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LA Foodies!  Masters of Taste Returns to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Sunday April 3

LA Foodies!  Masters of Taste Returns to Pasadena’s Rose Bowl Sunday April 3 offering a day of incredible food, drinks and desserts from Southern California’s best restaurants.

Come celebrate and be part of the 5th Anniversary Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival that will take place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the…

field of the iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl!



Masters of Taste is introducing Chef Vanda Asapahu as it’s first-ever female Host Chef of Masters of Taste 2022, which also happens to mark the 5th Anniversary of this celebrated event.

Culinary Master and 2022 Host Chef Vanda Asapahu is the chef and owner of Ayara Thai and she has participated in Masters of Taste since the event’s inception in April 2016. Asapahu went to college at UCLA and to graduate school at Yale, then she spent four years living, traveling, and working her way through Thailand before returning home to Los Angeles.

Host Chef Vanda Asapahu

During Asapahu’s stay in her native country, she took extensive notes, which included absorbing the Bangkok Street Food scene and reviving old family recipes. After cooking with relatives and eating her way through the streets and countryside, Asapahu brought back treasured old recipes and new flavors to share at Ayara Thai.

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While her mother, Anna Asapahu, still helms the family kitchen, Asapahu is the vanguard, taking up the torch of her family’s culinary tradition at Ayara Thai, and under her leadership in May of 2019 Ayara Thai was named one of Michelin Guide California’s 2019 Bib Gourmands.


“I have had the pleasure of participating in Masters of Taste since its inaugural year,”

states Asapahu.

“As a proud UCLA alum (Go Bruins!), I’d give anything for the opportunity to cook, eat, and dance on the field of the Rose Bowl. Now I get to! The most amazing thing about Masters of Taste is that 100% of the proceeds go directly to benefit Union Station Homeless Services and not many food festivals can say that. Union Station Homeless Services is committed to ending homelessness in Los Angeles.”

Masters of Taste 2022 will bring over 3,000 food and beverage enthusiasts together for one afternoon to celebrate this exhilarating festival, which will include the finest fare from over 100 Culinary Masters and restaurants, delectable sweets prepared by L.A.’s top Sweet Masters, top Beverage Masters who will be featuring signature handcrafted cocktail tastings from over 25 spirit brands and bars, along with select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more.

This year, Masters of Taste falls in April, during which Thai New Year, Songkran, is also celebrated. Chef Vanda has invited 3 other L.A. Thai restaurants, to participate in the Songkran Thai SELECT Pavilion, a celebration spanning the Rose Bowl’s end zone.

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The transformation will reflect a traditional Thai sundry general store and Songkran festival. As a culinary challenge, each Thai restaurant will prepare a dish, dessert, and/or cocktail using a common paste, sahm kler (which translates to “3 buddies”), and comprises white peppercorn, garlic, and cilantro root.

This aromatic mixture is used in a variety of Thai dishes and is quite possibly the reason why Thai food is so special. Like sahm kler, the 3 buddies paste, the 3 other restaurants comprising the Songkran Thai SELECT Pavilion are 3 of Chef Vanda’s personal buddies!

100% of the proceeds from Masters of Taste 2022 will directly benefit Union Station Homeless Services, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is committed to providing permanent solutions to end homelessness and rebuild lives.

Headquartered in Pasadena, CA, Union Station has served the community for nearly 50 years and today it is the San Gabriel Valley’s largest social service agency assisting homeless and very low-income adults and families.

In addition to its recent expansion into El Sereno and Eagle Rock, Union Station Homeless Services is the lead County agency for Service Planning Area 3 (SPA 3), coordinating homeless services in 36 communities, with a combined population of over 1.5 million across the San Gabriel Valley.

Union Station Homeless Services’ mission is guided by the belief that everyone deserves a life of dignity and a place to call home. In the last four years Masters of Taste has raised over $2 Million in support of Union Station Homeless Services life-saving programs.

This year Masters of Taste 2022 will partner with Careers Through Culinary Arts Program, Los Angeles (C-CAP LA), a national 501(c)(3) non-profit founded by culinary educator Richard Grausman in 1990 and Co-Chaired by Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) provides culinary, job, and life skills to over 20,000 middle-and-high school students in seven regions across the United States: New York City, Newark, Philadelphia and Camden, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Arizona, including 7 Navajo Reservation schools and was named a National Apprenticeship Program by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2021.

Due to the restaurant industry labor shortage, the Los Angeles Region, C-CAP LA will be partnering with Masters of Taste by bringing high school student volunteers to assist this year’s Masters of Taste 2022 Culinary and Sweet Masters throughout the event to gain real-time event training while helping support these incredible chefs and restaurants that are participating in this year’s event.


