Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Mona Day
Observer Staff Writer 

LA Food & Wine Fest Features Lexus Culinary Master Michelle Bernstein, Curtis Stone and Alex Seidel

'Bad Hombres' Aarón Sánchez and Robert Irvine along with Santa Monica's 'Too Hot Tamales' Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Fenniger

 

August 16, 2018

The 8th annual Los Angeles Food & Wine festival returns to town August 22-26 for five days

The 8th annual Los Angeles Food & Wine festival returns to town August 22-26 for five days. The programming runs the gamut of tastings, dinners, lunches, seminars, cooking demonstrations, and special events located across greater Los Angeles, including Downtown, Venice, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood. The all-star chef lineup includes those heading some of Los Angeles' most-celebrated restaurants as well as nationally-acclaimed culinarly stars.

Two of the festival's marquee events, the Lexus Grand Tastings, take place over the weekend at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Saturday 8/25 and Sunday 8/25 from 12:00p - 3:00pm. VIP access will get you in 30 minutes earlier. The lazy weekend afternoons let you stroll, sip pours from a selection of over 200 world-class wines, and savor dishes from twenty five celebrity chefs. Santa Monica locals Brendan Collins of Wilshire Restaurant, Mark Mollica of La Vecchia Cucina, and Imran Ali Mookhi of Tumbi Craft Indian Kitchen join cross town luminaries Lexus Culinary Master Michelle Bernstein, Curtis Stone and Alex Seidel. Also featured will be book signings and photo opportunities for selfies galore.

Other marquee events include three evening strolling receptions hosted by chef luminaries at the event's downtown hub along Grand Avenue which also include live performances.  The series kicks off with Ultimate Bites of L.A. on Thursday, August 23. Hosted by Alvin Cailan & Antonia Lofaso, the event brings together some of the city's celebrated restaurants battling for the title of Los Angeles' "Ultimate Bite". The chef with the most votes will be featured at Pebble Beach Food & Wine in April 2019. With all that marquee talent, the battle sounds fierce indeed.

On Friday, August 24, 7:00p - 10:00pm, LAFW's signature event of past years, Night Market in Downtown Los Angeles, is replaced with a new event Heat on the Street on Grand Avenue that will be hosted by he two 'Bad Hombres' Aarón Sánchez and Robert Irvine along with Santa Monica's 'Too Hot Tamales' Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Fenniger. The Friday Fiesta will feature twenty chefs from LA and across the country focusing on Latin cuisines: tacos, carne asada, ceviches and nopalitos paired with cervezas, tequila, and wines. Mucho gusto!

The Saturday August 25 7pm block party on Grand Avenue brings another lineup of star chefs, stellar wines, craft beers and cocktails. It will be hosted by restaurateur, cookbook author and television personality Chef Curtis Stone and Tiffani Thiessen, star of Saved by the Bell, Beverly Hills 90210 and The Cooking Channel's Dinner at Tiffani's. Music will be spun by DJ Questlove, known for his Grammy Award-winning band The Roots, and his role on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

A dinner series launches Wednesday, August 22. Jon Yao of Kato Restaurant joins chef Chad Valencia at Lasa, and Barb Batiste of B Sweet Dessert Bar teams up with Alvin Cailan at her new fast-casual Fillipino concept Big Boi.

The power lunch series returns on Friday, August 24. Antonia Lofaso teams up with New Orleans' Aarón Sánchez for a four-course lunch at the highly-anticipated DAMA at City Market South in the Downtown fashion district.

James Beard-nominated chef Casey Lane, Joey Elenterio of Paligroup and King of Caviar Michael Passmore of Passmore Ranch join forces at Breva's Gran Sala.

Chef Michael Reed from Osteria Mozza and Sona teams up with Food Network's Robert Irvine at Viviane in the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills.

Chef Jason Neroni joins Chef Jon Yao of Kato and Seattle's James Beard Award-winning Brady Williams for a laid-back afternoon on the patio Rose Café in Venice.

And Chef Steve Samson joins Denver's Alex Seidel, James Beard Award winner for Best Chef Southwest at Rossoblu to create a memorable lunch inspired by summers spent in Bologna, Italy.

Please visit LAFW.com for more information, and connect with Facebook, Instagram @lafoodwine, and Twitter @lafoodwine, #lafoodwine

 

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