LOS ANGELES, CA – August 16, 2014 – Within seconds of walking onto the red carpet lining Grand Avenue of last year’s 2013 Los Angeles Food and Wine show’s opening night, admidst the backdrop of beautiful downtown Los Angeles and a stone’s throw from The Walt Disney Concert Hall, a beach ball hits me in the face. After a certain age, a beach ball to the face is always a strange thing but especially so, when the beach ball that hit you in your face was thrown by world renowned chef and best selling author Thomas Keller, the genius mind behind restaurants like French Laundry and Bouchon.
With a mischievous grin, the revered chef hands me an oyster to sample and moments later, Giada DeLaurentis hands me a sample of her handmade ragu. Somewhere in the distance Questlove begins the entertainment for the night and I hear whispers that Gavin Degraw will perform at another Los Angeles Food and Wine event in two days at the same location.
This event is just the first of dozens of events, tastings and celebrity cooking demonstrations, which go on for four days and stretch from downtown Los Angeles to the shores of Santa Monica.
This year’s Los Angeles Food and Wine, which kicks off once again on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles and runs from August 21-24, promises to be even more epic. Joining Keller this year will be award winning, international celebrity chefs like Curtis Stone, Michael Chiarello, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, to Los Angeles favorites such as Rory Herrmann, Michael Voltaggio, Matsuhisa Nobu, and Sang Yoon.
While the Grand Tastings which occur on both Thursday and Saturday night, offer foodies the chance to taste small samples of cuisine prepared by some of the world’s most innovative artists, the Los Angeles Food and Wine show also offers diners a chance to attend more intimate multi-course meals prepared by some of the most influential chefs on the planet.
On Friday, August 22, James Beard award-winning chef Nancy Silverton and Jonathan Waxman host such an event at Osteria Mozza which will feature food prepared by not only Silverton and Waxman but also the all star line up of LA chefs made up of Matt Molina, Chad Colby and Dahlia Narvaez.
For those lucky enough to buy tickets, that night, Silverton will be honored for her contributions to the food world at yet another intimate five course meal with dishes by such chefs as Joachim Splichal of Patina in LA, Hiro Sone & Lissa Doumani of Ame in San Francisoco, Michael Chiarello of Bottega in Napa, Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto in New York and Michael Tusk from Quince and Cotogna in San Francisco.
Wine tastings will also be happening all over the town for the weekend. In addition to the 200 plus vineyards at the grand tastings, James Beard award-winning cheese expert Laura Werlin will do a cheese and champagne pairing on Saturday at 10:30am.
If that is too early to start drinking, at the Top Tasters for Top Fliers event the same day from 4:30 to 5:30, Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson will teach participants the art of blind wine tastings. Two lucky tasters talented enough to spot wines by taste will win two from tickets from Delta Airlines.
For those wanting to truly learn from the masters, Iron Chef Morimoto will be doing a demonstration on Friday night at 7pm. On Saturday, Food and Wine Magazine’s Justin Chapple offers insight into his unique kitchen techniques from 3:30-4:45. Additionally on Saturday from 5:30 to 6:30, Food Network Star Michael Chiarello will be sharing his farm to table Italian influenced techniques.
Later that night, Chiarello will be hosting the Live on Grand Event which will feature tastings from 25 chefs as well as world class wines from more than 200 wineries from across the world and live music from the Grammy award winning COMMON.
Whether you can attend one event or many, The Los Angeles Food and Wine Show is not just food for people who simply love food. It is an event for people who love the very best of life. Just keep your eyes open for beach balls.
To purchase tickets and learn more about all of the events going on at the LA Food and Wine tickets go to LAFW.com.
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On Paired with Chef Mary and wine expert Duane Pemberton, listen to Justin Chappel from Food & Wine Magazine and his Mad Genius Tips and 2014 Food & Wine Event preview. Live on Saturday, 1:30pm EST (and in archives):