Arts education nonprofit P.S. Arts takes over ‘Taste of Venice’ and expands it

By Michael Aushenker


The annual “Taste of Venice” just keeps evolving.

Originally “Taste of Abbot Kinney,” the local food-tasting event rebranded itself with last year’s outing.

This summer, P.S. Arts, an Abbot Kinney Boulevard-based nonprofit placing art teachers in public school systems all over California (including the LAUSD and Santa Monica-Malibu school systems), acquired the event.

“There’s a great excitement [in-house],” said P.S. Arts Event Coordinator Chelsea Martell. “This isn’t like any other event that we have. It’s all the restaurants that we go to when we go to lunch. We also have some schools in the area.”

P.S. Arts expects 350 people to attend Sunday’s “Taste of Venice,” and the scope of the event is more ambitious than ever, according to organizers, who consider this a game-changing year.

One new element is the tours. Randy Clemens, author of “The Sriracha Cookbook,” leads the “Vegetarian Tour,” while NBC reality show star Devin Alexander conducts the “Three-Day Rule Singles Tour.”

There will also be tours led by 25 food industry personalities who will expound profusely on their craft and offer industry insights to the edification of the attendees. These notables include Hollywood Reporter writer Gary Baum; Life & Thyme founder Antonio Diaz; Serves You Right! Catering founder Michele Gan; The Food Network’s Adam Gertler; Mendocino Farms Executive Chef Judy Han; Heirloom L.A. Chef Matthew Poley; and Drew Hubbard and Ben Waters of L.A. Foodie.

And then, of course, there are the restaurants; a who’s who of the local culinary scene: Chaya Venice, Superba Food + Bread, Wurstküche, Venice Ale House, CasaLinda, Hal’s Bar & Grill, Joe’s Restaurant, Lemonade, Primitivo Wine Bistro and more.

All for a worthy cause.

“We employ professional teaching artists [instructing the visual, performing, musical and theatrical arts] and place them in the actual school day. We serve 20,000 kids each and every week,” said P.S. Arts’ Martell, noting that $250 provides one student an arts education for the entire school year.

P.S. Arts believes this is just a “Taste” of things to come.

“I really do think it’s only going to grow and get bigger than here,” Martell said.

“Taste of Venice” runs from 3 to 7:30 p.m. (with an opening celebration at 3, tasting tours at 4 and a closing reception at 6:30 p.m.) at The Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. $125.