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JUDGES2018-08-28T22:44:05+00:00

Meet 2018’s LA Food Fest Judges

Caitlin O'Malley
Caitlin O'MalleyGoop Food Editor
Caitlin O’Malley is goop’s Food Editor where she’s been writing since October 2016. She has worked as a caterer, private chef, and as a buyer for a small market where she curated the cheese and charcuterie selection. She has been cooking since she was ten. Originally from Illinois, Caitlin has spent most of her life in LA.
Caroline Pardilla
Caroline PardillaCaroline on Crack
Caroline Pardilla is one of L.A.’s first and most prolific cocktail writers. She’s covered the city’s cocktail scene for Los Angeles Magazine, LAist, and Eater LA and has won three LA Weekly web awards. Her greatest joy in life is taking photos of cocktails for her Instagram. When she’s not writing about cocktails, she’s writing about cars. Seriously. You can follow her @carolineoncrack
Chris Young
Chris YoungBudget or Baller
Chris Young knows what separates a hotel from a hovel; as a food and travel blogger, television presenter and business and fashion entrepreneur he has spent the majority of his career traveling internationally. Chris has dined in over 3000 restaurants, stayed in over 400 luxury hotels in over 50 countries.
In December, 2018, Young will launch the second season of his digital media show Budget or Baller which he co-hosts with Nia Sanchez, a Web and TV series which uncovers the best food and experiences at different price points around Los Angeles, Young says, “Budget or Baller embodies my entrepreneurial beliefs – I’ve lived through highs and lows, good times and bad – and I found that food, experiences, and life in general can be experienced in many great ways both on a tight budget, and of course all out.”
Elina Shatkin
Elina ShatkinNPR, LAist
Elina Shatkin is the Food Editor for LAist and has worked as a both a digital and broadcast news producer for KPCC. Prior to joining the station, she was the arts and culture editor at Los Angeles magazine, a restaurant critic for L.A. Weekly and a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times. Her work has appeared in several publications including California Sunday, The Believer, Bitch and HiLobrow. She is a fan of dogs, bicycles, dark chocolate and bad Russian accents.
 Farley Elliot
Farley Elliot Eater LA
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor of Eater LA, and the author of the book Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks.
Gwynedd Stuart
Gwynedd StuartLA Magazine
Gwynedd Stuart is Los Angeles magazine’s digital editor, and formerly LA Weekly’s arts and culture editor. She once set out to make every dish in Guy Fieri’s cookbook and now she can say she’s consumed deep-fried, salami-wrapped cheese.
Jenn Harris
Jenn HarrisLos Angeles Times
Jenn Harris is acting editor of the Los Angeles Times Food section. She has a bachelor’s in literary journalism from the UC Irvine and a master’s in journalism from the University of Southern California. She has appeared as a food show judge on the Cooking Channel, the Food Network and Fox and helps host the Food section’s many dining events throughout the year. Harris covers restaurant news, dining trends, chefs and cocktails. She’s the unofficial fried chicken queen and a happy hour enthusiast on the never-ending quest for her next big bite and stiff cocktail. She once visited 22 bars and restaurants in a single day for a story. If you want to see what she’s eating now, follow her on Instagram @Jenn_Harris_.
Nguyen Tran
Nguyen TranStarry Kitchen
Nguyen Tran and his chef wife, Thi Tran, co-founded Starry Kitchen, a casual and fun-loving pan-Asian restaurant that began in 2009 as an illegal underground operation running of out of their North Hollywood apartment.
Their apartment (yes, their apartment) quickly rose to the #1 Asian Fusion dining spot in the city on Yelp, and gained a loyal fan base that has followed them on their culinary adventures all over LA including their most recent spot it in Echo Park- Asian Restaurant Barcade, Button Mash. Their story has been told in The New Yorker, New York Times, LA Times, NPR, Food Network, Cooking Channel and in his memoir/cookbook “Adventures in Starry Kitchen: 88 Asian-Inspired Recipes from America’s Most Famous Underground Restaurant ” which was published last year by Harper Collins.
Nguyen also appears on television as a judge and personality from time-to time (Chopped Jr, Beat Bobby Flay, Food: Fact or Fiction)… Oh, and he’s fairly infamous for leisurely wearing a banana suit around town and at tasting events all over the city, including just about every year of the LA Food Fest!
Simon Majumdar
Simon MajumdarFood Network, Time Out
Simon Majumdar is a world-renowned broadcaster, food writer, speaker, author and cook who has dedicated the second half of his time on this planet to fulfill his ambition to “Go Everywhere. Eat Everything.” It is a journey that has taken him to all fifty states and to dozens of countries around the world. He is currently the restaurant critic for Time Out Los Angeles and has written hundreds of articles for such outlets as The Guardian, Foodnetwork.com, The Times of London and The Daily Beast. He has also written three books: “Eat My Globe” (2009), “Eating for Britain” (2011), and his latest book, “Fed, White and Blue” (2015), catalogs his journey to American citizenship. Simon is also a well-recognized television personality, regularly appearing on shows such as Iron Chef America, Cutthroat Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay, Cooks Vs Cons, The Next Iron Chef (Food Network), The Best Thing I Ever Ate (Food Network and Cooking Channel), and EAT: The Story of Food (Nat Geo). He lives in Los Angeles.