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Following Plan A: Artisanal LA

Pear tart from Tartist
Pear tart from Tartist
D. Gonzalez

In a year full of inaugural [fill in the blank] food festivals, the one thing we've learned is to develop a plan. Before the day of the festival, look over the attendees and prioritize to avoid long waits and 'sold out' heartbreak. The day of the festival, arrive a little early before the start of workshops to snag a seat. And as always, any well-laid plan should have a plan B. Lessons learned, we had a concrete plan set for this past weekend's Artisanal LA, LA's first-of-its-kind event that spotlighted some of the best local food purveyors. But upon entering, we noticed the relaxed vibe flowing through the light streamed penthouse among the crowd and even the vendors, so we loosened up the plan and dove right in.

Not necessarily a food festival, above all, Artisanal LA billed itself as a marketplace. The vendors, a well curated mix including local bakers, butchers and growers, were all willing to sell, but seemed even more eager to talk about their craft. Questions abounded: "Butter or lard?" Yuchiro Sato, aka The Flying Pie Man's crust was so flakey it looked like it would crumble if you stared at it too hard. "Yes, lard," he confirmed. Or, "Habanero or currant?" For that answer Patty Medina from Medina Chocolatier encouraged us to sample of her chocolate truffles and make up our own mind.

Meanwhile, the speaking events were more than just lectures. It was a bit of a sensory overload seeing the team of the soon to open Lindy & Grundy butcher shop breakdown a 70-pound pig in less than 40 minutes. Even the surgeon standing behind us was impressed at their skill and efficiency. And then finding out that they were raffling off portions of the pig at the end of workshop was a win for the audience in every sense of the word.

In-between munching and checking our raffle tickets, we took pictures. See our photo gallery below to help you start planning for the next Artisanal LA, which founder Shawna Dawson told us will probably take place in early 2011, with the ultimate goal of making it a quarterly event.

How you knew you were in the right place...
How you knew you were in the right place...
D. Gonzalez

Turn the page for more pictures of the event...

 

Artisanal LA's vendors and shoppers in the Cooper Building's penthouse
Artisanal LA's vendors and shoppers in the Cooper Building's penthouse
D. Gonzalez
Nut butter cup samples from Ococoa
Nut butter cup samples from Ococoa
D. Gonzalez
Meat pie from Flying Pie Man at Artisanal LA
Meat pie from Flying Pie Man at Artisanal LA
D. Gonzalez
Gioia burrata mini with balsamic from Cheese Cave
Gioia burrata mini with balsamic from Cheese Cave
D. Gonzalez
Pickles from Perishable by Chicks with Knives
Pickles from Perishable by Chicks with Knives
D. Gonzalez
Flavored butters from Villebois Kitchen
Flavored butters from Villebois Kitchen
D. Gonzalez
Stumptown Coffee coffee beans from Cafe de Leche
Stumptown Coffee coffee beans from Cafe de Leche
D. Gonzalez
Produce from Silver Lake Farms
Produce from Silver Lake Farms
D. Gonzalez
Aprons for everybody from Domestic Doll
Aprons for everybody from Domestic Doll
D. Gonzalez
Sampling Petrossian cavair after sustainable caviar lecture
Sampling Petrossian cavair after sustainable caviar lecture
D. Gonzalez
The audience and the pig at Lindy & Grundy butchering demo
The audience and the pig at Lindy & Grundy butchering demo
D. Gonzalez
Erika Nakamura a.k.a. Grundy starting the breakdown
Erika Nakamura a.k.a. Grundy starting the breakdown
D. Gonzalez
Haul!
Haul!
D. Gonzalez

Artisanal LA: for updates on the next event, follow @artisanala on Twitter.

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