Foodie Con 2018
Author: Ariel Landrum
Dairy-free spread on cucumber with pomegranate seeds.
Famished folks gathered at The REEF on Saturday, April 7, and Sunday, April 8, 2018, for the third annual Foodie Con. Supporting LA restaurants, this two-day culinary consumer show features food vendors, cooking demos, cookbook signings, and food tasting!
To eliminate confusion, this affair isn’t a “foodie” event where innovative dishes or exotic restaurants are present. Instead, it caters to individuals looking for higher-end products to include in their meals and snacking repertoire. Some samples are from local LA restaurants and bakeries, while others are previews of Whole Foods or Sprouts items.
This year, the event almost doubled in size and variety. Any attendees who obtained their passes at a discounted price on Groupon got their money’s worth. Those who bought tickets on the site had the option of three different price points: general admission, general admission with the addition of unlimited alcohol tasting, or VIP.
VIP attendees were given a swag bag full of products from various vendors, a half-hour early entrance into the show, a private lounge with exclusive alcohol samplings, and a private photo booth area.
The main hall at The REEF was broken into sections. One side had a demo area where individuals could learn cooking tricks from actual chefs. The middle was filled with food booths that were spaced out enough for people to walk easily. Near the back were a large cookbook library and merchandise tables. The other side of the hall had a cafeteria with merchants selling large portions of their famed meals, seats, tables, and the alcohol-tasting section.
When it came to sampling, almost every business provided munchie morsels. The options for organic and vegan products increased over the last year, as well as representation from beverage companies.
The alcohol-tasting area included beer, wine, liquor, and even boozy ice cream. Each rep provided detailed information about their product and suggested food to pair with when applicable. Sake One provided two different samples of their sake, and the promoter even suggested that it complements carnitas surprisingly well. The Lagunitas Brewery had the most lively and friendly reps, who came prepared with additional product freebies, including posters and magnets made from Lagunitas bottle caps.
Local companies were represented just as widely as name brands. L.A. Farm Girl gave out spoonfuls of their spicy jam, while large company Late July gave out bags of four different flavors of chips. Bee Free Honee also made a showing for anyone who follows Shark Tank.
The large sponsor at this event was Milk & Eggs, an LA-based grocery delivery subscription that obtains its produce from California farmers and vendors. At the entrance to the event, every attendee was given a tote bag with the company logo. At the back of the event, spanning at least 3 rows, Milk & Eggs had tables where people could sign up for their services and grab swag. They even had confetti-filled eggs, which created fun chaos amongst groups of friends.
Activities patrons enjoyed included many photo-ops with inflatable food, giant Connect 4, and yard games like cornhole. One of the more popular activities of the weekend was the Silent Disco. People would grab a pair of provided headphones while a local DJ pumped tunes. Joymode sponsored and designed the dance section. Saturday guests listened to beats by DJ The B Side, while Sunday guests grooved to the sounds of DJ Achilles Aurelius.
All in all, Foodie Con 2018 was a success. Though they haven’t made announcements for next year, cross your fingers that they will return even stronger.
For tickets and details on Foodie Con: https://www.foodiecon.org/