*I was fortunate to have Labor Day weekend freed up in my busy schedule. If you are part of the cultural loop, you are keenly aware of the many options available on any given weekend.
This opened up the opportunity to attend the Los Angeles Times, The Taste presented by CITI, is produced in association with Best Events, September 2-4, 2016, on the iconic Paramount Pictures Studios backlots.
Executives at the Los Angeles Times must live by the following motto: If you conceive it, Believe It; you can Achieve it! Or, if you build it, they will come. I’m referring to past and current events organized by the Los Angeles Times: Financial Symposium, Travel Show, Festival of Books and now, The Taste.
The Taste featured five different components, or seating options. The Opening Night followed by Field to Fork, Dinner with a Twist, Sunday Block Party ad finally Flavors of LA.
I was only able to attend Saturday’s Field to Fork and Sunday’s Block Party, both events were well attended and fun.
The layout of the events was organized with synergy in mind. Each area was easy to navigate and flowed smoothly, without any long lines for any of the more than thirty food booths or the equal number of adult beverage hydration stations. Several DJ’s were on site, playing an eclectic mix of world music to enhance the event.
CITI Lounge provided the ultimate relaxing area to chill out, relax, people watch, while sipping on a variety of adult beverages and chowing on the smorgasbord of delightful treats spread out on the Paramount Pictures Studio Lots.
I sampled some outstanding dished this afternoon. Everything was top notched, great presentation (almost like art) and very delicious. You did yourself and your stomach a favor by visiting as many booths as possible. Despite all that I ate, I wasn’t full at the end of the afternoon, the reason being, for the health conscious readers, is that you are constantly walking, so that those extra calories can’t find a permanent dwelling on your body.
I followed my taste buds as I visited Doomie’s Home Cookin’ for a sample of Pulled Pork Canapés, Wild Poke for Crunch Bite, Miro Restaurant for Tortellini de Confe de Pato, sip on some smooth tasting Suntory Whisky Toki from Japan. The list goes on and on, as the saying goes, “A Picture say a thousand words.” Social media sites should be exploding right now as The Los Angeles Times The Times is trending all over the stratosphere. Enjoy the gallery-
There were several fantastic cooking demonstrations taking place. The Acura Culinary Stage featured Chef Katsuya Uechi (Katsuya) presented by Japan Tourism. Chef Katsuya created a mouthwatering dish Salmon and vegetable dish and two other dishes prepared with red and white miso. Sake Miyata serves as an excellent commentator explaining the different regions of Japan and the various ingredients found in each area.
These cooking demonstrations made me hungry all over again. After strolling around and enjoying additional delightful treats, I returned to the Acura Culinary Stage to witness Esdras Ochoa (Salazar) prepare a beef stew, like his mom (sitting front and center) would make up in Northern California.
Sunday, Fun day, entitled Sunday Block Party, summer’s last hurrah. The day began with a cooking demonstration by Chef Ramiro Arvizu and Jaime Martin del Campos (La Casita Mexicana for 18 years and Mexicano for about a year). The duo prepared several timely items for football fans all over the globe. They prepared quick and easy to prepared salsas from their cook book Salsas. The salsas prepared were Salsa Cruda (raw), Salsa Verde con Hoja Santa and Peanuts & Pumpkin Seed Salsa. I mention “timely” due to the fact that college and NFL football season is in full swing. You can prepare your own secret salsas (from this cookbook), for each tailgate party or football game night that you will be hosting in the next five months.
The crowd and I sampled various salsas and other treats generously served up at the La Casita Mexicana/Mexicano booth.
Disclosure: I found the perfect passage online to sum of the experience at this year’s Los Angeles Times/The Taste.
“For confirmation, just think about the millions of people who after watching Keith, were inspired to cook, eat, drink; to become a gastronaut and savor, truly relish every morsel, every drop, every bloody bit of it.” James Steen “Epilogue” in “Stirred But Not Shaken” by Keith Floyd (Pan Books 2010), ISBN 9780330511582, page 353.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based writer, music reviewer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]