Every year The Los Angeles Times hosts the glorious food festival known as Los Angeles Times The Taste, and for the past three summers in a row, I’ve been ever so fortunate to snag an invitation to the newspaper’s test kitchen where massively influential food bloggers — nay, WRITERS — get to preview some of the bites at the upcoming event. For the organizers, it’s a great way to get word out. For the writers, it’s a perfect chance to stuff our faces like a bunch of malnourished baboons. We all win!

In an effort to fend off my innate pear-shaped physique, I tried to show some sort of restraint during this week’s preview, but unfortunately, I tend to get Requiem For A Dream eyeballs around food; so it was basically a lost cause. Check out some pics of me pigging out after the jump…

Like any human being, I start with the sliders.

There they are in all their glory. I actually wasn’t over the moon with these — I think the BBQ sauce was a bit too fruity for my tastes, and we all know how berry/stonefruit-phobic I am. It’s what makes me FLAWED AND LOVABLE, people.

Nevertheless, I love how the slider sort of looks like baby Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. Or… I bet if I put some googly eyes on this we could have a brown Yoshi.

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Okay, it doesn’t look like Yoshi, but it IS adorable.

More successful was Chef Noelle Carter’s fantastic potato salad. The secret? Roasting them taters. So good.

These fried chicken sliders from Free Range LA were no joke. I couldn’t wait to have one; although, their unwieldly height had me concerned. Could these things actually fit in my mouth? Only one way to find out…

That click you heard was my jaw detaching from my skull like your garden-variety PYTHON.

I manage to get a decent clamp on the slider, but I know it won’t be long before all those innards escape out the back. Damn sliders.

“Is it intact? Did I ruin the slider? Somebody talk to me.”

Successful — and delicious — bite extraction!

Unfortunately, that slaw was swinging around like a broken rope bridge, and soon I had aioli all over myself. To think that I could ever be refined.

Aioli on the thumb and the chin. Just send me back to the OC Fair where I belong.

To lick the aioli or not to lick? Take a guess how this ended.

To round out the meal, I helped myself to about 45 scones filled with figgy jam and clotted cream, courtesy of Canelé — one of my top 3 favorite brunch places in LA.

Dying. Dying.

There was also this parfait, but I don’t do berries; so… byeeeeeeee.

Now, for those of you who want to sample these treats as well as watch them being made, be sure to check out the BBQ and Brunch event at the Los Angeles Times The Taste festival. Use the promo code LATbrunchtastic during checkout here to get a 10% discount. You’re welcome.