Over 500 food and wine vendors packed into downtown's Vibiana on Sunday for the L.A. Epicurian Festival. Food lovers of every background sampled everything from wild boar salami to organic pumpkin seed butter, and sipped wines from around the world, discussing ways to incorporate products into their businesses or their homes.
That's the idea behind food industry veterans Kora Kroep's and Bruno Laclotte's "open to the public" L.A. Epicurean Festival. Kroep and Laclotte began their food-and-wine-trade-only shows in Las Vegas six years ago, but for the last two years have opened the show to the public. Last year's show was held at the Sofitel in Los Angeles.
"Every time we do the trade show I have a lot of foodie friends and people that are not necessarily trade who say, 'We want to go. It sounds like such a cool show,'" Kroep said. "So we said why don't we open it up to the public? It's totally exciting to see these foodies come in and talk and have the chance to really speak with the producers."
For $100, anyone could purchase a ticket to gain access to the several hundred vendors that came to talk about their products. Kroep and Laclotte noted that they picked vendors that sold wholesale and retail and those that produced specialty products on a smaller scale. Here are some highlights from this year's festival: