Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Heirloom Tomatoes! Tres Yum!

Heirloom Tomatoes 2
Heirloom Tomatoes

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Firestone and Foley

Foley Grape
When recently given the option of doing any weekender trip in Southern California I replied with no doubt whatsoever: “Santa Barbara wine tasting!”

Rolling hills, cowboys herding cattle on horseback, and rows and rows of vineyards with tasting rooms. Just 35 miles north of Santa Barbara, wine tasting from the Santa Rita Hills to the Santa Ynez Valley combines all of the awesome elements that I embrace through the Edible Skinny: learning how what we put in our mouth is made, exploring the art of craft, and gaining knowledge that gives us the wisdom to decide what we should eat and drink.

Our first stop for the wine tasting weekend was Firestone Winery (5000 Zaca Station Road in Los Olivos). The tasting room on the vineyard only does tastings of wine (if you want to do beer you need to go into Buelton to it's Tap Room.) Established in 1972 as Santa Barbara’s County’s first estate winery, Firestone Vineyards specializes in Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot.
We did the $10 tasting which offered a Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cab, and Syrah. It was interesting to note that at Firestone between tastings they washed out their wine tastings glasses with wine instead of water because they felt that it allowed for a cleaner glass.
For me, the breakout bottle was the 2009 Gewurztraminer; dry and crisp, zesty and tangy with notes of citrus such as Tangerine and Pink Grapefruit: it had the potential to go great with spicy food. And at $14 a bottle (less if you join the Firestone Cellar Club) it was almost a steal.

Firestone was sold to the Foley Family Wine Group in 2007 (which also includes Chalk Hill, Eos, Kuleto, Lincourt, and Sebastiani in California, and Three Rivers in Washington State) so paying for a tasting at Firestone entitled us to a free tasting at Foley Estates which we totally took advantage of the next day. (Foley also houses a tasting room for the amazing amazing Los Olivos Olive Oil Company (which you’ll learn about in another post.))

Foley Estates

Foley Estates Vineyard and Winery located in Lompoc (6121 East Highway 246) is nestled in the Santa Rita Hills, one of California’s smaller AVA (an acronym for American Viticulture Area, which is American version the appellation system. Unlike Europe, where there are tons of rules, in America the only requirement is that 85% of the wine must have come from grapes grown within the geographical AVA boundaries). This area is exposed to daily fog and coastal breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean, helping to build up complex flavors which are found in the Chardonnay, Pinot Noirs, and Syrah’s that Foley is known for.

Our tasting (a Rose, 2 Chardonnays, and 3 Pinot Noirs) had some great wines. My sister was in love with the 2009 New Release Chardonnay, Rancho Santa Rosa which was buttery to the core. Full of flavors of toast and vanilla this wine had a lovely long finish that showed our taste buds the difference between a $30 bottle of Chardonnay and Colombia Crest. I instead fell in love with the 2009 Pinot Noir, Bar Lazy S which tasted of both smoke and the sea. Caramel, Oregano, Vanilla, and Plum this wine was a symphony in your mouth!

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Good Food Festival and Little Bit of Everything While Focusing on the Big Picture

 Wrote a travel article for the SM Observer on the Good Food Festival!

The Good Food Festival and Little Bit of Everything While Focusing on the Big Picture

For its second year the Good Food Festival & Conference returned to Los Angeles. Produced by in cooperation with the Santa Monica Farmers Markets, the conference’s mission is to be a connection point for the NGOs, businesses and individuals who are driving the Good Food Movement.  The festival’s focus on regional and national issues that are integral to building local and sustainable food systems and educating people about the Good Food Movement.

On Saturday, November 3rd, LACMA co-hosted a series of panel discussions on building organic and sustainable food systems. Topics include: Building Community with Good Food, Good Food=Good Jobs, Is GMO Labeling Coming to California?  On Sunday, November 4th the Good Food Festival & Conference culminated with the fundraising event: Localicious.  Held at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, guests savored the freshest and best of the season with signature dishes prepared by 30 of LA’s leading chefs paired with 30 farmers from the Santa Monica Farmers Markets.  The event was a great way to meet some of the new players of the L.A. food world. 

Localious Feed 
One such player is the new restaurant Feed.  Opening in early 2013 on Abbot Kinney Blvd., Feed will feature seasonally inspired menu of forward thinking California style dishes that are nourishing for the body and the soul.  Full of both consciousness and craft the dishes served at Localious included: Vegan German Butterball Potato, Pumpkin Seed and Blackened Escarole Soup with Cashew Crème and Roasted Blue Hubbard Squash Salad with Baby Torpedo Onions, Red Kale, and a Labneh (which is a soft Middle Eastern cheese made from yogurt), Tahini & Preserved Lemon Dressing.  With Chef Matthew Dickson formerly hailing from Grace, Malo, Rockenwagner & Vida, menu items will be sourced from local farmers markets focused on sustainable and organic ingredients.  Feed will also offer an all-organic beverage program to include wine, beer, and spirits and feature locally sourced organic ingredients, homemade organic syrups and mixers.

Another new kid on the L.A. food block is nano brewery Smog City Brewing, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in October.  In the beginning Smog City was described as the “little brewery that could,” and they’ve definitely delivered.  Last month in Boulder, CO their Groundwork Coffee Porter took home of the gold at the Great American Beer Festival, the Oscars of the beer world.  With a taste that screams chocolate covered espresso bean, this robust Porter is aged on freshly roasted, freshly ground Groundwork coffee, which enhances the flavors of chocolate, roasted malt, and coffee (Of Course!) already present in the beer.

The fun table at Localious (and there’s always a fun table at these events) was the new Hermosa Beach restaurant Abigaile.  Serving toasted Crostini with sautéed mushrooms from Shiitake Happens Mushrooms Abigaile paired these tidbits with their house-brewed craft beers created by Brewmaster Brian Brewer.  Brian’s philosophy on beer making is simple: bring only the freshest, high quality ingredients to the process.  And with beer names like Orange Blossom Blonde Ale, Misfit Pale Ale, and Bourbon Vanilla Porter, it seems like fun is also part of the equation.  This coolness also translates to their space, as the location has been a church, an artists’ co-op, a rehearsal space for Black Flag over the years before becoming Abigaile, a place where their philosophy is that one of life’s greatest sources of joy is what happens when people come together to share a meal.

While dining and drinking under the stars is all fun, the panel discussions at the Good Food Festival on Saturday focused more on the numerous food issues at hand.  Unfortunately the featured guest speaker, MacArthur Genius Will Allen of Growing Power, was unable to attend due to sickness.  Instead the conference opened with a segment from a new PBS documentary titled Food Forward (not to be confused with the SoCal non-profit Food Forward) which featured Milwaukee’s Sweet Water Farm and their sustainable aquaponics system was inspired by Allen.  This was followed afterwards by a Skype talk by Allen’s daughter Erika Allen, Projects Manager for Growing Power.  Based out of Chicago, Erika Allen focuses on urban agriculture that is rooted in social justice focusing on food security (a household's physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that fulfills their dietary needs) and food sovereignty (having control over the food that is consumed in your location through local growing systems).  “Urban Agriculture has an opportunity to impact and transform the entire world through engaging people in their environments,” noted Allen, “allowing them the opportunity to be safe, affordable, and healthy, regardless of their income.”  Allen introduced the audience to the urban Chicago farm, Iron Street.  Previously an old truck depot once completely up and running (right now they only use a third of their 7 acre space) Iron Street Farm could grown up to 20,000 tons of a food a year in the middle of Chicago (and that’s year round!).  Allen also that to work small you need to also work big, “to be involved in Urban Agriculture you need to be involved in food policy.  You can’t have an thriving urban agriculture without dealing with politics of food production.”

After Allen’s presentation the first panel of the Good Food Festival, BUILDING COMMUNITY WITH GOOD FOOD, focused on the force of community building.  “It’s about people just showing up,” noted Moderator Evan Kleiman and host of the KCRW weekly radio program Good Food, “it’s about making a decision as simple as showing up at a famer market, gleaning, exposing yourself to something you’d never thought about before.”  

On this panel Laura Avery, supervisor of Santa Monica's Farmers Markets, repped the distribution side of the conversation.  Her market, which brings farm fresh produce to almost 1,000,000 customers each year, just received LA Weekly’s Best Farmers Market in LA.  As LA Weekly stated, “the market that takes over the Santa Monica Promenade on Wednesday mornings is in a category of its own. Decades before markets started popping up in every neighborhood in town, the Santa Monica Certified Farmers Market defined the genre.”  1996 Avery introduced a Salad Bar Program in Santa Monica Schools that now includes Santa Monica Farmers Markets Greens at all Santa Monica public schools.  Avery noted that we have an organic garden at the White House but the USDA and FDA don’t allow us to know whether our food has been genetically modified.  “Food is community; sharing ideas about food is as compelling as a recipe.  We want to know what’s going on, the government isn’t getting it done, so we get it done by meeting into groups.” 

Also speaking was Meg Glasser from Food Forward, SoCal’s largest gleaning organization who noted that by the end of this year they will have gleaned 1.3 million pounds in the three and a half years they had been around.  Food Forward began in a grass roots way in 2009 when Rich Nahmias saw Tangerines on the ground in his neighborhood, so with the help of 3 of his friends he gleaned 800 pounds of Tangerines that day for SOVA food bank.  Food Forward’s backyard harvesting now spans the gamut: from one tree at one home to 800 trees at Cal. State Northridge where they collected 18,000 lbs in 4 hours.  Food Forward now has 50 receiving agencies, 4,000 volunteers, and is located in 4 different counties. 

One other panel member was D’Artagnan Scorza the Executive Director of the Social Justice Learning Institute.  The Social Justice Learning Institute is dedicated to improving the education, health, and well being of youth and communities of color by empowering them to enact social change through research, training, and community mobilization.  From the SJLI emerged the food program "100 Seeds of Change" Food System Initiative.  100 Seeds of Change is a comprehensive, city-wide plan to create urban gardens at homes, local schools, city parks and other locations with city youth & community members in the city of Inglewood.  The goal of this initiative is to transform Inglewood into a healthy living community by empowering residents to collaboratively be active in growing their own food in a local network.  In the end, the food grown within this network will create Inglewood’s first complete local food system that is sustainable from the ground to the plate.  “We don’t give ourselves enough credit for the impact we’re making in creating these food communities.  Seeing a child who’s never tried Chard before, that’s what feeds me,” noted Scorza. 

Nowhere did food issue seem most controversial than in the last panel of the Good Food Festival & Conference: IS GMO LABELING COMING TO CALIFRONIA?  Just days away from narrowly losing the election emotions were high for those all those involved in the GMO discussion.  Although viewpoints varied on the place of GMOs in our food system everyone on the panel agreed that labeling was a need that has yet to be met in the State of California.   As Ann Gentry of Real Food Daily noted, “My motto is: if you tell people what it is the product you are selling them they will be loyal for you forever.”

Although the United States does not require the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), 61 countries around the globe do (including the entire European Union, Brazil, and China).  Those who advocated for labeling in the state of California were definitely the underdogs as the world’s leading pesticide and processed food companies outspent “Yes on 37” by more than 5 to 1, and beginning on October 1, spent about a million dollars a day on anti-labeling advertising.  
As California Right to Know Campaign stated in a press release the day after losing the election, “today is not the end of our campaign to secure our fundamental right to know what’s in our food.  It is a strong beginning, and we thank the millions of Californians who stood with us. We are proud of our grassroots movement, our 10,000 hardworking volunteers, and the diverse coalition of health, faith, labor and consumer groups that stood with us. We will keep fighting for consumer choice, fairness and transparency in our food system. And we will prevail.”
And in a nutshell that is what the Good Food Festival & Conference was all about: choice, fairness, transparency, and education in all the varied elements, big and small, surrounding what we eat. 
Kat Thomas is a Santa Monica food writer and foodie.  You can check out more of her writings at

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Day in the Life of Santa Monica Farmers Market

Took some new photos at the Santa Monica Farmers Market with my niffty difty iPhone 5.  The bestest phone camera yet!  Check out the results!

Darren from Milliken Farms

Milliken Farm Garlic

Clearwater Mushrooms
Milliken Farm Cukes

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trust Us!

A fun video for Prop 37. Please vote Yes on Tuesday for California's right to know if there's GMos in our food!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thousands of Pounds Gleaned Weekly at the Santa Monica Farmers Market by Food Forward

Wrote an article for the SM Observer on Food Forward's Farmers Market Recovery Program at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market! Enjoy!

Food Forward Recovery Whole Life Times

Thousands of Pounds Gleaned Weekly at the Santa Monica Farmers Market by Food Forward

The best solutions to problems are sometimes the simplest.  Taking a step back and utilizing an asset that you never even realized was there.  Eight weeks ago Food Forward launched their Farmers Market Recovery Program at the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market. On their first day at the Wednesday Farmers Market the Food Forward’s Farmers Market Recovery program gleaned 1,313 lbs! 

Along with two other markets (Studio City and Hollywood) at their two month anniversary they’ve gleaned a total of 14,777 lbs (7.4 tons) of excess produce from 82 farmers across 9 local receiving agencies (all within 5 to 7 miles of the market they’re gleaned from).

And how does this simple solution work?  Food Forward “Glean Team” volunteers arrive at the market ready to glean in their bright blue caps and khaki aprons and issue collection boxes ornamented with the Food Forward logo to the farmers. “Food Forward’s Farmers Market Recovery program is a very active, involved, and passionately committed group of individuals,” observed Laura Avery, the Farmers Market Supervisor for the City of Santa Monica. The farmers fill the boxes with their unsold excess produce.  At the end of the market, the Food Forward volunteers collect the boxes and distribute them to their receiving agencies. 

Glean Team 1

These generous farmers receive a quarterly donation letter from Food Forward, which they can use for tax purposes.  And, as Laura Avery notes, “most importantly, they know the food they grow with such love and care is going to help feed Santa Monica’s and Venice’s most vulnerable families and individuals.”  In the few months Food Forward’s Famers Market Recovery program they have gleaned enough prized produce to serve over 37,900 meals to over 20,000 people in need.

And what exactly does that gleaning word mean?  Gleaning, which has been around since the Old Testament, is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.

Wherever they go Food Forward does things 110%  “They have a very effective food recovery program because they took the time to identify themselves to me by writing an introductory letter,” explained Laura Avery.  “We then went around and introduced them to every individual farmer at the market so we had a face to face introduction.”  ”They are consistent in their presentation and their pickup.  The organization has its own boxes.  I can’t stress enough how important that is for them to respect the farmers and bring their own boxes so farmers don’t have to give away valuable boxes with the product that’s in it; cause price and cost are very important to farmers.”

“Their volunteers always agreeable, dependable, and put on a good professional show.  We never have a problem with leftover produce just left in a pile that they didn’t pickup.” 
“This group is active, engaged, involved, very friendly, very outgoing.  They have made incredible inroads as far as establishing very rapidly very good relationships with the farmers,” noted Avery.  “They’ve built up quite a bit of farmer loyalty.”

Santa Monica Farmers Market Recovery program two receiving agents are Step Up on Second, just steps away from the market, and St. Joseph Center in Venice.  Food Forward always insures that none of their food goes to waste.  “The first day when they realized they had an excess food,” recalled Avery, “they were able to literally put the produce in the back of Managing Director Meg Glasser’s car and take it downtown to a woman’s shelter.”

These two 501.c.3 organizations clients happily use 100% of what the farmers donate each week.  Step Up on Second uses 100% of produce in their 200 prepared meals they serve each day, serving over 3,000 clients each month.  St. Joseph Center uses 80% of produce in their Client Choice Food Pantry serving 600 clients daily, and the rest in their Client Culinary Training Program.  Both agencies use 100% of the produce within 3 days; most is used within 24 hours. All items are stored in walk-in refrigerators; Food Forward conducts site visits quarterly. 

Food Forward’s mission is to engage volunteers to harvest locally grown food from private homes and public spaces, which is then distributed to local food pantries and organizations serving those in need.  Along with their Farmers Market Recovery program Food Forward convenes at properties they have been invited to and harvest their excess fruits and vegetables, donating 100% to local food pantries across southern California.  Since forming in 2009, they have harvested/rescued over 1,000,000 lbs of fruits & vegetables at hundreds of properties with 100% of what they pick going to feed the hungry.

“The way they’re growing and reaching out in the community it seems that it’s a program that just has no end in sight.  We could not be happier to have them here,” continued Laura Avery.  And Food Forward is constantly building a Farmers Market Recovery community.  A group of passionate food advocates who sit at the intersection of Farmers, Market Managers, and Receiving Agencies.  They’re about getting things done instead of talking about getting things done, as they like to say “less talk, more rock.”  They serve local community members in need, and they want to keep growing.  If you are interested in joining this Farmers Market Recovery program, drop a line to Mary Baldwin at

“It’s working great,” concluded Avery, “and if anyone else out there wants to have a program like this I suggest they call this fine group and get them involved because they do pickup and they do deliver!”

For more info on Food Forward check out
Kat Thomas is a food writer who is psyched that one of her favorite do-gooder organizations is making it over to her hometown.   You can check out more of her writing at

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Food Forward 1 Million Pound Bash!

Food Forward 1 Million Pounds Bash
(The Food Forward Team!)
I was lucky enough to attend Food Forward’s celebration party for the harvesting of thier 1,000,000th pound. That’s 1,000,000 pounds of fruit going to the needy and hungry of SoCal since Food Forward started only 3 years ago!!! As FF said recently in their Fresh Juice newsletter, “Can we get an AMEN...and a glass of orange juice...and maybe a little Vodka thrown in for good measure?!”
Food Forward 1 Million Pounds Bash 2

Food Forward is a total favorite of the Edible Skinny as they are nothing but a win-win-win-win. Volunteers get to spend couple of hours in the California sunshine picking fruit and climbing trees (Hooray!). SoCal Food Banks such as SOVA and MEND Poverty receive desperately needed fresh fruit and veggies. The people who donate their trees get a tax write off for the market value of fruit that would otherwise go to waste. And the tree is healthier for being picked of excess fruit. All in all totally amazing!

Food Forward's also got some amazing things in the works, programs that are nothing short of (wait for it, wait for it….) Amazing!
  • SIPPING TO SHARE THE ABUNDANCE - Three local LA restaurants (Mezze, Wood & Vine, and the Charleston) are generously donating 50% of the price of a featured citrus-inspired cocktail to Food Forward from Friday Aug 24th and Sept 24th. If you’d like to meet the Food Forward crew they’ll be doing Happy Hours to Fight Hunger on Friday August 31st at Wood & Vine (6280 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood) from 6-8pm and at The Charleston (2460 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica) on Friday Sept 7th 6-8pm (they already did Mezze earlier this month).
  • FARMERS MARKET RECOVERY PROGRAM - the Farmers Market Recovery Program is a new initiative by Food Forward to administer a volunteer based, reliable, systematized collection of produce from farmers at the end of markets that would otherwise go to waste, 100% of which will then be donated to agencies serving those in need. In just three afternoons since starting this month their "Glean Team" gleaned over 3,200 pounds of top grade produce from the Santa Monica and Studio City Farmers Market – 100% of which has gone to agencies just 3-5 miles from the markets themselves. For anyone interested there’s still a couple of volunteer spots open at the Santa Monica Wednesday market – each position offers a monthly stipend and is the perfect way for students, stay at home moms n’ dads, or food-savvy folks with free Wednesdays to get involved in fighting hunger in the communities. For more info and to request an application, please email
  • Also, Executive Director/Founder Rick Nahmias was named a US delegate to the Slow Food Conference 2012 in Turin Italy, and will be traveling there in October to spread the Fruity Gospel on behalf of Food Forward!
Food Forward 1 Million Pounds Bash 3

Amazing!!! (Totally needed to add one more in!)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Passion for Plastic

Anna and Marcus
Wrote an article for Verge Magazine (a Canadian Eco Travel Magazine) on the plastic do-gooder couple Anna Cummins and Marcus Eriksen of the 5 Gyres

Passion for Plastic

An organization founded in love, the 5 Gyres is researching the world's plastic problem.
Most people don’t follow plastic to its final resting place, but Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins do—even if that grave happens to be in the middle of the ocean. Bona fide adventurers, they’ve battled hurricanes, sailed boats made of plastic bottles from California to Hawaii, and invested their honeymoon money into raising awareness about their number-one passion: plastic pollution.
Our ocean footprint was first documented in the 1990s, when Captain Charles Moore discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Located in the North Pacific Gyre, a circular pattern of currents in the ocean’s basin, the amount of plastic that had accumulated in the patch was the size of Texas.

As more people learned of the patch, questions about plastic and the ocean started floating around. Eriksen and Cummins took it upon themselves to find answers. Together, they founded the 5 Gyres, a non-profit organization that conducts research and communicates about the global impact of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.

“We began the 5 Gyres because there was no one exploring the other four gyres to see if plastic existed there,” says Eriksen. His interest in plastic began during the first Gulf War. Housed in Kuwaiti ditch, he made a promise to a fellow Marine: if he made it out alive, he would build a raft and sail it down the Mississippi. But when he returned to the States, his foxhole vow was placed on the back burner while he focused on getting his PhD in Science Education.

It wasn’t until 10 years later, when the United States returned to the Middle East for another oil war that Eriksen decided to follow through on his oath. His Huck Finn journey on a raft of plastic bottles down the Mississippi took five months, during which he saw the destructive nature of plastic.

“I could always see trash. It was disgusting,” he recalls. He had finally found a war worth fighting. Eriksen began giving talks at schools and museums and when he arrived in the Gulf, he contacted Captain Moore’s Algalita Marine Research Foundation in California to continue his work.
He first met Cummins at Moore’s 60th birthday party. As a high school teacher instructing a class in environmental policy, Cummins had joined Moore’s research team in Guadalupe after seeing the Captain talk. (“I was blown away: I had no idea there was a massive amounts of trash in the Pacific,” she says.) The pair connected again at an environmental education event and Eriksen offered Cummins a job at Algalita.

“Over that first meeting we sketched our ideal situation; in retrospect it was the beginning of our non-profit,” says Cummins. The 5 Gyres was born and later, the couple began dating. During their JUNKride program, an awareness-raising bike ride from Vancouver to Tijuana, they were married. In the intimate ceremony, Cummins wore a plastic wedding dress.

Check out the entire article at

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Californians Get the Right to Decided to Label GMOs or Not

California Right To Know

In November of 2012 the state of California will ask its voters whether they believe GMOs should be labeled or not. The California Right to Know GMO Labeling ballot initiative have announced that they have collected the necessary 850,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot.

Genetically Modified Organisms are experimental plants and animals that have been genetically engineered in a laboratory with DNA from other plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses. Although GMO ingredients are found in 80% of packaged foods in the U.S., they have not been proven safe as the long term consequences of GMOs on our health and environment have not been adequately investigated.

93% of Americans think that genetically engineered foods should be labeled.

In celebration of collecting nearly a million signatures the California Right to Know will hold a rally in Norwalk (Los Angeles County) on Wednesday May 2nd, in support of turning their signed sheets in to the state. Supporters of the GMO ballot initiative will be wheeling in petitions in carriages to represent the importance of this issue to children and future generations.

Free goodies will be given away to any volunteers that show up including stuff from Nature's Path's, Label GMOs, the Institute for Responsible Technology, Food Democracy Now!, Organic Consumers Association and several others.

For those interested in attending California Right to Know is asking supporters to arrive at 10 am on Wednesday May 2nd with signs, baby strollers, and balloon at: 2400 Imperial Highway, Norwalk
Norwalk, CA 90650

California Right to Know plans to deliver their petitions at 11.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

KCRW Pledge Drive Feeding Families in Need


For those not living in LA area you might be unaware that KCRW is an LA institution.
KCRW is Southern California's leading National Public Radio affiliate, featuring an eclectic mix of music, news, information and cultural programming. The station boasts one of the nation's largest arrays of locally produced, nationally distributed talk program content. Now like most NPR stations twice a year KCRW does a pledge drive, a pledge drive where if you donate you can get station premiums like mugs, t-shirts, and Grizzly Bear CDs (KCRW has been called the most influential music station in America).

But another option that makes KCRW the coolest is that another station premium is that you can help families in need by providing 40 meals with LA Regional Food Bank for a donation of $10 a month or more. Last pledge they were able to give 80,000 meals to those in need and during their summer pledge drive this time around they're hoping to hit a target number of 150,000.
Pretty freaking cool, and they play awesome music too (like Grizzly Bear)!

PS So donate, duh!

