Niki Nakayama will be among the featured chefs at “The Taste,” which will be presented by The Los Angeles Times from Sept. 4 to 6 at Paramount Pictures Studios.

Niki Nakayama (Photo by Zen)
Niki Nakayama (Photo by Zen Sekizawa)

Indulge in the bounty of California with an afternoon inspired by locally sourced ingredients and the pleasures of seasonal cooking. Leading L.A. chefs specializing in fresh-focused dishes will share their techniques and offer tastes.

Nakayama is scheduled to give a cooking demonstration on Saturday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on the Macy’s Culinary Stage as part of “Field to Fork” (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Hosted by Russ Parsons, Times food writer and columnist, and Gary Menes, chef/owner of Le Comptoir, “Field to Fork” will also feature demos by Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), and James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef Sherry Yard (Helm’s Bakery), plus a roundtable that examines the rise of the “root-to-stem” philosophy with Menes, Bruce Kalman (Union) and Ari Taymor (Alma). Featured Restaurants include Hinoki & The Bird, Kye’s, M Café, Mayura Indian Cuisine, Michael’s on Naples and Westside Tavern.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nakayama is chef/owner of n/naka, a passion project applying the artistic and technical notions of kaiseki to create an ever-evolving seasonal narrative within each meal. Since opening in 2011, the restaurant has garnered critical acclaim from such publications as The L.A. Times, LA Weekly, C Magazine and Zagat.

Nakayama was a 2014 James Beard Award semifinalist, and was named a 2014 “Los Angeles Rising Star Chef” by StarChefs. She’s also one of six chefs featured in the recent Netflix documentary series “Chef’s Table.”

Among the other featured chefs at “The Taste” are:

• Alvin Cailan, chef and owner of Eggslut and Ramen Champ (“Flavors of L.A.,” Sunday from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.)

• Roy Choi, co-owner, co-founder, and chef of Kogi BBQ, as well as the restaurants Chego!, A-Frame, Sunny Spot, POT and Commisary (Sunday Brunch and BBQ, Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

• Minh Phan, who was opening chef at Beachwood Cafe, Gaji and her own Field Trip (where Porridge + Puffs began) and plans to open a new Porridge + Puffs (“Flavors of L.A.”)

Parking is available at 801 N. Gower St. and 783 N. Van Ness Ave. The charge is $13, cash only.

Opening Night tickets are $150. Tickets for each of the Saturday and Sunday events range from $100 to $125, and a $25 discount on individual tickets is available exclusively to Los Angeles Times subscribers. For more information, visit

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