SUNDAY BLOCK PARTY
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 | 11 A.M. – 2 P.M.
Summer’s last hurrah
Hosted by Noelle Carter and Mary Sue Milliken
It’s a holiday weekend. LA’s best chefs and mixologists will be there. And they’ll be serving up some incredible indulgences on a historic movie backlot. It’s all the ingredients for the ultimate block party.
Noelle Carter | Host
As the LA Times Test Kitchen director, Noelle oversees the testing of all recipes that appear in The Times. In addition, she writes features, pens the “Culinary SOS” column, and contributes daily kitchen tips, recipes and videos to Food’s Daily Dish blog, and is also a regular contributor to “The Splendid Table” radio program. A native Southern Californian, she also holds a degree in film from the University of Southern California and, when she’s not cooking, loves watching old movies.
Appearing at: OPENING NIGHT, SUNDAY BLOCK PARTY
Mary Sue Milliken | Co-host
A pioneer of world cuisine since the creation of City Café and CITY Restaurant in Los Angeles in the 1980s, Mary Sue is most notably recognized as a preeminent ambassador of modern Mexican cuisine with her Border Grill restaurants and trucks. After becoming the first female chef at Chicago’s Le Perroquet in 1978, Mary Sue went on to refine her skills in Paris at Restaurant D’Olympe. Mary Sue has co-authored five cookbooks, co-starred in nearly 400 episodes of the Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales,” and co-hosted a food centered radio show for over a decade in Los Angeles.
Appearing at: OPENING NIGHT, SUNDAY BLOCK PARTY
Scott Dallavo | DJ
Scott is a radio, event and concert DJ who has opened for X, Paul Weller, Bryan Ferry, Madness, The Specials, The B-52s, Billy Idol, The NY Dolls, Echo & the Bunnymen, Big Audio Dynamite, The Damned, Adam Ant, Blondie, Cracker, Lily Allen, Pretenders and just about every reggae act on planet Earth. He has hosted “Retrograde” on Indie1031/.com since 2008 and was host of the “Get Up Stand Up” reggae show on The Beat and KDAY from 1994 to 2006.
Appearing at: OPENING NIGHT, FIELD TO FORK, DINNER WITH A TWIST, SUNDAY BLOCK PARTY, FLAVORS OF LA
With a personal passion for fighting hunger, and exceptional management and leadership qualities, Michael is a driving force behind the success of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank. As President and CEO, he has led the Food Bank to new records in food distribution while also launching programs for children and seniors. As one of the nation’s largest food banks, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank distributes 60 million pounds of food product to a network of 1,000 agencies and programs throughout Los Angeles County. In 2013, the Food Bank was named “Organization of the Year” by the LA Business Journal in the category of large nonprofit organizations.
A chef, artist, entrepreneur and TV personality, Duff’s first major foray into television was on the hit Food Network show “Ace of Cakes,” which took place in his famed Baltimore bakery, Charm City Cakes. The show ran for 10 seasons, achieving the rare feat of airing over 100 episodes. Duff is currently starring in several new shows on Food Network, including “Cake Masters” and the “Baking Championship” series. Duff opened Charm City Cakes West in Los Angeles in 2012. Inspired by his passion for facilitating creativity in others, Duff soon thereafter founded and developed Duff’s Cakemix, a DIY cake and cupcake decorating studio, also in L.A. He recently completed his second book, “Duff Bakes,” a follow-up to the New York Times bestseller, “Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes.”
Wes is Consulting Winemaker and Brand Ambassador for J. Wilkes Wines in the Santa Maria Valley of California. In 2013, Michael Cervin (Wall Street Journal, Decanter) named Wes as one of the 100 Most Influential Winemakers in the Unites States. He is considered a leader in the Santa Barbara wine industry, having worked as Vineyard Manager and Winemaker at Clos Pepe Vineyards and Estate Wines in the Santa Rita Hills for 21 years and having served for more than a decade on the Board of Directors for both Santa Barbara County Vintners and Santa Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance. Wes is an accomplished wine researcher, lecturer and has written for the LA Times and has been featured in Wine Spectator, Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast.
Ira Norof CSE, CWE
Ira’s wine and spirits career began in a retail wine shop. As his knowledge and passion for the product grew he eventually became a sommelier in a Beverly Hills restaurant. In 1983, he was hired by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of California and in 1996 he was named Director of Education. His illustrious career has taken him to visit most of the major wine regions in Europe and The Americas. He attained the level of CWE (Certified Wine Educator) in 1999. He holds a diploma from the Bordeaux Wine School, is a certified International Bordeaux Educator, as well as a certified Cognac Educator. Most recently he became a CSE (Certified Spirits Educator) — one of only six in the world. He is a guest lecturer at Cal Poly Pomona’s School of Hospitality each semester.
Bruce is a James Beard nominated chef and a partner in two restaurants, Union in Pasadena and Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market in downtown Los Angeles. He began his career at a local pizzeria in New Jersey, and later attended a small hands on culinary program at Hudson County Community College. After school, Bruce cooked with Paul Bartolotta at Spiaggia in Chicago before taking on executive chef roles at Okno, Green Dolphin Street and Coco Pazzo. He then took on executive chef stints in Santa Fe (Il Piatto) and Phoenix (Chelsea’s Kitchen) before moving to Los Angeles to open The Misfit in Santa Monica and later serving as executive chef of The Churchill in West Hollywood. He has appeared on numerous TV shows such as Food Network’s “Chopped,” Esquire Network’s “Knife Fight” and CBS’s “The Talk.”
Stewart Prato, CSW, FWS
Stewart Prato is the California Statewide Director for Maisons, Marques & Domaines for Southern Wine & Spirits. With over 20 years in the hospitality business, Stewart has worked for several Michelin Star rated restaurants, luxury hotel properties and private country clubs. His unquenchable thirst has led him to the level of Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers); CSW, Certified Specialist of Wine (Society of Wine Educators); CWE, Certified Wine Educator (Society of Wine Educators); FWS, French Wine Scholar (The French Wine Society); Sake Sommelier (Sake Service Institute of Japan); WSET Level 3 Advanced Certificate (Wine & Spirits Educational Trust) and WSET Level 4 DWS, Diploma of Wine & Spirits (pending).
Todd Simon | Musician
Todd Simon is a trumpeter, arranger, producer, DJ and educator who’s worked with the likes of Kelis, Lauryn Hill, TV On The Radio, Ziggy Marley, Madlib, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Lukas Graham, Santigold, The Gaslamp Killer, Quantic, Breakestra, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Quadron, RHYE, Quantic, Antibalas and many more. His personal project, the African-jazz ensemble Ethio Cali, has taken L.A. by storm with their interpretations of ethio-jazz and Afrobeat. Todd’s recent mixtape project, “Jazz On 45,” is currently featured on OkayPlayer and Wax Poetics. Todd will accompany DJ Scott Dallavo at the Sunday Block Party event.
Chef Rika is co-host of “Dining With The Chef,” a signature lifestyle and cooking program on NHK World TV. In the series, she demonstrates easy original Japanese recipes and enlightens viewers about Japanese food culture. A native of Fukuoka, Japan, Chef Rika has published 49 food and lifestyle books, many of which are best sellers and translated into Korean and Chinese. Chef Rika also owns and operates a steakhouse in Ginza, Tokyo.