Friday, August 17, 2012



It's not a food post, but if you just happen to have been tirelessly waiting for the adventures of an art-loving, one-toothed, 1,000 year old vampire who’s obsessed with John Singer Sargent’s painting the Daughters of Edward Boit to come out, my first novel, Sfumato, was just published as a multi-format ebook by Smashwords!!!

For anyone game, it’s free to download. Would Love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

LA Food and Wine Festival

The Second Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival was this weekend and I was lucky enough to attend Saturday's Lexus Grand Tasting. With 300 wines from 200 of the world's most prestigious wineries it was quite the imbibing event, but not in the standard way. Usually at these events the Reds are the showstoppers, but this year with sweltering heat anything cold was the star of the show (for a wine event the line for a glass of Stella Artois was ridiculous ).

Some of the alcoholic highlights where:
LA Food & Wine - 7 Grand
The guys are over at 7 Grand shaking some Mint Juleps, Knob Creek, simple syrup, a sizable spring of mint, and an ice cube that crowded the entire glass.

Hitting every single Bubbly available including Champagne Delamotte, Champagne Lanson, and Champagne Perrier Jouet.

JUSTIN Isosceles. Yes it was Red, and yes it was sweltering, but it was totally worth it, it's JUSTIN.
LA Food & Wine - Border Grill
Along with the booze, 30 Celebrity Chefs will showcase their culinary skills and provide delicious and decadent tasting samples of their cuisine. The pickings were a little sparse for the Vegetarian/Vegan crowd (I get it, if you're spending $150 on a ticket you expect some meat) but the Susan Feniger was there for the non-face eating crowd. Her Border Grill offered a Summer Bean Salad Tostadita with Cilantro Aioli, Avocado, Fresh Origins Micro Verdolaga (it also came with Heirloom Bacon but they made my sans for Veggie style).

LA Food & Wine - Knork

All the flatware for the event was proved by Knork, a Kansas based company, that trying to revolutionize our food utensils. A combination fork, knife, and spoon (but in a fancy way so please do not mention a Spork around them) it's got a fingertip platform, beveled outer tines and a heavier, balanced design that allows you to cut food more easily.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Haribo Gummy Bears and Artificial Flavors (the EU vs. the US of A)

My friend photographer Kris Shires is obsessed with Haribo Gummy Bears. But becoming a new mom (she was expecting when this email was sent) has made her examine everything that she eats. Upon a recent visit to Europe she discovered the Haribo uses natural flavorings and colors (or colours as they say over there) in Europe while their counterpart in America is full of artificial flavorings and colors. Unhappy with this news she decided to send the company an email (and at 1:18 in the morning no less):
-Original Message- From: Kristina Shires
Sent: Friday, January 27, 2012 1:18 AM
Subject: Contact (
I was was recently in Spain and noticed that the Haribo gummy Bears in Europe are made with all natural flavors AND colors. Why is this not the case with the Gummy Bears Sold in the US, which are made with artificial colors and flavors? I am really disappointed that the high standards set in Europe do not seem to apply over here.
Europe has always been more stringent when it comes demanding "cleaner" food. Especially after a 2007 a study funded by the EU Food Standards Agency (FSA) drew a link between temper tantrums, poor concentration, and allergic reactions such as asthma and rashes, to chemical food additives. Unfortunately until Americans start speaking up for cleaner food this is the standard response we'll receive.
From: INFO <> Date: March 20, 2012 7:29:18 PDT To: Kristina Shires Subject: Haribo Response
Dear Kristina,
Thank you for your email.
Haribo Gold-Bears that are sold in Europe are not too different from the Gold-Bears that are sold in the U.S. The recipes are the same. With the exception of Haribo in Europe not using artificial coloring and flavors and the additional flavor/color (green apple flavored bear), there is no difference.
Thank you for your interest in Haribo.
Chantele Beads Haribo of America, Inc.
So, as always, if you want what's put in our food to change, speak up! We as consumers always have the right to clean food but only if we ask for it!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Sourwood Honey

Sourwood Honey

I just got back from the mountains of North Carolina where at every Shoppe (with two p’s and an e) they were selling Sourwood Honey. Since I was unfamiliar with the variety I did a little investigating.
Honey connoisseurs everywhere seek out Sourwood’s deep spicy flavor. Its texture is defined by a smooth, caramel buttery quality with color ranging from pure white to light amber with a grayish tint. Sourwood honey’s flavor is flowery with hints of baking spices and anise. Some people say it recalls the flavorings of gingerbread with a “twang” in the aftertaste.

The Sourwood’s scarcity can be attributed to the very small amount of trees currently growing. Indigenous to the United States, the Sourwood tree (also called the Lily of the Valley tree or the Appalachian Lily tree) is a medium-height tree. It grows on the east coast from southern Pennsylvania to northern Georgia. Along with limitations of geography, the trees are constantly threatened by development.

Because purity is key, beekeepers must be trained to have great critical timing skills and attention to detail. The trees typically bloom from June to August, a short amount of time in which beekeepers can bring their colonies to the trees to collect nectar from the flowers. The parameters for classifying the honey are very strict; if it has even small percentages of other varietals it can’t be sold as Sourwood. This is honey is so rare that a good crop sometimes only surfaces once every decade.
But for fans of honey (and there enough for there to be a Sourwood Festival at Black Mountain in North Carolina) all of this is worth it, for as journalist Carson Brewer once said, “most honey is made by bees. But Sourwood is made by bees and angels.”

SoCal Omusubi with Sunny Blue

Wrote an article for the SM Observer on the Santa Monica Omusubi restaurant Sunny Blue.
Sunny Blue

Sunny Blue Celebrating 2 Years of Bringing Omusubi to Main Street

Sunny Blue, the only omusubi shop in Santa Monica, actually the only omusubi shop Southern California, just turned two years old. Co-owned by the cheery Keiko Nakashima, along with her father Mitsuo Numano, this teeny tiny Main Street restaurant is packed with customers of all folds. From adventuresome foodies to frugal students to local families they all come together to create a community of omusubi lovers.

Omusubi (also called onigiri) are triangular-shaped stuffed rice balls wrapped in nori. “In Japan, people of all ages eat omusubi everyday like we eat sandwiches here in the U.S,” explains Keiko. “People would take them for lunch and for outings such as field trips and events. They’re a grab and go for our customers to savor them any time and anywhere.”

How Sunny Blue came to be was the result of a whole lot of kismet and international travel. Keiko was born in Japan, raised from elementary school to sixth grade in America, she then moved back to Japan for middle and high school before returning to the States permanently for college. “I went to FIDM where I majored in merchandizing. I always knew what I wanted to do, or at least I thought I knew what I wanted to do. After college, I got my job and got married right away.” But after spending years being a homemaker, she has four children between the ages of 10 and 18, Keiko found herself somewhere she would have never expected herself to be.

“When I was in elementary school I would tell my mom, ‘please don’t make me that for lunch,’ because the kids would tease me. It’s definitely ironic that I’m making omusubi now.” Keiko notes that many of her Japanese American customers have similar stories. “We all went through the same thing; it’s really crazy.” How she ended up owning a popular restaurant selling the one thing she abhorred as a child has fate written all over it, fate and Pinkberry.

It all started four years when Keiko’s father, Mitsuo came over from Japan for a visit, during the Pinkberry boom. “My parents had come to visit and I was taking them around L.A. and I told them, ‘I need to show you this yogurt place. It tastes just like the yogurt places of my childhood in Japan.’” Her parents loved it, and they weren’t alone. At this time yogurt shops were exploding all over Los Angeles with the force of a tsunami wave.

When Mitsuo returned to Japan his nephew started telling him how he had just entered the yogurt business. “My cousin said, ‘it’s a really big boom. You should go for it!’” Mitsuo had recently retired from being a Vice President of optical company that manufactured prisms for everything from computers to cameras to satellites. “He wanted to do something else with his free time so that talk with my cousin really opened his eyes,” noted Keiko. “So one thing lead to another and we decided to open up a frozen yogurt business in the States.”

“It definitely seemed like kismet. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always wanted to own my own shop and then here is my father saying, ‘you should open up a yogurt shop!’ But by the time I started looking around there were too many, the market was saturated.” Keiko realized yogurt would end up being a fad. “I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing so I realized that we needed to do yogurt and something else.”

The something else turned out to be omusubi. “My husband said, ‘People really love Japanese cuisine, they love sushi. Omusubi is an easy concept.’ Nobody was doing it so I knew as long as the food was good and the concept was good it was going to do well. So I just went for it.”

In the beginning Sunny Blue offered six different omusubi flavors, by comparison they are now offering twelve flavors along with side dishes. Sunny Blue’s staff impregnates each omusubi full of filling of Keiko’s own design such as Spicy Salmon, cured salmon with chili seasoning, or Miso Mushroom, stuffed with king oyster mushrooms and enoki mushrooms sautéed with ginger miso sauce. All running in the choice price range of two to four dollars each. Each omusubi at Sunny Blue is individually prepared and served on a taco-truck style paper plate, convenient for takeouts. They offer five different Vegan options for the non-meat/ non-dairy crowd.

Naming it Sunny Blue was her Dad’s thing. “He was inspired by the founder of Sony, who originally wanted to name his company ‘Sonny Boy.’” The story goes that they ended up shortening the name to Sony for pronunciation reasons, but Mitsuo wanted to use “Sunny” to reference his hero. And the “Blue,” it represents the ocean that connects Japan and California.

Keiko has lived in the Valley for twenty years, but is as “Always West of Lincoln,” as they get. “Omusubi is derived from a Japanese word “musubu” which means to hold together or connect,” she notes. “Here at Sunny Blue we believe in holding hands with the local businesses and local customers while connecting with the environment.” Sunny Blue has a frequent customer program (categorized by first names) where if you buy 10 you get one free. Sunny Blue tries to hire local students whenever possible and Keiko serves on the board of the Main Street Business Improvement Association. “I love Main Street, we’re a community. We all know each other on the block. If a light goes out I can go next door and borrow a bulb.”

This feeling of community is also found in Sunny Blue’s relationship to the community. “It’s intimate here, people stop by all the time. They’ll come back from the beach, swing by, and say ‘my child wants to show you her new wand.’ It’s such a community, I feel like a family.” There are a million stories of how Keiko’s found her way into the hearts of her customers. One time she ran into one of her customers while picking up some strawberries at One Life market, her customer ended up bringing her back to her house because she wanted to show Keiko where she lived. Another time one of the few stools outside Sunny Blue was rocking to side to side. “John, one of my customers, offered to fix it. He took it home, repaired it, and brought it back the next day. That was amazing!”

And there’s the time one of her customers, an elementary school student, invited us to her theatrical play performance. “When we went she was so happy we were there. It was so much fun! I try my best to go and watch whenever I’m invited. I love my customers, I totally appreciate them.”

But Sunny Blue isn’t just for locals anymore. “We were recently in the Frugal Finds section of L.A. Magazine. It’s driven a lot of customers here.” Sunny Blue has a really good Internet record; “we’re usually number one on Yelp for Santa Monica Cheap Eats and three or four in all of Los Angeles.” But even as the non-locals pour in Sunny Blue will always have the hearts of Main Street Santa Monica.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eric Garcetti and Prop 37

Vote YES on 37 in November! Getting LA City Council member Eric Garcetti (and LA Mayor candidate) to sign the proposed resolution for LA City Council to support Prop 37 (allowing us to label GMOs in the state of California) at the Mar Vista Farmer's Market today! Find out more about why GMOs should be labeled and Prop 37 at

Eric Garcetti Mar Vista FM

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Boxes of the Santa Monica Farmers' Market

People (including me) are always showing beautiful pictures of the food that comes from Santa Monica Farmers' Market, but the behind the scenes aspects like the boxes never get that much play; that is until now. Just remember that for every artichoke, tomato, or orange sold there's a box that housed it!

SM Farmers Market Boxes

Behind the Kitchen Door Book Trailer

A great trailer (directed by Sekou Luke) for Behind the Kitchen Door: What Every Diner Should Know About the People Who Feed Us, a book about the exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of eating out.

The book investigates what's at stake when we choose a restaurant. Not only our own health or "foodie" experience, but the health and well-being of the second-largest private sector workforce, the lives of 10 million people; many immigrants, many people of color, who bring passion, tenacity, and important insight into the American dining experience.

Behind the Kitchen Door is written by Saru Jayaraman, founder of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, and is to be released February 2013 from Cornell University Press. To find out more check out their site at

Monday, June 18, 2012

Robyn O'Brien GMO TED Talk

A great methodical TED talk by Robyn O'Brien about why you should learn more about the world of GMOs and demand that we label our foods.

Robyn O'Brien is a former Wall Street food industry analyst, Robyn brings insight, compassion and detailed analysis to her research into the impact that the global food system is having on the health of our children. She founded [|] and was named by Forbes as one of "20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter." The New York Times has passionately described her as "Food's Erin Brockovich."

Friday, June 8, 2012

The Ration @ the Viceroy

The Ration @ the Viceroy

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Thomas Rekasis (the blurry guy in the background) the Food & Beverage Manager/Spirits Buyer for Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel. Thomas merrily told me how the Viceroy’s Cameo Bar now offers barrel aged cocktails featuring spirits produced strictly in California and aged on the premise in oak barrels.

Utilizing spirits from California distilleries such as Sonoma County’s 1512 Spirits run by a Bay Area Barber (the distillery is named after his day job the 1512 Barber Shop. (And yes you read that right, Nob Hill Barber by day, artisanal distiller by night!)) As part of its We’ve Got Spirit program, the Viceroy is now offers 2 cocktails aged for a minimum of 2 weeks in oak barrels. Each barrel produces no more than 3 liters of the cocktail it holds. When it’s ready, they pour. When it’s gone, it’s gone.
The most tantalizing is the Ration, a drink that was first concocted by Thomas’ grandfather. The Ration is a combination of rum, bourbon, brandy, and orange liqueur that is then stored in a mini whiskey barrel (which I didn't even know come that small) for 3 weeks. After such time it is removed from the barrel and distributed to bottles. Each bottle then has ½ cup apple-wood chips added to it before it is sealed tight.

After being aged 1 week the cocktail is then muddled with lemons, oranges, and a pinch of loose mint. It's shaken, strained over ice, and served in an old-fashioned glass with an orange and lemon peel for the perfect sunset drink.

So get it while it’s good because when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

My Dad and the Art of Rainwater Collection

Tony Thomas Rainwater Collection 2
To say that my dad, Tony Thomas, is handy is as much an understatement as saying that food is a complicated and fascinate subject. So when he decided to devise a rainwater collection contraption to self water his tomato plants when he’s away (and save money on an expensive water bill) he became a man on a mission.

Since the entire point of this endeavor was to recycle the natural abundance of Southern Florida (where rain is ubiquitous) he made to sure to use recycled materials whenever possible for the project. His first step was collecting gutters, which were being discarded from a new roofing job. On the logistics sides he had to add down spouts and end caps, cover the top of the gutters so leaves and debris does not enter the system, and paint all the items for esthetic values.

Before setting the rainwater barrels, he had to build a stand to elevate them so he could obtain the pressure to push the water to the plants. This material was also recycled as it was discarded fencing material intended for a landfill.

Once the base was built he could start with the barrels. First he gave them a good washing. Even though they were food grade (some had contained vegetable oil) and he wanted them as clean as possible (very important even for just watering plants). The barrels, which are inverted so that they will self-drain and do not need a pump to dispense (only gravity), were placed on the stand and connected in a series with a manifold arrangement.

Similar to punching a vent in a can, none of the barrels would drain if they were not all vented. The arranged PVC venting/overflow system at the top was devised to vent all of the individual barrels and should they all fill up to overflow out to they bottom of the vent stack. The vent stack was screened at the top so no insects could lay their eggs in the water and the bottom of the overflow has a pantyhose rubber banded over the end (Green yet again) so insects couldn’t invade that way either.

Tony (aka Dad) then added the facets at the end so that he can place both a timer (attached to the drip hose which will run throughout the beds when he’s away) and a regular hose to water individual plants. When I talked to him about this adventure he said it was raining hard that night and that he should have 220 gallons before the night was through.

Super handy and super Green (both environmentally and fiscally)!
Tony Thomas Rainwater Collection 5

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Flowering Artis

Flowering Artichokes today at the SM FM. Considering I had never even seen Artis on a stalk until I moved to Cali, chances are most of us have never encountered one. Totally gorgeous!!!
(Just please don't eat them (they're decorative only)!)

Flowering Artis 5/27/12

Thursday, May 10, 2012

As Bohemian As They Come: Tuesday Dinners at Hm157

Chef Dave @ Hm157

This week I attended my first Tuesday Dinner at Hm157 in Lincoln Heights. Hm157 (which stands for Historical Monument # 157 on the California Historical landmark list) is described by LA Weekly as a "mildly rundown old Victorian in East L.A.... a hub for hipsters, artists and people of all ages... the bottom floor into a revolving art space, part-time gallery, music venue, backdrop for book readings, discussions and political powwows. For a very modest donation at the door, guests enter through the Storyville-esque front porch and either meet in the multicolored salons, or out back, where there’s a stage, fire pit and sound system."


And for the last 3 years on Tuesdays, Hm157 has been offering an organic Vegan communal dinner that invites you to “sit down with a stranger and get up with a friend." Captained by Chef Dave, these dinners are adventurous ranging from Louisiana Crab Remoulade (made with cashews) with Roasted Beet Tartare to a Vegan version of the quintessential Japanese hotpot Sukiyaki.

The clientele as bohemian as they come so you'll never know who's going to attend, what thing of importance you'll be discussing, how underground the musical performance will be. It's no wonder Hm157 was also voted LA Weekly as the “Best Underground Date Night 2009″ and “Best Escape From Corporate Entertainment 2010.″

And for those who are fiscally challenged Tuesday Dinners offers a discounted or free meal based on how much you volunteer for the event.

