Celebrating TASTE in Costa Mesa

The 2nd annual Los Angles Times The Taste: Costa Mesa, is taking place October 18 and 19 at the MET. Many of the Times’ acclaimed Food staff will introduce some of Orange County’s rising chefs and culinary masters.


The two nights event offers cooking demonstrations, unlimited tastings, and sips of varieties of cocktails and beverages. This year, visitors will get a special chance to learn more from the likes of Chef Carlos Salgado of Michelin-starred Taco Maria, who will provide a glimpse into his contemporary spin to Mexican cooking with questions from L.A. Times Cooking Columnist Ben Mims.

Get a closer look at the artistry behind Chef Maher Nakhal’s Syrian pastries of Le Mirage Pastry, which spotlights Middle Eastern desserts and French pastries and has captured hearts with its bouza (Arabic ice cream).

Additional standout participants:

  • The Crack Shack
  • Terrace by Mix Mix
  • Knife Pleat
  • Roba Noodle
  • Delicato Family Winery
  • Puesto

This event is for guests $21 and over.

Here’s a schedule of tastings and demonstrations:

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 18 (7:00 – 10:00 p.m.)  L.A. Times Cooking Editor Genevieve Ko will host a demo featuring Syrian pastry chef Maher Nakhal (Le Mirage Pastry) as he reveals the handcrafted artistry behind his authentic Middle Eastern desserts and French pastries.

Chef Ross Pangilinan (Terrace by Mix Mix) will showcase his eclectic style and Euro-Filipino flavors through a demo of one of his signature dishes, hosted by Times Features Writer Gustavo Arellano.

Samplings from restaurants and bars include: Absolut Juice, Amor Y Tacos, Angel’s Envy, Barton & Guestier, Bernardus Winery, Beyond Meat, Codigo 1530, Color Wine, Delicato Family Winery, Driftwood Kitchen, Ellie’s Long Beach, Filomena’s Italian Kitchen, First Growth Brands, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Harley Laguna Beach, Jame Enoteca, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, LA Brisket, Las Vegana Mexicana, Las Brisas, Licor 43, Miguel’s Jr., Mule 2.0, Outpost Kitchen, Puesto, Revel Spirits, Roba Noodle, Tackle Box, Terrace by Mix Mix, The Chori-Man, The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Vaca, Verde Kitchen, WAVE Gourmet Burgers, Wine Group, Zing Zang and Zyr.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19 (12:00 – 3:00 p.m.) Chef Carlos Salgado of Michelin-starred Taco María will provide a glimpse into his contemporary, Mexican-influenced cooking with L.A. Times Cooking Columnist Ben Mims.

Taking the crowd on a wine tour through Monterey County, Rob Baker (Southern Glazer’s) will lead a presentation on Bordeaux-style wine from Carmel Valley’s Bernardus Winery.

Samplings from restaurants and bars include: 2145 Pizza, Absolut Juice, Barton & Guestier, Bartenura/Herzog, Bernardus Winery, Billy’s at the Beach, Blinking Owl, Bodvar-House of Roses, Café Sevilla, Casa Barilla, Clay Oven Indian Cuisine, Delicato Family Winery, Descanso a Modern Taqueria,Ensaymada Project, Georgia’s Restaurant, Habana, Honey Bubbles, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Koval, La Kebabology, Louies by the Bay, Leblon, Licor 43, LSXO, Mayors Table Pacific Pub & Kitchen, Mule 2.0, Olea, Revel Spirits, Roba Noodle, Santa Teresa, Sharffenberger, Shuck Oyster Bar, St. Germain, The Chori-Man, The Halal Guys, The Taco Man, The Yellow Chili, Verde Kitchen, Zing Zang and Zyr.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 19 (7:00 – 10:00p.m.) Chef Wing Lam (Wahoo’s Fish Tacos) will cook up his legendary Baja-style fish tacos and discuss the start of his iconic SoCal brand.

Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault (Knife Pleat) will demonstrate modern, seasonal interpretations of classic French techniques with Times Senior Food Writer Jenn Harris.

