Food lovers delight in annual festival

Food lovers delight in annual festival
Zoe Hancock, 3, (left) along with her sister, London, 5, (center) and mother, Jessie enjoy a tea party compete with cucumber sandwiches at the first annual Encinitas Foodie Fest June 21. Photo by Wehtahnah Tucker

ENCINITAS — The inaugural Encinitas Foodie Fest drew hundreds of participants to Pacific Station on June 23 to celebrate all things delectable. The Wabisabi Green production featured sustainable locally sourced food, artisanal products and premiere food and musical talent. Is was intended to elevate public awareness about sustainable foods and products while promoting local chefs, the arts, business and the Coastal Community Foundation’s Healthy Day Fund. Proceeds from the “art to table” auction supported the fund.

The free event showcased the talents of some of North County’s best chefs in action.

In fact, six local celebrity chefs gave presentations and demos that resulted in taste samples to the delight of those in attendance. “I’ve never had grits like this,” remarked Drew Andrews, an Oceanside resident who sampled a Creole creation by Chef Jason Gethin of Union Kitchen & Tap.

Multiple vendors provided other unique creations available to during the festival. Viva Pops, a San Diego-based company that puts a twist on the frozen push-up pops of days gone by. Lisa Altman, owner and creator of the four-year-old company, explained the value of using local, organic ingredients as she stood behind her pushcart of frozen push-ups.

“We are constantly changing flavors as the seasons change in order to take advantage of the seasonal variety in the area,” she said. Her strawberry cucumber chili and blueberry goat cheesecake popsicles garnered attention from young and old alike.

“It’s so important at a young age to be connected with where their food comes from,” she said.

Chef Jason Gethin (center) of Union Kitchen and Tap takes a break while Jarle Saupstad (right) serves up a shrimp and grits dish prepared at the first annual Encinitas Foodie Fest June 21. Photo by Wehtahnah Tucker

Mim Michelove of the Healthy Day Fund agreed. “Our program provides free healthy snacks to under-served school children,” she said. “We also sponsor local community gardens that provide produce to food pantries.”

Christa Von Latta, who volunteered at the Healthy Day Fund table during the event, said she was proud to support the organization. “It’s such a dynamic program,” she said. “I’m thrilled to be helping in a small way.”

Live musical entertainment by artists like local favorites Jimmy Patton and Enrique Platas added to the festive atmosphere, as did the live Zumba instruction. “I like that the event is really full circle in that it encompasses healthy food and exercise,” said Elise Kennedy, an Orange County resident who stumbled on the event. “I saw all the action and wanted to know what was going on,” she said. “I’m glad I made a detour on my way to the beach.”

 

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