Inside Out Community Arts, the Venice-based performing arts education non-profit that organized last year’s Taste of Abbot Kinney Festival, knows that some serious changes needed to take place before putting the event up again. Last year’s festival was marred by bad weather and, much more offensive, not nearly enough food, leaving guests with a handful of pre-paid tickets and empty bellies. But after a year of consulting with the neighborhood and studying a number of alternatives, Inside Out developed a new model for the event to ensure that ticket-holders are happy and satiated and that the restaurants on Abbot-Kinney are enthusiastic partners. What will be different this year?
The planning board’s first wise move was to bring Joe’s and Bar Pintxo owner Joe Miller on board as the October 23rd festival’s 2011 Event Chair. The Taste of AK will now feature two components, a VIP reception with chef demos, a raffle, VIP gift bag, and early passed tastes from 3:00-4:30 P.M. and a “Tasting Tour of Abbot Kinney” from 4:30-6:30 P.M. To really cut-back on the looming threat of any suckiness, the organizers are only selling 400 tickets to the event this year, 200 for VIPs at $100, and 200 for the rest of the event at $60.
The event itself will have wine and beer tastings and live music, while seeking to highlight signature dishes from the street’s red-hot restaurants. Guests will get a wristband upon entering that will be punched at each restaurant, which keeps them from getting seconds (and from getting fat) but also ensures restaurants won’t run out of food as everyone goes straight to the most popular restaurants and eats them out of stock, like last year.
So far, participating restaurants have not been announced, but we’re told to expect a similar lineup to last year’s, with an extra shot of confidence bolstered by Joe Miller’s support and a much cleaner model. And of course, the proceeds go back to Inside Out, a non-profit that offers a completely free performing arts program to middle school and high school students across Los Angeles.
Taste of Abbot Kinney
October 23rd, 2011
VIP: 3:00-6:30 P.M.
Tasting Tour: 4:30-6:30 P.M.