Samplings from restaurants and bars include: 2145 Pizza, Absolut Juice, Ai Pono Café, Barton & Guestier, Bartenura/Herzog, Bernardus Winery, Billy’s at the Beach, Blinking Owl, Bodvar-House of Roses, Bosscat Kitchen & Libations, CUCINA enoteca, Delicato Family Winery, Descanso a Modern Taqueria, Ensaymada Project, Georgia’s Restaurant, Gracias Madre, Honey Bubbles, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Koval, La Kebabology, La Vegana Mexicana, Lady M Cake Boutique, Leblon, Licor 43, LSXO, Mesa, Mule 2.0, Olea, Revel Spirits, Santa Teresa, Sharffenberger, Silver Trumpet Restaurant and Bar, St. Germain, Toast, The Chori-Man, The Yellow Chili, Verde Kitchen, Zing Zang and Zyr.

For a detailed description of each event and full lineup of participating chefs and restaurants, visit https://events.latimes.com/taste/

 The MET is located at: 535 Anton Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Friday, October 18 (7:00 – 10:00p.m.) – $100 (GA) – $150 (VIP), Saturday, October 19 (12:00 – 3:00p.m.) – $80 (GA) – $130 (VIP), Saturday, October 19 (7:00 – 10:00p.m.) – $100 (GA) – $150 (VIP). To purchase tickets, visit https://events.latimes.com/taste/

 Instead of driving home, Visit Costa Mesa is offering some great hotel deals, go to Travel Costa Mesa.

NO KID HUNGRY Food Festival

Taste of the Nation LA is celebrating its 30th charitable food festival on May 4, 2019 with some of LA’s favorite chefs This year the chef chairs include Bruce Kalman, Dakota Weiss, and Nick Shipp.


I was invited to a special preview night last month at SLS Hotel Beverly Hills. The multi-course dinner was paired with MacRostie Wine. Sitting next to Gillian Jeske Dodd from Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, she represents the state-of-the-art winery, located on a picturesque hilltop overlooking the bucolic Russian River Valley in California.


We first enjoyed pours of 2016 MacRostie Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay. I noticed layers of citrus layers and tropical fruit. The grapes for this wine were harvested by hand and went direct to press as whole clusters. The juice was racked into French oak barrels for fermentation, and aged in 20% new French oak barrels, and 40% one-year-old, adding subtle nuances to a vibrant and beautifully balanced Chardonnay.


The adorable chef Dakota Weiss (Sweet Fin Poke) made the first course – a fresh albacore poke to wake up our palate. This Chardonnay was an excellent pairing with this dish.


Next we enjoyed pork and shrimp wontons with English peas and frilly pea tendrils made by Shirley Chung of Ms. Chi Cafe.


The last dish with the Chardonnay was Jason Neroni (The Rose Venice) Rissole Asparagus with truffle caviar, egg parmesan, petite greens, asparagus jus and cultured creme fraiche. Next bottles of MacRostie Pinot Noir arrived on the table.


While a bottle of MacRostie Thale’s Vineyard Pinot Noir was poured, I learned Steve MacRostie Pinot-focused winery is also the home to Thale’s Vineyard, named after Steve’s wife. This brilliant red wine offered appealing aromas of clove, brown spice, and cherry with lovely berry notes and a pleasing French oak-inspired finish.

This Pinot Noir was made by the talented female winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen. She works closely with owner Steve MacRostie to give this Pinot Noir an amazing palette of flavor. Heidi does as many as 130 small fermentations with each vintage. The wine is made from gently destemmed grapes and is aged for 10 months in 32% new French oak, and 20% one-year-old French oak before it was bottled in July, 2017.


I enjoyed this with the coffee crusted Mangalista pork tenderloin prepared by Nick Shipp from Upper West. On the plate were truffles and a puree of goat cheese. The roasted jalapeño apple sauce had a kick of heat.


It also went well with the Holstein beef strip roast prepared by Bruce Kalman of Square Peg. This dish had braised fennel, and glistened with a pleasing lemon rosemary oil.

Desserts was an amazing Farmers Market array of colorful and creative treats by Mitzi Reyes and Hussain Zouhbi (The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Hotel Beverly Hills).


The Taste of the Nation food festival on May 4 offers ticket holders unlimited bites and sips from the chefs above, plus other restaurant and drink purveyors, such as Ample Hills Creamery, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, Baltaire, Border Grill, Bourbon Steak, Charcoal Venice, China’s Tacos, Commerson, Dog Haus Eagle Rock Public House, Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant, Jaffa Palms, Jiktalda, Los Balcones, Maude, Maple Block Meat Co. McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream, Salazar, Socalo, Tartine Bianco, Tesse, The Bazaar by Jose’ Andres, The Culver Hotel, The Restaurant at Montage Beverly Hills, Valerie Confectlons and Viviane Restaurant.


