8 Things to Check Out at Artisanal LA This Weekend

Today is day one of the weekend-long inaugural Artisanal LA, which is a celebration of local, sustainable, hand-crafted eats, treats, and growing goodness taking place at the Cooper Design Space in Downtown.

As the event got underway this morning we were on hand to check out the vibrant, cheerily lit design-centric space that is hosting what is essentially a collection of about 75 pop-up shops in thoughtfully curated stalls. Guests can sample, mingle, learn, talk, and, of course shop from the vendors who are there with their jams, pies, chocolates, candies, sauces, snacks, plants, accessories and much, much more. Several workshops and demos are on the schedule, too, which makes the event even more interactive and informative.

In case you aren't sure where to start, or what to keep an eye out for, here are our picks for the 8 must-see, must-sample, must-check out things at Artisanal.

  1. Silverlake Farms: Meet urban gardening guru (and crusader) Tara Kolla and learn about growing your own produce and her CSA. Also at the booth is Graham Keegan, who uses plant roots to dye beautiful fabrics.
  2. Lindy & Grundy: Bad-ass butchery, bottom line. Plus, Sunday at 4pm they're doing a home butchering demo.
  3. All Jarred Up: Delicious pies, served in adorable jars. Never had grape pie? We hadn't either until we sampled theirs. Love.
  4. Compartes Chocolates: Compartes' Jonathan Grahm is always coming up with something new for his chocolates and sweets. Put together a sample set of tantalizing trufles (Raspberry and Pink Peppercorn, Mexican Hot Chocolate and more), or pick up some of their gorgeous and artful bars. Also: Salty-sweet peanut butter by the jar, brittles, and chocolate skull pops with gold grills, just in time for Dia de Los Muertos!
  5. Chicks With Knives' Perishable Pickle Shop: Two words: Bacon Jam. Fine, more words: An assortment of perishable pickled items from the private supper club duo. Sunday at 2p Chefs Rachael Narins and Suzanne Griswold will host a Pickling 101 workshop.
  6. Santee High School's Culinary Program: Meet the amazing students who are part of LAUSD's Santee High School's Culinary Arts program. They're serving up heaping bowls of salsa they made under the direction of their chef-instructors, and a whole ton of inspiration. Ask them what they think about school lunch. Be glad a portion of your admission is going to help support school gardens and programs like theirs.
  7. Akasha: One of Culver City's most charming restaurants is represented deliciously via their myriad of jarred creations, including jams, sauces, and chutneys.
  8. Tru Organic Spirits & Neve Ice: Yup, there's booze at this event, and your taste comes with your ticket. Tru Organic spirits are on hand, and Michel Dozois of Neve Ice is there to keep things, well, cool.
Of course there's plenty more to see and do...you'll find your own way, surely, and come up with a best-of list of your own. Taste, try, talk, and take some of this great stuff home.

Tickets: $15 cash at the door, entry space permitting (pre-sale sold out). Today until 6pm, Sunday 11am to 6 pm.