Monday, September 5, 2016

The Third Tentpole and Last Leg, L.A. Times' The TASTE Food Festival

By Laura Medina

The Los Angeles Times newspaper should be so lucky in being so prestigious in having Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic, Jonathan Gold as their food festival host, The TASTE. 

Thank god, the fun and refreshing liquid nitrogen cocktail is alive and well on a sweltering Labor Day weekend, as demonstrated by Gwen LA's lead mixologist, Katie Emmerson,  It's fun to watch as it is fun to sip.

Nathan Oliver, Wolf LA's Bar Director,, said that today's bartender is no longer a bartender.  It's not enough in today's gourmet cocktail culture.  This is why they're called mixologists.  A mixologist has to prep mis en place, just like a chef so the cocktail can arrive sooner, freshly mixed, than the meal itself, without frustrated, angry customers.  A mixologist has to mix for the recovering AAA, the designated driver, the sophisticated health freak in a cocktail dress, and the gourmand foodie, all in a blink of an eye.

A experienced and smart mixologist knows to start with whipping a not-too-sweet, made-from-scratch artisanal soda as a starter or a gourmet mocktail or a cocktail base.  When it comes to a full-fledged cocktail, he takes the existing artisanal soda then build a traditional alcohol cocktail from there.  A seamless bartending in six seconds, without a blink of an eye.

With sustaining seafood making a big splash, there was a lot of grilled octopus, incorporating squid ink as a sauce.

Don't fret, good ole fashion shrimp in any variation is still alive and well.  Those are the ones with the longest line.

Due to the hungry masses on a date night, the burger slider will never fall out of fashion.  Unami Burger chef founder, especially created "The Ernesto," for Princess Cruises.  The trend of putting beef and fries in paper cones continued from L.A. Food & Wine to The TASTE.

With all these spices and herbs and exotic fish and meats with a acquired taste for yummy cocktails, folks were glad there some fun, non-alcoholic beverages to wash out the alcohol while replenishing with fun, yummy flavors from Bai Bubbles.

If you're clever as those gourmet mixologists, to good to have on hand Bai and Owl's Brew and such for an instant cocktail at home, with basic vodka, tequila, and champagne/sparking white wine.

The L.A. Times' The Taste is an optimal time to fully release Pepsi's new gourmet soda, returning to it's original formula when it first started, the Original Formula and a Ginger Cola, under the moniker of Pepsi 1893, the year they're founded.  At least, they're comfortable with making fun of themselves with an new ad campaign.

However, on Saturday night, folks could care less.  Here was something similar with a twist on an hot night, to wash out the liquor out of their system.

Go to for real cocktail recipes on Ginger Mint Julep and Juniper Cocktail.

The TASTE is also a food expo where predominant Mexican brands finally showcase to its full effect in doing an open taco and BBQ open house with a refreshing guzzle of Squirt! Grapefruit soda, goes well with beer.

The TASTE's "Dinner with a Twist" is a good ideas events for your next dinner.

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