibbled salmon sashimi tacos from chef Jason Benavente (Nobu Los Angeles), shrimp and chive cakes from chef Charles Phan (Slanted Door Group), and patiently waited in line for over a half hour to be some of the first to taste Eggslut’s Mazemen lamb ramen.
The Lexus Grand Tastings began Saturday afternoon with bites from a roster of local and international chefs at Los Angeles Center Studios, but not before wine authority Anthony Giglio and his team of five wine heavyweights—Eugenio Jardim, Alpana Singh, Gillian Balance, Dlynn Proctor, Geoff Labitzke—assembled at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for “The Somm Epiphany” Wine and Food Pairing.
The panel offered lucky attendees tastes of their favorite wine perfectly paired with dishes of their choice, prepared by chef Tanya Baker (The Boarding House). During the highly quotable discussion, oenophiles in the audience learned bits of knowledge about the marriage of wine and food like “sugar in wine is the push up bra of food pairings,” (Alpana Singh); and that “a magnum is the perfect sized bottle of wine for two people, if one isn’t drinking” (Eugenio Jardim).
WhereLA.com attended Friday’s Asian Night Market tasting and Saturday’s Somm Epiphany and Lexus Grand Tasting; feast your eyes on highlights from those events in our album: