Food festival season is in full swing with the 3rd Annual Masters of Taste, one of the season's first events out of the gate, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena last Sunday.
The football field was host to 90 L.A.-area food and drink vendors including Pasadena's Lunasia Dim Sum House, which offered one of the highlights of the day — delicate crispy shrimp rolls and soft sesame balls with sweet plum paste from Chef Lee Hau Fu.
Chef Jose Acevedo from Mercado was busy making blue corn tortillas topped with carnitas and guacamole. Gus's BBQ treated guests to Carolina-style pulled pork with cornbread, and Los Angeles culinary icon Celestino Drago was dishing up raviolini stuffed with burrata in a beet sauce next to the Woodford Reserve stall near the 50-yard line.
Possibly one of the most refreshing drinks of the afternoon, the historic Kentucky bourbon, was mixed with coffee and served with a squeeze of orange over ice. Sticking with the orange theme, Sunset & Vinyl was pouring Ki No Bi gin with carrot juice and fresh ginger.
Sweet endings included bubble waffle cones made on site by the Dolly Llama, stuffed with cookie monster ice cream and such topping choices as nutella, peanut butter, white chocolate matcha and dark chocolate sauces, marshmallows, Captain Crunch, sour gummy bears, Oreos, and Fruit Loops. Porto's Bakery, another L.A. icon brought to the table a mango passion fruit chocolate tart and almond and guava galette.
Masters of Taste raised over $500,000 for the nonprofit Union Station Homeless Services, which has been helping families get back on their feet for 45 years by offering such services as street outreach, meals, shelter, housing, case management and career counseling.