Over 1,500 miles apart from each other and yet there is so much that connects the culture and cuisine of Mexico City and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times kicked off its much-anticipated, month-long food celebration, the LA Food Bowl, with an unforgettable, three-part Opening Night event that took place on April 30, 2019 in Downtown Los Angeles. From a magnificent program that focused on the bond between Mexico City and Los Angeles, to feasting on some delicious tacos at Grand Central Market, the LA Times‘ Opening Night celebration was truly spectacular and a brilliant way to start one of the most celebrated months for all #foodies.
The wonderful night began with Mesamérica L.A. at the Million Dollar Theater. Renowned and highly-acclaimed chef, Enrique Olvera worked with Los Angeles Times Food Editor Peter Meehan to present a program focusing on the art, architecture, identity and food that brings Mexico City and Los Angeles together. Speakers at the symposium included Enrique Olvera (chef and owner of Pujol), LA Times‘ Peter Meehan, Norma Listman (chef and co-owner of Masala y Maíz), Alonso Ruvalcaba (food critic and editor of HojaSanta Magazine), Carlos Salgado (chef and owner of Taco María), Javier Garciadiego (architect at Infonavit’s Research Center for Sustainable Development), Gustavo Arellano (features writer at Los Angeles Times), Rubén Ortiz (artist and curator) and Jesse Lerner (filmmaker and writer).
During the event, Enrique Olvera said, “the better we understand each other, the more successful we’ll be in our kitchens.”
For many of these respected and admired chefs, food is more than just something we eat. It’s a way to express yourself, find yourself and get in touch with your culture. Carlos Salgado, chef and owner of Taco María, said, “I had to discover myself. I had to discover where I came from in order to cook with sincerity.”
After the brilliant Mesamérica L.A. event, attendees were able to snack on some scrumptious treats. Let’s taco ’bout just how delicious the food was at DFiesta, the second part of the Opening Night celebration, which took place at the Grand Central Market. Guests had the opportunity to try a variety of tacos and collaborations from Campobaja (Mexico City) x The Oyster Gourmet, Ditroit (Olvera’s forthcoming L.A. taqueria) x China Cafe, Los Panchos (Mexico City) x Sari Sari Store and Petty Cash and Guelagetza x Gourmeletas. Attendees were also lining up for mouth-watering tacos from Guerrilla Tacos and Horse Thief BBQ as well as some sensational, Sanctuary Oysters from Sol Azul.
With the savory food also comes the sweets! DFiesta truly was a party of flavorsome and delectable dishes. The event honored the phenomenal cuisine of Mexico filled with unique flavors and an explosion of excellent ingredients specialized to Mexican culture. Attendees were able to sip on refreshing agua fresca drinks from La Frutería with a choice of either horchata or ensalada de fruta (consisting of watermelon, melon, apple and strawberry). And, for the sweet tooths, Mateo’s L.A. had the perfect treat! Mateo’s L.A. brought some tasty, iced fruit bars that everyone was flocking over. DFiesta attendees chose from flavors including coconut, fresh strawberry, guanabana (soursop), leche quemada (Mexican burnt milk candy) and mango con chile (mango with chili). In addition, guests also savored some yummy churros at the event.
DFiesta continued with some more entertainment and merriment during the third part of the event, which took place at La Cita Bar. Guests drank some cocktails and got their fill on some more tacos from Tacos 1986.
The Opening Night of the Los Angeles Times‘ LA Food Bowl was one for the books. It showed how important food is to cultures. Food brings people together. No matter what language you speak or where you are from, food has the magical power of connecting people, cities and countries together. That’s why the LA Food Bowl is so special. It brings Los Angelenos and visitors together to celebrate cuisines, the stories behind how these foods are made, and the people that make these foods a part of our lives and traditions.
The three-part Opening Night celebration of the LA Food Bowl was remarkable and it allowed attendees to dive deeper into the culture and cuisine of Mexico and its relationship to Los Angeles. More exciting LA Food Bowl events are to come this whole month of May, including the much-anticipated Night Market. Night Market, which occurs on May 8th-12th, is an outdoor event showcasing a countless amount of food vendors, chef collaborations and more.
I, Alexisjoyvipaccess had the honor of covering and attending the Opening Night of the LA Food Bowl. I left the event full from not just the food, but also full of knowledge about Mexico City and Los Angeles’ impact on one another. Check out some more photos below from the Opening Night of the Los Angeles Times‘ LA Food Bowl and be sure to visit lafoodbowl.com to join in on all of the fun and attend several LA Food Bowl events yourself!
Photo Credits: Greg Doherty / Getty Images
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Photo Credits: Will Tee Yang