Beverage participants besides MacRostie Winery & Vineyards include Ammunition Wines, Brockmans Gin, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Cavaletti Vineyards, Chamisal Vineyards, Common Space Brewery, Domaine De Cala, Duvel, Eagle Rock Brewery, Frisco Cellars, Fords Gin, Luna Nuda Wines, Mulholland Distilling Co., Malene Vineyards, Obvious Wines, Singha North America, Seedlip Drinks and Tequila Partida.

There will be a silent auction, photo booth, Chrysler Pacifica Kids activity and lawn games area, and an Opportunity Drawing to win a gift card from every participating restaurant.

By attending this event, proceeds will go to ensure that no kid goes hungry, whether in California or across the nation.

For tickets and information, go to No Kid Hungry.


Masters of Taste 2017

Last Sunday at 1:30 p.m., the clouds opened at the iconic Rose Bowl in Pasadena less than two hours before hundreds of people were going to arrive for a 3 p.m., entrance to the second annual Masters of Taste.


It was sunny and dry by the time I arrived and strolled the 50-yard line feasting on some of the finest fare from L.A.’s top chefs and restaurants.  Here are 9 of my favorite Masters of Taste experiences –

Tony Esnault – Spring and Church and State – FullSizeRender-172

This esteemed chef made a fresh English pea soup adorned with carrots and a few drops of herbed oil. To learn more about his restaurants, click on these links – Church and State and Spring.

The Dirty Cookie –

The Dirty Cookie takes milk and cookies to a new level. Each cookie is handcrafted and delicately hand-coated with premium Belgian Chocolate. Each cookie can be filled with Milk, Vanilla Almond Milk, Cremes – Chocolate and Vanilla, Coconut Cold Brew, Soft-Serve
or Toasted Marshmallow. To learn more, go to The Dirty Cookie.



SpireWorks had one of the most colorful tables at the event. To learn why I think the Eagle Rock and Westwood locations are terrific fast, casual dining destinations click on this link to read my review SpireWorks.

INTRO Art Gallery & Chefs Table


I was so happy to see Michelin-Star Chef Paul Shoemaker from INTRO Art Gallery & Chef’s Table. He made his signature edible “dime bag” made with translucent Japanese rice paper filled with powdered foie gras, cocoa nibs and puffed rice. Shoemaker makes an elegant 12-course dinner every Friday and Saturday evening. It’s an exciting interactive dining experience of art, music and food. Shoemaker told me that he is popping up on the Westside and Venice showcasing his unique menu items. Check out my review of INTRO –beverlypress.com/2016/12/the-secret-supper-club-intro-art-music-food.

True Food Kitchen –

FullSizeRender-168For healthy options True Food Kitchen offered three tasty bites to hundreds of guests. Here’s my review of True Food Kitchen – True Food Kitchen.

Sprinkles –


Sprinkles Cupcake founder and pastry chef Candace Nelson is the founder started tthe world’s first cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills in 2005. Today, Sprinkles has locations nationwide, and a traveling Sprinklesmobile. In 2012, Sprinkles debuted the world’s first Cupcake ATM and recently Sprinkles Ice Cream. To learn more http://sprinkles.com/about/cupcakes.

Milk and Honey –


Milk and Honey offered Hawaiian Blast Wellness Bowls that were filled with a base of strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and organic almond milk. The toppings included pineapple, coconut meat, honeydew, organic hemp granola, a piece of honeycomb and beautiful California grown organic edible flower. Click here to learn where Milk and Honey is located Milk and Honey.



I really liked this Kombucha created by Michael Faye. As a commercial photographer and  huge dog lover, his bottles have a photo of an adorable dog. His Kombucha is one of the undiluted, organic types . This probiotic is traditionally brewed with tea. It’s BPA-free, raw, gluten-free, and non GMO. Kombucha Dog is available at over 150 locations in bottles and on tap in markets, restaurants and bars in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego Counties – Kombuchadog.

Complimentary parking will also be available at the event. Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over. To book your tickets directly,visit http://www.MastersofTasteLA.com/Tickets.1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena.

Fun Food Festival in Santa Monica

On Thursday, March 2 experience more than 150 of the city’s finest dishes and libations under one roof of the Baker Hangar in Santa Monica, while supporting Planned Parenthood Los Angeles’ health services and education programs.


