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The Taste:LA’s New Food Extravaganza for Holiday

September 9th, 2011 · 1 Comment

HOLLYWOOD CA (Hollywood Today) 09/09/11 THE TASTE: LA’s new holiday activity for Labor Day? By Karen Ostlund

Chef Marc Boussarie from The Counter

“Can you imagine going to all these events” was the most common statement at the opening night of “The Taste” at 9900 Wilshire across from the Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.  The Taste, presented by Los Angeles Times and Food & Wine Magazine,  featured 9 events in 4 days – 32 hours in total, of eating, drinking and listening to demos by celebrity chefs, live musical entertainment, and panel discussions. Car presentations were provided by Infinity, Buick and GMC.  Different names and sponsors divided the events: “Burger & Beer” presented by Peroni beer & Eater LA, “Secrets from the Kitchen & Cellar” presented  by Infinity cars, “Fashion Bites Brunch” presented by Ciroc vodka & Infinity, “Desserts After Dark” presented by Ciroc , Picnic in the Hills” presented by Target, “Art of Mixing”, “Taco Tequila Tryst” presented by Hornitos tequila, Buick & GMC,  “Street Eats” presented by Buick & GMC and “Food Noir” presented by Peroni beer.

Rustic Canyon burger

The Cake Mamas

The 4 locations varied from 9900 Wilshire, Rodeo Drive, New York Streets at Paramount Studios, to Broadway between 8th & 9th, downtown L.A. The four-day food and wine extravaganza, celebrated everything epicurean. The event tickets were all-inclusive and unlimited tasting from 40 of L.A.’s best restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries. For more information www.latimes.com/thetaste

Cold Spring beer

Giada De Laurentiis booksigning

The Labor Day celebration, “Picnic in the Hills” on September 5th was hosted by Giada De Laurentiis and Food Network. Giada has published five cookbooks, including the newest Giada at Home: Family Recipes from Italy and California, which she was signing during the event. She was telling stories about her best childhood memories: “It was when I was helping my parents at the pizza stove, and making a great mess”. “People still call me one word “spaghetti”, when they see me at airports, where I do most of my writing”. Lemon spaghetti was one of the best and most simple recipes she made 10 years ago. Giada used to say, “I am nothing without a good recipe” Ingredients to Lemon spaghetti:
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the oil, Parmesan, and lemon juice in a large bowl to blend. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the lemon sauce, and the reserved cooking liquid, adding 1/4 cup at a time as needed to moisten. Seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with lemon zest and chopped basil.

Fresh Lemonade Oasis at Picnic in the Hills event

Radio Disney's Adventure Zone for kids

De Laurentiis is also an Emmy Award-winning personality, and the host of Giada at Home on the Food Network, which gives viewers a more realistic taste of Giada’s California lifestyle. She has also been seen as a judge on The Next Food Network Star. Most recently, Giada has been a contributing correspondent on NBC’s Today Show, and released her own line of cookware products exclusively at Target stores. “Picnic in the Hills” also featured an interview with “Hungry Girl” host and best-selling author Lisa Lillien. Aida Mollenkamp of Cooking Channel’s Foodcrafters made kid-friendly vegetable chips, and  Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles Cupcakes baked her popular strawberry cupcakes.


Coppola Wine

. The Taste’s opening night event “Burgers & Beer” was presented by Peroni beer and Eater LA,  and  located at the 9900 Wilshire’s  enormous parking lot. The Counter’s Executive Chef Marc Boussarie was doing a cooking demo on building a unique burger. He explained: “We at The Counter only use cows that are grass-feed from Montana, and they are extremely happy cows on the prairie” “I prefer burgers made of 20% fat, and 80 % beef, because that gives full flavor and they taste juicier. It’s also important resting the meat. I don’t move around my burgers too much.  I prefer 9-11 min cooking; 2 minutes each side so they get nice grill marks” Marc Boussarie is half French, and has been a Chef for 17 years. He graduated from California Culinary Academy and worked up the chain in San Francisco’s most famous restaurants including “Chez Michel” with Chef Dennis Soriano, “Gary Danko” with Chef Gary Danko, and La Folie with Chef Roland Passot.  Marc moved later to L.A. and opened Casa Del Mar and became Chef de Cuisine. He also had the opportunity to work with Bradley Ogden in San Diego and became co-chef at Anthology.                   Burgers & Beer made ticket holders try creations from Ford’s Filling Station, The Tasting Kitchen, to craft beers from Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune, also known as “The Beer Chicks. ” Attendees could also vote on their favorite L.A. burger, in the end of the evening. The Rustic Canyon burger won the prize.

Charm City Cake West at Rodeo Drive

Pastry Chef Duff Goldman in front of his cake

Green & Black Organic chocolate

Desserts after Dark” was presented by pastry Chef Duff Goldman.                  Rodeo Drive from Wilshire to S. Santa Monica Boulevard was closed off, to present this dessert extravaganza. Food Network star pastry chef Duff Goldman showcased the biggest cake L.A. had to offer: “It took me 2 ½ weeks to do this cake” said Duff,  the star of the upcoming Food Network show Sugar High and owner of Charm City West in L.A. As a baker and food artist he has been described as both audacious and creative. His Baltimore-based bakery, Charm City Cakes was featured on the Food Network show Ace of Cakes for 10 seasons. In addition to Ace of Cakes, Duff can currently be seen in the network’s latest hit, Best Thing I Ever Ate.

Lobster burger at Ninethirty restaurant

Skinny Girl Margarita & Sangria


Infinity Convertible at Fashion Bites Brunch at Rodeo Drive


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