The Gourmandise Grain Conference 2016

The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica,
Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Building Local and Regional Grain Networks from Seed to Table

Keynote Speaker Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills; Panel Moderator Evan Kleiman of KCRW’s Good Food

SANTA MONICA, CA (October 3, 2016) – The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica will host the first-ever Gourmandise Grain Conference, a gathering of farmers, bakers, chefs and millers with the shared purpose of building a viable local grain economy in California. The conference will take place Thursday, October 13 from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at The Gourmandise School located at the Santa Monica Place Shopping Center in downtown Santa Monica.

To purchase tickets and for a complete schedule, please go to:

“Our goal with this conference is to support the integration of local grains sustainably into menus, onto store shelves and into consumers’ hands through education and information.” said Sabrina Ironside, Co-Owner of The Gourmandise School. “We want to serve as a local resource center and forum for collaboration for this movement,” said Co-Owner and Head Chef Clémence Gossett.

The visionary behind heirloom grains in America, Glenn Roberts of Anson Mills will deliver a keynote address to kick-off the days’ events, sharing his invaluable knowledge of the grain movement, what to look for in 2017 and what lessons he’s learned so far this year. Evan Kleiman, host of KCRW’s “Good Food,” will lead a panel discussion with the farmers leading the local grain movement and chefs who integrate these grains into LA’s most prominent restaurant menus.

Joining the conversation and leading workshops are such local grain groundbreakers as John Hammond and Alex Weiser of The Tehachapi Grain Project, Or Amsalam and Alex Phaneuf of Lodge Bread, Nan Kohler of Grist & Toll, Rose Lawrence of Red Bread, Minh Phan of Porridge and Puffs, Carlos Enriquez of Superba Food & Bread and Farmer Mai Nguyen. With hands-on workshops and discussions, they will share the latest science, techniques and developments of the movement, fostering a nurturing space where new business relationships will form and existing ones will strengthen.

Production of small grain crops – wheat, barley, oats and rye – has been a key feature on farms in Southern and Central California since the 1800s. Today, these crops and alternative grains like buckwheat are grown in rotation with fruits, vegetables and other crops. The burgeoning local grain movement is allowing farms to capitalize on heritage grains instead of growing simple cover crops. In addition to their economic value to the farmer, these crops have important functions on the farm such as building soil health and growing without substantial irrigation, helpful with the Golden State’s drought issues.

Consumer demand for local grains, whole grain products and alternative and gluten-free grains has increased tremendously in the last decade. Wheat is catching up with produce in the local and artisanal food movements, and farmers and local mills have responded to the resurgence of interest by synergistically introducing heritage grains into baking and restaurant offerings.

Current partners of The Grain Conference include The Blinking Owl, Orange County’s first craft distillery; Venice’s popular bakery, deli and café, Gjusta; local urban flour mill Grist & Toll in Pasadena; Superba Food & Bread of Venice; and one of California’s leaders in locally-sourced restaurant fare, Tender Greens.

The Early Bird ticket price is $85 per person if purchased by September 30. After September 30, the price is $125 per person.  Members of the media, please contact Sabrina Ironside at for tickets to the event.

Registration fee includes:

  • Coffee and breakfast pastries
  • Speakers, panels and workshops
  • Lunch
  • Cocktail reception featuring fermented grain drinks
To purchase tickets for The Gourmandise Grain Conference, please visit:

About The Gourmandise School

Open seven days a week, The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories at Santa Monica Place offers hands-on cooking and baking classes for beginners to professionals, adults and kids, with a focus of teaching classic techniques using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients as often as possible. For a more intimate experience, the school offers Private Events for things such as corporate team building, or adult and kids birthday parties. The Gourmandise School’s website is chock full of resources and information that assist all levels of culinary artists. With their Recipe Pages, Baking Hotline and slew of Classes designed specifically for those interested in specialized culinary areas, The Gourmandise School continues to set the standard for culinary arts and education in Los Angeles.

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