Food and wine festivals are some of my favorite types of events to attend. These days Chefs have become super stars…and foodie events are a great way to meet them. I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Curtis Stone. I even had the chance to interview him. CLICK HERE to read it; Or visit the Interviews drop-down on the Dining Drink Page of the Stories Section.

Meet your favorite chef at a Food Festival – Curtis Stone with me – Kathy Leonardo

Stumbling upon a food event while visiting a new city is always a great experience, and finding out you just missed one is a real bummer. Often these events donate a portion of sales to a charity. However, many fundraising events double as food festivals. So you can party with a purpose! The nonprofit earns money, and you enjoy a spectacular foodie event. Why not plan your portion of the trip in Los Angeles during the same time as one of these fundraisers? Food events provide a friendly way to meet locals, find excellent restaurants in the area, and try new types of cuisine. This is true for locals and tourists alike.

The 2022 Back on the Block Annual Fundraiser; photo courtesy of Chad Villaflores

Concern Foundation’s annual fundraiser Block Party is a well planned out event. In addition to fabulous food, and drink, you’ll enjoy live bands, DJs, dance acts, acrobatics, a live auction, and a silent one, even a  casino at the event. All the money raised goes to finding a cure to cancer. CLICK HERE to read about Concern Foundation’s 2022 Back on the Block event.

Another personal favorite of mine…Celebrate Chefs & Cellars also doubles as a fundraiser and is presented by the Associates to benefit Palos Verdes Art Center. This is an intimate and charming event which is hosted at an exclusive private winery called Catalina View Gardens. Situated on the edge of the Palos Verdes peninsula, the location offers incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina Island.

View from Catalina View Gardens, Celebrate Chefs & Cellars 2018 event; photo by Kathy Leonardo; courtesy of ETG;

In addition to wine from Catalina View Wines, the event features additional wine from other vineyards, spirits, and all types of cuisine from prominent local restaurants. Plus, it raises funds for a good cause – the Palos Verdes Art Center. Read my Huff Post review about a past event. CLICK HERE for more info about this event or visit the Stories Section of ETG – go to the Dining/Drinking drop-down. Or read my article ‘A Palos Verdes Day Trip’ about a wonderful trip down the coast and the 2022 event.

The LA Times Food Bowl is a totally different type of foodie event. It used to take place the entire month of May each year (this has changed due to the pandemic). Now the month has changed and features several events each night in various locations across Los Angeles. Some are hosted at restaurants, at alternate type venues, and a food festival style event kicks off the month long annual event, as well as ending it. In 2022 a weekend long Night Market returned after the pandemic  – CLICK HERE to read my review  of the 2022 LA Times Food Bowl three day event.

Pizza from A Tutta Pizza! LA’s Pizza Fest, just one of the many LA Food Bowl events presented by the LA Times

I attended an event called A Tutta Pizza, LA’s Pizza Fest in 2019, and had a fantastic time. Read my review HERE or go to the Stories Sections of ETG under the Dining/Drinking drop-down.

The Los Angeles Vegandale Festival takes place in October each year. The foodie event brings vegan food, to the forefront along with drinks, music, and art installations featuring nearly 100 vendors from across the continent and beyond. Fest goers can expect the best in vegan comfort food including deep fried watermelon, beer cheeze battered burgers, quarter pound cookies, and more! This is an all ages event and children 12 and under enter for free. For more info and Tickets, visit  www.vegandalefest.com/losangeles/tickets

Two popular events (which have not come back since pandemic in 2020) are the Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival, and the LA Times’ The Taste. I have attended both of these events for several years – they were equally fantastic. Read my review of LA Food and Wine Festival, and my review of LA Times’ The Taste in the Stories Section of this website; Dining/Drinking Page; under the Festivals drop-down.

Little Sister, Grilled Tenderloin, Bo Kho Spices, Beef Fat Rice, Viet Chimmi, Micro Celery Leaf, Butter-Fried Garlic & Shallots; photo by Kathy Leonardo; courtesy of ETG;

These are large events. If you love wine, I would suggest the first one. However, both offer delicious cuisine. The TASTE tends to provide more hard liquor than wine…be aware, no real wine glasses are to be found at this event…plastic cups only. ETG tip: I bring my own wineglass (complete with a lasso holder), and I’m happy as a clam.

The Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival takes place directly in front of the Frank Gehry designed architecturally-stunning Walt Disney Concert Hall, in downtown LA. The event is completely sectioned off from the surrounding streets. It is quite exclusive, offering ceramic plates and glassware with an incredible catering staff …ready to pick up each and every plate.

The Taste presented by the LA Times at Paramount studios

The Taste event, presented by the LA Times, is held at Paramount Studios which is a magnificent venue. Many of the purveyors are located on the New York City sound stage. Wandering through these various city streets while gobbling down delicious tastes is part of the attraction of this event.

If you are interested in other annual events happening in Los Angeles, see my review of LA’s Art week (in February). Click Here to read, or see the Artists/Exhibitions Page on LAArtParty.com – under the Art, Design Fair Reviews Page.

2022 UPDATE: Unfortunately for all of us the LAFW and the TASTE events are no longer taking place and the websites have been shut down. Hopefully you’ll enjoy some of the other foodie festival mentioned in this article If you love to dine out, CLICK HERE to read restaurant reviews, or head to the Stories Section of ETG, Dining/Drinking page, under the Reviews drop-down.

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