Thursday, July 21, 2011

Scenes from the Eat Real Festival: Los Angeles 2011

This past weekend was the first Eat Real Fest in Los Angeles.  The festival, which was held at the Helms Bakery complex, has been held in Oakland for three years and this was the first Southern California edition.  The festival, which is likely to become an annual event, celebrates local and sustainable producers of all things food and drink. Attendance was free, only the food, drink or merchandise purchased cost money.

Part of the local food purveyors offering food were a fleet of food trucks, which had people lining up to munch on their vittles.  Other options included the highly regarded Big Mista's BBQ, which cooked "pig candy" and chicken wings among other items.  A fellow attendee, Nick from TreasureLA, particularly enjoyed the pig candy.

I found the chicken tamales ($2.50 each) from Corn Maiden to be a nice mixture of sweet and spicy with the salsa proving a kick.  The tamales were made without lard, which was a draw for me as I do not eat pork.

There was an outdoor beer garden as well as several spots indoors to quench your thirst with beer and wine.  Above, folks lined up to get some Firestone Walker beer.

Alex Jermasek, an apprentice butcher at Lindy & Grundy, won the Chicken Breakdown competition.  Below, he hoists his chicken trophy in triumph.  Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura, the eponymous founders of Lindy & Grundy cheered his victory.

Despite it being the weekend of Carmageddon, thousands attended the free festival, which did create some long lines and waits for food.  The demand exceeded many vendors expectations, and some like Creme Caramel LA sold out of everything they brought.

The event ran smoothly and attendees were in good spirits, so I look forward to the return of the festival next summer, and hope to try Creme Caramel's treats before then.  Keep up to date on Eat Real happenings at their website:

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