The fifth annual Masters of Taste event, held on the field of the Rose Bowl, was last Sunday and we were thrilled to attend.
This is from my social media post the next day:
Oh WHAT FUN we had at Masters of Taste yesterday! This is the event where 100% of the profits go to Union Station Homeless Services! And it was on my birthday this year!
Traveling by limo courtesy my publishers Moe and Linda Hafizi, was an additional treat! Some of the liquor we sampled included wine from Golden Star Vineyards and Ascension Cellars, Lucky Dog (juice box) Sake, Knox and Dobson ready-to-drink cocktails (full article just on them runs 4/22), Smoke Lab Aniseed vodka distilled from Basmati rice is India’s “first premium vodka”, Dulce Vida Tequila, Ventura Spirits for their Amaro Angelino, Roku Gin, Suntory Whisky, Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur, American Born bourbon whiskey, Woodford Reserve, the 1886 Bar at the Raymond…and then there was the FOOD!
If you want to just see the story in photos and videos click this, for more details keep reading!
It’s always such a rush walking down to the Rose Bowl field from the stadium seats! I always make an immediate right turn and hit as many tables as possible before resting after that first loop around. This is who made an impact this time:
Georgia’s Restaurant made Gretchen’s Jambalaya – the first booth I had food at and it was delicious, flavorful and not too spicy!
The long but fast moving line for delectable Dim Sum from Lunasia Dim Sum House was worth it.
Another line was to sample the food and meet the host chef, Vanda Asapahu, at the Ayari Thai table!
Golden Star Vineyards and Ascension Cellars, two wineries that I’ve enjoyed for years, so it’s always nice to see them on the playing field.
The detail on the animal-faced macarons, an item you can request for special occasions, from Etoile Filante Patisserie was another cool find.
Maneki Wanko Lucky Dog (juice box) Sake: I saw people sipping from juice boxes and was surprised to find that the cute little turquoise boxes with a playful dog design was holding Sake!
Fantasy Frostings makes a killer cake, moist and tasty. I looked at their Facebook and their wedding cakes are lovely!
Knox and Dobson ready-to-drink cocktails made an impact on me again – see the full article just on them April 22 on Eve Wine 101.
Little Llama Peruvian Tacos made a Shrimp Ceviche Tostada that was full of flavor.
Dulce Vida Tequila has THE best flavored tequila in my opinion, this time I enjoyed their grapefruit, on its own as it doesn’t need a thing. And it’s made with real fruit.
Enjoyed discovering Ventura Spirits Amaro Angelino, also their Limoncello. Nice local place to support.
Who doesn’t love short ribs? Chef Gil Saulnier from Mi Piace made a Prime Slow Braised Short Rib over Saffron Risotto and a Mini Crème Brûlée cheesecake too = so very decadent!
Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur was my first big find at Masters of Taste years ago. If you like gin try this liqueur, it softens all that juniper with other botanicals.
I got more comfort food from Granville as they served up their Uptown Mac n’ Cheese!
American Born bourbon whiskey was tasty, again on its own, no mixer needed!
World Empanadas baked several varieties, I wanted to try them all but settled on sharing a Nutella-filled one with my husband. Family run, locally owned and Vegan too.
Woodford Reserve had a huge area just at the entrance, and made a refreshing slush cocktail with their bourbon, lemonade and cranberry juice. I wanted a second one, but that would not do with all that we had to try!
The 1886 Bar at the Raymond always make the best cocktails, on the field and in their Pasadena restaurant!
Bertha Mae’s brownies, in all kinds of flavors, were yummy.
There was quite a buzz going for the Jicama Shrimp Tacos from Mercado! They were sooooo good!
Smoke Lab Aniseed vodka distilled from Basmati rice is India’s “first premium vodka”, and not at all like the sweet or thick Sambuca anise liqueur.
Mignon Chocolate had their fountain flowing and I had a nice freshly dipped strawberry from them!
Enjoyed the Suntory whisky booth for the whisky and the Roku gin.
Seeing two of the Drago brothers and trying their pasta with pork sausage and Gorgonzola from Drago Centre was a big thrill for me.
See all of the Masters and their social media outlets here https://mastersoftastela.com/masters/
2022 Host Chef Vanda Asapahu of Ayara Thai
Vanda Asapahu is the second-generation owner and chef of Ayara Thai and Ayara Luk in Los Angeles, CA. Vanda worked with non-profit organizations and the United Nations in Thailand. Living in Thailand allowed Vanda to revive old family recipes and travel through the different regions to discover new tastes and inspirations…read more here.
From the Start
Our mission was to create a unique event that would benefit an organization that focuses on addressing and resolving the issues surrounding homelessness in the San Gabriel Valley. The solution was to produce a one-of-a-kind, premier food and beverage festival for those who appreciate delicious food, cocktails, and sweets! Anyone who attends Masters of Taste can feel confident that they’re making an impact in their community because 100% of the proceeds help Union Station Homeless Services end homelessness and rebuild lives.
2022 Platinum Sponsors
The House of @suntorywhisky and Judith L. Chiara Foundation.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video (over 16k views), authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru and the Global Wine Awards. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits.