Okay, now this is getting ridiculous. What am I talking about? Carmageddon, aka the two-day shut-down of the 405 freeway between the 10 and 101 freeways. Los Angeles news outlets have been covering the "story" for at least two months, predicting widespread traffic jams and putting the fear of God into LA drivers everywhere. Personally I think everyone is going to stay home and the streets are going to be clear -- BUT -- just in case I'm wrong, I've got surefire weekend plans for us Eastsiders that don't requiring going West of the 405: The Eat Real Fest at the Helms Bakery District in Culver City.
Eat Real is a free (yes, FREE!) two day block-party-meets-street-food-fest celebrating all things local, sustainable and home-grown. Think tons of eating, drinking and learning how to make the very foods you're enjoying, from jams, sauerkraut, and breads; raising backyard chickens and bees, or even seeing the artistry involved in butchering a steer or pig. You can even enter your very own homemade jams, jellies, syrups, pickles, chutneys, relishes and breads in the Eat Real Fest competition.
Photo Credits: EatRealFest.com
While everything at Eat Real Fest is free, make sure to pony up and support sustainable purveyors by purchasing goods (all priced at $5 or less) from local vendors in the event's marketplace. You'll feel even better about what you're buying, since all of Eat Real's participating vendors have committed to using 1-2 local or sustainable ingredients in their food, as well as hormone free meats. We're talking local makers of cheeses, charcuterie, pickles, jams, and even urban homesteading specialists who will teach you what it takes to get in touch with your inner backyard farmer. Sounds like much more fun than sitting in Carmageddon traffic to me!
Here are the Eat Real Fest highlights thus far:
I. INSTRUCTIONAL SESSIONS
- Kraut-a-thon from Ernie Miller’s Master Preserver Class – the first class in 10 years
- Chickens in the City - meet the Dare2Dream chicken farmers, learn how to build coops and tend to urban chickens
- Growing food in small places with "Life on the Balcony's" Fern Richardson
- Goat Cheese making with goats from Soledad Farms
- Tomato sauce making with KCRW “Good Food’s” Evan Kleiman
- Pretzel making with Aida Mollenkamp
- Solar cooking
- Pantry cook-offs from LA Top Chef former contestants and other local chefs
- Kimchi for All class with Lauryn Chun (of Mother in Law's Kimchi)
- Foraging in Southern California - Learn some of the wild and abundant food that grows in SoCal
- Urban bee keeping demo and installations
- Butchery competitions with Lindy and Grundy, Chef Chris Jacobson of The Yard and more
- Educational farm-to-table story focusing on sustainably raised whole cows purchased for use and consumption at the festival
- Flying Pig
- Nom Nom
- Global Soul
- The Hungry Nomad
- Slap Fish
- Even a community oven for freshly baked bread!
Pizza Making at 2010's Eat Real Fest
- Firestone Walker
- Stone Brewing Co.
- The Lost Abbey
- Ballast Point
- Hangar 24
- Eagle Rock Brewery
- The Bruery
- MAS Wine Vino Blanco
- Silvertap Chardonnay
- Palmina Rosso Raro
Draft Brews from 2010's Eat Real Fest
Photo Credit: Flickr/Eat Real Fest
IV. ENTER YOUR OWN HOMEMADE GOODS TO WIN:
- Canned Heat - Salsas or spicy condiments
- Sweet Spread - Jams, jelly, conserves, and syrups.
- Puttin’ It Up - All things pickles, chutneys and relishes
- Breads – Bake ‘em if you’ve got ‘em
"The Future of Food Writing" panel at Room & Board moderated by OC Weekly’s Gustavo Arellano with noted LA food writers & bloggers:
- Russ Parsons, Los Angeles Times
- Amy Scattergood, LA Weekly “Squid Ink”
- Eddie Lin, Deep End Dining blog
- Hazel Quimpo, Yelp
- Lindy and Grundy
- Shortnin’ Bread
- Crème Caramel LA
- Pop-ups from: Santa Monica FM and Hollywood Farmers Kitchen
- And many, many more!!!
Eat Real Fest
Helms Bakery District
8800 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034
Saturday, July 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 17 from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.