Daren King, winner of the 3rd Annual Flying Knives Pork Butchery Contest. Photo: Eat Real Festival via Facebook
Daren King, winner of the 3rd Annual Flying Knives Pork Butchery Contest at Eat Real Festival last year. Photo: Eat Real

By Eli Wolfe

Do you want to learn how to butcher a whole steer? Are you interested in raising chickens in your backyard? Would you like to know the secret of launching a beer business? Do you like delicious locally grown food? Do you want to meet the Berkeleyside Nosh team and taste hot sauces? If you answered yes to any of these questions then make make room on your calendar for this weekend’s Eat Real Festival.

Organized by the nonprofit Food Craft Institute, this free food extravaganza will be held Friday through Sunday in Oakland’s Jack  London Square. A vast array of delicious foods and beverages sold by local vendors, brewers and food craft artisans, are on offer to festival-goers, as well as live musical performances running throughout each day.

Photo: Eat Real Festival via Facebook
Free demonstrations are on the Eat Real program. Photo: Eat Real

The organizers of Eat Real know that the first step towards creating a sustainable food system is getting people to appreciate and support locally grown food.

Acquiring a taste for Bay Area cuisine has never been easier with such an enormous selection of tacos, BBQ, sandwiches, falafels, grilled veggies and meats, noodles, handcrafted beers, ice cream, and salads. delicious pairings, like kraut and kimchi from local picklers including Farmhouse Culture and Mother-in-Law Kimchi. You can also get your meat fix with ham from Belcampo Meat Co. and Flying Pigs Farm, or enjoy strips of beef jerky from Oaktown Jerk with a Four Roses Bourbon samplers. There will be pairings of chiccharrones and wine, goat cheese and wine… the list goes on.

For the hands-on experience, there are plenty of DIY stations. Learn how to drain curds and turn your own cheese with San Francisco Milk Maid; never lose another particle of food after a lesson with Creative Cultures on fermentation; discover the perfect cost-effective coffee-brewing methods with Blue Bottle Roasters and Sweet Maria’s; create your own sourdough starter and learn how to keep it alive with SourFlour, or chop up tasty sauerkraut in a friendly “kraut-a-thon.”

Big Cat & the Hipnotics playing at Eat Real, 2011. Photo: Eat Real Festival via Facebook
Big Cat & The Hipnotics playing at Eat Real in 2011. Photo: Eat Real

If you need a break from your munching and cooking, drop by stages to watch local musicians like Dig the Kid, DJ Bran, DJ Uni, Mirage, DJ Aebel Dee, and many more.

And be sure to drop by the Berkeleyside Nosh stand. We invited Berkeley’s Heat Hot Sauce shop to offer free tastings of their wares, so you’re sure to leave happy!

Eat Real runs from Friday Sept 27 to Sunday Sept 29. On Friday there are events from 1pm to 9pm, on Saturday from 10:30am to 9pm, and Sunday from 10:30am to 5pm. It’s free admission to the event and no food item sold by a vendor costs more than $5. Some of the events are free while others cost $15.

Berkeleyside is a proud co-sponsor of Oakland’s Eat Real Festival. Visit Eat Real Festival online for the full program details.

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