Have you been lost without your annual food events? We certainly have! What better way to return to the world than with the biggest and best luxury food event in LA? You will also be helping Union Station Homeless Services to help the unhoused community of LA.
The fifth annual Masters of Taste returns to the field of the Pasadena Rose Bowl on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, with Host Chef Vanda Asapahu, chef and owner of Ayara Thai Cuisine. From 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm, enjoy unlimited pours, cocktails, sweets, and small plates from more than 100 of the best chefs, mixologists and vintners in town. Masters of Taste will be offering signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, plus a premier 50-Yard-Line Cocktail Bar. This year will also introduce a Thai street food market, curated by Chef Vanda, featuring restaurants like Luv2Eat and Holy Basil.The media was invited to a preview of the Masters of Taste event featuring several of the participating “Master Chefs,” “Sweet Masters” and “Drink Masters.” We started the evening out with a falafel, chicken, or shwarma plate from the Kaboboholic truck. The falafel was nice and moist. Masters of Taste makes sure to feed you coming and going.
The cocktail hour featured highballs from Suntory Whisky, which is much cleaner and less peaty than traditional whiskies. It is the only whisky I get excited about. Knox Dobson offered four traditional cocktails, and Four Ten Cannons Brewing Co was pouring their flavorful single hop One Cannon IPA with Zamba. For teetotalers, there was plenty of Humm Kombucha.
The newly opened Agnes Restaurant and Cheesery in Pasadena provided a variety of appetizers and a mind-blowing cheese and charcuterie tray. The evening’s sit-down tasting started with an Albondigas Chamayo from Gabi James, the most popular tapas at their place in Redondo Beach. It was followed by Gretchen’s Jambalaya, studded with chicken and Andouille, from Georgia’s Restaurant.
Chef Justin Haefler of the legendary Gracias Madre, made a sort of tulle from Follow Your Heart’s vegan Parmesan, stuffed it with oyster mushrooms pastor and wrapped it all in a tortilla. It was probably the best vegan plate I have ever eaten. To gild the lily, the taco was accompanied by a Clarified Margarita from the restaurant’s Beverage Director, Maxwell Reis. The intense lime flavors were teased out with a centrifuge and sous vide machine, creating a zero waste drink.
This year’s Chef Host, Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai created her version of boat noodles, which she jokingly refers to as “dirty pho” because the broth isn’t clear. She said she was afraid to tell us what was in it. I expected offal, having had some gnarly boat noodles in the past, but it was just fermented tofu. There were cute squiggly chicharrons with which to adorn our bowls. Her sister, Chef Cathy Asapahu, brought it home with a delicious layered coconut and pandan custard, bruleed. We were also handed Sea Salt and Caramel Brownies from Bertha Mae’s Brownies on our way out–as I said, they feed you both coming and going.
VIP tickets are already sold out. General Admission is $135.00 with a $7.85 Fee. Using our promo code, YELP22, you can score $15 off. 100% of the proceeds from Masters of Taste 2022 will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a nonprofit organization committed to helping men, women and children experiencing homelessness. In the last four years, Masters of Taste has raised over$2 million in support of Union Station’s life-saving programs.
Ages 21+ Only. Masters of Taste is a rain or shine event (And they mean it! One year a big thunderstorm had us all hiding and giggling in the concrete corridors of the Rose Bowl until it passed. It was fun and crazy).