Master’s of Taste saw it’s third successful year on May 6, when it brought together some of the city’s top restaurants, wineries, breweries, distilleries and all-things-sweet-eries on the field of Pasadena’s famous Rose Bowl Stadium. More than 75 booths circled the turf, allowing guests the rare opportunity to not only walk along the infield, but to do so in gourmet style.
Eateries of all types took the opportunity to shine, churning out limitless tastings of house favorites. Prime rib and wasabi mashed potatoes from Alexander’s Steakhouse, melt-in-your mouth brisket and cornbread from Gus’s Barbecue, and handmade pasta with imported Italian sausage from Nerano were just a few of the eclectic flavors to be found. Pez Cantina’s seafood tostadas and Maestro’s carnitas tacos duked it out for South of the Border deliciousness while Poppy + Rose and Maple battled over who served the best fried chicken.
Live cooking demonstrations held a stronger presence this year, with The Bellwether’s Ted Hopson and Ardour Hospitality’s Michael Hung putting on excellent shows for intimate crowds.
On the drinks side, wineries gave up their usual lion’s share of the spotlight to breweries, distilleries and alternative beverages…not that there was any shortage of wine, though. Angel City Brewery, Indie Brewing Company and MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. were just a few purveyors of refreshing sips for the warm day, accompanied by wineries such as Navarro Vineyards, Rutherford Wine Company and Larimar Wainery. Dulce Vida Organic Tequila and American Born Moonshine crafted some killer cocktails, and rounding out the lineup were excellent nonalcoholic selections such as Humm Kombucha and Groundwork Coffee.
And what would a spectacular food festival be without dessert? ‘Sweet Masters’ are their own category at Master’s of Taste, and rightfully so with characters like Zooie’s Goodies and Sidecar offering up birthday cake and panda cookies and huckleberry donut holes. Pink chocolate fountains and unicorn poop meringue cookies were just a few more of the day’s decadent staples.
All proceeds from Master’s of Taste went to Union Station Homeless Services, a non-profit organization committed to helping homeless individuals and families rebuild their lives. The event continues to grow as one of LA’s premiere food festivals, and the foodie community is already anticipating what’s in store for year number four.
For more information, visit MastersOfTasteLA.com
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.