Los Angeles is heating up as the 4th annual Food & Wine Festival descends upon the modern culture capital of the world’s sun-drenched streets from August 21-24. This four-day gourmet affair will showcase the most delectable combinations of food, drinks and festivities that this premier city has to offer, crafted by some of the most celebrated culinary personalities in the business. This festival, presented by Food & Wine Magazine with support from Lexus, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Resort, JENN-AIR and Delta Airlines, features live culinary demonstrations, wine and spirit tastings, strolling marquee collaborations, book signings and many other food and fun-filled events. Growing in popularity with each occasion, this food enthusiast paradise drew some big names in past years, including elite celebrity chefs such as Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, TV personality’s and chefs Guy Fieri, Giada De Laurentiis, Curtis Stone, Robert Irvine and Rick Bayless, and chef and author’s Michael Mina and Thomas Keller, all of whom are allegedly returning to the festival this year.
With flames burning and mouths watering, the weekend kicks off on Thursday, August 21 with Ultimate Bites of L.A., a Chef Challenge where two of L.A.’s most esteemed chefs team up with visiting chefs to compete for charity. L.A.’s famed Grand Avenue will play host to returning Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s Asian Night Market the following night, where some of the nation’s most talented chefs will pull flavors from Asian-inspired ingredients to create a unique tasting experience. Paired with custom cocktails, sake, shochu, beer and wine as far as the eye can see, these street food tastings feature over 25 traditional and interpretive restaurants and eateries, mirroring the authentic taste of Taipei with a West Coast twist. With guests still reeling from the culinary pleasure from the night before, Grand Avenue will host a Cooking Demonstration Saturday morning. This four-day spectacular will flood the streets of downtown Los Angeles with culinary and musical talent alike, creating the perfect mash up of food and beverage decadence and musical performances by nationally recognized artists. Guests will be left begging for more, as they indulge in taste-bud tantalizing cuisine from over 100 celebrity and world-class chefs, and over 200 wines curated from the most elite wineries.
The weekend also features live demonstrations, including Jenn-Air Master Class Series, teaching you everything you need to know from design sessions, to new recipes, to how to be a good host, and the Lexus Grand Tasting, where guests are given the privilege of mingling and sipping with some of the most top-notch food and wine producers from around the world. Food fans are hoping to see award winning chef Michael Symon, who has been popping up at festivals and all over the Food Network on shows including Iron Chef America, Food Feuds and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. His intense “meat-centric” cooking style makes him a prime candidate for an appearance, as well as Robert Irvine, celebrity chef and TV personality on Dinner: Impossible, Restaurant: Impossible and Worst Cooks in America, who successfully hosted Thrillist’s Barbecue & The Blues at the NYC Wine and Food Festival last year. Hopefully joining the fun this year is celebrity chef and restaurant owner Jose Andres, who is often credited for bringing the small plates dining concept to America and being narrowly beaten out on Iron Chef in 2007 by Bobby Flay. Proving to be a true culinary mastermind, Iron Chef, restaurateur, Chopped star and author Geoffrey Zakarian has fans waiting with baited breath to see if he will participate in this year’s festivities as well. For any foodie out there, there’s not much that could beat this weekend in culinary heaven, where the talent shines brighter than that L.A. sun.