The Los Angeles Times The Taste happened this past weekend at the Paramount Pictures Studios. I was told it was a highly anticipated weekend event but had no clue the crowd that would turn up! The studios were turned into a day and night festive venue – barely recognizable…and the number of participants and attendees was simply unbelievable.
I attended just one day because, seriously, you need to have some training for an event of this magnitude. There is no way anybody can humanly consume that many samples of food and drink. (Ask me next year and I might have improved on this a teeny bit). The morning event was an eye-opening shocker and the evening was spent strategizing on how to make the most of the amazing spread.
The event in the morning was titled Field to Fork. Since it was my first time I was there way ahead and entered to a pretty empty space but by the time the event ended, it was packed to the seams. Though you are handed a list of all the restaurants and locations, it’s a large space to cover. Either choose to stand in longer line or walk around and find shorter lines when possible.
The pros – well organized, lots of vendors, many trashcans, water bottled handed out free of charge, and a generally festive atmosphere so everyone, including chefs and crew, seemed cheery. The cons – you are talking about a Saturday afternoon in the middle of August in L.A so it was boiling hot, there wasn’t enough cover, and you had to walk around and wait everywhere so that just added to the heat.
The evening event was Dinner With a Twist and I ended up heading over much later, because I needed to recover from the heat and the frenzy that I experienced that morning. Cooler temps prevailed but the crowds appeared to have doubled – understandably so, but that just made lines longer and waits awkward with the staff having to prep sufficiently to supply demand.
Free-flowing wine, booze and spirits certainly contributed to keeping the party going. The food vendors were simply fabulous – I definitely did not sample anything that I thought wasn’t worthy of being served at an event of this caliber. But there were some winners, at least from the ones I tired, and those are documented here for your future reference should you decide to attend this event.
They do have performance/demonstration stages around the venue and while I had many I wanted to see, I could not resist Chef Antonia Lofaso of Scopa. I had seen her demo at another event prior and have had a major chef crush on her ever since. She got the crowd going with her fried shrimp toast and her buddy Marco Ramos was there shaking up a good cocktail to end the night on a high note! PS - dates for next year are already out Aug 31- Sep 2, 2018 :)
*Attended the event as a media guest/all opinions my own*