Los Angeles-The Taste, Los Angeles Times annual celebration of Southern California’s vibrant, influential culinary scene, returned to the Paramount Pictures Studios backlot for another segment, Labor Day weekend, September 2-4, 2016. The Taste reflects The Times’ distinctive, award-winning coverage of all things edible, each of the five events showcased the chefs and restaurants at the heart of L.A.’s food and dining culture and included unlimited tastings from the city’s best eateries as well as specialty drinks, wine seminars and cooking demonstrations.
I joined thousands of foodies, chowhounds, gourmands and gastronauts for this tasty smorgasbord al fresco on Saturday, September 3rd, and Sunday, September 4th, on pleasant back to back afternoon.
The doors opened at exactly 11:00am, so that everyone could began to navigate around Paramount Pictures Studios backlot to eat, chill, drink, enjoy the vibe and then repeat, but not in that particular order. Various pop-up lounges were located throughout the backlot for everyone to chill out with other attendees, while enjoying the vibes, and eating and drinking al fresco.
The Japan National Tourism Organization) JNTO), took part in a Japanese Pavilion at the 2016 Los Angeles Times’ The Taste. The Japan National Tourism Organization provided regional food and beverages samples as well as travel information for attendees. This was part of a global initiative to increase travel to Japan and to highlight the unique flavors and abundant food of Japan.
JNTO partnered with Katsuya Restaurant, who hosted a cooking demonstration on the Acura Culinary Stage, on Saturday, September 3rd. Chef Katsuya Uechi (Katsuya) masterfully created several mouthwatering dishes, Salmon & Vegetable dish and egg plants and tofu made with Red and White miso.
Master Sake Sommelier Toshio Ueno was also present to answer questions about various types of sake and sake tours that are offered in Japan. Similar to wine tasting tours, sake tours are popular tourist activities and are a great way to tap into local lifestyle and culture.
Also, on a similar note, KCET Partnered with NHK to return once again to the Los Angeles Times Culinary event, The Taste. NHK is Japan’s sole independent public broadcaster to introduce Angelenos to celebrity Chef Rika Yukimasa, host of NHK-World TV’s top-rated signature lifestyle and cooking program “Dining with the Chef.”
Saturday, featured a meet and greet with Chef Rika, where attendees were able to sample sushi and walked away with souvenir branded chopsticks and authentic Uchiwa fans.
Chef Rika is a native of Fukuoka, Japan, who has published 49 food and lifestyle books, many of which are best sellers globally. Chef Rika owns and operates a steak house in Ginza, Tokyo. On the show “Dining with the Chef” Chef Rika proposes her own easy-to-make Japanese recipes from healthy eating, back to school lunch boxes, new tailgating items for your favorite football games or sporting games to name a few.
It is no wonder that this talented and incredible Chef Rika is drawing attention from a growing fan base in the United States and abroad.
Sunday, September 4th, Chef Rika demonstrated an easy original Japanese recipe while at the same time, enlightening the captivated crowd about Japanese food culture. Chef Rika is a “cooking researcher” who uses her own original techniques to introduce cooking that everyone can enjoy. Chef Rika artfully created an amazing dish-Kushiage Deep Fried Skewers to the delight of all in attendance.
All of these culinary experiences are a part of JNTO’s efforts to showcase the different regions of Japan that tourist can explore, where food is just one part of the Japanese experience. Japan possesses colorful and inspiring natural attractions beautifully interwoven by four distinct seasonal changes. Japan is in the midst of preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2015 Rugby World Cup with new luxury hotel openings and brand new air routes into Japan.
The 2016 Los Angeles Times The Taste presented by CITI was produced in association with Best Events. Sponsors include Acura and &TOKYO.
Visit the Los Angeles Times The Taste-Flavors of Japan gallery for photos of this great event