Every Tuesday at 7:30PM
$15 with RSVP ($5 for a one shift volunteer, $0 for a two shift volunteer. Each shift runs 3 hours long)
RSVP by Monday night
3110 N. Broadway Avenue
Lincoln Heights, CA 90031
To find out menus and get more info check out their Facebook page.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kogi Chef Roy Choi is going Vegetarian

Kogi Celebrity Chef Roy Choi is going Vegetarian

Choi, who exploded the Los Angeles street food scene in 2008 with his Korean barbecue tacos Kogi trucks, also pioneered the twitter food truck revolution. Four years later Choi is running an empire of restaurants including the Kogi taco trucks, A-Frame, Chego, Sunny Spot and the Alibi Room.
But all that might be changing as he noted on his blog that cooking no longer held any meaning for him. Choi went on to write that he's recently started eating a vegetable based diet. As he notes:
I stopped eating meat this week. That’s why I’m thinking about leaving cooking. How can I cook with out using meat? I will taste, for now as that is my profession. But I will no longer eat meat for my own consumption.
Animals be talking to me. They told me..stop. Stop, Roy. Please.
I talk to animals and kids. I feed adults. Time to switch. Talk to adults. Feed animals and kids. What are we gonna do about our streets now that you adults have accepted street food?
Are we supposed to put our faith in this man Jamie Oliver? A Brit? If so, then if anyone who reads this tell him to holla at me. Really. I can’t get to him. Tell him come see me, no PR, no publicist, no barriers. We can sit on the curb and join forces.
Choi also expressed disappointment at business partners' emphasis on profits, asking, "Profitability when our whole existence is at stake? Fuck you." Choi is set to publish his first book, a memoir, called Spaghetti Junction: Riding Shotgun With an L.A. Chef, through Anthony Bourdain's book line.
Personally I'd love to see Choi channel all this frustration into a kickass vegetarian/vegan restaurant.
Click here to read his full blog entry

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's Official: GMOs on California's Ballot!

GMO Rally
It's Official: GMOs will be on California's Ballot.

Yesterday 971,126 signatures were dropped off at locations throughout California, the culmination of a ballot initiative to label GMOs in the Golden State. The almost a million signatures, gathered in a 10-week period by volunteers of the California Right to Know campaign, is nearly double the 555,236 signatures the campaign needs to qualify for the ballot. California officials will take at least several weeks to certify the initiative, but people on both sides of the issue expect it to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are experimental plants and animals that have been genetically engineered in a laboratory with DNA from other plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses. Although GMO ingredients are found in 80% of packaged foods in the U.S., they have not been proven safe as the long term consequences of GMOs on our health and environment have not been adequately investigated. If passed this November, Californians will join citizens of almost 50 countries including all of Europe, Japan and even China who have the right to know whether they are eating GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) food.

GMO Rally 2

At yesterday's Los Angeles County rally mothers, grandmothers, organic farmers, and students came together to celebrate their collective work. Their county's portion of the drop off contained 232,409 signatures. Each box weighted 37 pounds, with the entire payload coming in at 188 pounds of signatures.

The want to label GMO foods has the uncanny ability collect unanimous support across the political spectrum. A March 2012 Mellman Group poll found that 9 out of 10 American voters favor labeling for genetically engineered food.

"In a country seemingly dominated by partisan polarization on everything from the cause of hurricanes to the state of the economy, it’s hard to find issues, outside of motherhood and apple pie, that can muster over 90 percent support. In a recent survey for Just Label It, we found one...," pollster Mark Mellman wrote in a recent article in the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill.

"Voters express almost unanimous support for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. An arresting 91 percent of voters favor an FDA requirement that “foods which have been genetically engineered or containing genetically engineered ingredients be labeled to indicate that.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pizza dj-ing

Pizza Dj-ing

I just spent the weekend in the desert for Coachella and it was un-freaking believable!! The world's largest music festival will be exactly what you want it to be and for two gentlemen that meant dj-ing with baked goods and pizzas. And if there was ever an audience for that particular type of food/music mash-up it's at Coachella, so spin away guys!

Pizza Dj-ing 3

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How is This Possible? Veggie Grill's Crab Cake Sandwich

Veggie Grill Crab Cake

A couple of weeks ago I went to a tasting of the new menu items at Veggie Grill (the 100% plant-based comfort food restaurant). While we were waiting for our first item on the list, I informed my tablemates how I had walked away from Natural Products Expo West with the feeling that everyone was getting very close to the real deal in the world of plant based substitutes with things like chicken, but that nobody could master the art of seafood.

And within a minute I had to totally eat my words because Greg Dollarhyde, the CEO of Veggie Grill placed their new Crab Cake sandwich in front of me to taste.

I took a bite and the first words out of my mouth (honest, truly!) were: How is this possible?
Veggie Grill Crab Cake 2

A crispy “Crab” Cake with tangy tartar sauce, pickles, tomato, lettuce, and red onion along with a side of “sweetheart fries.” As a beach girl who grew up eating seafood in all forms (but the not the case anymore) I was totally hooked!

According to Dollarhyde the secret is a “certain type of seaweed adds the “seafood” umami to it.”
Veggie Grill’s constantly asking Americans to “taste and believe,” and after this experience I was totally a true believer. (And ended up going back less than two weeks later to experience it again!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Something to Check Out: Food Forward's Spring Melt on Saturday!

Hey Guys!
My friends over at the amazing non-profit FOOD FORWARD are having an awesome Grilled Cheese event this Saturday night Elysian in Silver Lake. If you're looking for a kickass amount of Grilled Cheese (and a kickass cause!) please consider checking them out! The Deets are below.

Sprint Melt Flyer

We are in the final days leading up to our SPRING MELT fundraiser and it’s the LAST CALL to purchase your ticket! With less than 20 TICKETS REMAINING, we hope you take the opportunity right NOW to PURCHASE your ticket to our fabulously exciting Fruit-Bash!!!

Elysian in Silver Lake
Saturday April 14th 7-11pm!

With the purchase of your ticket you can expect an AMAZING assortment of zesty entertainment, a full menu of gourmet grilled cheeses and delicious eats from Clementine + an open bar with beer from New Belgium Brewery, our famous Grapefruit Forward cocktail and wine pours from Jordan Winery.

The night is sure to be fun-filled, with comedianne extrordinaire Beth Lapides as our evening’s Mistress of Ceremonies. Bushels of entertainment will include everything from interactive visual environments by international video artist Jesse Gilbert, sets of juicy dance tunes spun by DJs Fucsia and Matt Franke, to rolling up your sleeves alongside Miss Rhea Purpose at her ridiculous DIY Kraft Korner, plus other zesty surprises!

There will be a shared abundance of door prizes throughout the night, and a not-so-silent auction as only Food Forward can do it - featuring a bounty of outstanding items for all checkbook sizes: temptations for foodies, book worms, wine snobs, movie buffs, health nuts, sports fans and so much more.

Don’t worry, we have parking covered too with free valet service all night.

Come support the work of Food Forward to harvest food, fight hunger & build community and have a juicy fun time while you’re at it!