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August 28, 2010

The Food Rendezvous

This weekend was the premiere event of The Food Rendezvous, connecting small local artisan food producers with eager customers. The groundbreaking effort to promote sustainability and local fare did not go off without small glitches, but the monthly event is sure to grow.

This time the traveling event was held at SPARC, an arts organization located in the old Venice jail, which was an active jail from 1929 until the early seventies and now historic building.

I volunteered at the event with my friend Lisa, the blogger of Epicurean Expressions and a budding personal chef.

The event had some great features in addition to the vendor booths, including a cookbook exchange where I picked up a copy of Farmer John's Cookbook, live music, chef cooking demonstrations, and a demonstration garden. And the event was green, with recycling containers strategically placed throughout.

The locally-grown flowers in canning jars made the seating areas picturesque.

Vendors included awesome food purveyors as well as more interesting fare like an earthworm vermicomposter. My favorite was The Sensitive Baker, a gluten-free bakery that I've read about in LA Magazine but have yet to visit their location. Their chocolate cupcake with banana cream frosting is to die for! It's pictured below with a tangerine spritzer. Since my friend's three children all had severe food allergies necessitating a very restricted diet while my friend was nursing, I'm so excited to try SB's products.

The volunteers received a $20 gift card to Pitfire Pizza, a certificate for a glass of wine and an artisan cheese plate at Comme Ca, and a complimentary panini, sandwich, or salad at La Provence Patisserie in Brentwood. Three meals out for one afternoon of my time! Definitely worth the effort.

My constructive criticism to the event organizers would be to have nametags for the volunteers, a simple listing of online purchasers so no need to print tickets (eco friendly), and perhaps a few more volunteers to act as floaters throughout the event. I'm sure the number of vendors will grow as the event becomes more established.

Did you go to this event? If you'd like to know about the next one, check out Food Rendezvous website or find them on Facebook.

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