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Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival kicks off

August 9, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Southern Californians are savoring the best cuisine the area has to offer as the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival begins a four-day run.

The best of the best were all in one place Thursday night at Festa Italiana. Forty chefs and 100 wineries were all hosted by superstar chef Giada De Laurentiis.

"I'm so proud to be a Los Angeleno and to show people how great our food is. So it's a very special night for me," said De Laurentiis.

Nearly 30 years ago, Wolfgang Puck started a food and wine festival in Los Angeles. For the second year, Puck has combined forces with organizer David Bernahl to re-invent it.

"I want L.A. to be the premiere food city in the world," said Puck.

The next three days will feature events in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood, featuring 140 chefs, 200 wineries and likely feeding more than 15,000 people.

"Whether it's cooking demonstrations, education, wine seminars, grand tastings, dinners, luncheons, we have something for you," said Bernahl.

If your hands are full and you don't have anywhere to put your drink, a local designer, Caroline Hallak, has come up with a new idea to always keep your wine handy at the festival. She created a wine glass holder that you can wear around your neck, and she makes them to match your outfit.

"It's made for wine-tasting, because [in] wine-tasting, they can't serve you more than one ounce, so this is perfect," said Hallak.

But don't get too comfortable with the nonstop vino.

"Pace yourself, because if you jump in too quick, you may tucker out and end up in the corner," said festivalgoer Jake Payton of Burbank.

If you want to attend, check out a list of events.

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