Worldly Wines; SOS on Hunger; Fake Hot Sauce; Win Her with Dinner; Wedding Cakes; Coffee Cafes

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Laura Avery visited with two growers at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. Fresno-based Elmer Lehman spoke about yellow peaches and Blue Lake beans. Fitz Kelly of Fitzgerald-s Premium Ripe Tree Fruit discussed pluots, plumcots, white nectarines, and yellow peaches.

Dr. Bob Small, Dean of the Collins School of Hospitality at Cal Poly and creator of Dr. Bob-s Ice Cream spoke about the Los Angeles County Fair Wine Competition. Wines from all over the world were represented and over a thousand wines were judged. Winners in the competition held some surprises including a Greco from Sardinia and a Pink Catawba from Missouri. This year, the LA County Fair runs from September 9 - October 2. You can visit the Wine Pavilion and sample 300 of the winning entries, $1.50 for a one-ounce pour.

She says that 38 million people in America are at risk of hunger. In Los Angeles about 17-18% of people live below the poverty line, 25% of those are children. She also says that nutrition is at the heart of the matter, -It-s not enough to say that people need food, they need nutritious food.- The organization's annual fundraising event in Los Angeles, Taste of the Nation, takes place on Sunday, June 5 (1-5pm) in Culver City. For tickets and/or additional information, go online or call 213-383-6228.

Attorney Rod Berman, who represents David Tran of Huy Fong Foods, elaborated on a situation the Los Angeles Times calls -the Great Hot Sauce Counterfeiting Caper.- The counterfeiters were attempting to duplicate Sriracha, a hot sauce many Angelenos refer to as -rooster- sauce because of the rooster on the bottle.

Jonathan Gold introduced us to Malan Noodles (626-572-8900) at 301 North Garfield Avenue (#B) in Monterey Park. Their specialty is hand-pulled Chinese noodles, which are springier than Italian pasta and served mainly in a beef broth with star anise and cinnamon. Malan has a second location in Hacienda Heights (626-369-5602) at 2020 South Hacienda Boulevard.

Doug Veith, co-author of Win Her With Dinner, teaches guys to cook and woo women at the same time. He walks guys through the whole night including wine and music.

Jane Lockhart of Sweet Lady Jane (323-653-7145; 8360 Melrose Avenue) in Los Angeles offers advice on wedding cakes. Her beautiful cakes, often adorned with flowers and hand-painted, are the favorites of many celebrities in town.

Web designer Xtine Hanson is the co-creator of, an online tool to help visitors find options beyond Starbucks. The site now lists over 3,500 independent coffee shops. Xtine-s local Long Beach favorites of late are: