3 Eccentric Mission-Driven Food and Wine Festivals Only in Los Angeles

Food festivals in LA

Looking for a fabulous food and wine festival where the best all-star chefs and mixologists come together under one roof? 

These food and wine festivals are jam-packed with celebrity chefs, top entertainment, zero-waste efforts, and some seriously fun fundraising that makes the price of the ticket totally worth it. If you’re a culinary conscious foodie looking for a good time, you’ll love these food and wine festivals.

1. The Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival

Best food and wine events

For four days and nights, the Los Angeles Food & Wine festival spreads its wings hosting bespoke and eclectic red carpet events. Indulge in culinary delights such as satellite festival dinners and lunches at iconic and trendy restaurants in Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Venice Beach with an intimate behind-the-scenes presentation by chefs the likes of Stepanie Izzard and Antonia Lofaso.

Saturday night’s LIVE on Grand with Tyler Florence is a classy urban date night red carpet affair under the modernist backdrop of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Custom lounges serve mixologist masterpieces made from organic spirits such as Diplomatico rum. While the legendary hip-hop trio De La Soul added just the right beat to top off the night.

The all-star chefs certainly take their epicurean delights seriously. But not themselves! Starry Kitchen’s Nguyen Tran served tofu balls in a banana suit. And whimsical Instagram photo opportunities abounded in custom-styled lounges.

The Lexus Grand Tasting at Barker Hangar was transformed into a food wonderland and featured conscious chefs such as Matthew Beaudin. Executive Chef at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, he spearheads responsible fishing practices. One must-try dish the crowd couldn’t get enough of was the halibut with pineapple and rice noodle from Charles Phan. And Stephanie Boswell, executive pastry chef at The Peninsula Beverly Hills created a colorful sky-high edible extravaganza of stunning desserts.

But, the sweetest part? The Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival has impacted charities nearing $750k total over the past 6 years including The Boys and Girls Club, CASA, Make a Wish Foundation, Meals on Wheels, and Share our Strength, among others.

2. Field to Fork at The TASTE

Best Food Festivals

On Labor Day weekend the Paramount Studios Backlot transforms into a foodie paradise for the Field to Fork event at the Los Angeles Times THE TASTE. Award-winning restaurants, master chefs, mixologists, and vintners come to dazzle conscious foodies with new tastes, textures, and flavors.

Hosted by LA Times food editor Amy Scattergood and Michael Cimarusti of Providence, this culinary celebration brims with demos and panel discussions by celebrity chefs focused on farm fresh locally sourced ingredients. Fans of artisan grains ate up Scattergood’s panel featuring Nan Kohler (Grist and Toll), Alex Weiser (Weiser Farms), and Roxana Jullapat (Friends and Family). All the while, guests nosh on fresh locally sourced dishes and organic spirits. A few favorites were Mionetto prosecco and refreshing cocktails featuring Ocean Vodka. Gastro-pub Manhattan House dazzled with a re-imagined bruschetta embracing Chef Diana Stavaridis’ seed-to-plate philosophy.

3. L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade

Alex J. Berliner/ABImages
Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

This star-studded, informal, family friendly, picnic-style “cookout” is just as serious about fun as it is about fundraising. Think sunshine, tender grass under your feet while being face-to-face with your favorite chefs the likes of Susan Feniger (Border Grill), Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon), and Ray Garcia (Broken Spanish). To pair with all the mouthwatering cuisine, superstar mixologists create specialty cocktails. Not to mention more than thirty vintners pouring all afternoon so you can raise your glass to support a great cause.

Hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne (Lucques), the event raised $4.2 million for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to fight childhood cancer. When it’s auction time, keep your ears open as the superstar chefs often spontaneously offer themselves as a surprise private dinner ticket item. So, put your money where your mouth is and join than 2,000 guests, 100 chefs, mixologists and winemakers who come to together for a good cause and a great time.

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Images courtesy of The Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival, The TASTE, and Alex J. Berliner/ABImages


Donna Sozio

Author, journalist and publishing consultant, Donna Sozio has been featured in 200+ media outlets including the Tyra Banks Show, Early Show, Fox News, Good Day LA, Seventeen Magazine, Yahoo! Personals, Match.com, Lavalife.com, EcoSalon.com, OrganicAuthority.com and many more. Her books The Man Whisperer (Adams Media) and Never Trust a Man in Alligator Loafers (Kensington) were Amazon.com bestsellers, had TV/Film options and were translated into German, Portuguese and Czech.