By Sam Skopp
Roughly one month ago, Huckleberry Cafe chef Zoe Nathan organized and co-hosted the inaugural Bake & Gather event at Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon Rec Center. On Saturday, the second incarnation of the monthly Bake & Gather event was held in Venice at the Cook’s Garden by HEGL on Abbot-Kinney, and featured pastries and other treats by Neidy Venegas from Venice’s Rose Cafe alongside other chefs from local restaurants chosen by Venegas to represent Venice. As with last month’s event, all profits received were donated to the ACLU, as well as the Community Healing Gardens, which is Venice-based nonprofit that plants urban gardens in order to provide food to underserved communities.
Chefs from Providence, Broken Spanish, Franchelles, Lodge Bread Co., and chef Lincoln Carson were among those selling goods during the event. Teebsie Sweets as well as Caffe Luxe, who were a repeat vendor from last month’s Bake & Gather in Santa Monica, also contributed. Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project, which is a nonprofit that grows and preserves organic grains, and the Community Healing Gardens also had representatives present throughout the morning.
“The second Zoe asked, I reached out to my friends and they agreed to help,” said Venegas, about how she gathered together the chefs that contributed to Saturday’s event.
The service-oriented element of the Bake & Gather event appealed to Venegas because, she explained, she lived in Compton for a period of time and found that Community Healing Gardens have done a good job of teaching and guiding youth in the area.
“They’re super lucky to have her, because her talents are extraordinary,” said Community Healing Gardens Project co-founder Nicole Landers.
Rose Cafe sold a wide variety of baked goods during the morning that included tarragon ganache cookies, berry upside down cake, a golden loaf baked by Venegas, and a rye croissant made with grains provided through the Tehachapi Heritage Grain Project.
For more about these and other related events, visit andgatherforgood.com.