Master’s of Taste will be celebrating its 5th year on Sunday, April 5, but it’s hard to believe that such an iconic event is still relatively new in the food festival realm. Held on the field in Pasadena’s historic Rose Bowl stadium, Master’s of Taste brings together dozens upon dozens of LA’s most highly-sought restaurants, as well as a slew of wineries, breweries, distilleries and other beverage purveyors. There’s even an entire section dedicated to dessert. Collectively, these chefs, winemakers, beer brewers, bakers, ice cream makers and everyone in between are known as “The Masters” of culinary, drink and sweet.
This year’s Master’s of Taste 2020 Host is Chef Vanda Asapahu, Owner and Chef of the famed Ayara Thai in Westchester. Chef Asapahu’s role represents many milestones: she’ the first female chef to be given the title of Host for the event, and Ayara Thai is the first mom-and-pop establishment to be represented in this way. Cooking for Master’s of Taste since year one, Asapahu was once one of only two female chefs at the entire event. She sees year five as ‘a year for the ladies,’ where female representation is set to dramatically increase.
Ayara Thai’s legendary family recipes and deep, profound flavors are joined by the likes of many masters in their own right. Michael Hung of Faith & Flower—last year’s host chef—will be back, as well as representatives from Momed, Celestino and Bacchus Kitchen among a long list of others. Drinks will include Obvious Wines, Ascension Cellars, Mt. Lowe Brewing Company, Humm Kombucha and cocktails made from hotspots such as The Raymond and Preux and Proper. Sweet masters will include Penny Oven, Butter Cake Shoppe, My/Mo Mochi and specialties from Mi Piace.
Equally important Master’s of Taste’s mission to fight homelessness. 100% of proceeds go to Union Station Homeless services, which just last year was able to house more than 1200 previously homeless men and women. The event raised over $500,000 in 2019 with its first-ever sellout crowd.
The event is likely to sell out again this year and bring in more than 3,000 people. Get your ticket to feast for a cause while they last at MastersOfTasteLA.com.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.