The REEF in downtown Los Angeles this past weekend was home to more than 200 Artisanal LA vendors offering a variety of jams, cheeses, jerky, pickles, sauces and crafts. At $14 a ticket, attendees were able to sample some of the tastiest local foods while chatting with the owners and learning about how the items were produced. There were a few sanctuaries present at the event along with vendors selling kids' clothing and toys. See our recap below.
My friend Melissa Lauer and I arrived at The REEF at 11am and with our tote bags in hand, we entered the venue to get our wristbands.
Once inside, we stopped at the first booth of the day, where we tasted some delicious and bold BBQ sauces by Deaf Man's BBQ Sauce. I walked away with the two best sellers, "California Mild" and "XXX."
Next, we stopped by and tasted a variety of salts from Hepp's Salt Co. including black truffle, white truffle, lime and walked away with few packages.
Then, we tasted the best pumpkin bread pudding we've ever had, courtesy of B Sweet Dessert Bar The dessert was so good I had to snap a photo with fellow Filipina Chef and Founder Barb Batiste.
We then made our way to the Morrocan Lalla Mina Delicatess booth where Yasmina Ksikes gave us a taste of Sellou, a nutty and hearty energy snack as well as a flavorful roasted red and green pepper salsa called Taktouka.
As we continued to walk around the venue, we stumbled upon The Sanctuary at Soledad Goats where live animals were being pet and fed, reminiscent of a petting zoo.
Next, we picked up a few dog treats from Bobby + Bambi's Gourmet Bakery. Founder Minyoung Morita offered artisan treats for dogs made with 100% human-grade, organic and all-natural ingredients.
Continuing our sweet tooth journey, we stumbled upon Mallow Mallow, a s'more shop. Offering pumpkin spice mallows, watch below as a smoreologist toasts a gooey treat at the event.
To our surprise, there was another s'more station courtesy of S'more Bakery. Owned by Sarah and Mike Siebold, we walked away with a pro-tip: Freeze the s'mores and enjoy them like a tasty ice cream sandwich.
Aside from baked goods, jams and beef jerky, the event also played host to jewelry. We took a look at Mei Elizabeth Designs, which consisted of rings, necklaces and earrings.
Next, we stopped by Pure Alegria Soap Company, where we spoke with Susan Hartley to learn about her handcrafted, palm oil free soaps and lip balms. Melissa and I walked away with Honey and Spearmint lip balm. I'll definitely be buying more to try.
As we continued to make our rounds, we tasted a variety of vegan cheeses from Soledad Cheezes. A few of our favorites included Cheddar Sweet Pepper, Truffle, and Jalapeno Cheddar to name a few. We learned that you can freeze the nut-based vegan cheeses and they return to the same consistency once back to room temperature. You can also melt the cheeses, perfect for Mac N' Cheese.
Melissa picked up some Jalapeno Cheddar. I wanted the Cheddar Sweet Pepper but they ran out. It was that good.
Next, we stopped by the Coldwater Canyon Provisions booth where hand crafted foods were available including dill pickles, pickled watermelon and a variety of other products. I walked away with crispy delicious dill pickles. My jar is almost done as it's a great snack.
We then ended up at Jerry's Almost Pickles, where I picked up another jar of pickles. (Clearly, I'm a pickle fan). I walked away with a small jar of Spicy Garlic pickles and finished the jar on day 1.
We then found ourselves tasting a few delicious jams courtesy of Just Jan's Jams. She offered a sample of her flavorful and rich keylime cheesecake made with her jam and we were hooked. Jan's products are available online so make sure to check out her site.
Next, we tasted a variety of dark chocolates from the Dominican Republic, Peru and Costa Rica courtesy of Letterpress Chocolate.
We then concluded our tour by stopping by the Noshkins booth where Connie Simon created a variety of nummy felt nibbles for your child's play kitchen. The felt food items were extremely detailed and cute.
Check out our past Artisanal LA coverage below: