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  • Writer's pictureJose Martinez

MASTERS OF TASTE ANNOUNCES CHEFS TO HOST L.A.’S TOP FOOD FEST

This year marks the seventh anniversary of Masters of Taste, L.A.’s premier outdoor, luxury food and beverage festival as it returns on the field of the Iconic Pasadena Rose Bowl on Sunday, April 7 where one hundred percent of proceeds directly benefit Union Station Homeless Servicesa non-profit organization providing over 50 years of homeless services and housing for thousands of neighbors.



Masters of Taste recently introduced Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez as the Hosts of this year’s Masters of Taste 2024.

 


Masters of Taste 2024 Culinary Master and Host Executive Chef Bret Thompson and Pez Boss Lady Lucy Thompson-Ramirez are a dynamic husband and wife team that have made a significant impact in the hospitality industry. With their passion for culinary excellence and warm hospitality, they have created a signature name for themselves in the Los Angeles dining scene and beyond.

 


Chef Bret Thompson's culinary journey began at the renowned California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He honed his skills at esteemed establishments such as Aqua in San Francisco, Roy's in Hawaii, and Pinot Blanc in St. Helena, California. Seeking international inspiration, Chef Bret traveled to Spain to study under Chef Martin Berasategui at Restaurante Martin Berasategui, a Michelin 2-star establishment in Lasarte, Spain. He further expanded his culinary repertoire in Lebanon at Atlas Café, then studied under Chef Bernard Loiseau at La Cote d’Or his Michelin 3-star restaurant in Saulieu, France, and then L'Arpege, Chef Alain Passard's Michelin 2-star restaurant in Paris.

 

Throughout his career, Bret also had an extensive tenure with The Patina Group, working at multiple restaurants, running catering operations and ultimately becoming the Corporate Executive Chef overseeing all restaurant operations for the entire group. While there, Bret garnered accolades, including being named "Chef of the Year 2002" by the Orange County Business Journal during his time as Executive Chef at Catal Restaurant in Anaheim. Eventually, Bret moved on and co-founded and became a partner at the iconic MILK Ice Cream Parlor & Bakeshop in Los Angeles and he also opened his own Market Restaurant and Catering, which he successfully sold in 2014. In 2015, Chef Bret Thompson joined forces with his wife, Lucy Thompson-Ramirez, to embark on a new culinary adventure as the proud owners of Pez Cantina. This seasonal, modern, coastal-inspired Mexican restaurant and bar, located in downtown Los Angeles, quickly became a beloved dining destination and in October 2021, they expanded with a new location LA Burrito in Montebello, California.



Lucy Thompson-Ramirez brings her unique perspective and expertise to the front of the house at Pez Cantina. Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Lucy migrated to the United States with her family at a young age. She pursued her education at the University of Santa Barbara, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Spanish. Lucy's first career path led her into the fashion industry, where she excelled in sales and later established her own showroom with her brother called Siblings Showroom. After a successful 18-year tenure in fashion, Lucy made a seamless transition into the hospitality industry alongside her husband. At Pez Cantina, Lucy's warm and welcoming demeanor shines as she personally greets regulars by name and fosters new connections. Her dedication to providing a home-like atmosphere has made Pez Cantina feel like an extension of their own family. In recognition of her leadership and contribution to the industry, Lucy was appointed as President of the Latino Restaurant Association in 2023 and serves on the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. Outside of their professional endeavors, Bret and Lucy are dedicated parents to their two boys and they prioritize family time, often found supporting their children's activities or enjoying a cozy evening at home.

 


Looking ahead at this exciting new year, Chef Bret Thompson and Lucy Thompson-Ramirez are set to open a new restaurant in Pasadena in Winter 2024. This concept, named Pez Modern Coastal Kitchen, will offer a diverse menu featuring sea-to-table and farm-to-table cuisine, showcasing the best of seasonal California flavors. The restaurant will highlight their expertise in curing, smoking and dry-aging meats and seafood, as well as their partnerships with local farmers and specialty producers. With a focus on creating a modern coastal dining experience, they aim to contribute to Pasadena's thriving culinary scene and bring a fresh and exciting new concept to Pasadena.



Masters of Taste 2023 was a sold-out event that attracted over 3,000 guests and garnered media attention throughout Southern California and beyond. The seventh annual Masters of Taste 2024 is also expected to 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 top cocktail bars, a premier 50-Yard-Line Cocktail Bar, select wineries, local craft breweries, cold-pressed juices, cold brew coffee, live entertainment and much, much more. 

 


Every dollar raised at the 2024 Masters of Taste event will benefit the work of Union Station Homeless Services (Union Station), a local organization successfully fighting to end homelessness. Over the last six years, Masters of Taste has impressively raised close to $3 million, helping countless families and individuals find a secure and welcoming place to call home. What is more impressive is that Union Station has seen a 97% Success Rate in permanently housing people since adopting the Housing First model. Their mission transcends just providing temporary shelters; they are committed to creating lasting solutions for homelessness through housing, supportive services, and connection to the community. Over the past 50 years, Union Station has grown to be one of the best homeless services agencies in Los Angeles and is the lead County agency for Service Planning Area 3 (SPA 3), coordinating homeless services in 38 communities spanning from Eagle Rock to Pomona.

 

Masters of Taste 2024 is a 100% outdoor event. Additionally, all guests will be receiving their very own utensils and hand sanitizer to use throughout the event.

 

Mark your calendars and save-the-date for the return of the seventh annual Masters of Taste 2024!

 

Masters of Taste 2024 will take place on Sunday, April 7, 2024 from 4pm to 7pm. A VIP Power Hour will be held from 3pm to 4pm. This is a 21+ event. Tickets are on sale now and Early Bird Tickets will be available until Thursday, February 15.

 

Photo Credits:  Courtesy of Masters of Taste

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