Some of this year’s Masters of Taste 2022 participating Culinary Masters and Restaurants include:

Ayara Thai 2022 Host Chef Vanda Asapahu – Westchester

786 Degrees Chef Ali Haider – Pasadena, Sun Valley

1212 Santa Monica Chef Luca Maita – Santa Monica

Agnes Restaurant and Cheesery Chef Thomas Kalb – Pasadena

Alexander’s Steakhouse Chef Richard Archuleta – Pasadena

Arth Bar + Kitchen Chef Sagar Ghosh – Culver City

Bone Kettle Chef Erwin Tjahyadi – Pasadena

Celestino Ristorante Chef Calogero Drago – Pasadena

Champion’s CURRY Chef Yoya Takahashi – Downtown, Los Angeles

Drago Centro Chef Celestino Drago – Downtown, Los Angeles

Five 55 Chef Austin Lee – Monterey Park

Gabi James Sarah Gabriele & Adam Aro – Redondo Beach

Georgia’s Restaurant Nika Shoemaker-Machado – Anaheim, Long Beach

Gracias Madre Chef Justin Haefler – West Hollywood, Newport Beach

Granville Mark Dix – Studio City, Burbank, West Hollywood, Pasadena

Gus’s World-Famous Fried Chicken – Burbank, Long Beach, Los Angeles

Hank’s Chef Isaias Peña – Pacific Palisades

Holy Basil Chef Wedchayan “Deau” Arpapornnopparat & Tongkamal “Joy” Yuon – Downtown, Los Angeles

Iron Teapot Dim Sum & Bar Sally Chan – Los Angeles

Kye’s Feel Good Food Jeanne Cheng – Santa Monica

La Bohéme Chef Atsushi Kenjo – West Hollywood

Little Llama Peruvian Tacos Chef Jean Valcarcel – Downtown, Los Angeles

Lunasia Chef Lee Han Fu – Pasadena, Alhambra, Cerritos

Luv2Eat Thai Bistro Chef Somruthai “Fern” Kaewtathip & Chef Noree “Pla” Burapapituk – Los Angeles

Mercado Chef Jose Acevedo – Hollywood, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, Santa Monica

Mi Piace Chef Gille Saulnier – Pasadena

Open Face Food Shop Chef Lene Houck – West Adams, Los Angeles

Otus Thai Kitchen & Coffee Chef June Intrachat – West Hollywood

Pez Cantina Chef Bret Thompson – Downtown, Los Angeles

Poppy + Rose and Poppy & Seed Chef Michael Reed – Downtown, Los Angeles, Anaheim

Qué Padre Chef Isaias Peña – Pacific Palisades

Ramen Tatsunoya Chef Ryuta Kajiwara – Pasadena, Silver Lake

Ruam Mitr Kwanklao Disbanchong & Benchawan Phoungtai – Los Angeles

Santuari Chef Seth Greenberg – Toluca Lake

Stand-Up Burgers Chef Kajsa Alger – Berkeley, Los Angeles

Taishi Hainan Chicken Chef Theo Shio – Redondo Beach, Long Beach

The Colony Club and SO.PA Chef Michael Hung – Palm Springs

The Raymond 1886 Chef Gabriel Cappelli – Pasadena

True Food Kitchen Chef Stephanie Nguyen – Pasadena

Vegan Sunday Supper Richard Klein – Los Angeles

We Olive Ervin Galvan – Pasadena

World Empanadas Chef Matthew Hirtz – Burbank

Yardbird Chef Eduardo Osorio – Los Angeles

Yuca’s Restaurant Socorro “Mama Yuca’s” Herrera – Pasadena


Food Trucks:

Kabobaholic Ali Pooya – Los Angeles, Orange County

Okamoto Kitchen Gerald Abraham – Los Angeles

The Tropic Truck Lauren Saravia – Los Angeles

VCHOS Wendy Centeno – Los Angeles

Wings N Waffles Jontae Vinson – Los Angeles, Orange County


Sweet Masters:

A select group of Los Angeles Top Sweet Masters will showcase an assortment of delectable desserts such as

Bertha Mae’s Brownies, unique Indian treats from Banana Leaf, handcrafted pudding from Better Together Sweets, custom cakes and desserts from Butter Cake Shoppe, French macarons and gourmet cookies from Etoile Filante Patisserie, deliciously scrumptious scratch baked custom cakes and cupcakes from Fantasy Frostings, Lark Cake Shop, Chocolatier Mignon Chocolate, Nomad Ice Pops, homemade premium sorbets from Pop’s Artisinal Creamery,  Nothing Bundt Cakes, and more.


