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About Us 2018-02-15T09:04:47+00:00

STAY AHEAD OF THE PACK

We don’t follow the trends. We create them. We created and produced the first-ever LA Street Food Fest in 2009, gathering LA’s best gourmet food trucks, old-school food carts, and a star-studded cast of celebrity chefs all in one place. We walked the walk in support of LA’s “Mom & Pop” artisanal vendors before everyone else, hosting the first-ever Artisanal LA event in 2010, showcasing LA’s finest local, sustainable and handmade edibles all under one roof. And perhaps most memorably, we brought the collective vision of Test Kitchen to life in 2011, giving a home to chefs and restaurateurs looking to test new dishes and menu concepts on a hungry audience of Angelenos that’s enjoyed multiple iterations since. Want to know what we’re working on next? Ask, and we may just recruit your support!

We Thrive On Challenging Projects That Produce Bigger Rewards.

Sauce LA is a Los Angeles-based boutique hospitality and lifestyle marketing and PR firm founded by Shawna Dawson in 2009. The firm consults clients, including top chefs, award-winning restaurants, boutique hotels and brands, on the virtues of grassroots, social and viral media marketing coupled with traditional PR. Sauce LA also consults in the areas of business development and management. Sauce is affiliated with Angeleno, Inc, a full service event production company whose events include the LA Food Fest and Artisanal LA. Sauce LA has launched more than fifty restaurant projects, from downtown’s Lazy Ox and butcher shop Lindy & Grundy, to Bill Chait’s Sprout Group restaurants including Test Kitchen, Sotto, Picca, Short Order, Short Cake, Playa, Bestia, Petty Cash and République.

Meet Our Team

Shawna Dawson
Shawna DawsonFounder / Principal
Shawna Dawson is a native Angeleno, USC grad and a brand, marketing, PR, social and viral media maven with two decades of experience doing business in more than a dozen countries, from the US to Romania to Japan. An avid believer in the power of community, she was blogging in her spare time when she became one of the first to join Yelp where she took the reins as Director of Marketing and Community Manager, spearheading development of the LA market by cultivating a loyal following alongside countless sponsorships, cross promotions and memorable events that more than quadrupled the market in a few short months.

At the helm of the boutique marketing and PR firm Sauce LA, Shawna and her team consult clients, including many of the city’s top chefs and award-winning restaurants, on the virtues of grassroots, social and viral media to complement traditional PR. Shawna and her team have launched more than forty projects of their clients’ and their own in the last few years from downtown’s Lazy Ox and Lindy & Grundy to Bill Chait’s Sprout Group restaurants from Test Kitchen, Sotto and Picca to Short Order, Short Cake and Playa, to Bestia, Petty Cash and Republique, creating a foundation for one of the city’s most prolific press machines to pass the baton to an in house team. The team currently works with a client roster of talent that ranges from top chefs and brands to some of the city’s most iconic, historic restaurants.

Separately, she’s dreamt up and developed her own events like the historic crowd drawing LA Street Food Fest and trendsetting Artisanal LA, a biannual event showcasing the best independent and sustainable chefs, edibles, makers and home goods that’s evolved into a growing brand with regular pop-ups and events with partners like the Producers Guild of America, Coachella, West Elm and Whole Foods. Both brands and their events are going strong into their sixth and seventh years and are still curated, managed and produced entirely in-house.

She’s passionate about supporting and creating marketing opportunities for other small business owners and helping them get from idea to execution. Shawna, her brands and clients have been featured in numerous publications from the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly to Bon Appétit and New York Magazine and she was most recently recognized by the City of Los Angeles for her work supporting other entrepreneurs through Artisanal LA. She’s partnered with the city’s brightest luminaries on a number of community projects including the recent bid for the Greek Theatre with Nederlander and AEG, and a separate project with Bill Chait set to launch in Spring 2017. She gives her time to teach various groups about marketing and PR, is a Kiva Trustee and a proud board member of a number of local groups and associations.

Shawna’s a lover of all things LA who traded her Carthay Circle digs for the urban foodie hippy haven that is Altadena that she now calls home with her Welshman, their three cats and a feisty four pound rescue dog named Spike.

Adam Burke
Adam BurkePartner
Originally from Melbourne Australia, Adam moved to Los Angeles two decades ago when he began his career in live entertainment as a lawyer for concert venues and major event producers, focusing on partnerships, finance, intellectual property and government relations. Taking a more creative turn, in 2006 Adam began organizing civic endeavors and producing live events, with credits including Co-producer of the Mexican Bicentennial of Independence and Executive Producer of the 2016 LA Food Fest which had over 10,000 attendees. Adam other clients have included the City of San Diego, Heineken, the UEFA Champion’s league, and London’s Secret Cinema. Adam has frequented the world’s major festivals and food events and brings an incredible global perspective to every project he works on.
Fran Linscott
Fran LinscottBrand Development
Fran is a traveler and food lover by nature. Born to Indian and Italian parents, her love of food started young. Her life has brought her from Miami to Maine, New York to Silicon Valley, and now to Pasadena. Fran brings with her experience in a number of different industries including retail management, visual marketing, non-profit administration and event production. She’s all about the details and finding new ways to deliver an optimal consumer experience. She is also passionate about shining a spotlight on local producers and cultural foods and marrying all those elements through our brand and client events. Helping people accomplish their goals brings her great joy.

