What do you do when you’ve got a genuine desire for social change, a contact list of more than 50 of LA’s best bakers, and a host of farmers looking to donate produce? If you’re Stephanie Chen and Sherry Mandell, two of the organizers behind the community group Gather For Good, you do what you do best: Have a bake sale.
And so, Pies For Justice: An Online Charity Bake Sale was born. Featuring sweet and savory contributions from some of LA’s top restaurants and bakers, the sale begins on Juneteenth (Friday, 6/19) at 9am, with 100% of the proceeds going to Black Lives Matter LA and The Gathering For Justice, a non-profit organization fighting to end racial inequality and child incarceration.
Juneteenth commemorates the date - June 19, 1865 - when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Texas (the most remote of the slave states) to announce that the Civil War had ended, and that slavery had been abolished. It’s long been celebrated in the Black community, initially involving church gatherings and large, elaborate meals, and in recent years, many activists have campaigned for it to be recognized as a national holiday.
Here are some of the restaurants and pasty chefs baking for Pies For Justice - for all the information, including how purchase pies - visit Gather For Good’s website. And for even more Juneteenth events and celebrations around the city, check out The V Tree in Hollywood, Bakers Against Racism, and Bludso’s BBQ.
All Time, the cozy spot in Los Feliz that’s one of our favorite restaurants, well, of all time (this is where a snare drum would come in) will be donating a variety of pies filled with seasonal fruit, like white peach and strawberry, and crusts loaded up with lots of butter.
“World famous.” Who decides these things? Is there a committee? A voting system? We’d like to speak to the manager. In the meantime (we’re assuming it’ll take a while), we’ll take Birdie G’s at their word. The tremendous comfort food spot (and one of our Best New Restaurants of 2019) is bringing back their “World Famous” Rose Petal Pie - a vibrant pink behemoth filled with raspberry rose mousse and rose-petal jellies - for Friday’s bake sale.
We’re calling it. Hotville is the best hot chicken restaurant in LA. Maybe it’s because of the chef’s famous lineage (she is related to the family behind Prince’s in Nashville, after all), or maybe it’s because their buttery, super-creamy mac and cheese is the perfect way to soothe a mouth burning from spice. Or maybe it’s because they’re also really good at desserts - and if you didn’t know, you can get their fantastic Key lime pie and a new pecan pie, on Friday. You can also still order a side of mac and cheese separately, just saying.
If you’ve missed hanging out at The Row, the massive, slightly-dystopian outdoor mall in DTLA with fantastic parking, here’s your chance to make a triumphant return. Located right at the center of the former clothing factory, M. Georgina is not only the designated Downtown pick-up location for Pies For Justice, but will also be donating a few themselves, including chocolate cream pies with chantilly, and apricot cherry with brown butter crumble.
Instead of the smaller sweets featured in N/Naka’s impossible-to-get takeout boxes, such as matcha white chocolate cake and passion fruit truffles (which are delicious... so we hear), Gemma Matsuyama, the pastry chef at this modern Japanese kaiseki restaurant, will be baking a peach pie that’s perfect for summer.
This West Hollywood seafood restaurant is Fine Dining with a capital F and D, and will not only be donating one, but two different types of pies. The first is a traditional coconut cream, and the second is a savory crab quiche. And if you really cared about the finer things in life (queue Countess Luann here), you’d get both.
This family owned-bakery in Mar Vista is our go-to for everything from jalapeno-cheddar pretzels to whenever we forget to feed our sourdough starters but still need something doughy. And as part of Pies For Justice, for the first time ever, they’ll be sharing their blau-berry/blueberry pie with the world. Although you probably shouldn’t eat it in front of your sourdough starter. Or maybe you could just take care of it?
Mallory Cayon, the pastry chef behind all-day brunch spot Sibling Rival, and co-founder Few For All, an Italian pop-up that donates food to Los Angeles Food Bank, created a new pie for the event this weekend: An almond peach pie with oat crumble and lavender.
From donations to Black Lives Matter to creating a special birthday cake in honor of Breonna Taylor, for the past few months, this bakery has been an incredible resource for all things justice, baked goods, and the cavity in our back molar we’re now positive will require a root canal. So you know what, why fight fate? The damage is already done. Order one of Valerie Confections’ buttery, golden peach pies this Friday.
Other Notable Contributions:
Evan Kleiman: The host of KCRW’s Good Food (and part-time culinary mastermind) will be donating two different pies, the first being a seasonal boysenberry with sour cream and crumble topping, and the second is her world-famous famous apple pie, which was once featured on The Simpsons.
Brandon Gray: A.k.a. “Brandoni Pepperoni” (chef’s kiss to that name, BTW) recently opened a new pizza joint in West Hollywood, and will be baking a commemorative savory pie called “The Blacker The Berry.” It comes with black truffles, ramps, Calabrese sausage and mulberry.
Isa Fabro: The chef behind the Filipino pop-up IsaMADE is bringing back her much-beloved (and highly Instagrammable) mango royale pies. One of the only no-bake pies on the list, they come in a bright, orange color and are filled with sweetened condensed milk, graham crackers, and soft, ripe mangoes.
Depressed Cake Shop: This grassroots organization will be donating cherry pies this weekend. Depressed Cake Shop hold pop-ups worldwide, and is committed to raising awareness of mental health issues by using creativity as an act of self-care.
Rose and Rye: A family-owned bakery started by Kristine Jingozian that specializes in Persian halva, pastries, and scones. This weekend they will be contributing a beautiful strawberry cream pie with hibiscus lime curd.
Stephanie Chen: The pastry chef, cake designer, and organizer of Pies For Justice will be donating a few batches of savory mini pies as well.