It was only a matter of time before the collective culinary event consciousness decided they’d had enough “line-up-and-wait-for-a-taste” food events. Sure, some of them have panel discussions, demos or cook-offs, but those too are becoming as stale as last night’s bread basket.
Enter the All-Star Chef Classic.
This event must have been conceptualized on the back of a cocktail napkin over the holidays, because it seems to have appeared virtually overnight and with very little advanced buzz. From the looks of the chatter, the official press release hit the wire less than a week ago and tickets were made available to the public just this past Saturday. As Time Out aptly put it: “Do you hear that? It’s the sound of a thousand LA foodies letting out one collective squeal.”
Happening March 21 – 23, 2014, the event takes place in the L.A. LIVE “Restaurant Stadium” (pictured above). While not a real competition, this “never-before-seen venue will be the center of the action at the All-Star Chef Classic, bringing over 250 fans ‘kitchen-side’ in an intimate VIP setting, where they can be as close to the action as possible without being in the heat of the kitchen.” While the Iron Chef-style arena leans heavily towards the dramatic, the setting seems to be offset by a decidedly down-to-earth cast of participants.
God bless Lucy Lean and Krissy Lefebvre for their ingenuity and covetable little black book of culinary connections. While I will always give props for simply not including the Sandra Lees of the food world in an a festival line-up, Lean and Lefebvre have gone beyond simply shooting for diversity by involving personalities that Angelenos may have never even heard of (depending on how many national food magazines they read), but whose credentials and talent will bring quite a lot to the experience. Much like Wolfgang’s belated American Wine & Food Festival did so successfully, All-Star’s line-up showcases chefs from cities all across the country and abroad.
After LAFW changed venues last year, I believe AEG would have taken the next soft-boiled festival concept to came their way as long as there were enough Food Network personalities attached to make it worth their advertising while. What AEG didn’t realize the first time around is that Angelenos just aren’t impressed by that kind of stock celebrity. We want the real deal. Something that looks and smells like the real thing and makes us feel like the insiders that we are.
Could this be it? Sure reads like it.
I’ve got my tickets.