This year Annie Miler receives the honor of Chef of the Year for 2017. Annie Miler is the chef and owner of Clementine in Los Angeles.

Food Fare offers two separate sessions designed to fit everyone’s schedule. The daytime session runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the evening session is from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Experience Southern California’s best chefs, restaurants and caterers. Some of the participants include 71 Above, Angelini Osteria, Baldoria, Button Mash, Da KikoKiko, Kali, Craft Los Angeles, Mozza Restaurant Group, Jon & Vinny’s, miro restaurant, Napoleon & Josephine, Red O Santa Monica, The Butcher’s Daughter, Lucques, An Catering by Crustacean, Mexikosher, Ysabel, Food Haus Café, Local Kitchen & Wine Bar, Malbec Restaurants, McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams, Petty Cash Taqueria, Racion, Savore Cuisine, Simmzy’s, SOCA, Takami Sushi, Cast Iron Catering, Top Tier Treats, Bar Pintxo, CasaLinda, Chichen Itza Restaurant, Dandy Don’s Homemade Ice Cream, Doma Kitchen, Hal’s Bar & Grill, Hamasaku, James’ Beach, Locanda del Lago, Nawab of India, Phorage, Rosti Tuscan Kitchen, Sugar Rush by iiSHA, The Albright, Thyme Café & Market, Venice Whaler, and Castle’s Catering.

Over 35 participants provide generous pours of wine, cocktails, beer, spirits, coffee, and tea such as Four Brix Winery, The Bruery & Bruery Terreux, Weaver’s Coffee & Tea, Cappuccino Man, Greenbar Distillery, Third Window Brewing Company, Golden Road Brewery, Jardesca, Honest Tea, and New Frontier Coffee. Dirty Sue Martini, Kikori Whiskey, Purity Organic, and Angel City Brewery will be there too.

Shopping includes art, jewelry, handbags, pajama sets, home décor, cashmere throws, and kids’ fashion. There is also a wine and spirit auction.

Advance tickets are $150 for the daytime session and $250 for the evening session.

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles provides care to over 150,000 women, men, and teens each year at our 20 health centers throughout L.A. Over 93% of the work is preventive, including life-saving cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, breast health services and health information and counseling. The education and community outreach programs reach 50,000 women, men and teens in Los Angeles County each year.

The festival is at 3021 Airport Ave, Santa Monica. To purchase tickets, go to  www.pplafoodfare.com.

15 LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade Moments

Yesterday (September 10, 2016) I enjoyed an afternoon of food, wine, cocktails and music during a fundraiser for the Alex’s Lemonade Foundation. This year the venue was at UCLA between the majestic Royce Hall and Powell Library. It was an ideal spot for James Beard winner and Executive chef Suzanne Goin to host the benefit with her culinary partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern) and chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat). All the chefs who participated (over 40 of them) graciously donated their time, food and talent to the cause for this event.

Photo of Suzanne Goin and Carloine Styne by Jill Weinlein
Photo of Suzanne Goin and Carloine Styne by Jill Weinlein

Here are 15 of my favorite experiences while attending this annual fundraiser to help fight pediatric cancers:

  1. Emmys Award and Late Night Host Jimmy Kimmell stepped onstage during the live auction, and offered his home as a venue for an all-star female chef team to prepare a one-of-a-kind dinner.  The bidding stopped at $55,000 and some of the top women chefs in America offered another $55,000 for a total of $110,000. Jimmy Kimmel was one of the many celebrities at the event.

    Jimmy Kimmell's special dinner with all-star chefs raised $110,000. Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Jimmy Kimmell’s special dinner with all-star chefs raised $110,000. Photo by Jill Weinlein
  2. Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis was at the 7th Annual L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade event. She welcomed children to her booth to help her prepare Bruschetta with burrata and kale salsa verde. It was delicious!

    Photo by Jill Weinlein
    Photo by Jill Weinlein
  3. One of Los Angeles’ esteemed female chefs Nancy Silverton of (Mozza Restaurant Group) made an exquisite baked eggplant dish.

    Photo of Nancy Silverton by Jill Weinlein
    Photo of Nancy Silverton by Jill Weinlein
  4.  One of my favorite moments was watching the chefs interact with the children enjoying the event. Some of the children were in recovery of cancer, some lost a sibling to cancer and others were big supporters of the event. Children organized their own lemonade stand and donated their proceeds to Alex’s Lemonade to support Childhood Research to find cures.
Celebrity Chef Giada has a restaurant in Las Vegas. Photo by Jill Weinlein
The playful Celebrity Chef Giada with young chefs. Photo by Jill Weinlein

Giada had kids help her cook her unique bite sized burrata topped with a kale. Brian Voltaggio plopped vaporizing nitrogen ice into his mouth to have smoke appear from his semi-closed lips. This made the kids laugh. He also handed out cups of compressed watermelon cubes to a few cuties.

Photo of Suzanne Goin and Carloine Styne by Jill Weinlein

Another touching moment was when esteemed chef Aaron Sanchez from New York came to support the event and shared a tender moment with a sweet little girl. He asked her to help he serve his small plates. As I took one from her, I snapped this photo of the both of them hamming it up. Man his Cobia Tiradito with Creole tomato and crispy hominy was delicious.img_4265

5. Guests congregated in the wine tent to experience wine tasting from over 50 vintners. Some of vintners included Amitié Wines -Black Sheep Finds – Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants – Emanuel Tres Wines – Grandes Places Sélections – Gregory Condes Wines – Habit Wine Company – Hitching Post Wines – Hoxie Spritzer – Hudson Wine Brokers – Indigenous Selections -Jardesca – Jelly Roll Wines – Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant – Kimberly Jones Selections – La Fenêtre – Lang & Reed Wine Company – Langdon Shiverick Imports – Martian Ranch and Vineyard – Melville Winery – Next Generation Wine Co. – Red Car Winery – Return to Terroir -Silverlake Wine – Storm Wines – Strange Family Vineyards – Tercero Wines – The Rare Wine Co. – The Wine House – Tyler Winery – Veritas Imports – Wenzlau Vineyard – Whitcraft Winery – WINC.

6. Guests who visited Clover Chadwick, Los Angeles at the Dandelion Ranch Farmers Market Flowers received a live flower boutonnière as a floral decoration.  I saw these flowers worn in women’s hair or attached to a ribbon as a bracelet. Nice touch!

Fresh flower booth - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Fresh flower booth – Photo by Jill Weinlein

7.  For a sweet treat Eva Ein from Santa Barbara based McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams  (now also at the Grand Central Market, Studio City and your local grocery stores) drove the ice cream truck to the event. She and her team offered McC’s Tea Set ice cream – Earl Grey Tea & Butter – Biscuits Ice Cream – Chamomile Tea & Oatmeal Cookies Ice Cream – Chamomile & Bergamot infused whipped cream that was served with a shortbread cookie. YUM!

McConnell's Fine Ice Cream - Photo by Jill Weinlein
McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream – Photo by Jill Weinlein

8. A fun chef exchange was two esteemed Los Angeles based chefs – Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections chatting with Bruce Kalman  of Union Pasadena and Knead & Co Pasta Bar + Market. They were having a great time.

Valerie Gordon and Bruce chatting it up. Photo by Jill Weinlein
Valerie Gordon and Bruce Kalman chatting it up. Photo by Jill Weinlein

9. Los Angelenos chef Ben Ford of Ford’s Filling Station and  Neal Fraser of Redbird, BLD, ICDC, Fritzi Dog shared a booth together.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

10. One of my favorite dishes was by Executive Chef Maria Hines from Seattle, WA. Her restaurants include Tilth, Golden Beetle, Agrodolce. She made a cauliflower salad with Sultanas, Tahini and Cilantro that was fabulous.

Cauliflower salad - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Cauliflower salad – Photo by Jill Weinlein

11. Timothy Hollingsworth of Los Angeles’ restaurants Otium, Barrel & Ashes made a delicious bite sized burrata tart with tomato, basil, curry and onions. WOW! Amazing flavor profile.

Delicious! Photo by Jill Weinlein
Delicious! Photo by Jill Weinlein

12. Chef Jenn Louis of Portland, OR restaurants Sunshine Tavern and  Lincoln Restaurant grilled dates stuffed with a marcona almond and sprinkled lime juice and sea salt on top. They were heavenly.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

13. Pairing a craft cocktail with one of the Border Grill tacos was quite a treat. Mixologists included Marcos Tello of El Silencio – Beau du Bois of Corner Door – Darwin Manahan from Cliff’s Edge – Eric Alperin & Max Seaman from The Varnish – Christiaan Röllich of Lucques, a.o.c., and Tavern and Neal Bodenheimer from Cure.

Pink's Hot Dogs - Photo by Jill Weinlein
Pink’s Hot Dogs – Photo by Jill Weinlein

14. There was always a line for the classic Pink’s Hot Dogs.

Photo by Jill Weinlein
Photo by Jill Weinlein

15. I learned that Alex’s Lemonade Stand raised over $1 million dollars at the event. This  money goes to the awareness about childhood cancer, with an emphasis on research into new treatments and cures. The organization also empowers individuals – especially children – to get involved and make a difference in the lives of children with cancer. I’m looking forward to next years event.

To follow Alex’s Lemonade, go to – http://www.alexslemonade.org.

The Magnificent Masters of Taste

The Just Opened Venue - Photo by Jill Weinlein)
(An ideal culinary venue for foodies inside the historic Rose Bowl – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

It was a spectacular day to savor the finer things in life on the field of the historic Rose Bowl during Masters of Taste on Sunday, April 3.

The new outdoor, luxury culinary festival opened at 3 p.m. to the public as a fundraiser for Union Station. Approximately 2,000 influential food and beverage enthusiasts enjoyed small plates from some of L.A.’s finest chefs and notable sweet masters.

There were multiple opportunities to sip signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 25 beverage masters from top cocktail bars.

(The friendly wine staff from Alexander Valley Vineyards -Instagram: @AVVWinery – Twitter @AVVWinery – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

Participating wineries include Alexander Valley Vineyards from Healdsburg, Paso Robles’ Anglim Winery, the premium boutique winery Ascension Cellars and Ventura’s Four Brix Winery. Guests can also enjoy pressed juices, hand-roasted coffee and entertainment.

Chef Bernhard Mairinger served crispy pork belly crostini w/ fava bean and radish.
(Chef Bernhard Mairinger served crispy pork belly crostini w/ fava bean and radish.)

Here are some of my favorite participating chefs and what they served at the event.  Matt Bata, from Alexander’s Steakhouse; Bernhard Mairinger, of BierBeisl; Michael “Mick” Schepers, of HACHÉ LA; Yoya Takahashi, of Hamasaku; Carolos Tomazos, of Inotheke; Sean Popcock, of Made in Brooklyn; Kyle Schutte, of Wood & Vine; Neal Fraser, of Redbird; and Isaias Pena, of Spare Tire Kitchen & Tavern. Brewmasters include Alosta Brewing Co., Bootlegger’s Brewery, Iron Triangle Brewing, Indie Brewing Company and Golden Road Brewing.

(A good cause to help those in need at Union Station for the Homeless - Photo by Jill Weinlein)
(A good cause to help those in need at Union Station for the Homeless – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

Proceeds from Masters of Taste benefitted Union Station Homeless Services, a nonprofit organization based in Pasadena and committed to helping homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives. Services include street outreach, meals, shelter, housing, case management and career development.

I hope this event was a huge success and that they will organize another Masters of Taste in 2017. Here’s who I met –

  1. Made in Brooklyn Pizza Food Truck – HOLD IT. FOLD IT. EAT IT. http://mibpizza.com Instagram @MadeInBrooklynNYPizza – Twitter @MIBPizza
(Chef Sean Popock made in Brooklyn Pizza Truck – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

2. Kelly’s Kookies served individual plate of various cookies to each guest before entering the center of the stadium.They were delicious. http://www.kelleyskookies.com/  Instagram @KellysKookies – Twitter @KellysKookies.

Kelley's Kookies - Melting Moments - Chocolate dipped & lemon shortbread
(Sweet Masters Kelley’s Kookies served Melting Moments – Chocolate dipped & lemon shortbread – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

3. San Antonio Winery served a variety of their wines and offered foodies a chance to win a beautiful wine basket. http://sanantoniowinery.com Instagram @SanAntonioWinery – Twitter @SAWineryLA

San Anotonio Winery basket went to one lucky winner - photo by Jill Weinlein
(San Anotonio Winery basket went to one lucky winner – photo by Jill Weinlein)

4. BAI – Bai is the Mandarin Chinese word for “pure.” It’s also an acronym for “botanical antioxidant infusions.” Bai uses only natural flavors without artificial colors to create our fresh, delicious, 5-calorie beverages. http://www.drinkbai.com Instagram @DrinkBai – Twitter @Drink Bai.


