James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® to Come to LA This Fall

The James Beard Foundation Furthers Legendary Chef’s Legacy


s I’ve spent time around those invested in the culinary scene, I’ve heard the James Beard Foundation come up many times. James Beard’s contribution to the food world was and continues to be far-reaching — his influence on American cuisine is undeniable in the present. I see this mainly in the fervor of those who knew him to further his vision through the James Beard Foundation. The success of his legacy is largely due to the foundation’s work to promote Beard’s core values. They support American chefs, emphasize sustainability, and host programs in an effort to make high-quality food available to more people. Involvement with the James Beard Foundation is synonymous with a personal commitment to these values. Luckily for Orange County locals, an October event in LA will provide the opportunity to support the foundation and to experience its work firsthand.

Taste America: Past and Present

Over the past five years, the Foundation has held Taste America events in major cities across the country. This year, the tour will span six different weekends and 10 different cities. The second weekend will take the Foundation semi-locally to Los Angeles. With an upcoming September book release on avoiding food waste, the 10 events this year will focus specifically on Beard’s commitment to sustainability. In line with this theme, the Foundation has partnered with Feeding America® to ensure extra meals are given to those in need. Additionally, the second day of the program will include demonstrations from the soon-to-be-released book Waste Not: How To Get The Most From Your Food.

james beard foundation
Photo by Eliesa Johnson / Courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

What to Expect from the LA Stop

The Taste America LA event is accessible to both those who can afford a pricey ticket and those who cannot. Tickets to the Friday night benefit dinner range from $375 (premier dining ticket) to $4,500 (VIP 10 person table). However, the Saturday afternoon Sur la Table event is completely free.

Friday night (October 12, 6 p.m. start):

On the first night of the event, a benefit dinner will be held at the SLS hotel in Beverly Hills. Starting at 6 p.m., a cocktail and tasting reception curated by local LA chefs will welcome guests to a night of pure indulgence. Then, at 7:30 p.m. a seated dinner will begin. A 3-chef team consisting of Andrew Carmellini, Ludo Lefebvre and Holly Jivin will create the menu. Carmellini is the Visiting All-Star of the event, and a New York local/James Beard Award winner. Lefebvre is a Local All-Star and owner of multiple renowned Los Angeles restaurants. Jivin is a Beverly Hills local and will fill the role of Host Chef. After dinner, a dessert reception prepared by local LA chefs will follow. With such culinary talent running the show, the three-course meal will surely be unforgettable.

Saturday afternoon (October 13, 10 a.m. start):

Starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, a free demo at Sur La Tab will showcase recipes from Waste Not: How To Get The Most From Your Food. Mary Sue Milliken, James Beard Award winner, will conduct the demonstration and sign books. This event is perfect for anyone who wants to experience the Taste America event but can’t swing a $325 ticket.

Kick-off Party Indicates Excellence

On Wednesday, August 1, the Taste America event hosted a kick-off party at the Beard House in New York. Many of the 2018 Taste America chefs were in attendance, including Carmellini. If the caliber of the kick-off menu and commitment to sustainability and food waste initiatives remain consistent across the six-week tour, it is sure to have a profound impact on both an individual and national level.

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