The Taste: Posh Bites at Paramount

Labor Day Weekend isn't all about barbecue, as this mondo LA Times party reveals.

The culinary choices of summer's grand close-out weekend can run the gamut from barbecued ribs to barbecued chicken to barbecued beans to, for a change, cheeseburgers (slathered with barbecue sauce).

We jest, of course, but while we're jesting we're also wagering that many people are doing the sauce + smoky meats thing over Labor Day Weekend, at some point. And while this is a tasty tradition one should never poke fun at, one can also ask what else is on the menu over summer's final holiday shebang.

Well, lots and lots, if you happen to be at the Paramount Pictures backlot from Friday, Sept. 4 through Sunday, Sept. 6. That's where The Taste, the annual local-loving food festival from the LA Times, spreads out, and that's where some of the top noshes and quirkiest cuisines and varied vittles found around town show up.

Oh, and the talented chefs who make the movie studio-worthy morsels, too. The Macy's Culinary Stage and The Taste Culinary Stage shall be humming with how-tos by big-name toques, while the Bar Stage will line up the shakers and spoons and cherries and olives for all of the drink-makery that'll go down.

Food editors and writers will also be in the house -- also known as "the backlot" -- including longtime cuisine thinkers Jonathan Gold and Russ Parsons.

Beer sommeliers, wine smarties, and seers who have a vast view of one of the most multi-wonderful, constantly thrumming restaurant scenes in all the land shall also be on the grounds, mixing with and hobnobbing alongside foodies. ("(A)ll the land" here of course means the entire planet, because LA is that big and that everything, food-wise, so hush about any hyperbole.)

We'd never look askance at barbecued anything come Labor Day Weekend. We should all collectively return to work and school on Tuesday with a dribble of honey mustard tomato sauce down the front of our shirts.

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But knowing that The Taste is at Paramount, every year at this time, showing us the wide breadth of local chow, tempts as well. We might even unhand the grill brush, for a day.

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