Last year The L.A. Times and Food & Wine were rivals on the food festival scene, with the latter throwing the well-organized Taste of Beverly Hills, and our local paper bungling its first big food event. Wisely, The Times has joined forces with the famous magazine to introduce a new food event called The Taste in early September. Who will be there?
Stars of television's food world will be on-hand, like Michael Voltaggio, Ludo Lefebvre, our friend Debi Mazar and her husband Gabriele Corcos, along with Giada De Laurentiis and Scott Conant. In a press release, no apologies are made for the paper's faux pas last summer, but we are alerted to the joining together of the forces behind "last year’s most successful Southern California gastronomic events." Sure, whatever, life rolls on, perception is reality, and memories are pretty short these days.
The Taste will be spread across nine different events in four days that will be somewhat familiar to attendees of Taste of Beverly Hills. For example, "Picnic in the Hills" will offer a Labor Day BBQ hosted by Giada, while "Burgers and Beer" will close down Rodeo Drive for a day. Hollywood will be the site of a trendy "Taco Tequila Tryst," while "Food Noir" is all about celebrating Downtown food on Downtown streets.
So basically, this is very much like Taste of Beverly Hills, only with a much bigger perimeter. Considering the event was so well-staged last year, we'd say Food & Wine has little to worry about in stretching their feet, and our's, a little past 90210. Taking on a partner could prove a little trickier.
The event's success will likely depend heavily on ticket price. If set low like The Times' festival last year, every other person reading about it in the paper will descend , making both food and elbow room sorta scarce. If kept reasonably high like last year's Taste of Beverly Hills, there's still some hope you'll be able to breathe and eat comfortably.
As of now, a website is up, but no ticket details are available yet.
September 2-5, 2011
At various locations.