Bravo’s ‘Eat, Drink, Love’ Cast Gives 9 Tips for Navigating the L.A. Food & Wine Festival

The ladies tell TheWrap how an industry insider tackles the annual culinary event

Last Updated: July 16, 2014 @ 3:25 PM

In only its third year, the L.A. Food & Wine Festival has become the city's most popular culinary event.

TheWrap met up on Saturday with a few cast members of the Bravo reality series "Eat, Drink, Love" at the fest for an industry insider's take on the event. The show follows five women from various professions in the culinary world as they work and play.

"I moved here from New York seven years ago and the L.A. food scene has really grown tremendously. You have so many incredible chefs here now," Eater LA editor Kat Odell told TheWrap.

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"There are operators from New York, Chicago and San Francisco, among others at this event. So, for being such a new festival, it has such high notoriety," restaurateur Jessica Miller said.

If you're planning on attending the festival (or any big food festival for that matter), the women offered 9 tips for tackling the big foodie event.

1. Don't wear white.
"Think about your outfit," Miller said. "If you wear white and you're drinking red wine and eating a lot of amazing food, it's going to go everywhere. So, I always bring a Tide stick too. Even if you don't wear white, bring a Tide stick because something is going to spill on you."

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2. Carb up a little bit beforehand and bring a snack.
"Obviously, it's wonderful if you get invited to do the VIP side of things, but once general admission opens up the lines are really, really long," Miller said. "So, if you get way too much wine and not enough food, eat a little snack, carb up so you can make sure to enjoy the food. You don't want to be starved and inhale it. You won't be able to enjoy the flavor profiles."

3. Or you can come hungry.
"You should not eat for 12 hours before you come. Come with an empty stomach," Odell suggested.

Public relations pro Brenda Urban agreed. "If you're going to pay to come to these kind of events, you should be able to sample everything. Shove it in!" she said.

4. Hydrate before coming.
"You always drink more wine than you realize because they're pouring samples," said Urban. "So, you end up drinking more than you normally would because it just seems like a sip here and a sip there."

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5. Come hands-free.
"Ladies need to bring a messenger bag, guys too," Urban said. "You need one hand for holding your wine glass, one hand for holding your plate and you double up when you're eating."

6. Have a plan.
"I always screenshot on my phone or at least have a printed list of who's here. There's going to be certain things you want try first or you're going to want to make sure you don't miss. And, you can make little notes," Miller suggested.

7. Do a full round of tasting first.
"I don't think you should go back for seconds until you've tried everything," Odell advised. "You need to test the waters and see what you really want to be eating."

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8. Document the experience.
"I take a picture of the food and the menu, as well. That way I can recall where the things I liked came from and what they were," Miller said.

9. Don't do the lines.
"Sometimes, there are really long lines," Odell pointed out. "If you hate lines like me, you can navigate around them to booths that aren't so busy and then revisit the other ones later."

For more information on the L.A. Food and Wine Festival, visit its website.

"Eat, Drink, Love" airs Sunday at 9/8c. It then moves to Thursdays at 10/9c starting Aug. 29.