Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Countdown to Los Angeles Food & Wine, Tomorrow Through This Weekend!

The 6th annual festival, presented by FOOD & WINE and Lexus, features four days of events held at iconic venues in LA (from just outside Disney Concert Hall and The Broad Museum downtown, to the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica) and highlighting some of the finest restaurants from around the country.

If you're into celebrity chefs, there will be over 100 at the event, from Hugh Acheson to Jet Tila to Nyesha Arrington; Food Network stars Tyler Florence, Emeril Lagasse and Robert Irvine are also on the roster, and there are always opportunities at these events to get up close and personal.  Enjoy cooking & mixology demos, sit down dinners, grand tastings and even a concert by De La Soul this year.

For highlights the event from last year, see below!

When: Thursday August 25- Sunday August 28, 2016

Where: Various venues in Downtown LA, Beverly Hills (see event site for details)

How much: $115-$175 general admission, $175 VIP (see event site for details)

[Deal alert: 15% discount for Lexus Preferred Drivers via this link]

Event website:


One of my favorite events from last year was the Lexus Live on Grand Saturday night.  An outdoor event held on Grand Avenue in presence of the breathtaking Disney Concert Hall, even more impressive lit up under the DTLA night sky, and and The Broad Museum (which hadn't at the time opened to the public yet - but drew even more wonderment from the crowd with its mysterious design that to me looked like a giant eye in the center of an almost benign reptilian inspired exterior), it was a night to remember.

At LAFW events, it's always fun to discover samplings from new restaurants you hadn't been to yet.  My first stop was at Hot's Kitchen's station, which featured Seared Foie Gras with Pig Ear Crisp and Cara Cara Orange by Chef Sean Chaney.

One of my other favorite bites of the night also came from a restaurant I'd never been to before, this time up in San Francisco - Mourad, a Moroccan fine dining restaurant with a California twist.

Chef Mourad Lahlou himself was there plating up tartlettes with smoked salmon, dill, cucumber and lebni.  It was so delicious I went back shamelessly for four.  (And on a subsequent trip to SF, based on this unforgettable bite I actually stopped in to dine at Mourad - post on this to come.)

The Strand House's Chef Greg Hozinsky offered an incredible Spicy Rock Shrimp & Chorizo Broth dish.

Then there were the familiar and beloved stations like Hudson Valley Foie Gras, where Chef Michael Ginor served up a decadent Torchon of Hudson Valley Foie Gras with Caramelized White Chocolate.

We chowed down on this one to the sounds of The Roots perform live on the Lexus stage!

As us Food-Obsessed finished our rounds collecting luxe bites and sips, we started to check out the fun stations like Joe's, where chefs were rolling with the spirit of the outdoor street market style set up by pressing cubanos with actual clothes irons!

Hendricks Gin had an awesome steampunk-esque booth with a 'curious' contraption that enabled hand-cranked mixing of a gin cocktail.

At other stations, they also served craft cocktail shots on a wooden plank, so that you had to line up with other friends you'd just made while queuing up for drinks, and down the shots at the same time.  Definitely great insta-bonding station!

Be sure to explore every station and duck into all areas of the venue - if we hadn't stopped by the Lexus Lounge last year we would have missed out on the fantastic Summer Peach Tres Leches with Tokaji Gel (Tokaji being my recently discovered favorite, amazingly balanced sweet wine from Hungary known as the "elixir of the tsars").

(And at the Friday night event, it was in the Lexus Lounge that Chef David Lefevre from my favorite restaurants in Manhattan Beach - Fishing With Dynamite, MB Post and Arthur J - was there to shuck oysters to order and hand fed them to guests!!!!  Talk about a bucketlist moment! And no I am NOT sharing that photo of my #cryface)

All in all, LAFW is always an unforgettable time from the decadent food, free flowing drinks, face time with amazing chefs, to fantastic entertainment.

Looking forward to the start of this year's festivities tomorrow!


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