While there's certainly a place for big-time food corporations in the world — if not, McDonald's wouldn't have sold its gazillionth hamburger — we can't help but root for the little guys. The producers of small batch, homemade jams and jellies. The curators of salami and sausage whose garage first served as an aging room. And the chocolatiers who temper and hand-dip their chocolates, one at a time, without assembly lines ala I Love Lucy.

So it should come as no surprise that we've marked our calendar for October 23th and 24th, when Artisanal LA will gather the makers of many of L.A.'s finest local, sustainable and handmade goodies together in downtown's historic Cooper Building.

Come hungry because you're in for a ton of cookies, cupcakes, chocolates, olive oils, vinegars, meats and produce from more than 40 local vendors, including Compartes Chocolates, Cake Monkey Bakery, I Heart Pies, Silverlake Farms, Lindy & Grundy's, Lemon Bird Handmade Jams and Chicks With Knives' Perishable Pickle Shop.

Between bites, get schooled on how to use local and seasonal produce, the basics of beekeeping, the difference between sustainable and organic (and what's more important), and even starting your own local food business during Artisanal LA's many panels, cooking demonstrations and workshops.

If you can't find a babysitter, not to worry; kids are not only welcome, they'll be entertained in pumpkin crafts classes that, lucky for Mom and Dad, run all day. Admission is $10 in advance online (tickets are available through Eventbrite) and $15 day of event at the door (cash only). Event organizers are expecting about 5,000 visitors per day, so pre-buying your tickets online is probably a good idea. Full events details at ArtisanalLA.com.

LA Weekly