[los angeles fashion district skyline]
this past weekend, i attended artisanal LA, a gathering of artisanal food producers from southern california with talks and workshops on all kinds of artisan and diy projects that have been growing in popularity rapidly in the last few years. i was really interested in a lot of the workshops, so i went both days to walk the floor, meet the vendors, research catering and specialty foods from an AIGA programming & events perspective, and taste all the noms!
some of the talks involved cooking demos, working with seasonal produce, and even a butchering workshop and a panel on beer and homebrewing. in the photo above, chef james overbaugh from the peninsula hotel talked about squash varieties and showed us how to make a pumpkin risotto with great tips along the way about adding layers of flavor to your food. the cooper penthouse was decorated with these beautiful squash everywhere, i am excited about growing them next year.
on the workshop side of things, there was how to grow & work with microgreens, how to grow and mix cocktails from the garden, how to sew egg cozies and how to keep bees in your back yard. i was really impressed with the bee activism, teaching people how to adopt a hive, transition to a box, care for and harvest honey. i was a bit disappointed in the garden cocktails talk, mostly because it was more of an intro to gardening and i got restless before they got to the mixology demo [though the bottles looked really delicious]. it reminded me though, i’ve got to get back to making infusions.
i was really happy to see silver lake farms representing the east side. their booth was a fantastic demo of microgreens, how to grow your own loofah, fresh fruit & veggie skewers and all kinds of info. the participant booths ranged from pressed olive oils, gourmet sauces of all kinds, specialty chocolates, brittles & confections, innovative spreads, local food production groups, grassfed and naturally raised meats, fair trade coffee, tea & natural beverages, catering companies and independent home decor crafts. one of my favorite booths for its endearing originality alone was miss fruitfly’s tea towels, below.
finally, i was really pleased to see so much great design at this show. it seemed like everyone was really proud of their wares and hired designers who understood that, so i asked around and was surprised to find half of them did the design themselves! i took all kinds of pics and collected all their print samples. seeing this collection of delicious edibles and great diy design was really inspiring!