3,000 Foodies and Drinkies Sell Out Masters of Taste At the Rose Bowl

Gourmands raise tens of thousands for Union Station Homeless Services
Published on Apr 8, 2024

More than 3,000 happy foodies and drinkies descended on the Rose Bowl Stadium Sunday afternoon for the sold-out 7th annual Masters of Taste event, which benefited Pasadena’s Union Station Homeless Services.  

In addition to the thousands of guests, more than 100 chefs, mixologists, and bakers representing restaurants from all over Southern California served thousands of their favorite dishes and drinks to the hungry and happy crowd. 

Offerings included American comfort food, Sushi, Italian, Thai, and Chinese food, along with desserts prepared by scores of master bakers. Bartenders stirred up their own concoctions from over 25 spirit brands and cocktail bars, wineries, and local craft breweries.

“I love this event,” said Olivia Wong, 32, of Los Angeles, who came to the event with girlfriends and workmates. 

“We were here before the pandemic, and we have not missed since,” Wong said, balancing a slice of pizza and a red velvet cupcake, and a brightly colored cocktail.  

As Union Station Chief Operations Officer Amanda Green explained, “Masters of Taste is actually the brainchild of supporters of Union Station. We were looking for a way to spread the word about Union Station, which is the largest such organization in the San Gabriel Valley. We needed more people to know about it, and what better way than to bring people to the field of the Rose Bowl?”

Green added that what makes the Union Station program stand out is its “Housing First” approach.

“We really want to make sure that we are reducing the hurdles to supporting our community,” she said, “and we have services all the way from outreach to interim housing to permanent housing, from the start to the end.” 

Green also noted that more than 90% of clients who receive housing from Union Station retain their housing. One hundred percent of the proceeds from Sunday’s event will directly benefit Union Station, she added.

This year’s Masters of Taste participating restaurants included Pez Cantina Village and Pez Coastal Kitchen; Seafood Village by Santa Monica Seafood from 2024 event hosts Chef Bret Thompson & Lucy Thompson-Ramirez of Downtown Los Angeles, and Pasadena; 1212 Santa Monica and Chef Oliver Malmsten of Santa Monica; Arth Bar + Kitchen and Chef Mihir Lad from Culver City; Agnes Restaurant and Cheesery, and Chef Vanessa Tilaka Kalb & Chef Thomas Tilaka Kalb of Pasadena; as well as  Alexander’s Steakhouse and Chef Frederico Villanueva of Pasadena; Ayara Thai and Chef Vanda Asapahu and Chef Cathy Asapahu of Westchester, along with dozens more. 

Dessert creations were provided by, among others, Bachan’s Shave Ice, chocolate chip cookies from BAKE SOME NOISE, along with Beard Papa’s, Bertha Mae’s Brownies, By Faith Café, Gooey Center Bakery, Happy Ice LA, Läderach, and custom cakes from Cakes By Chanté.

Make a Comment

  • (not be published)