Festival season is upon us. Whether you prefer swanky nibbles on red carpets or deep-fried candy bars, there's an upcoming fair or food festival with your name on it. Things kick off this week with the L.A. Food & Wine Fest, which begins Thursday and runs through the weekend. The festival includes a series of large tasting events along with smaller lunches, dinners and cooking demonstrations. If we had unlimited time and money, here are the events from the festival we wouldn't want to miss:
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Thursday, Aug. 27: Ultimate Bites of L.A. hosted by Curtis Stone
If you've never been to one of the festival's Grand Avenue events downtown, they really are something to behold. Out in front of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Grand Avenue becomes one big red carpet, and guests drink and dine as the sunset reflects off the building's dramatic façade, the downtown skyline shimmering in the background. On Thursday night, Curtis Stone hosts chefs from all over the city, including Mozza's Nancy Silverton, Sqirl's Jessica Koslow and Terrine's Kris Morningstar.
Questlove The Beastie Boys' Mike D will be DJing, and VIP ticket holders have the option to attend a cooking demonstration with Stone ahead of the event (for an extra fee). Tickets: $165-$250.
Friday, Aug. 28: Love & Salt lunch with Michael Fiorelli and Zach Pollack
On Friday, the festival is holding a number of lunches throughout the city, from Manhattan Beach to Pasadena. It's hard to choose which might be the most enticing, but this one stands out for bringing together two chefs from the city's most exciting new Italian restaurants, Love & Salt's Michael Fiorelli and Alimento's Zack Pollack. The pair will collaborate for this meal, paired with wines. Tickets: $125.
Saturday, Aug 29: Lexus Live on Grand Featuring The Roots
Saturday has boozy brunches, beer seminars and more, but there's no doubt that the most exciting event of the day is the grand tasting, which is really the culmination of the whole festival. Tons of chefs and wineries show up to feed you, including Thomas Keller, a swarm of L.A. chefs and chefs from New York, San Francisco and Oregon. And The Roots play a set, so there's that. Tickets: $195-$350.