The Santa Monica Farmers Market is celebrating its 30th anniversary by partnering with FamilyFarmed.org to launch the Good Food Festival & Conference on September 14-18. This unprecedented multi-day festival showcases locally and sustainably produced food and innovative leaders from the good food movement. It will focus on regional and national issues integral to building local food systems, supporting California family farms, and educating people and families about the benefits of good food. Participants include some of the nation and region's most distinguished farmers, chefs, artisan food producers, thinkers, and food entrepreneurs. The event consists of five days of speaker panels, chef demos, a financing fair, exhibitor trade and consumer shows, food policy summit, and film screening, plus a “Localicious Gala” party on the ocean.
"The Santa Monica Farmers Market is pleased to bring these groundbreaking events to consumers and businesses in Southern California," says Laura Avery, who has managed the market for 29 of its 30 years. "For the past six years, our partner, FamilyFarmed.org has produced the most successful trade show and festival for small to mid-size focused farmers in the country. They have a proven track record of developing farmer focused events that play an important role in building local food systems."
The Good Food Festival & Conference kicks off on Wednesday September 14 at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market with a cooking demo featuring food and produce from the renowned market. That evening The Good Food Film Series hosts a special screening at the Aero Theater featuring the film Harvest, which addresses the plight of farm workers and their children. On the evening of Thursday, September 15, state and national leaders will gather at Barnum Hall at Santa Monica High to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Farmers Market featuring "rock star" farmers, local and national food experts, world class chefs, and prominent political leaders. Friday September 15 features a food policy and public health summit with leading national and local speakers including members of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. It also features a trade show connecting farms and food businesses with supermarkets, restaurants, distributors, and school districts that serve $1.5 million meals a day. Friday night, the "Localicious" Gala celebration will take place at the spectacular Annenberg Community Beach House. It features 30 of LA's top chefs paired with 30 market farmers, and will showcase the freshest and best of the season with signature anniversary dishes.
On Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18 there is a two day festival at Santa Monica High School. Attendees can purchase products and ready to eat food from exhibitors such as farmers, artisan food producers, restaurants, sustainable businesses, and food trucks that source products from the Santa Monica Farmers Market. The speaker series includes many national and local leaders. For the burgeoning DIY audience, "Grow and Preserve Your Own" features demonstrations on seed starting, fruit trees, backyard chickens, container gardening and bee keeping, plus LA's Master Preservers demonstrations. For the school edible garden enthusiast, there will be sessions on making school meals healthier and regionally sourced. Food activists will immerse themselves in two days of stimulating programming during "Good Food for Thought". The epicurean foodie will delight in "Chefs at Play", featuring cooking demonstrations pairing local farmers with some of America's finest chefs. FamilyFarmed.org is honored to partner with the Santa Monica Farmers Market to produce this event," says president and founder, Jim Slama. "It is one of the country's leading farmers markets and has an amazing following of people, families, chefs and distributors that shop there each and every week."
A series of signature events throughout the summer will build momentum for the festival, and highlight the farm to table themes featured at the conference. The film, Queen of the Sun, plays at the Aero Theater on August 10. Saturday, August 27th is the "Santa Monica Breakfast 101" at the newly redesigned Santa Monica Place. This family-oriented event will feature top name chefs making jams, chorizos, classic pastries, and other local artisan fare. On September 8th there is a cocktail reception featuring Academy Award nominated Director of Food, Inc. Robert Kenner and Barbara Spencer of Windrose Farms at Food Restaurant on Pico.