Sunday, April 3rd was a beautiful day on the field of the Historic Pasadena Rose Bowl. On this lovely afterReview-MastersofTastenoon from 3 PM to 7 PM, we sampled and enjoyed some of LA’s finest fare from 40 Master Chefs and restaurants, 25 craft cocktail bars, wineries, and breweries at Masters of Taste, a luxury food and beverage festival, with proceeds benefiting Union Station Homeless Services, an organization committed to helping homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives.

What an amazing day we had! Here are some highlights from our favorite culinary offerings. Our first taste of the day was from the Raymond 1886 Restaurant of Pasadena with two kinds of tacos – Yucatan grilled carrot and roasted duck – I really enjoyed the roasted duck – delicious!! Along with the tacos, we enjoyed a custom made margarita specialty cocktail made with Mescal, fresh lime and cilantro, topped off with a Cayenne sauce that made it taste a little smoky. It was spicy and smooth at the same time – Yum!

Review-MastersofTaste-Birch-foisgrasThe chicken liver and foie gras mousse (see image, left) served with a toasted crisp from Birch of Pasadena was incredible – it had a creamy texture with a port topping that was decadent and satisfying. We needed more of the crisps for double dipping.

Next we sampled braised pork cheek with Pea & sunchoke purée, crispy shallots and Pea vines from Hyde of West Hollywood. Also rich and delicious. We needed some wine to go with all these scrumptious tastes. I had a glass of Light Horse California Chardonnay from Jamieson Ranch Vineyards of Napa. It had a citrus aroma with a smooth finish and my friend enjoyed a glass of the Light Horse Cabernet that had an intense ruby color and flavors of berries and spices.

FroReview-MastersofTaste-Raymond-Alvarez-TocaMaderam Toca Madera of West Hollywood, we really enjoyed a citrus coconut salad which was completely vegan served with crispy banana in a small bamboo plate. Not only was it a beautiful presentation, it was completely compostable.

See image, right – Toca Madera’s Chef Raymond Alvarez

The spicy Cypriot lamb meatball with shredded cabbage salad, tomato sauce and Tzatziki from Inotheke of Santa Monica had a really interesting flavor that I enjoyed a lot. It was definitely one of our favorites!

Another stand out was the sushi bowl with tuna, snapper, salmon and rice from Hamasaku of Los Angeles – had a delicious and delicate flavor – this was a popular dish among other attendees as well.

The Ceviche Vegetarian from Sangers & Joe of Pasadena was a real treat – crunchy endive, peas and avocado with a light lemon vinaigrette were just a few of the ingredients that made this dish so unusual, original and delicious!

It was time to try another glass of wine. Next was a delectable Viognier from Four Brix Winery of Santa Ynez called Smitten. I’d say after a couple sips, I was pretty smitten with this crisp and light white with a lovely floral aroma.

The fried chicken served on a sweet potato pancake with Gochujangbutter and maple syrup from Nighthawk Breakfast Bar of Hollywood was melt in your mouth delicious!!!

The Chilled English Pea Soup with Wood Sorrel from Wax Paper of Frogtown was so surprisingly flavorful, it tasted like spring!

Review-MastersofTaste-KellysKookiesOMG we have to talk about desserts!!! Favorites were the Buko Pandan Chia Seed Pudding from Creme Caramel of Sherman Oaks – so good – rich but also light and oh so creamy with a gorgeous purple color and crunchy topping!! And the assortment of Cookies from Kelly’s Kookies of Arcadia was wonderful (see image, left) – favorites were the Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Shortbread, the Raspberry Dreams and the Lemon Shortbread.

Next, we were treated to a 10 minute relaxing massage from Massage Envy. What a wonderful way to end this fabulous day! Visit the website and be sure to join us next year.