In her free time Fran loves to travel, take cooking classes, catch movies with her husband, and cook gluten free feasts for her friends and family.

Maryanne Mueller-Curson
Maryanne Mueller-CursonSocial Media
Maryanne is first and foremost an avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast. She is a graduate of Pepperdine University where she enjoyed the Malibu good life and from there her love for Los Angeles has never stopped growing. She has worked in several industries bringing a unique set of skills from food knowledge, photography, psychology and media outreach. She manages several brands across the top social media platforms, the largest of which reaches over 100k local followers. Her Latin and European heritage has fostered dynamic cultural perspective – she is never afraid to experience exciting cuisine from around the world. Her passion is curating and creating visual content that captures the feel and message of a brand.
In her spare time she loves to document life, and capture moments through different mediums. She will never pass up an opportunity to be with her husband, friends and family.
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Restaurant Projects Launched
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Leading Event Brands
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Years of Building and Launching Brands

Our Events

In addition to our work with clients, we have 3 event brands drawing more than 30k+ people per year. Our events are industry leaders and trend creators, celebrating the fabulous food culture we know and love.

Artisanal LA

Artisanal LA was launched in 2010 to showcase the best local, artisan food vendors in Southern California. The seasonal shows feature a wide array of edible treats from local butchers to chocolate makers, and programming like hands-on workshops, chef-led demos, expert panels, and speakers educating guests on everything from urban farming to craft beer making, as well as the opportunity to learn about non-profit organizations changing the local food scene in Los Angeles.

The seasonal shows and holiday pop-up shops give attendees the rare opportunity to shop from more than 100 hand-selected food and beverage artisans all in one place, as well as meet up-and-coming food and drink vendors who share a passion for healthy, local, and sustainable ingredients and production. Many artisans have launched their businesses through Artisanal LA prior to even being available at farmers markets. The exciting events make it easy to buy local, support LA’s economy, discover new favorites, meet producers, and join in community while having a ball with the growing number of Angelenos who want to know where their food comes from. 100% of Artisanal LA’s vendors’ products are made right here in Southern California with local and sustainable goods.

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LA Food Fest

Our goal when we started the LA Street Food Fest in 2009 was not only to fill a gap in the local food and events scene, but to create community and a platform to support independent small business owners. For that reason, all of our events aim to do much more than just entertain. Historically, each event has benefited at least one local charity (including the LA Food Bank and St Vincent Meals on Wheels) and we host mandatory meetings for our street vendors that cover everything from the basics of food handling and marketing, including keys to generate and keep customers.

Charity and promotional tasting events require vendors to donate their food, labor and time, something we know can be especially challenging for new and less established vendors. At every event, we subsidize the food costs of all of our (nearly 100!) vendors and sponsor entirely the participation of some of our smaller vendors we know otherwise wouldn’t be able to be there. For us, every event is an opportunity to do a little good and to help make this amazing city we call home a little better for it.

In 2016 we launched the all-new LA Food Fest in Partnership with independent promoter Nederlander and Executive Producer Adam Burke.

Learn More

Coming in 2017… Clean Food Fest

The Clean Food Fest is a new lifestyle festival and brand that celebrates the feel good food we love – and many need – to eat.

Fresh, clean, and free from all of the things a growing percentage of adults and children need or choose to avoid, the Clean Food Fest is a veritable wonderland for anyone with food sensitivities, the health conscious, and those who simply want to go to a food festival and eat their heart out without paying for it the next day. #feelgoodfood

Part food festival, part conference and part marketplace, the Clean Food Fest will bring the city’s best chefs and restaurants making the food you crave, can never seem to find, and don’t want to be “that guy” and have to ask a million questions to special order.

Organic and non-GMO is just the beginning. Everything will be gluten, dairy and soy free, with an easy to read guide and signage for other concerns like rice, corn, nuts, legumes, and other potential allergens. Plus, plenty of options for vegans and vegetarians.

Always free from artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. All proteins will be organic and grass fed. All seafood will meet the seafood watch guidelines and standards. If it gets our stamp of approval, you know it’s #beyondorganic #feelgoodfood.

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A media and experiential marketing creative agency

Instead of long contracts, we build long term relationships and work with all of our partners to keep them successful in the long run.

Let’s Get Started!