Food Weekend: Paddle & Popcorn, Langer's, Spanish Cooking, Worm Composting, Chile-Eating


Get your gifts prepped and your phone calls scheduled for Father's Day on Sunday. But in the meantime, there's all sorts of food goings-on happening in L.A. and its environs.

Friday night down in Newport Beach, The Pirate Coast Paddle Company continues their Paddle & Popcorn movie nights with a screening of "The Princess Bride" on their giant outdoor screen. Watch the movie while the waters of the Back Bay blow in the background breeze. For $25, movie-goers get soda, popcorn, the movie, and a romantic sunset paddle, but there's also a $10 option if you just want to watch the movie. Make sure to brings chairs and/or blankets to set on the sand while you watch the flick under the stars.

On Saturday at Cal State University, Northridge, the school continues its Gardening Series with a workshop all about worm composting. Also known as "vermicomposting," it's the process of utilizing soil-dwelling worms to eat kitchen scraps -- for example, coffee grounds, tea bags, fruits, vegetables, etc. -- in order to produce nutritious soil. Garden designer Stephen Baldonado will explain how to achieve the rich result, which scraps to compost with, and also lay out the benefits of worm composting and drinking worm tea. Specific information about where and when the class is being taught is only available for those who register for the class, so direct an email to botanicgarden@csun.edu and sign up.

Saturday in Culver City, David Plonowski, the executive chef at Santa Monica's Bar Pintxo, is offering free cooking demos of Spanish dishes he mastered while studying in Salamanca back in 2001. The demonstration's free, but seating is limited and handled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Friday and Saturday in the Westlake area of downtown/mid-Wilshire, Langer's Deli -- a mainstay in L.A. for the past 65 years -- is celebrating their anniversary by offering free #19 pastrami sandwiches for everyone. Two rules for you cheapos: No to-go orders, and only one sandwich per customer. The deli will be opened late, and visitors who are arriving by the Metro can show their ticket stubs and enter in an hourly drawing to win a $100 gift certificate for Langer's.

Speaking of free meat, if you forgot to get your dad something special for Father's Day, or are just running a little low on dough, then head on over to one of The Counter's various locations on Sunday. Order your dad a burger and then, when he's not looking, mention to your server that's he's a "BFD" -- which, in this family-friendly environment, is code word for "Big Freakin' Deal." Bam! You just got your dad a free burger!

Sunday downtown, the Chichén Itzá Restaurant is hosting their second annual Chile Habanero Eating Contest at the Father's Day Celebration going on over at Mercado La Paloma. Registration's free and begins at 1 p.m., and the contestant who eats the most chile habaneros in 20 minutes will win a $50 gift certificate to the restaurant.

For more food events visit kcet.org/events/food.

Photo of worm composting by Flickr user Pretty/Ugly Design.

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