LA Food and Wine is a 4-day food extravaganza taking place from August 24th through the 27th. There are a number of intimate lunches at acclaimed restaurants around the city, along with five gigantic food events culminating with “The Grand Tastings” and “Live on Grand.” Saturday night’s “Live on Grand” also features a live performance by Wyclef Jean. The vibe is elegant, with some guests sporting suits and high fashion. High-end ingredients like foie gras and uni usually make an appearance. VIP Access gets you into events 30 minutes early. If you have a Chase Sapphire card, bring it for front-of-the-line priority.
The long weekend kicks off Thursday night with the “Ultimate Bites of LA,” a strolling event hosted by Chef Curtis Stone that brings together the city’s best chefs, including Vartan Abgaryan of everyone’s favorite special occasion restaurant, 71above, Valentina Batture of taco mecca Petty Cash, Michael Fiorelli and Rebecca Merhej of the South Bay’s favorite Italian Restaurant, Love & Salt, Mirko Paderno of the new and exciting Estrella Sunset, Prince of Porc, Walter Manzke of Republique, Jason Fullilove of Barbara Jean LA, which makes the best fried chicken, and Eric Greenspan of Fleishik’s Sandwiches, and Nosh and Whiskey. With Curtis Stone at the helm, we naturally will enjoy the rare treat of bites from Gareth Evans of Gwen and Justin Hilbert of Maude.
Power Lunches will be happening Friday the 25th with Top Chef Alumni Chef Brian Malarkey and Texas’s Chef John Tesar teaming up at Ivory on Sunset 12:00p – 2:30p ($125). Favorites Neal Fraser, Rory Herrmann and Trey Foshee will team up for a Power Lunch at Redbird 12:00p – 2:30p ($125.00). Another sure hit is Chef Miles Thompson with Nancy Silverton, Jonathan Waxman, Sang Yoon and Brooke Williams at Michael’s Santa Monica. 8/25/17, 12:00p – 2:30pm ($150.00).
“Friday Night Market on Grand Avenue” is my favorite event, a street food experience inspired by East Asian night markets. Favorites among over 30 participating restaurants include Alvin Cailan of Grand Central Market winner Eggslut and Filipino revivalists Amboy/Unit 120. David Kuo of Little Fatty, who has been impressing us on the food circuit, longtime favorite Pawan Mahendro of Badmaash, Tin Vuong of the South Bay’s best Thai, Little Sister, and the super-busy celebrity chef Jet Tila. Admission includes custom cocktails, sake, beer and wine. 7:00p – 10:00p ($150.00 VIP: with early entry $195.00)
“The Lexus Grand Tasting” takes place Saturday at Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar. Over 200 wines from some of the world’s most prestigious wineries and tastings from 25 Celebrity Chefs will be the focus of this strolling event. Participants include Tyler Florence of Wayfare Tavern, Evan Funke of Felix, Jon Shook of my fave LA restaurant, Animal, Sammy Monsour of New Orleans pub Preux & Proper, Brian Malarkey of Ivory on Sunset, and Holly Jivin of the experimental Bazaar by Jose Andre. 12:00p – 3:00p ( $175.00)
Saturday night is the big bash, with Grand Avenue covered in a huge red carpet. Hosted by renowned chef Tyler Florence, “Live on Grand” includes live music by Wyclef Jean, 100 wines pouring, and 30 fantastic chefs up delicious tastes. Favorites include Andre Bienvenu of Joe’s Stone Crab, Rory Herrmann of brunch great Barrel & Ashes, Ted Hopson of The Bellwether, Jason Neroni of Rose Cafe, Ricardo Zarate of Rosaline, Kitchen Ninja Thi Tran of Starry Kitchen/Button Mash and Michael Ginor of Hudson Valley Foie Gras. 7:00p – 10:00p ($195.00 VIP: $275.00)
The final event of the weekend is Sunday’s “Lexus Grand Tasting” at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Again, you have the opportunity to try over 200 wines and tastes from 25 Celebrity Chefs. Some of our favorites include Alvin Cailan of Eggslut and Amboy, Andre Bienvenu of Joe’s Stone Crab, Perry Cheung of Phorage, John Tesar of Knife at the Highland, Dakota Weiss of Sweetfin Poke, and Alex Reznik of Ditmas Kitchen. 12:00p – 3:00p ($175.00. VIP: $225.00)