The International Association of Culinary Professionals’ 38th annual conference is at the Loews Hollywood Hotel from Friday, April 1 through Sunday, April 3. Top culinary professionals and renowned panelists from around the world will attend the conference. Workshops, educational sessions, insider food tours and cookbook signings will be offered. Speakers include “Cooking Light” editor in chief Hunter Lewis, gluten-free blogger Shauna Ahern, chef and television personality Rachael Ray, “Every Day’s” executive editor Dana Bowen, food photographer and videographer Todd Coleman, prize-winning author and food policy expert Marion Nestle, “Eater” executive editor Helen Rosner, and Los Angeles Times food editor Amy Scattergood. Special events include workshops on recipe writing, food styling and developing YouTube content. Members of the public can participate in networking and educational programming, and enjoy food and drink. Day passes available. 1755 N. Highland Ave. To register, visit www.conference.iacp.com/register.
Annual Brew in Palm Desert
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens’ annual “Brew at the Zoo” fundraiser will be held on Saturday, April 2 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Palm Desert. Attendees will enjoy craft beers and culinary delights served by some of the Coachella Valley’s top restaurants and caterers. Premium wines and libations will also be available. The evening includes entertainment on multiple music stages located throughout the zoo grounds. 47900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert. (760)346-5694, www.livingdesert.org/event/brew-at-the-zoo.
Pebble Beach Food & Wine
Pebble Beach Food & Wine runs through April 3 and culinary experiences include chef collaborations and curated lunches, dinners and seminars. The festival includes the first interactive live streaming of “The Art of Celebrating-Champagne Taittinger & Caviar” on Saturday, April 2 at 10 a.m. More than 100 renowned chefs and 250 distinguished winemakers are participating in the four-day celebration. 1700 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, (866)907-3663. For information, tickets and schedule, visit www.PBFW.com.
L.A.’s Top Master Tastemakers
Savor the finer things in life on the field of the historic Rose Bowl during Masters of Taste on Sunday, April 3 from 3 to 7 p.m. The new outdoor, luxury culinary festival will open for 2,000 influential food and beverage enthusiasts. Enjoy delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s most notable sweet masters, along with signature handcrafted cocktails and tastings from over 25 beverage masters from top cocktail bars. Participating wineries include Alexander Valley Vineyards from Healdsburg, Paso Robles’ Anglim Winery, the premium boutique winery Ascension Cellars and Ventura’s Four Brix Winery. Guests can also enjoy pressed juices, hand-roasted coffee and entertainment. Participating Masters of Taste professionals include Matt Bata, from Alexander’s Steakhouse; Bernhard Mairinger, of BierBeisl; Michael “Mick” Schepers, of HACHÉ LA; Yoya Takahashi, of Hamasaku; Carolos Tomazos, of Inotheke; Sean Popcock, of Made in Brooklyn; Kyle Schutte, of Wood & Vine; Neal Fraser, of Redbird; and Isaias Pena, of Spare Tire Kitchen & Tavern. Brewmasters include Alosta Brewing Co., Bootlegger’s Brewery, Iron Triangle Brewing, Indie Brewing Company and Golden Road Brewing. Proceeds from Masters of Taste benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a nonprofit organization based in Pasadena and committed to helping homeless men, women and children rebuild their lives. Services include street outreach, meals, shelter, housing, case management and career development. A VIP Power Hour runs from 3 to 4 p.m.; general admission is from 4 to 7 p.m. VIP tickets are $225; $125 for general admission tickets. Guests must be 21 and over. 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena. www.MastersofTasteLA.com/Tickets.
March Madness at Plan Check
Catch NCAA March Madness on multiple flat screen televisions and enjoy comfort food at Plan Check Kitchen + Bar’s three locations on Fairfax Avenue and Sawtelle Boulevard, and in Downtown Los Angeles. Try Da Buck Fifty wings for $2.50 – seasonings change daily. Plan Check also offers $3 wasabi beer nuts – caramelized peanuts and cashews coated with soy sauce, sugar and wasabi. Order a burger with ketchup leather, schmaltz onions and mixed pickles. 351 N. Fairfax Ave., (323)591-0094; 1800 Sawtelle Blvd., (310)444-1411; 1111 Wilshire Blvd., (213)403-1616.
The Club Room at BOA Steakhouse
The Club Room at BOA Steakhouse Sunset Boulevard is a fun March Madness viewing spot. Located adjacent to the restaurant’s bar, the lounge has sophisticated décor and comfortable, oversized furniture situated around a big screen television. An exclusive menu of savory bites and revamped cocktails includes blue crab toasts with avocado tartare; and yellowtail crudo with sea beans and avocado crema. Try The Grand Prix cocktail with premium vodka, Zucca Amaro, Cocchi Americano, elderflower liqueur and a squeeze of lime. 9200 W. Sunset Blvd., (310)278-2050.
Charcoal Venice, a new neighborhood restaurant from two-star Michelin chef Josiah Citrin and chef de cuisine Joe Johnson, presents guests with precisely-cooked, live-fire cuisine. The chefs’ sharable plates include smoky grilled chicken wings with Blue Lake beans, almonds and lemon-infused breadcrumbs. Watch March Madness games on two televisions. 425 Washington Blvd., Venice, (310)751-6794.
New chef at Cocina Condesa
Guests will notice changes at Cocina Condesa by new general manager Michael Fields and new chef Eddie Garcia. Fields managed the Oceanview Cafe in Montrose before coming to Cocina Condesa. Garcia kept many of the former chef’s creations and added a few creative touches to the menu. Try ahi tostaditos on a sliced jicama tostada shell instead of a corn tortilla. It’s a healthier option that is quite good. The restaurant, which is known for its spicy mango and watermelon margaritas, is open for lunch and dinner. A 50 percent off mezcal special is available Mondays. Taco Tuesdays begin at 5 p.m., with any two tacos for $5. Happy hour runs 3 to 6:30 p.m. with dishes under $7, cocktails and margaritas priced at $6 and draft beers for $4. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday. 11616 Ventura Blvd., (818)579-4264.
Taste on Melrose
April is National Grilled Cheese Month at Taste on Melrose in West Hollywood. The restaurant is celebrating everyone’s favorite comfort food, offering 10 different grilled cheese sandwiches throughout the month. The restaurant will showcase two gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches each week, from truffle and thyme manchego grilled cheeses to lobster tarragon salad grilled cheese sandwiches with aged white cheddar. S’mores melts made with bruléed marshmallows, goat cheese chocolate mousse and graham crackers on toasted brioche breadare available for dessert. Try the chilaquiles breakfast grilled cheese during weekend brunch. They are made with mozzarella cheese, roasted jalapeños, crispy tortillas basted in ranchero sauce, fried egg and avocado, and served with a ranchero dipping sauce. 8454 Melrose Ave., (323)852-6888.
Umami Burger’s Artist Series
The Alton Burger, created by television personality Alton Brown, is available at Umami Burger for $14 as part of the Artist Series. Through April 24, Umami will give $1 from sales of the burger to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Alton Burger is a tribute to a classic southern breakfast with a special beef patty made with Umami Burger’s signature beef blend mixed with bacon lardons. It’s topped with cheddar cheese, miso-maple bacon, smashed cheesy tots, a fried egg, fried sage and house-made coffee ketchup. Try it with a Samuel Adams nitro coffee stout. 189 The Grove Drive, (323)954-8626; 4655 Hollywood Blvd., (323)669-3922; 852 S. Broadway, (213)413-8626.
New executive chef at Napa Valley Grille
After a three-month, $2 million renovation, Napa Valley Grille is now open and is commemorating its 15th anniversary. The restaurant’s interior dining room, private event spaces and outdoor patio have been refurbished with new furniture, lighting and décor. The spaces are a contemporary interpretation of the Napa Valley aesthetic and capture the warmth of the wine region. The restaurant has also welcomed executive chef Adrian Vela, formerly from Cafe Del Rey. He worked with chefs Rick Moonen, Charlie Palmer, Bradley Ogden and Joël Robuchon. The seasonal menu interprets the restaurant’s signature California-inspired cuisine using local ingredients. Dishes include red beet and marjoram parpardelle pasta with pulled pork and roasted sunchokes. The beef coulotte is served with creamed potatoes, and the house-made lobster ravioli is accompanied by watermelon salad. Cheese and charcuterie plates, West Coast oysters and seasonal roasted vegetables are also available. Napa Valley Grille is open daily for lunch and dinner. Weekend brunch will debut soon. 1100 Glendon Ave. (310)824-3322.
New Chipotle ‘Guac Hunter’
Chipotle Mexican Grill is offering a new online game called “Guac Hunter” and players can win free guacamole and chips. The game is a digital photo hunt with two images that look similar. Identify the differences before time runs out and win a free order of chips and guacamole. The game runs through April 1. Chipotle’s guacamole is made from scratch throughout the day. Each batch is hand-mashed with freshly diced red onions, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, citrus juice and salt. Each Chipotle restaurant uses approximately five cases of avocados per day, with more than 44,000 pounds of avocados mashed at each restaurant annually. Last year, the company served more than 43 million pounds of avocados from Mexico, however Chipotle’s avocados are also grown in California, Chile and Peru and supplied based on peak growing seasons. For information and to play “Guac Hunter,” visit chipotle.com/guachunter. 121 N. La Cienega Blvd., Ste. 114, (310)855-0371; 7101 Melrose Ave., (323)297-0334; 5550 Wilshire Blvd., (323)272-6661.
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