Beware foodies: this post may cause excessive drooling (keep your electronic devices safe!).
Actually, I am not sure why I am referring to foodies.
I believe most of us have a debility for food, enjoy discussing different food aspects and are not indifferent to appealing food photography (even though we all have a Facebook or Instagram friend who invalidates the entire purpose of posting food photos).
So, if you are a fan of the epicurean world, events like the Los Angeles Ultimate Food Festival can help you to go beyond your culinary limits.
The four-day event showcases the fine food culture throughout Los Angeles and the country. This is an opportunity to get a sample of the food cooked by some of the industry biggest influencers and talents.
With food festivals popping here and there at the speed of light, you may think this is just another event where unlimited food is served.
After attending several food events (legitimate ones and wannabes), the Los Angeles Ultimate Food Festival stands as a different concept. A lot of these festivals intend to position a destination as a gastronomic haven, benefit a charity or promote restaurants in a specific area.
Now, Los Angeles does not need a lot of help in the positioning realm (yes, we have amazing food in here). I believe that is why this festival makes a lot of emphasis on the chef’s plating the food. You really feel like you are eating from some of the best guys in the industry (the bigger than life posters of the chefs above their stations added the Hollywoodesque touch to the event).
On top of that, a lot of importance is given to the platting, ingredient, and technique. Yes, there was a lot of play with liquid nitrogen.
But, everything comes down to the taste. And, the festival delivered in that aspect too. There were so many heavenly flavors out there. Plus, the anticipation of tasting a delicious morsel made me adventurous. There were things I have not had the courage to taste under other conditions.
Well, let’s forget about the writing and get into some visuals.
Los Angeles Ultimate Food Festival: Grand Tasting
The entire festival was composed of about 25 events where 200+ chefs demonstrated their talent. The Grand Tastings (sponsored by Lexus, Celebrity Cruises, Chase Sapphire, Delta and others) took place during the two last days of the festival.
Here is a look at the Saturday event.
Deviled quail egg
Caramelized radish salad
Smoked salmon roe
Frisee & fresh horseradish
Chef Joe Vasiloff
Fresh garganelli pasta
Pecorino & black pepper
Chef Fabio Viviani
Marinated in xufa milk
Chef Perfecto Rocher
Grilled grape & fog tartine
House-made country boule
Chef Jeff Mahini
Organic pork meatballs
Chef Jeff Mahini
Corn panna cotta
Uni & rye
Chef Vartan Abgaryan
Vietnamese beef brisket
With Rau Ram
Chef David Lefevre
Street tacos made with
Roast corn relish
Chef Anthony Meidenbauer
Made with lemon, calabrian chili,
Mollica di maiale
Ora King Salmon Crudo
Chef Brad Farmerie
Homemade ricotta affumicata
Capuccio verde marinato con mele
Mostarda de Vicenza
Chef Gianfranco Minuz
Shrimp & Grits
Chef Levi Mezick
California sea bass crudo
Meyer lemon relish
Chef Jason Fullilove
Carne asada crudo
Chef Richard Blais
Chef Peter Haller
Chef Greg Hozinsky
Braised pork belly crostini
Chef Bernhard Mairinger
Liquid nitrogen compressed watermelon
White soy & lime salt
Chef Steven Fretz
Food from Badmaash
Chef Pawan Mahendro
The main sponsors set up their own lounges, ‘cafes’ and ‘restaurants’ in the middle of the event.
The cruise line invited attendees to sit down at their Modern Luxury Lounge and sample one of two signature gin cocktails at the Celebrity Cruises Bar: Silver Peach Lemonade and Elderflower Blush. Celebrity Cruises also featured exciting promotions, popular take-home swag, giveaways, and brochures.
The car company went with an ‘al fresco’ concept. Their lounge area felt outdoors. There was an opportunity to check out their modern line of cars while waiters served you small bites.
The airline had a set up resembling a Mexican restaurant (because they were giving away a trip to Mexico). There were ample sitting space and samples were served.
Holders of this specific credit card had access to an exclusive lounge serving food from Chef Michael Voltaggio.
If you enjoy food, this event is the right place for you. I can say this festival expanded my culinary wings and gave me a desire to continue exploring the gastronomic universe.
Have you experienced the Los Angeles Ultimate Food Festival?
Disclosure: I attended the Los Angeles Ultimate Food Festival with a media pass. However, all the opinions expressed here, as always, are my own.