Beyond Food: Meet the Local Leaders Shaping Long Beach at Their Tables, Farms and Coffee Shops • Long Beach Post

Three local community members who have helped transform the city of Long Beach through their work with food are gathering together at MADE by Millworks this Friday to share their stories.

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During the April installment of “The MADE Storytelling Hour(s)” Chef Paul Buchanan of Primal Alchemy catering, owner Kerstin Kansteiner of Portfolio Coffeehouse and Berlin Bistro and Sasha Kanno, founder of Long Beach Local and Farm Lot 59, will join writer, filmmaker and host of the evening Steven Deeble.

Deeble, who has volunteered for local nonprofit Food Finders and picks up leftover produce from the Marina Farmer’s Market for shelters and hospices, chose the theme of food and community because in an increasingly divisive world “food has a way of bringing people together,” he said in a statement.

“These three people represent the spectrum of our relationship with food,” stated Deeble. “Chef Paul prepares meals for hundreds of people at a time. Sasha educates people about how to grow their own food. And Kerstin’s coffeehouse transformed 4th Street and the surrounding neighborhoods. I’m really looking forward to hearing what they have to say.”

Buchanan, who sets himself apart from other Southern California caterers by using sustainable, organic foods, attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Prior to establishing Primal Alchemy in Long Beach, Buchanan gained valuable experience in the kitchens of a multitude of fine restaurants throughout the region. Chef Paul also works as a restaurant industry consultant.

Kanno founded Long Beach Local, the nonprofit that holds the lease for Farm Lot 59, a local organic farm and education center. As the farmer and visionary behind the farm, her mission is to grow the best produce suited for Long Beach’s coastal climate and to foster the next generation of urban farmers. She has been awarded numerous grants and awards for her work in the community as a leader, innovator and driving force in the local food movement, according to the release.

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Founded by Kansteiner in 1990, Portfolio Coffee House not only offers coffee and food, but a thriving space for the community to gather. With Sunday morning Children’s Story Time, crafting and knitting classes, open mic nights for musicians, a rotating showcase of local art, poetry readings and live music performances, the transformation of 4th Street from boarded-up businesses to a tourist destination known as ‘Retro Row’ is in part thanks to Kansteiner’s business.

“Each of them has their own story – their failures and successes, their joys and desires,” Deeble stated. “I thought that by bringing them together we could tell a bigger story – because the story of our relationship with food is the story of who we were, who we are, and who we are becoming.”

The program begins at 7:00PM. The event is free and open to the public.

MADE by Millworks is located at 240 Pine Avenue.

Asia Morris is a Long Beach native covering arts and culture for the Long Beach Post. You can reach her @hugelandmass on Twitter and Instagram and at [email protected].

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