The Food Event Epicureans - Los Angeles magazine

The Food Event 2012

Our ninth annual culinary extravaganza featuring celebrity chefs, top restaurants, and wine and spirits tastings


Watch highlights from last year’s event

Sunday, October 19

Must be 21 years or older to attend
Infants, children and pets will not be admitted

Host Partner:
Saddlerock Ranch Malibu
Home to Malibu Family Wines
Producers of Saddlerock and Semler wines

Save Your Appetite!


Lesley Bargar Suter

Lesley Bargar Suter, who oversees the dining and food listings in Los Angeles, began her career at the music magazine Filter where she served as a Staff Writer and Associate editor. In 2005, she became Editor-in-Chief for the alternative weekly newspaper L.A. Alternative. While there she oversaw all aspects of its cultural and political coverage, supervised the paper’s transition from bi-weekly to weekly, and orchestrated a full redesign.

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Claire Thomas

Claire Thomas is best known for being a twenty-something food enthusiast, host of her own TV show, Food For Thought With Claire Thomas and the voice and creator behind the popular website, The Kitchy  Claire's first cookbook will be released in 2014.

Claire gained much of her early success and exposure via her website, utilizing it as the experimental playground in which she used her incurable curiosity to taste, create and study anything and everything about food.  On the site, you can find her very entertaining yet humorous posts, along with photos and videos of tasty foods (all shot by Claire), recipes and interviews with top wine connoisseurs, food specialists, restaurant chefs and much more.

In addition to her TV show and website Claire is also an acclaimed food stylist and food photographer having worked on several major campaigns.  She is also a highly sought after commercial director, having directed spots for McDonald’s, General Mills, Pepperidge Farms, Miracle Whip, Del Taco and Chobani to name a few. Her extensive commercial directing has enabled her to become a member of the prestigious DGA (Director's Guild of America).  

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Brooke Williamson

Brooke Williamson’s entire life has always been about food. Ever since she can remember, Williamson wanted to become a chef or a restaurateur. After working with some of the country's top chefs, her dream has finally been realized in the form of successful ventures such as Amuse Café, Beechwood, and projects with chef- husband Nick Roberts, Hudson House in Redondo Beach, The Tripel & 4-in-1 concept Playa Provisions in Playa Del Rey.

A native of Los Angeles, Williamson began her culinary career at a young age as a teacher’s assistant at the Epicurean Institute of Los Angeles. Williamson began working in professional kitchens at the age of 18 as a pastry assistant at Fenix at the Argyle Hotel under Chef Ken Frank. As her star quality began to shine, Chef Michael McCarty took notice and invited the young chef to work at his acclaimed Santa Monica restaurant, Michael’s under executive Chef Sang Yoon. Within one year she became sous chef at Michael's. Two years later, Williamson headed to the East Coast to intern at the celebrated restaurant Daniel in New York. She then returned to Los Angeles, where she was appointed executive chef at L.A. restaurant, Boxer. Williamson then continued her culinary career as executive chef of Zax in Brentwood, raising the bar on seasonal American cuisine by infusing local ingredients from Southern California with more diverse and global flavors. During her time at Zax, she was honored by media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times and Forbes as a culinary mastermind. She was also invited to cook at the James Beard house, being the youngest ever female chef to do so. After leaving Zax, Williamson and fellow Zax partner Nick Roberts opened Amuse Café and later Beechwood in Venice, where Williamson and Roberts earned the title "Rising Star Chefs" by StarChefs. In 2010 Williamson also became certified by The Court of Master Sommeliers.

Along with Roberts, Williamson opened the American gastropub, Hudson House, in March 2009, and The Tripel in Playa Del Rey, in April 2011. Their most recent venture, Playa Provisions, is a 4-in-1 concept which includes an ice cream shop (with all ice creams made in house) to be called Small Batch; a market counter serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, to be called King Beach; a back-room whiskey bar called Grain; and a more high end dining space dedicated to seafood called Dockside. In her day-to-day operations, Williamson is responsible for running the front and back of house and creating all specialty cocktails, wine, and beer menus.

Other than spending time with her beloved family, Williamson loves running, hiking, traveling, and spending hours wandering around the supermarket.

Williamson recently placed runner up on Top Chef Season 10 in Seattle which has catapulted her to “Celebrity Chef” status. She also starred as a host and mentor on MTV’s first foodie series House of Food and recently won her battle on the popular Esquire series Knife Fight. Brooke will also compete on Bravo’s new series Top Chef Duels, set to premier this summer. Brooke has also appeared as a guest on Watch What Happens Live, Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, and international talk show Arise 360.



Christina Lazzaro

Laura Koleniak

Tal Ronnen

An internationally renowned chef, best-selling author, and the 2013 VegNews Person of the Year, Tal Ronnen has pioneered an entirely new cuisine that pairs a sophisticated sensibility with an emphasis on plant based foods and ingredients. His newest venture, Crossroads, emphasizes both a refined setting and an exceptional menu, which reflect Ronnen's belief that healthy eating is a main course, not an afterthought. “When I crossed over to being a vegetarian, I was largely being served the side dishes that came along with the entrées when I went out to eat,” he says. “I wanted to take vegetarian cuisine to the next level and make it appeal to non-vegetarians. Crossroads is the realization of that desire.”

Ronnen’s signature style of cooking has made him a favorite among celebrities and foodies. He is perhaps best known to the public at large for helping open Chrissie Hynde’s VegiTerranean restaurant in Akron, OH; catering the wedding of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi; and creating the menu for Oprah Winfrey during her 21- day vegan cleanse. In addition, he is the author of The Conscious Cook, a New York Times best seller and is a consultant on the menu for the opening of LYFE Kitchen restaurants. He is a graduate of the National Gourmet Institute and has worked at Candle 79 in New York City, and Sublime in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He also conducts master vegetarian workshops for students and staff at Le Cordon Bleu College campuses nationwide.

Ronnen’s desire to create a welcoming, sumptuous environment for healthy eating was one of the primary motivators for creating Crossroads, for which he is collaborating with Executive Chef Scot Jones, whom he met during his tenure at VegiTerranean. The two share a sensibility in terms of a desire to create satisfying, vegetable-based cuisine in a warm, yet stylish dining atmosphere. “We wanted to design an environment where you don't have to sacrifice ambiance just because you want to eat healthy,” Ronnen says. “There's no place in L.A. where you can go and eat a clean and vibrant meal together with a full bar, private dining room, and the style of service that will be offered, all within a beautiful space.”


For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Vanessa Kanegai or Max Block at Wagstaff Worldwide: