If you're addicted to rooting for Top and Iron chefs on TV, you now have a chance to watch competitors sweat in person. This will happen at the Los Angeles Epicurean Festival August 28 at Sofitel LA.

Pastry chefs, sous chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and culinary students will battle it out in the LA Epicurean Cup challenge. The chefs will attempt to create the perfect (well, maybe) cold appetizer from a basket of ingredients. The sommeliers will match festival wines to the appetizers.

The pastry chefs will work out on recipes from Michel Richard's dessert cookbook, “Sweet Magic.” And they'd better get it right, because Richard, of Citronelle and Central in Washington D.C., will be one of the judges. The mixologists will shake it up for the best cocktail, and the students will make what students eat a lot of — pizza.

Other contest judges are Josiah Citrin of Melisse in Santa Monica; Franck Savoy, director of restaurants of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas; Michel Cornu, culinary director of Raymond Vineyards in Napa Valley, Mark Mendoza, head sommelier-wine director at David Myers Group, and Sophie Gayot of GAYOT.com.

Still more chefs will give hourly cooking demos, including Keizo Ishiba of K-Zo Restaurant in Culver City; Jean Francois Meteigner of La Cachette Bistro in Santa Monica; Sebastien Archambault of l'Epicerie in Culver City, and Sofitel's executive chef, Marius Blin.

Credit: Los Angeles Epicurean Festival

Credit: Los Angeles Epicurean Festival

Meanwhile, you can browse through more than 500 specialty products including cheeses and charcuterie, wines and spirits, olive oils, organic chocolate , coffees, teas, meats and produce. Or you can take a mixology class.

There's so much going on that the festival will last for 6 hours, starting at noon.

Tickets are $75, but if you're into cigars, you might want to pay $25 more, which gets you into a VIP poolside cabana and a tasting of rare Cognacs and Armagnacs paired with equally fine stogies.

To order tickets, go to the festival web page or call (323) 930-6785.

Read more from Barbara Hansen at www.tableconversation.com and @foodandwinegal.

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