I was super excited when I bought my tickets to attend the LA Times affair on Saturday, September 5th – “The First Annual LA Times Food & Wine Celebration”. My excitement was mostly to get a chance to see Aarti again. (See my earlier post on my first encounter with Aarti.)
This time around, I also wanted my Mom and my two girls, Anabelle and Ariana to meet her since they have become Aarti Paarti fans as well. Besides, we wanted to congratulate her in person for becoming the newest star on Food Network Television.
We got there at 12:30pm … it was advertised that I can bring the kids along free with a regular priced ticket admission. So I made the decision to take them along to my venture of food tasting and meeting Aarti. I thought for the price of $55.00 dollars, I was going to get lot of food tasting, but mostly we got to stand in long lines and not get much tasting. I wanted to sit in on some of the panels, but did not get much opportunity with the family. Next time, I might decide to go alone, or with my hubby.
In addition to the tickets that we had purchased, we had to spend around $100.00 for food. I made a mistake of forgetting my cash at home… and turns out most of the vendors/food trucks take cash only. I felt so bad that my dad had to pick up the bill for most of the food. I will be paying him back, but not sure how well it will go.
We felt pretty out of place most of the time… there were way too many people and too many things happening all at the same time. I don’t want to complain much… it was LA Times’ first attempt to be part of this type of event. I am sure by next year, they would take everyone’s feedback and try to make things better and have an improvised plan.
Here are the list of things that we got to do:
As soon as we got to Paramount Lot and the kids saw the food trucks, all of a sudden they were hungry. Since Aarti’s panel was during the same time as their growling bellies …sadly I had to depart Aarti Ree, The Pioneer Woman and Rene Lynch, the food editor from LA Times to make sure they got some food in their bellies.
They got to have the best toasted peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and hand cut french fries at the Munchie Machine food truck. ( Anabelle had to go back for seconds closer to dinnertime.)
Then we got them nice frozen treats at the Tropical Shaved Ice Food Truck.
I really enjoyed the La Voce Toscana wine from Sinatra Wine Estates. I tried to go for seconds, but they were out. I definitely will be looking out for this bottle.
Enjoyed some food at Hoy Mexican Restaurant… sorry I couldn’t find the link to share.
My mom and I enjoyed great mojitos made with Veev, an Acai berry flavored alcoholic beverage.
As we were sampling food, we tasted some great Greek Yogurt at the Voskos booth. Next to them were Meslissa’s fresh produce. My daughter, Ariana loved this booth soo much that she was eating their chili pepper shaped grapes that were displayed at their booth. Since the lady at the booth did not want her display to get ruined, she gave Ariana her own box of chili pepper grapes. I really thought that was very sweet of her since she said they only got one case of this variety.
We had dessert at the Sweets truck. I personally liked their chocolate chip cookies since they looked like thin CD discs and were very soft and chewy.
So here is when it all changed… we went by the Cooking Channel food truck station to have some ice cream. We had the best lavender honey flavored ice cream!!! Then, My mom saw one of her favorite celebrity chefs, Roger Mooking, the host of Everyday Exotic. She got her picture taken with him and got a personal autograph. She was feeling ecstatic.
Then, our last stop was the Nom Nom Truck for some Bahn Mi sandwiches and tacos before we headed back home… I was super sad that I never got a chance to talk to Aarti.
But as we were leaving, I saw her in the VIP area chatting with Nathan Lyon, the host of Lyon at the Kitchen on the Fitness TV channel. He was also a Food Network Star contestant from Season 2.
Although, I have seen his show and enjoy his food, I really was there to talk to Aarti and have my Mom and girls to meet with her in person too. As soon as I saw Aarti free, I called out “Aaaaaarti, Aaarti!!!” Ariana, got her magnetic reaction and Aarti came running towards us. We got to hug her and talk to her for a few minutes. Ariana and Anabelle confessed that we in fact have seen her on television and online. They also confessed that I have been making most of her recipes.
She made the entire event worth it! I got to tell her in person how much we have enjoyed trying her recipes and how happy we are for her. She’s truly the best and I am sure she will have a bright future ahead of her.
We left home very tired, but happy and accomplished. I feel like I completed my mission. Now I have this day to look back and cherish forever. Thank you Aarti for being you and being so sweet to my girls and family!