Perlis Picks: Los Angeles Epicurean Festival

The Los Angeles Epicurean Festival ( was held Sunday, August 26th, 2012 at The Vibiana in Downtown Los Angeles. Designed to showcase all things epicurean [food, wine and accessories], the event was held in three parts, with a trade portion from 10 AM to 2 PM, and then two public sessions – 3 PM to 6 PM and 7 PM to 10 PM.

Contributing Editor Michael Perlis

The Festival did a great job in showcasing the various products, and the number of exhibitors was so huge that the Vibiana’s patio was used as well. Fortunately, there had been a slight [and brief] break in the Southern California Summer heat, and the weather on the patio was perfect.

I won’t bother listing all the exhibitors. I think Eve already did that and the website lists them as well. Highlights for me at the trade tasting were:

Aaldering Wine ( – Very tasty wines from South Africa. I especially enjoyed the Pinotage.

Angel Salumi & Truffles – I pretty much could have spent the day at this table…pork salami with black truffles, pork salami with white truffles, venison salami, duck salami, wild boar salami. All delicious.

Bistro Blends ( – Great balsamic vinegars and olive oils.

Bodegas Frontaura ( – Enjoyed tasting through their various Tempranillos.

CHEFS ( – Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards was giving out [not selling] delicious samples of humanely raised foie gras. (I plan to write more about this organization in the future.)

Exotic Meat Markets ( – First time for me to have llama and kangaroo sausages. Very tasty.

J&J Grassfed Beef ( – Delicious meatballs made from natural free range beef.

Kimmel Vineyards ( – Jim Kimmel laughed politely at my joke that he looks different on television [he’s heard that probably millions of time], then told me the story of how he and comedian and talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel became acquainted (and how Jimmy became his customer).  This small Mendocino winery was pouring samples of their Chardonnays, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, but the star was their hidden bottle of Cabernet Franc, which might have been my favorite wine that day.

Linda’s Gourmet Latkes ( – What can I say? I like latkes. And these were great!

Mary’s Chicken ( – Delicious, moist and tender free range chicken. There really is a difference.

Santa Monica Seafood ( – Steelhead trout sashimi! Yummy!

Southern Wine Group ( – Jeff Miller was pouring a selection from Chilean winery Vina Tabali (my favorites were the Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Carmenere) as well as a Malbec from Argentinean winery Casa Marguery.

Stonehaus/Family Wine Partners ( – It was great to taste the wines from Hearthstone and Caliza [two great Paso Robles wineries] as well as get an update on the soon-to-open Stonehaus coffeehouse and winery in Westlake Village.

Vinos Larroque ( – Very tasty wines from Chile. I was especially fond of the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

Volvic ( – Thanks for keeping us all hydrated with your water and teas.

This was truly an outstanding event. I had the opportunity to try delicious new foods and wines in a beautiful setting. Everything seemed to run smoothly and I am looking forward to next year’s festival.

Michael Perlis provides outsourced controller services to businesses that do not need a full-time controller. He balances this with his interest in wine: reading and writing about it and, of course, drinking it. He is still trying to figure out how to combine these two pursuits. Feel free to contact him about either at or