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Local Edible Goods Featured at This Weekend's Artisanal LA

By David Markland
Published: Tuesday, October 19, 2010, at 09:36AM
Artisanal LA Marat Shaya

Some of the locally made products that will be for sale at Artisanal LA, being held October 23-24 at the Cooper Building.

"Did you know there's a beehive that produces honey on top of a building in the Old Bank District?" event producer Shawna Dawson inquires enthusiastically. She’s describing OBD Bees, one of the numerous local vendors participating in Artisanal LA taking place this weekend at the Cooper Building.

Dawson, the event’s creator, describes Artisan LA as “shopping, tasting, and learning all there is to celebrate local, handmade goods.” The weekend includes workshops on pickling and “setting an eco table”, a speaker on building a local food business, demos on growing and cooking artisanal pumpkins, and a craft beer panel and tasting. Over 75 local vendors will be selling handmade products from books to baked goods.

Another vendor, Green Bar Collective, is a spirits producer based in Monrovia that creates vodka, gin, and rum with organic ingredients grown locally. Dawson tells me they plant a tree for every bottle sold, and claim that their process is so environmentally friendly that if someone imbibes two ounces of their liquor, the drinker has become carbon neutral for the day.

She’s hesitant to describe Artisanal LA’s vendors as being “sustainable,” saying the word is too open to interpretation. However, she points out that the event is intended to encourage people to shop locally and show them how food and other products are produced. “People should vote with their wallets,” she says.

Previously, Dawson created the LA Street Food Fest, and before that was a Community Manager for Yelp LA where, in addition to creating events, she was a cheerleader for the best of the city's food and drink. “I tend to do things that speak to what I’m passionate about,” she says.

The first 1000 attendees will receive a tote bag, and admission includes tastings of food and drink and access to all activities. Partial proceeds benefit LAUSD Edible School Garden Programs

Artisanal LA / Oct. 23 & 24, 11am-6pm / Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 (cash) at the door / The Cooper Building / 860 S. Los Angeles

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