On Friday, October 6th, 2017, Vibiana, the former 19th century Cathedral turned prominent event space in Downtown Los Angeles, was taken over by the national non-profit culinary arts organization, the James Beard Foundation and the best in the LA culinary scene. Taste America, the foundation’s 5th annual ten-city touring event, celebrated prolific stars of the food scene.

Spiced Tomato Broth and Watermelon by JBF Semifinalist Sara Kramer of Kismet

This event kicked off with a VIP Reception and Silent Auction. LA tastings in the VIP reception included local-favorites like Felix, Maude and Kismet.

Dried Scallops with Creamed Endive and Caviar by JBF Semifinalist Justin Hilbert of Maude
Tortellini in Brodo by JBF Semifinalist Evan Funke of Felix

Howlin’ Ray’s had guests waiting in longer lines for their famous chicken wings; just like at their DTLA brick and mortar where customers have been known to wait up to 3 hours for a bite.

Johnny and Amanda Zone of Howlin’ Ray’s
Medium Wing by Howlin’ Ray’s

Sponsors participating in the VIP reception included Kerrygold, Tabasco, Blue Circle Foods.

Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese by Blue Circle Foods

After the VIP Reception and Silent Auction, the 4-course dinner commenced with the first 2 courses created by James Beard Foundation All-Star Chef Barbara Lynch, of Gruppo in Boston, the main course created by Michael Cimarusti of Providence and Connie and Ted’s in Los Angeles, and a dessert by Shannon Swindle of Craft Los Angeles. The silent auction offered a wide selection in food and entertainment packages for the highest bidders.

Course 1 by Barbara Lynch of Gruppo- Tuna Nicoise with Quali Egg, Habricot Verts and Black Olives
Course 2 by Barbara Lynch of Gruppo- White Bean Bouillion with Pecorino Romano, Mascarone Raviolini, Truffles and Hazelnut
Course 3 by Michael Cimarusti- Liberty Farms Duck with Green Cabbage, Honey Nut Squash and Sauce Salmis

Emcees and Food Network personalities Simon Majumdar (Cutthroat Kitchen) and Monti Carlo (Help My Yelp) graciously introduced the food, chefs and assisted with the silent auction.

Dessert by Shannon Swindle of Craft Los Angeles- Honeybee Pollen Ice Cream

This event helped raise money for the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Scholarship Fund, so attendees were eating for a great cause.

For more info on The James Beard Foundation, check out their site here. https://www.jamesbeard.org/tasteamerica

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