Santa Clarita gourmets piled their plates high with homemade goodies like venison sausage, tri tip, macaroni and cheese and loaves of sourdough bread at this year’s Foodiefest at Pocock Brewery.
Hosted by FeedSCV, Foodiefest is an annual event where culinary enthusiasts, largely members of the SCV Foodies Facebook page, gather for a potluck. This was the first time that the event has been held during spring and the first time not held at Wolf Creek Brewery.
“Oddly enough, we’ve always had this event at a brewery, but believe it or not breweries are great places to get the family together to have some fun,” said Todd Wilson, co-founder of FeedSCV and founder of Foodiefest.
Wilson said that the event was started after the online Santa Clarita foodie community grew to include over 14,000 people as a way for people to connect in real life over their love of food. Over the years, Foodiefest has had different elements like awards and live music, but after experimenting with those different versions of the vent, Wilson said that it has shifted more towards a calm event where people can just hang out.
“The best way to get to know people, in my opinion, is sharing a meal and talking,” Wilson said. “When you cook that meal, you’re pouring your heart into it, and when someone samples what’s in your heart that builds a better bond.”
Larry McClements, manager of the Old Town Newhall Farmers Market, has been part of the Foodies group since the beginning and attended every Foodiefest. McClements said he believes people have lost touch with where their food comes from and how it’s made, but events like Foodiefest help reconnect people with quality and food made with care.
“You can see the people’s passion in what they make and it’s always something I look forward to,” he said. “It’s all about getting people back to making food and where they get their ingredients.”
Lauren and Geoff Pocock, co-owners of Pocock Brewery, said they were glad to host the Foodiefest because it helped build connections within the local community. Geoff said events like Foodiefest show a local interest in good food. Coupled with the increase in restaurants and breweries, he said Santa Clarita is becoming a destination for good food.
Wilson said that within the last ten years he has seen the Santa Clarita food scene expand from mainly chain restaurants to now include higher end and independent establishments that are thriving, which has brought a sense of community among locals who are passionate about food.
“Ten years ago if you wanted a good meal, you went to downtown LA, Burbank or Glendale because there wasn’t much here,” he said. “But that’s all changed and you can see that with the quality of the food that people make and bring here.”