Some of this year’s participating Beverage Masters include:


Bars & Spirits:

2022 Masters of Taste Platinum Sponsor Beam Suntory will be premiering their House of Suntory Tiny House on the 50 Yard Line along with a Maker’s Mark Lounge, and more. Some of L.A.’s top bartenders and cocktail bars will be creating first-rate craft cocktails, including Maxwell Reis of Gracias Madre and Miguel Perez of 1886 Bar at The Raymond.

Top brands showcasing their finest spirits at Masters of Taste will include American Born Whiskey, Dulce Vida Tequila, High Road Spirits serving Lucky Dog Sake Juice Boxes, Knox & Dobson, Krafted Spirits, Nosotros Tequila & Mezcal, Pomp & Whimsy, Smoke Lab Vodka, Ventura Spirits, Veso Aperitifs, Wild Roots Organic Vodka, Xoloitzcuintle Tequila, and  Woodford Reserve will be exclusively featured in the Rose Bowl Court of Champions.



Beverage Masters who specialize in barley and hops will be presenting top-notch ales, lagers, pilsners and more for guests to sample, sip and savor all throughout the event, including Southern California favorites 14 Cannons Brewing Co., L.A.’s new All Season Brewing, Arts District Brewing Company, Pasadena’s Cerveceria Del Pueblo, hard kombucha from Flying Embers in Ojai, Downtown’s Homebound Brew Haus, North Hollywood’s Lawless Brewing Co., Arcadia’s first Microbrewery Mt. Lowe Brewing Co., Ola Brew hard seltzer, Over Town Brewing Co., San Fernando Brewing Co., and 2022 Thai Sponsor Singha Beer.


Wineries and Sake:

A specially curated collection of Wine Masters will be showcasing their finest varietals including premium boutique winery Ascension Cellars, CRŪ Winery, Ferguson Family Wines, Golden Star Vineyards & Winery, Hitching Post Winery, Kikusi Brewery (Sake), Obvious Wines, Anderson Valley’s Navarro Vineyards, Seisyu Akagisan Sake, Tobias Glen Vineyard, and more.


Non-Alcoholic Beverages:

A variety of premium non-alcoholic Beverage Masters will also be on hand for those who wish to hydrate, caffeinate or regenerate, such as Yerba Mate from Erva Brew Co., Humm Kombucha, distilled and elegantly blended non-alcoholic beverages from Optimist Drinks, boba milk tea from Sunright Tea Studio and Bearology, natural ginger beer from TrueRoots Brewing Co., handcrafted beverage starters from The Base Co., and more.


Sponsors: Masters of Taste 2022 is made possible through the generous support of our Platinum Sponsors, Beam Suntory.

The Songkran Thai SELECT Pavilion is made possible by Thai Trade Center Los Angeles, including Thai SPIRIT, Department of International Trade Promotion, Singha, N.A. Trading Company, Theppadungporn Coconut Co., and Sunlee.

Gold Sponsors include Judith L. Chiara Foundation, US Bank, and Western Asset Management.

The event is also made possible by Silver Sponsors: AppDynamics, Capital Group, Charlie and Rene Chiara, Hannah and Russ Kully, Homebridge Financial Services, Inc., HomeStreet Bank, Jim & Cary Moore, John and Marie Queen, Kaiser Permanente, Liz & Rhodes Trussell, Philip and Nancy Naecker, Union Bank MUFG, Vickie and Alex Taylor, Wells Fargo, Woodford Reserve;

Bronze Sponsors: ADP Foundation, Avantis Investors, Bank of America, Bart and Pam Wald, Catherine Simms & Garrett Bell, City National Bank, David & Janet Lazier, HKG LLP, Lonnie and Lorraine Schield, Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, Sally Lash, Terry & Teresa Krupczak, Verlasso, Wendy Lees & Tom Boyle and Westport Construction.


Ticket Information: Masters of Taste 2022 will take place on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022. A VIP Power Hour will be held from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm and General Admission will be from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over. For more information on Masters of Taste 2022 or to book your tickets directly, please visit

Location:  Pasadena Rose Bowl – 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA 91103.

Transportation and Parking: Guests are encouraged to utilize car services – Lyft, Uber, Taxi, etc. – since this event does serve alcoholic beverages and is a 21+ and over event. Complimentary parking is also available at the Rose Bowl.

Joe Wehinger
Joe Wehinger (nicknamed Joe Winger) has written for over 20 years about the business of lifestyle and entertainment. Joe is an entertainment producer, media entrepreneur, public speaker, and C-level consultant who owns businesses in entertainment, lifestyle, tourism and publishing. He is an award-winning filmmaker, published author, member of the Directors Guild of America, International Food Travel Wine Authors Association, WSET Level 2 Wine student, WSET Level 2 Cocktail student, member of the LA Wine Writers. Email to:
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