The Events – ‘Field to Fork’ and ‘Flavors of LA’
Following a period of long anticipation, I was happy to welcome the Labor Day weekend and attend The Taste LA – a wildely popular three-day culinary celebration. This annual food expo attracts the best chefs, restaurants, and food & beverage producers in Southern California, along with hundreds of visitors hungry for new savory experiences.
The concept? Simple! Participating exhibitors prepare and offer unlimited food and drink samplings based on different event themes. Have I mentioned, unlimited samplings? Yes, that’s correct. Visitors, as part of their entry fee equivalent to a dinner with a glass of wine in a moderately priced restaurant, are free to taste whatever their palate might desire.
The Location – Paramount Pictures Studios
The Taste LA was held at the Paramount Pictures Studios, a classic Hollywood setting which added a certain air of charm, excitement, and mysteriousness to the event. Founded in 1912, the Paramount Studios flourished in the 1920’s, and while it’s hard to understate the importance of these studios in the history of film making and their contribution to Hollywood’s glory, I couldn’t help but to make another connection. This 1920’s setting evoked for me a totally different development in history – the Second Industrial Revolution.
The History – A Century of Changes
Looking up at the surrounding buildings I was transported, for a moment, into the era that introduced production line and made mass production possible; an era when expanding industrialization established many systems that still operate today; an era that initiated a century of serious and often irreversible damage and destruction to the environment; an era that gradually and almost completely destroyed the small enterprise and gave birth to the corporate America we know today.
The Present – Awareness and Sustainability
Almost a century later, however, as The Taste LA undoubtedly demonstrated, the values lost during the Industrial Revolution seem to be slowly reemerging in today’s society. People are shifting their focus from quantity to quality, from large to small, from national to local, and from mass production to customization.
The degree of awareness at the organizational and consumer levels has shifted. We are witnessing the emergence of a different kind of revolution – a new green and sustainable one where good healthy food plays a central role.
The Food – Local, Healthy, Organic
The Taste LA highlighted with a great success the locally grown and often organic food while celebrating the hospitality and the food & beverage industries. The event showcased just how many businesses are committed to producing and preparing healthy, slow food while also supporting local farmers, communities, and economies.
The ‘Field to Fork’ theme I attended focused specifically on the local, organic, and sustainable food, featuring countless restaurants that offer ‘farm to table’ specialities on their menus. The ‘Flavors of LA’ transformed those local ingredients into a variety of colorful, exciting ethnic dishes that reflected the diversity of the Los Angeles culinary scene.
I’m not sure if the 86 degrees Fahrenheit temperature that felt like 100 that day was conducive to consuming large quantities of food and beverage, but I couldn’t resist to try all that deliciousness. As far as I am concerned, I was one of hundreds of visitors doing exactly the same.
The Conclusion – Collaboration and Support
The Taste LA has triumphantly demonstrated that more and more health- and eco-conscious consumers are interested in consuming slow, organic food. This new wave of consumers is ready to eat well while also supporting entities that make it possible. That creates a new reality, where individuals and organizations share a common goal to re-create a better world and collaborate together in building a more sustainable future.