Stuffed, Locally: Events Aim to Show Value of Locally-Produced Foods
Chef Christian Page will be opening Daily Dose in the Biscuit Lofts later this month.
DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — The DJ spinning tunes at Saturday’s Livin’ la Vida Local event didn’t play the obvious—Ricky Martin’s anthem to ‘living the crazy life’. He carefully chose a mix of melodies to harmonize with chef Christian Page’s locavore food—living the local life.
Page, along with Sarkis Vartanian, is slated to open Daily Dose, a locavore bistro, in the Biscuit Company Lofts later this month. The communal table event was a FoodStuff LA installment by Pedal Patch Community.
Chef Page delivered on the promised locavore diet, sourcing everything from within 100 miles. The event had been slated to introduce both veteran and first-time locavores to Gertrude and Betsy, two local hens that produce eggs, but the hens took a ‘rain-check’ due to rain in the forecast.
The menu included heirloom tomatoes in a garden herb vinaigrette, roasted fingerling potatoes, Delmonico steaks, and Mock & Petite tender with Hungarian white pepper sauce and ground chuck sliders with local cheddar, house pickles and made-from-scratch ketchup.
“I love doing small communal dinners because I get to really interact with people much more intimately,” said Page. “I get to really share the story behind the food which I hope makes the experience more meaningful for them.”
Page brought in his rancher, John DeBruin of DeyDey’s Best Beef Ever, to talk about the benefits, freshness and quality of local grass fed poultry and beef, and his produce supplier, Randal St. Clair of Capay Organics to share information about organic farming and hand out goody bags of heirloom tomatoes and grapes, picked fresh from the farm.
“I wanted to bring John and Randal as a way to get people involved in sourcing what they eat. My hope is that the diners will want to be part of the locavore movement,” Page explained.
“The main health benefit to eating grass fed beef as opposed to grain fed beef is that you get Omega 3 and Omega 6, the healthy fats, in a ration of one to one, which is the way our bodies need it,” said DeBruin, pointing out that grass fed beef is also higher in vitamins A, E and D. “When eaten in a healthy diet, these vitamins are distributed the way nature intended. Taking supplements of the same vitamins can not only be less effective, but in some cases toxic.”
St. Clair also touted the benefits of eating locally. “I think one benefit of eating a locavore diet that often gets overlooked is the health of our workers. In traditional farming, they are exposed to dangerous chemicals and pesticides and have to wear a full haz-mat type of suit. With organic gardening, we put the health of our workers in the forefront, just as we do the health of those who choose an organic diet,” said St. Clair.
“What I really liked about Christian’s menu on Saturday evening was the variety of methods of preparation he used to showcase the flavors of the beef,” said DeBruin. “He was able to introduce the commonality of the flavor across a variety of cuts of beef.” Page used a chuck roast, brined in chocolate and coffee, to make a corned beef that he served with sautéed kale. “He really showed that whether you are using filet or ground beef, if you have grass fed beef with good marbling, you can really taste the flavor of the beef,” added DeBruin.
The event was held in the Toy Factory Lofts office of Pedal Patch Community, a non-profit foodie group that uses events and projects to help build healthy, sustainable, urban communities one ‘patch’ of turf at a time.
“In America, our food travels an average of 1,500 miles before ending up on our plates,” said Jason Eugene Boardé, the group’s executive director. Boardé says that this globalization of food causes serious consequences to the environment and our health. The next Foodstuff LA event will be held on Saturday, October 16, at Swill Automatic, a new wine bar also opening in the Biscuit Lofts.
The theme, Biodynamic Farming & Wine, will offer tastings of biodynamic wines from Napa, Sonoma and France. Elizabeth Candelario of Demeter will be in attendance to teach wine enthusiasts why Biodynamic, aka ‘Bio Ag,’ is all the rage among vintners.
‘Bio Ag’ is a method of organic farming that treats farms as unified and individual organisms, emphasizing and balancing the holistic development and interrelationship of soil, plants, and animals as a self-nourishing system without external inputs-true sustainable farming.
To get tickets or more information about FoodStuff LA’s biodynamic wine event, go to www.pedalpatchcommunity.org.
You don’t have to have the resources of a professional chef to find good local produce and eat a 100-mile diet. Check out these certified farmers markets around Downtown to find the best local, seasonal produce. ‘Certified’ farmers markets are inspected by the Department of Agriculture to ensure that all produce sold at the market is California-grown.
WEDNESDAY, 11:30am-3pm Pershing Square 532 S. Olive THURSDAY, 11:30am-3pm 7+Fig Farmers Market 7th & Figueroa THURSDAY 10am-2pm Arts District/Little Tokyo Farmers Market City Hall; 200 N. Spring FRIDAY, 11am-3pm Bank Of America Plaza 333 S. Hope
If you can’t make it to a Farmers Market during the day because of your work schedule, these are worth the trip to check out:
THURSDAY, 4-8pm South Pasadena Farmers Market Mission Street exit of the Gold Line FRIDAY, 3-8pm Boyle Heights Farmers Market; Gold Line at Mariachi Plaza SATURDAY, 7:30am-1 pm Pasadena Certified Farmers Market 2575 Paloma St, Pasadena (A mile from the Sierra Madre Gold Line Station) DeyDey’s Best Beef Ever is sold at this market