Last night saw the kick-off to Los Angeles Food & Wine, the massive conglomeration of collaborative chef lunches, food-intensive workshops, and celebrity tasting events that are replacing Wolfgang Puck’s longstanding American Wine and Food Festival with four days organized by founders of Pebble Beach Food & Wine. Under the blinding electronic billboards hugging Nokia Plaza and deafening strains of Top 40 gar-bage, the event was often overwhelming. The good news is that each dish was every bit as awesome as the music was detestable. Want to come take a look?
Even if we feel stuffed by a surplus of food events these days, it’s still always a pleasure tasting what our local heroes like John Sedlar, Mary Sue Milliken, Roy Choi, Michael Cimarusti, Susan Feniger, Josiah Citrin, Kerry Simon, and Ricardo Zarate are cooking at these types of things. Thursday’s thrills were heightened by the chance to welcome chefs like Hubert Keller, Daniel Boulud, Lydia Shire, and Graham Elliot to our city for a change, as well as the visiting chefs we’ve come to love from AWFF, like Sam Choy, Hiro Sone, and Robert Del Grande.
Altogether, even if the person who paid Randy Jackson to press a bunch of buttons deejay needs a prolonged head-check, the debut was a well-organized, rewarding premiere that set up the glitzy tone for this ambitious new food festival now upon us. Check out just about everything we ate and everyone we saw in our slideshow of the red carpet premiere and a few scenes from the Pigs, Pins, and Pinot after-party held at Lucky Strike.