Most of the things I miss about the Bay Area has a decent, if not better, substitute here. For example, when my body addict-aches from lack of Cheeseboard Pizza, I head over to Pizzeria Mozza for something comparable (before the food bloggerati riots, my emphasis is on comparable). There is, however, a void: snobbery aside, I miss the Ferry Building, or, at least, the idea of the Ferry Building. You could go there on any given day and pick up jams, fresh bread, and chocolate for your mom, all in one place. You also could attend the occassional class on sausage or pasta making. LA does not have anything quite similar; Santa Monica Place promises The Market, a spot where local vendors can show off their fancy gourmet wares … starting in early 2011 (at best). Artisanal LA, set for October 23rd and 24th at the Cooper Building downtown, will fill the gap nicely.
Organized by Shawna Dawson, one-half of the team that organized Unique LA and the LA Street Food Fest, Artisanal LA promises a food truckload of events: demos (new butchers Lindy & Grundy will show off their knife skills during a “heritage meats and home butchering” demo); workshops (i.e., urban farming); and copious sampling (food and beer and vodka and did I mention beer and vodka?). In addition, there will be 75 (and counting) local tastemakers offering their locally made food (among others, Homegirl Cafe, Backwards Bee Keepers, and the awesomely named That’s a Nice! Italian foods).
Advance tickets to Artisanal LA are $10 (partial proceeds will benefit the LAUSC Edible School Gardens which, to give credit where it’s due, has Alice Waters to thank). On the day-of, tickets will be $15 at the door (assuming there is room capacity). One ticket gets you in the whole weekend, so in case you are so busy eating/shopping/both on Saturday, you’ll have a second chance to have another go at it on Sunday. I know, whew.