Boy Did We DIY at Eat Real Festival

A Perspective on Three Fun-Filled Days by Susie Wyshak

On Epicuring we post lots of DIY food crafting classes and festivals, not to mention street food events and tastings. For the third year, the Eat Real Festival in Oakland’s Jack London Square brought it all together. From the time the event kicked off Friday night with a Jam Bar (cocktails made with jam), the crowd reveled in local beers, great dance music, and things to learn and taste in every nook and cranny.

nana maePhoto and video booths captured people’s stories and moods for fun and posterity. We made bagels, shaped pretzels, and learned various bacon-making techniques (which you too can learn October 1st at Hidden Villa). We communed with great Bay Area food makers from La Cocina’s incubator kitchen to Wise Sons Delis own smoked salmon on Beauty’s Bagels topped with dry farmed tomatoes. Surely a DIYed and gone to heaven experience.

And the apple grower at Nana Mae served caramel apples, an early seasonal treat. I enjoyed one somehow while simultaneously watching a sausage making demo by Peter Jackson, yet as Laiko fed pork through a Kitchen Aid grinder. All in the same space where earlier in the day I’d learned a cheap trick for roasting coffee in an air popcorn popper, thanks to Sweet Maria’s–the go to supply house for home roasters. That sent me running over to Mr. Espresso‘s stand for a quick espresso, made only blocks away by this old family-owned roastery.

The Wonderful Bread Oven

What really impressed me was how the event organizers “toggled” the bread classes. First, constructing the oven itself comprised a two-day class by ECOSF (see the vid). Then there were classes by Beauty’s Bagels and Mike the Bejkr of Sonoma in baking old world bread treats made with donated King Arthur Flour.

All in all, “Eat Real” does not begin to describe the interactive food fun, connections, and learning we shared in this space once trod upon–and perhaps stumbled, post bar–by Jack London himself.

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