Update: This Saturday's L.A. Bakesale For Japan, the national fundraiser for Japan relief organized locally by pastry chef Breanne Varela of Tavern, has expanded beyond the original Black Cat Bakery location into a city-wide even at seven bakeries at restaurants, with one additional location pending. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, you can shop for donated sweet treats at Black Cat Bakery, BLD, Akasha, Chefs Center of California, Forage, Angeli Cafe, and Brentwood Country Mart. All will also be donating baked goods (yes, Evan Kleiman is promising pies) except Brentwood Country Mart, which will be donating proceeds from its on-site store. Several local chefs (Ammo, Huckleberry, Whoa Nelly! Catering) and farmers are donating pastries -- see the event's new website for details -- but you don't need to be a professional chef to donate baked goods. Varela also says that set-up and sales volunteers are still needed.
Note: This is a cash-only event. Turn the page for more information and the original post.
Original post, published March 21st:
It's fantastic that so many local restaurants are donating a portion of their dinner plate income to help the Japan relief effort. But if you don't have the spare change to dine on steak and sushi, you can still help out in a food-friendly -- and much more personal -- way. Fire up your ovens for the the LA Bakesale for Japan on April 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Black Cat Bakery. (Check back as more locations are added.)
The goal is to make this a high-end (think Heaven and Hell cake-worthy) bake sale featuring hundreds -- thousands, hopefully -- of unique desserts. Cake mixes and plain Rice Krispie treats have been politely banned but are presumably fine when dressed up as Smith Island cakes and offbeat Fruity Pebbles versions. You do not need not be a pastry chef to participate. Restaurants and bakeries are highly encouraged to donate as well. Turn the page for details and volunteer information.
L.A. Bakesale For Japan
San Francisco-based chef Samin Nosrat held a similar event for Haiti in San Francisco, raising $23,000. Now, she's taking her efforts national to benefit Peace Winds Japan. Breanne Varela, pastry chef at Tavern in Brentwood, is spearheading the L.A. efforts via her blog.
When: Saturday, April 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Black Cat Bakery, 519 S. Fairfax Ave., www.blackcatla.com. Additional locations to come.
For more information and to volunteer to help organize, collect, and sale the baked goods, visit bitesofsugar.blogspot.com (see below for current details) or email LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com. You can also follow updates via Twitter: @bre_varela and #LAbakesaleforJapan.
-- You do not need to be a professional cook/baker to participate.
-- All items must be delivered with a complete list of ingredients, as well as an item name.
-- Individually wrapped treats, when possible, as well as half-dozens, dozens, whole cakes/pies/tarts/loaves etc. are preferred (rather than a basket of unwrapped cookies meant to be sold one by one).
-- Gluten-free/ dairy-free/ vegan items are welcome and should be clearly labeled as such.
-- Please plan to deliver your goods in containers you will not need returned.
-- Bake as much as you like. The more stuff we have to sell, the better. We literally cannot have too many baked goods.
-- If you'd like to donate a non-food item, such as artwork, a gift certificate, etc, please email LosAngelesBakesale@gmail.com with specifics.
-- Japanese specialties such as mochi and other delicacies are more than welcome.
-- Everything will be sold by suggested donation, so the more delicious/special the items, and the nicer the packaging/presentation, the more money we can raise. Please keep this in mind (i.e. no cake mixes and regular old rice krispie treats, please).
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-- If you are donating goods from a certified/licensed food business, you are welcome to label the goods with your logo/identity.
-- We will be folding 1,000 paper cranes. If you can donate origami paper or teach others to fold cranes, please send us an email.
-- Tell your friends! We cannot have too many volunteer bakers, and we certainly cannot have too many patrons!
-- If you'd like to contribute money but cannot be there in person, donation details will be on the website soon.