In October, LA Street Food Fest co-founder Shawna Dawson gathered dozens of local, sustainable and food-forward vendors for the first Artisanal LA. Last weekend, she shifted from the Cooper Design Space on the Cooper Building’s top floor to the DTLA structure’s street level.
Cowles went to school in upstate New York in the ’70s, back when Buffalo wings hit the scene. He was hooked and started experimenting with spices and heat. His Caribbean spice sauce includes nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon, similar to Jerk. Chipotle Garlic is the company’s best seller. He also makes a sauce with the ghost chile, which was the hottest pepper in the world up until last week, when Naga Viper crushed the record by a whopping 300,000 Scoville units.
Business partner John Lesko developed a line of chile-spiked caramel popcorns, including jalapeño, habanero and ghost pepper varieties, with a lingering spice that creeps up on you. They’ve also got a chipotle olive tapenade made with California-grown Kalamata olives, capers, rosemary, garlic and lime juice.
For Artisanal LA, Klemens made persimmon bread, smoked almonds and chewy sheets of smoked cheddar spiked with Anaheim chilies. She also had jars of pickles, including Moroccan preserve Meyer lemon and sweet pickled orange, apparently a traditional Christmas morning offering.
Innamorato got started while living in Barcelona, where she ran an underground supper club by the same name. Now that she’s in Los Angeles, the chef expects to host dinners every two or three months.