Heading North to the 2nd Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival

August 8, 2012

This Sunday, SanDiegoVille founders will be heading north to LaLa Land, joining the likes of San Diego's very own Brian Malarkey and many other celebrity chefs in attendance at the Lexus Grand Tasting event at the 2nd Annual Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival.

Last year, the inaugural LA Food & Wine Festival replaced Wolfgang Puck's annual Meals on Wheels event as the big game in Los Angeles based tasting events.  The second incarnation of the LA Food & Wine Festival begins today and features a long list of meal experiences, wine forums, cooking demos, and tasting events spread throughout Los Angeles, with the "main event" being the two-day Lexus Grand Tasting experience.  Tonight starts the packed weekend with the sold out, invitation only, $2,000 per person Founder's Dinner - an event limited to 24 guests and taking place at a private residence in Bel Air.

Hell yea we interviewed Giada!!
On Thursday, gorgeous celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis plays host alongside a line-up of culinary icons and their unique interpretations of Italian cuisine. At Giada's Festa Italiana, over two hundred wines from around the world will be poured alongside top brews and spirits.   Participants will have a chance to rub shoulders with culinary royalty while feasting and toasting to all that makes LA great – from rock stars to rock star chefs to Hollywood elites and unparalleled wines - this is an event not to be missed.

Andrew Zimmern with Burlap
Executive Chef and SDV's friend,
Anthony Sinsay
Throughout the rest of the weekend, participants have the opportunity to attend meal events and cooking demonstrations hosted by celebrity chefs including Top Chef stars Richard Blais, Fabio Viviani, the Voltaggio brothers Michael and Bryan, and of course our very own Brian Malarkey.  MasterChef judge Graham Elliot will host the Summer at the Shore event at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica.  Bizarre Foods host (and recent visitor to SD) Andrew Zimmern will be taking participants into a multi-sensory street food experience serving up traditional as well as interpretive Asian street grub from both established restaurants and mom-and-pop joints at the sold out Asian Night Market event.  There will also be cooking demonstrations by a variety of famous chefs including Guy Fieri, Michael Chiarello, and Wolfgang Puck.  Saturday night will culminate with a performance by Third Eye Blind, but the weekend is truly highlighted by the Lexus Grand Tasting event, which is held on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Lexus Grand Tasting at Los Angeles Food & Wine is the most spectacular opportunity to enjoy over 300 wines from 200 of the world's most prestigious wineries. Thirty Celebrity Chefs (varying each day) will showcase their culinary skills and provide delicious and decadent samples of their cuisine. During this remarkable strolling and tasting event guests will have access to book signings and photo sessions with some of the weekend's biggest chef celebrities. This event takes place on the Event Deck at LA LIVE where the entire space is transformed into a feast for all senses!  We'll be covering day 2 of the Grand Tasting, where we'll be in attendance with Top Chef Season 2 winner Ilan Hall, our friend Chef Daniel Joly, San Diego's top chef Brian Malarkey, and Roy's Hawaiian Fusion frontman, Roy Yamaguchi.

SDV Founders acting a fool
in Pebble Beach
We absolutely love food festivals.  It's always fun to be able to sample a variety of gourmet offerings, especially when they are prepared by esteemed chefs and celebrity cooks and come along with unlimited wine, beer and spirit samplings.  Yea, we're not only foodies, we're lushes too!  We'll let you know how this year's LA Food & Wine Festival compares to others we have attended in the past, including the Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival and last year's San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, so be sure to check back.

Check out the full roster for the weekend online, where tickets range from $50 for chef demos to $75 for Zimmern's Asian Night Market to $150 for each day of the Grand Tastings, and $250 for the Lexus Live on the Plaza with Wolfgang Puck and Third Eye Blind.  All the information you need, including ticket sales, is available at the Festival's website, Facebook page and Twitter account.