A Real Foodie Weekend!
We spent the weekend of October 5-6, 2013, at the Patchwork Show: Costa mesa Food Events Edible Edition at one of our favorite places to hangout, South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa. This gathering is an annual creative food summit in Southern California bringing visionary chefs, authors, bloggers, handmade craft vendors and food artisans together with attendees for two days of eating, learning, tasting and shopping. Of course we brought our 5- and 8-year old kids. People often ask us how exactly we get our kids to enjoy an event like this and more importantly, the finer points of all things real food, health and wellness. One of the ways is to quite simply, bring them in tow to these types of events and try to lead by example whenever we can!
SoCo and Patchwork did a awesome job at organizing the parking lot and premises for such a huge showing! The vast sea of tents filled with energetic local vendors who were sampling, selling, demonstrating, book signing and just chatting up their business was a bit of stimulation overload, but boy were we in heaven! As we walked to each booth, we looked over every inch of the booth, we asked all kinds of questions, “What made you start this business? How did you decide on your logo? Business name? Almost everyone had a unique and interesting story. We were so engrossed in some of the vendor’s stories and passions that we spent time with the vendors as if we were visiting with friends. Truth is, many times my wife and I turned to each other to whisper how we wished we could support each vendor and buy more. Being gluten-free, however, we did skip the vendors selling the gluten-filled breads, though the breads all looked and smelled delicious. This is not to say that gluten wasn’t well used. Check out the awesome bread display made by OC Baking Company to advertise the show!
Get to know the impassioned folks behind the product!
We tried to find balance in our day as we walked and talked to each vendor. Our children patiently stood by as we chatted with one of the owners of Health-Ade Kambucha. In talking with Vanessa, we learned that these healthy alternatives come from a great and deep passion within its founders. As you talk to more and more of these business owners, you begin to realize that these artisan business owners put in quite a bit of soul, sweat and tears! Never do these businesses become a success overnight. Never do they begin without a sense of great doubt that they will not succeed. In the end, it is the Business owners that find a way to persevere and trot through the great difficulty that come out ahead. It is through this perseverance that a true business is formed allowing its founders to focus on the business full time! Understanding that journey, makes us want to support more and more of these businesses. It is often said that one person can make a difference. Well, if more and more of these local, artisan businesses are supported by others sharing the same desire to feed our families with healthy and delicious food alternatives to the giant food companies, then we quite possibly could make “shift” happen!
A worthy mission to support!
Slow Food Orange County is an international member-supported non-profit organization. Its aim is to spread food culture, to develop sensory and taste education, to protect biodiversity and to promote quality in food, the environment and social life. Slow Food wants good, clean and fair food to be accessible to, and appreciated, by all.
In their booth, they had a cool guessing game for children to blindly guess what fruit or vegetable they were touching. We were proud to say that our kids scored some of the highest scores! Our quest during our health journey as always been to instill in our kids an ability for them to innately make the proper health choices. If defining random and obscure fruits and vegetables gets us closer to that goal, then we must be doing something right towards raising healthy children. I really appreciate that there are organizations like Slow Food OC that are in existence to spread the word to our youth. In today’s Fast-food world, where processed food is King, it is so important to get as many people and organizations on the corner spreading the word! We are all in it together…today’s children are our future, let’s give them all a fighting chance!
A tomahawk steak fit for a 5 year old!
Then it was mom and dad’s turn again and we listened to a Steak 101 demonstration by Chef Noah Blom or Arc Food and Libations Restaurant at The SoCo Collection. Chef Noah has recently received awards for best chef and best new restaurant in Orange County, CA. His food is simple and delicious, keeping the food as close to its real state as possible. In fact, during his cooking demonstration, Chef Noah stated that his written menu is simple and with few words as possible because the food speaks for itself, there is no need to hype the taste of the food on the menu prior to the taste of the food in the mouth! Arc is one of our favorite restaurants and Chef Noah is one of our favorite Chef’s who is aligned with our appreciation for real, local and seasonal food.
During his cooking demonstration, Chef Noah prepared a couple of his famous Tomahawk steaks and cut little chunks to distribute to his audience. However, these chunks were not enough for our two little foodies…as they asked Chef Noah if they could have the Tomahawk bone to chew and suck on every last piece of meat! Ella even asked, “Can we make bone broth with this bone?” Chef Noah was immediately impressed and genuinely enjoyed watching the children chomp on the bones.
My wife and I were so relived that our children are easily amused (they are children afterall and less is usually more with children) and they value delicious real food, making it easier to keep them busy and that is why we call this one of our favorite photos of the day. It’s the little things in life! And we moved on with ease and continued exploring the vendors at Patchwork Edible.
Anyone for tea?
We enjoyed a delicious green tea tasting at Seventh Tea Bar. This is a cool tea house that is owned by our favorite coffee house, also at SoCo Collection, Portola Coffee Lab. The tea and pairings with green pesto spread and macaroon was a treat for our tongues. The spread enhanced the green tea taste and the macaroon cut the taste of the tea but was a sweet ending to the tasting. Not only was the tasting delicious but we love the British look of this tea house. They have super cool bowler hats as light fixtures, cool wallpaper and our favorite British-looking highback chair. We are waiting to catch someone in that chair wearing a vest, spectacles and a cool mustache while sipping on tea and reading a book. And lets not forget the peaceful outdoor patio. Like the indoors, it takes you away to a mini European vacation.
Paleo Chocolate…what’s not to love?
Next, we moved back out to the vendor booths and our daughter yells, “Look a Paleo dessert book. We have to get IT!” And sure enough she was right! We had to have the book because it was “The Paleo Chocolate Lovers’ Cookbook” by Kelly Brozyna. The four of us practically wanted to eat the book cover! And after we had the privilege of meeting Kelly and her great family, we became instant fans. Kelly kindly signed our book and we can’t wait to start making these amazing desserts….So stay tuned for a review of some of these recipes!
There are more Patchwork Shows coming soon, we recommend you look out for them by clicking here.
What other shows similar to this have you been to? Please share as we are always looking for more events like this to go to with our children.
I am fueled by "Paying It Forward in Health" on this site.My main driver in creating this website, alongside my family, is to share our ongoing family health journey in hopes of encouraging others to have the health epiphany that we have been blessed to experience.
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