Raise your glasses and bring a hearty appetite, because the inaugural Los Angeles Times Celebration of Food & Wine is spicing up Labor Day weekend with a bounty of tasty treats -- and demonstrations from the talented chefs who created them.
Various al fresco stages and booths will fill the Paramount Pictures Studio Back Lot on September 5 from 12 p.m.-8 p.m. and feature culinary crafters, selective sommeliers and mobile representatives from that latest Angeleno craze -- the gourmet food truck.
And speaking of food trucks, the Cooking Channel -- a sponsor of the event -- is bringing its own wheels to the festivities, an ice cream truck that will be serving complimentary scoops of local favorite Carmela Ice Cream to those in attendance.
Cooking Channel chefs Roger Mooking ("Everyday Exotic") and Aida Mollenkamp ("FoodCrafters") will be rolling into Los Angeles on the truck (pictured right), which has made a cross-country journey over the summer, offering gratis ice cream to foodies all over the nation.
I had the opportunity to chat with Mooking, who is also a dad to two young girls. He's a big champion of trying new ingredients (that's the theme of his show), and he offered great tips on how to introduce new flavors to little ones. Stay tuned, because that post is coming later today!
In addition to the Cooking Channel Ice Cream Truck, here are a few more Celebration highlights:
* Food trucks on hand will include: Crepes Bonaparte, Nom Nom Truck, Don Chow Tacos, The Sweets Truck and The Buttermilk Truck.
* There will be cooking demonstrations from Suzanne Goin (A.O.C., Lucques, Tavern, The Hungry Cat) and Mark Peel (Campanile, The Tar Pit). Other participants include "Top Chef" Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio, and Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal.
* Audience Q & A's with L.A. Times Food Editor Russ Parsons and L.A. Times Test Kitchen Manager Noelle Carter.
* SoCal pop duo She & Him (with the "she" being Zooey Deschanel) will be performing.
* And, perhaps best of all for parents like myself, children ages 9 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult.
Cheers to that!
Los Angeles Times Celebration of Food & Wine
Paramount Pictures Studio Back Lot
Sunday, September 5 | 12 p.m.-8 p.m.
Tickets: $55 ($65 at the door); VIP Tasting: $125 ($135 at the door); Concert only ($40 for 5 p.m. show)
Purchase advance tickets here: http://latimesfoodandwine.