5. I recently reviewed Executive Chef Neal Fraser‘s newest culinary endeavor Fritzi DLTA https://dineandtravel.me/2016/02/05/fritzi-dtla-is-fabulous/ and was happy to see him representing Redbird. Instagram @RedbirdLA – Twitter @RedbirdLA

Jill Weinlein with Neil Fraser Redbird while making Ricotta Gnudi with guanchale & spicy tomato sauce.
(Jill Weinlein with Neal Chef Fraser)

6. Spare Tire Kitchen + Bar – I always enjoy seeing Executive Chef Isaias Peña and owner Paul Boettcher. I’ve reviewed this fun gastropub on Wilshire Blvd. along the Wilshire Corridor – /http://beverlypress.com/2015/02/spare-tire-kitchen-tavern-more-than-a-fun-gastropub/ Instagram @SpareTireLA – Twitter @SpareTireLA

Chef Isaias Peña and owners Owner Paul Boettcher and son - Spare Tire Kitchen + Bar
(Chef Isaias Peña and owners Owner Paul Boettcher and son – Spare Tire Kitchen + Bar – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

6. HOOCH is a private cocktail app for your smart phone. The App is free to download to check out. If you decide to become a member, membership is $9.99 per month, less than the price of one cocktail. https://hooch.co Instagram @HoochApp – Twitter @HoochApp

HOOCH - Mixwell - Brugal Anejo Buck Rum Cocktail
(HOOCH – Mixwell – Brugal Anejo Buck Rum Cocktail – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

7. Massage Envy offered complimentary massages to ticket holders. http://www.massageenvy.com

Massage Envy offered complimentary massages to guests.
(What a treat to get a massage – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

8. Choctál representatives offered four tastes of chocolates and four spoons of their vanilla ice cream. The chocolates were from Ghana, Kalimantan, Costa Rica and Dominican Republic. The vanilla beans used to make the vanilla ice cream are from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and Mexico.  The ice cream is elegant, smooth and intensely creamy. http://www.choctal.com Instragram @Choctal – Twitter @Choctal

Choctal Cutie
(Choctal Cutie serving tastes to festival attendees – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

9. Executive Chef Brendan Collins of Birch was at the festival. He had his book – Cooking, Blokes and Artichokes – A Modern Man’s Kitchen Handbook for all to admire. http://birchlosangeles.com Instagram @BirchLosAngeles – Twitter @BirchLA

Executive Chef Brendan Collins
(Executive Chef Brendan Collins – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

10. Golden Road Brewery Crafted in Glendale/Los Angeles since 2011. They served tastes of Wolf 3D and 329 Lager. Did you know there are 329 days of sun in So Cal? 329 Lager is full-flavored and easy-drinking with a clean, crisp finish. http://www.goldenroad.la Instagram @GoldenRoadBrew – Twitter @GoldenRoadBrew

Golden Road Brewery brought lively staff members who were enjoying the event.
(Golden Road Brewery brought lively staff members who were enjoying the event – Photo by Jill Weinlein)

11. Indie Brewing Company – I met (L to R) Brewmaster James Mancuso, who loves every Indie brew. Kevin O’Malley – a graduate of the Introduction to Practical Brewing Course at University of Davis, California, one of the top brewing schools in the U.S. His favorite beer is the Indie’s Porter offering a complex rich taste with a drinkability he has never experienced with any other porter. Connor Forbes, an expert at brewing, drinking, and loving beer. These guys were a lot of fun and had a great time at Masters of Taste. http://indiebrewco.com Instagram @IndieBrewCO -Twitter @IndieBrewingCo

(Happy guys from Indie Brewing Company - photo by Jill Weinlein)
(Happy guys from Indie Brewing Company – photo by Jill Weinlein)

12. The Raymond – 1886 Bar opened a cocktail program was created by Aidan Demarest and Marcos Tello (The Edison, 7 Grand, Tom Bergins) with a strong foundation in classic techniques. They make perfect Manhattans, Old-Fashions, Sidecars, and Sours with fresh juices and hand-cut chunks of ice. Every syrup, infusion, tincture and foam is house-made and perfectly tailored to suit the recipes. Bar 1886 offers over 600 off-menu house cocktails. http://theraymond.com/1886-2/ Instagram @1886Bar – Twitter @1886Bar.

The Raymond in Pasadena
The Raymond in Pasadena

To learn more about Masters of Taste, go to https://mastersoftastela.com

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