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It’s Not Too Late

Hello Enthusiasts –

This is a short post to tell you that if you haven’t figured out what part of the LA Food & Wine Festival you’re going to attend, you’re missing out.  Lots of things have sold out, but there are lots of tickets left for lots of things.  Check it out here.

The signature events are the evening events, and the cool thing this year is that they’ve actually closed down four blocks of Grand Avenue – the biggest and longest street closure ever, at least in Downtown.  So not only are you getting to eat food from amazing chefs without forking over their restaurant prices, but you’re supporting Downtown, which I know all you enthusiasts want to do.  (there are also events in Santa Monica and Beverly Hills, too…)

Tonight is the Asian Night Market, with Morimoto, Bryant Ng from Spice Table, the Kogi truck, Roy Yamaguchi from Roy’s, and more.  Tomorrow is the LIVE on Grand “big event” with Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless, Susan Feniger, Michael Mina, John Sedlar, and more (if you don’t know who these people are, just trust me that they are among the best that not only Los Angeles, but the whole country has to offer).  Plus, Gavin deGraw is performing, so that’s cool.

And then even Sunday has a midday “Grand Tasting” which includes Mark Peel, Ricardo Zarate, among others.

Plus, I haven’t mentioned the wineries, but there are tons of great wines represented as well.

But beyond the “big events”, there are tons of individual events showcasing individual chefs, winemakers, and other interesting people in the culinary world.  If I was only going to one, I’d go to this one.  Trust me – it will be super cool.

Before I go, let me answer a few of the questions that I hear:

1) “Isn’t it kind of expensive?”  Um, no, it’s not.  First, the individual sessions are very reasonable.  Second, if you think the “big events” are expensive, then you need a lesson in “value” vs. “price.”  Yes, it’s a bunch of booths/tables with chefs giving you samples.  But, you’re getting the best food in the world cooked by the best chefs, served to you by those actual chefs.  And you get dozens of them at one time.  You can ask (brief) questions, you can go back for more, and you can try as much wine as your liver can handle.  As one indication that this is a “real” festival and not just a bunch of hype, the last time I went, I saw many of the chefs who weren’t even cooking that night just attending the festival on their own.  (Fun story: I was contemplating buying some knives when Wolfgang Puck meandered up and said to the guy “I love these knives.  I use them in all my kitchens.”  and walked off.  OK – sold.)

2) “Do you just walk around and try the food?”  Um, yes.  Don’t go if you don’t like food and wine.  BUT, it’s also got a great “community” feel.  Everybody is excited to be there, and the chefs are all into it, and somehow, the whole adds up to more than the sum of its parts.

3) “Can I buy tickets there?”  I THINK so, but you’re much better to do it online.  It’s super easy and quick, and things do sell out.

OK, that’s what I got.  If you’ve heard about it and are wondering, just go.  Click on the links I’ve given you, and just look for something fun.  As a good “one stop shopping” experience, go to one of the Grand Tastings.  Or, look for one of the individual demonstrations.  But either way, it’s a great event, a great way to support Downtown, and a great way to try things you normally don’t get to try.

As I frequently say, sometimes in life, you just have to say yes.

Happy travels.