Forget about black tie benefits with dainty finger foods and big tent events with the same old street fare. Taste of the Nation has earned a reputation among gourmands as the charity event of the year. This one's worth your time.
Sunday's 19th annual Taste showcases food by more than 30 of LA's finest restaurants, from AOC to Zucca.
Top chefs take over Culver City's Media Park, turning it into a family-friendly small town. Stroll from booth to booth, leaving Border Grill tamale cornhusks in your wake, or bring a blanket and find a shady spot for a picnic of Father's Office burgers and Rockenwagner bread. Pair up your meal with wine chosen from among 40 wineries pouring at the event.
Local culinary superstars like Ben Ford (Ford's Filling Station) and Suzanne Goin (Lucques/AOC./Hungry Cat) cook up perennial favorites, test out new dishes, and compete in Taste of the Nation's answer to Iron Chef.
Eat big, drink bigger, and feel good about it. Proceeds go to Share Our Strength, an organization devoted to fighting childhood hunger in America.
Taste of the Nation
Sunday, June 24. 1-5p. Media Park, Culver City
Price: $95 in advance, $105 at the door, VIP tickets $150. Kids under 15 are $25, and kids under 6 are free. tasteofthenation.org/losangeles_tickets
Kid Friendly: Park the kids in the centrally located CPK activity area where they can make pizza.
Insider Tip: Though the crowds never feel overwhelming, arrive early for the widest selection of food and just-opened wine.
Special Events: Chef cook-off starts after 2p, and the waiter race occurs after 4:30p.