Author: Ariel Landrum
Photos courtesy of LA TImes
The iconic Paramount Pictures Studios Backlot became the backdrop for culinary celebration that showcases the diverse food delights of Los Angeles: L.A. Times Food Bowl Night Market. In this three-day event, from Friday, September 22nd, to Sunday, September 24th, foodies were treated to an exhibition of flavors and live cooking demonstrations. Amid an ongoing actors strike, Hollywood faces unique challenges. The entertainment industry’s usual glitz and glamour have taken a backseat. Still, events like the L.A. Times Food Bowl have provided a platform for actors to showcase their other talents and passions. This fusion of Hollywood stardom with culinary arts is refreshing, reminding us that our favorite celebrities have multifaceted interests and skills beyond their on-screen personas.
“Fiesta Friday” kicked off the event with a dynamic celebration of Latin American cuisine. The evening’s highlight was the presence of Danny Trejo, the face behind Trejo’s Tacos & Trejo’s Cantina. More than just a Hollywood actor, Trejo’s deep roots in the Los Angeles community and love for food were evident. His restaurants, embodying LA’s diverse culinary landscape, blend authentic traditional ingredients with various cuisines. Trejo’s live cooking demonstration showcased his passion for authentic Mexican flavors. With over 120 participating restaurants, including notable names like Guelaguetza and Tacos 1986, attendees were spoilt for choice.
As attendees relished the authentic flavors of Trejo’s offerings, the long lines for Kogi BBQ signaled their eagerness to experience a unique fusion of Korean and Mexican flavors. The iconic Kogi BBQ, introduced by chef Roy Choi, has become synonymous with innovative culinary blends, exemplifying the innovative spirit of Los Angeles’ culinary scene.
“Saturday Night Flavor” illuminated the multicultural essence of L.A., showcasing a diverse range of global cuisines. The evening was a testament to the city’s reputation as a culinary mosaic, with dishes spanned continents and cultures. Chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn of Le Du, Bangkok, took center stage with a live cooking demonstration. Joining him was Jenn Harris, the esteemed Senior Food Writer for the Los Angeles Times, known for her deep insights into the city’s vibrant food scene. Together, they captivated attendees by mixing traditional and modern culinary techniques.
The event culminated with the “Backlot Brunch,” a daytime culinary extravaganza. The celebrity and cookbook author Tiffani Thiessen, widely recognized for her iconic role as Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell, captivated the audience with her live cooking demonstration. Drawing inspiration from her latest cookbook, Here We Go Again: Recipes and Inspiration to Level Up Your Leftovers, Thiessen showcased how to transform ordinary ingredients into extraordinary dishes. Thiessen’s approach to cooking, which emphasizes making the most of leftovers and pantry staples, resonated with the attendees, offering them practical yet delicious solutions for everyday meals. Lucky fans could even attend a meet-and-greet after her demonstration.
Some notable dishes from her new book that have already been released are her Cornbread Skillet Sloppy Joes, a delightful twist on the classic, using cornbread crust instead of a bun to avoid the sogginess often associated with the traditional version. Another standout is the Berry-glazed Sour Cream Doughnuts, a sweet treat that perfectly encapsulated the essence of the brunch.
The brunch offered a delightful mix of dishes, making it a fitting finale to the food fest.
The L.A. Times Food Bowl Night Market stands as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of the entertainment industry. While the necessary actors’ strike posed significant challenges, their ability to pivot and find new avenues of expression is commendable. The Night Market not only celebrated the culinary diversity of Los Angeles but also highlighted the multifaceted talents of Hollywood’s finest. As the industry navigates these uncertain times, events like these serve as a reminder of the community’s unity and the shared passion for creativity, whether on screen or a plate.
Did you attend any of the events for the LA Times Food Bowl? Share your favorite recipes or moments in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!