LA Street Food Fest 3rd Annual Summer 2012 Tasting Judges
Jennifer Sommer is Food & Wine’s Los Angeles Correspondent providing news, information and ideas for the New York based, award-winning editorial team. As well, she recently founded her own site,www.sommerdish.com which provides hungry Angelenos tips on eating, drinking and discovering the latest. She has represented Food & Wine in various roles whether interviewing Food Activist and Chef Jamie Oliver on the occasion of his first Food Revolution Day or judging events such as the Los Angeles Street Food Fest. Her experience carries over to entertainment as well having interviewed celebrities for InStyle Magazine including Will Smith, Seal and Catherine Zeta Jones among others. In her early career days there she covered the red carpet as well as columns such as “Objects of Desire” and “Beauty Black Book.”
Jennifer is active in philanthropy and as a member of St. Vincent Meals on Wheels’ Junior Advisory Board was a co-creator of Cart for a Cause, the country’s first philanthropic food truck and cookbook featuring celebrity chefs and their recipes. She also works with Sisters of Sojourn, a division of Ocean Park Community Center, childhood food education efforts and in the communities of her alma maters, U.C. Berkeley and The Thacher School.
LA Times’ Jonathan Gold may be America’s best restaurant critic. He’s the only food writer ever to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism (“For his zestful, wide ranging restaurant reviews, expressing the delight of an erudite eater”) and the first to be a finalist in the Essay or Criticism category of the National Magazine Awards. Dana Goodyear wrote a rapturous six-page profile of him in the New Yorker, but he keeps his laser-sharp palate and crystalline prose trained on small ethnic restaurants in the Los Angeles area.
Matt Selman is a writer and the executive producer of the most successful animated series on television, The Simpsons. An avid food lover, Selman joined forces with Chef Neal Fraser, Cort Cass and Eric Wareheim to bring Beefsteak – an evening of gluttony – to Los Angeles. In keeping with his love for food, Selman appeared as a judge on a The Simpsons-themed challenge on an episode of Top Chef: Masters. He’s currently writing the screenplay for the film adaptation of Ricky Gervais’ Flanimals.
Simon Majumdar is an author, food writer and broadcaster. In merely three years, Simon has become a mainstay on The Food Network appearing in numerous episodes of Iron Chef, Extreme Chef, Best Thing I Ever Ate, and as recurring judge for the past three seasons of The Next Iron Chef. Simon is currently touring the United States for his new book, “Fed, White & Blue:breaking Bread With America” which will catalog his journey to American citizenship through its amazing food experiences. The book will be published by Hudson St. Press in 2014.
Walter Manzke, one of Los Angeles’ most beloved chefs since his time at Church & State, is the chef / owner of Wildflour, a bakery and café with a French bistro feel in the Philippines; the just-opened Petty Cash Taqueria on Beverly, where Manzke channels the spirit of Tijuana circa 1986 meeting East LA circa 2013; and the forthcoming Republique, a highly anticipated multi-functional dining destination, located on La Brea.
Manzke has earned a pleathora of accolades including multiple three-star reviews from the Los Angeles Times, being selected as one of Robb Report’s “Best New Dining Destinations,” Bon Appétit magazine’s “Best of the Year” and one of Gourmet magazine’s “Top Fifty Restaurants in America.” While working with the team at Church and State, Manzke was named a “Rising Star” by Star Chefs.
Alie Ward & Georgia Hardstark
Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark are best friends who met outside a tragically hip dive bar in Los Angeles. Fast friends, Alie and Georgia would meet for cocktails after work, with Alie a staff writer for the LA Times covering nightlife and events, and Georgia a part-time blogger and full-time suffering receptionist. They jokingly drafted plans on a cocktail napkin for a fictitious cocktail abomination called a McNuggetini, and made afarcical how-to video in their best vintage dresses. A viral hit ensued, with coverage in The New York Times, Time magazine, CNN and Perez Hilton alike.
They were approached by Food Network with the challenge of creating cocktails that were still fun — but palatable. The ladies went on to create two seasons of Drinks with Alie & Georgia, with 24 episodes of weirdly innovative cocktails, 12-year-old-boy humor and occasional blowtorches.
They’re currently on-camera contributors for Cooking Channel’s Unique Sweets, have appeared in several TV specials, and just launched their new online Web series for Cooking Channel, Classy Ladies with Alie & Georgia, in which they wear lovely dresses, pretend to be classy and take a culinary lesson in each episode.In their spare time Alie & Georgia make videos for Zooey Deschanel’s site Hello Gigglesand appear and perform at various live events, including LA’s The Meltdown comedy show.
They live a mile apart from each other in Los Angeles, and continue to confound people by being best friends with totally opposite tastes. (Alie prefers wine spritzers. Georgia loves beer. Alie’s all about vegetables. Georgia’s a carnivore. But both are dorks.
Chef Neal Fraser began his culinary career in Los Angeles where he worked as a line cook at Wolfgang Puck’s Eureka Brewery and Restaurant. Fraser’s first restaurant, Boxer, opened in 1995 with glowing reviews from both local and national media. After a brief stint running the kitchen at the legendary Jimmy’s in Beverly Hills, Fraser focused his energy on the creation of Grace with his wife and business partner, Amy Knoll Fraser. Grace opened in 2003 and showcased Fraser’s ambitious flavors and artfully composed dishes. On the heels of Grace’s success, the Frasers opened their neighboring café concept BLD in 2006. From there, the twosome focused their energies on new projects including Fritzi Dog at Farmers Market, Redbird at Vibiana, a BLD at LAX and ICDC, their latest concept to sell ice cream, doughnuts and coffee. In the fall of 2012, the Frasers, along with partner Bill Chait, took over operations of Vibiana in downtown Los Angeles. The in-house food and beverage program, fondly dubbed Neal Fraser & Co., offers custom menus complemented by a cocktail program. Redbird, the highly anticipated follow up to Grace, will be opening at Vibiana in the fall of 2013.
Check Out Last Year’s 2012 Winners…
La Guerrerense: Sea Snail Tostada
Bryant Ng | Spice Table: Spicy Wings
Mariscos Jalisco: Tacos Dorado de Camaron
Seoul Sausage: Flaming Fried Balls (tie)
Fred Eric | Tiara Café
Sweet Wheels: Beignets
Dog Haus: Soo Cali Dog
Check Out The 2011 Winners…
Javier Plascencia / Mision 19: Smoked Oyster with Chicharron and Sea Pickle
Antojitos Carmen: Huitlacoche Huarache
Ricardo Zarate: Peruvian Cau Cau
La Guerrerense: Sea Urchin Tostada with Pismo Clam
Javier Plascencia / Mision 19: Smoked Oyster w/ Chicharron and Sea Pickle
© 2009 – 2013 Angeleno, Inc. & Unique Inc. All rights reserved.