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LA Food and Wine Festival, four days later, why we keep going back.

As one food festival closes and another one is about to begin (The Taste at Paramount Studios) you have to ask yourself why do we keep going to the gorge-fests?

Yes of course you can attend and taste the chef’s you know never miss a beat like Scott Conant (Scarpetta) and David LeFevre (Fishing with Dynamite)…but the real reason I go is to taste that thing that I’ve never heard of from the chef you’ll be hearing about at festivals to come.

Here are my highlights from two events at this year’s Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival that helped shape my pallet for the rest of 2014!

Champagne & Caviar

I Heart Champagne & Caviar at L’Ermitage epitomized decadence for me on Friday night, all beginning at the door as I was knighted with a caviar spoon around my neck and a champagne flute in my hand!

Unfortunately digging right into the caviar was not encouraged, but don’t put it past Beverly Hills folks to be serving themselves the minute the chef turned his back…

Chef Mirko Paderno
Chef Mirko Paderno of Oliverio

My favorite bite of the night, personal caviar tins lined with crudo from Matthew Accarrino from SPQR in San Francisco.

Matthew Accarrino of SPQR
Matthew Accarrino of SPQR

Sip I most looked forward to but wasn’t completely blown away by…Louis Roederer. Pass me the Perrier-Jouët  any day. 

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A taste from the host, Sang Yoon and his Lobster Bahn Mi

Lobster Bahn Mi

Saturday at The Lexus Grand Tasting was a whirlwind of delights, which included 45 minutes of standing in line  purely because of the rumors swirling around that something fantastic was happening. Blame it on the FOMO, but there I was like a lemming, and happy to say I was not disappointed.

The Chef who caused all that fuss,Chef Pawan Mahendro of Badmaash.
The Chef who caused all that fuss,Chef Pawan Mahendro of Badmaash.

Also noteable: Bernhard Mairinger, of  BierBeisl who helped stir up the love of Austrian food I never knew I had with a piece of crispy pork and a smile 🙂

chef-bernhard

So why go..year after year and weekend after weekend… to stand in line, and wear a wine glass around your neck?

Because you never know where you next religious food experience will come from…and it just might be from a lamb burger with a picture of Gandhi wearing sunglasses on it!

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