Take more than 100 restaurants, wineries, breweries, cocktail bars, bakeries and chefs, and, well, one exceptional water, and send them to the 50-yard line of the iconic Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, tack on a great cause, and you get one heckuva spring party — aka the 2023 Masters of Taste.
At the helm of this delectable gathering: Mountain Valley Spring Water culinary ambassador and chef extraordinaire Michael Reed and his business partner/wife, Kwini Reed.
The couple, both California natives, are the forces behind the acclaimed Poppy + Rose in downtown Los Angeles, as well as Poppy & Seed in nearby Anaheim. They also run the upscale catering company Root of All Food and are developing a nonprofit that connects young people with local chefs to help the next generations understand the importance of food and cooking.
For this one Sunday, the Reeds were also the masters of hosting as they welcomed hundreds of guests to the sixth-annual Masters of Taste on April 2.
From slow-smoked barbecue to beautifully layered banh mi, from flaky pies to hand-pattied pupusas, the event brought together an array of international flavors in savory, sweet and sippable forms. In between bites, Mountain Valley Spring Water was on hand to cleanse palates and refresh taste buds for sample after sample and course after course.
Our emerald green bottles of purely sourced, award-winning spring water and sparkling-essence spring waters complemented the grassy green of the legendary Rose Bowl field nicely.
While fun — and pasta and mezcal and curry — was had by all, the greatest joy of the event went to its beneficiary, Union Station Homeless Services. Masters of Taste donated 100% of proceeds to the nonprofit, which has spent 50 years transitioning people out of homelessness and into housing with a 97% retention rate.
Outstanding food and drinks. A fabled setting. Two magnificent hosts. One wonderful cause. The 2023 Masters of Taste was an event to remember. And it’s one we at Mountain Valley hope to see continue for years to come.