KCRW’s Good Food PieFest & Contest

PIEFEST IS BACK! KCRW is partnering with The Fowler Museum for a day of festivities celebrating the best food of all time: pie! At the heart of the festival is a massive pie contest where hundreds of bakers compete to impress the judges — a collection of LA's finest chefs and food writers. The event also features baking demos, a marketplace with pie slices and lunch options, a beer garden, kids activities, exhibitions at the Fowler Museum, and music sets from KCRW DJs Dan Wilcox and SiLVA. Evan Kleiman, the unofficial Pie Queen of Southern California, will preside over the festivities. This event is free and open to the public. Spend the day with us and grab a slice while you’re at it! 

*2024 EVENT UPDATE: As always, the public is invited to taste the competition pies. But this year is a little different. You’ll need to purchase a tasting ticket to help make sure there are enough slices to go around. The purchase of a ticket includes a year of KCRW membership, an exclusive tote bag, and two glorious slices of the competition pies. Proceeds will help power KCRW. Tickets go on sale April 17th. RSVP to receive the ticket link. Only those who RSVP will have access to tickets!

$25 KCRW members
$40 Non-members

Not trying the competition pies? The pie marketplace has you covered! Vendor lineup coming soon.

RSVP HERE
RSVP to receive the tasting ticket link + all the good event details before PieFest


CALLING ALL BAKERS! 

We mean YOU! Sign up to bake a pie for your chance to showcase your skills and stand out! Evan, along with her team of chefs and food writers, will judge each category and announce the winners at the end of the day. Winners will receive prizes provided by Le Creuset. Will your pie be the talk of the town? Want all the details? Check out the baker FAQ page.

The list of judges is out of control. Check it out here.

“This is basically the Olympics of the baking world” - Anonymous (but we could not agree more)


ENTER YOUR PIE HERE!

You are welcome to enter multiple pies, but only one for each category. For more information, please check out our Baker FAQ.

NOTE: these tickets are for bakers who plan to enter a pie.

PieFest bakers winner prizes


Best in show: GE Profile Stand Mixer provided by King Arthur, and apron from Hedley & Bennett

Best crust & Best decor: 7 1/4 quart Dutch Oven provided by Le Creuset, and apron from Hedley & Bennett

1st place in apple categoriesCast Iron Apple Baker & Mini Cocotte set provided by Le Creuset

1st place in non apple categoriesHeritage Tarte Tartin Dish & Mini Cocotte set provided by Le Creuset

2nd & 3rd place in each category will receive items from KCRW and the Fowler Museum. And of course everyone will receive bragging rights.


Categories


*2024 EVENT UPDATE: We will not be accepting pies that contain meat, milk, cream, or whipped cream. Lean into the local fruits and nuts of SoCal! Are you up for the challenge? More information available in the Baker FAQ section.


  • Apple Crumble 
  • Apple Double crust (includes lattice) 
  • Berry
  • Fruit (excluding berry & apple)
  • Nut
  • Vegan 
  • Lineage Pie is inspired by the Fowler exhibition Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives. Bakers in this category are encouraged to use global flavors and consider their heritage to create a pie with personal meaning. Aim for edible storytelling in a pie tin!
  • Hand Pies
  • Junior Baker (12 and under)


**2024 EVENT UPDATE PART TWO
: This year KCRW members and the general public will need tasting tickets in advance to try pies in the bakers tents. We expect a big turnout and want to make sure there's enough pie to go around! Ticket proceeds will benefit KCRW and unlock a year of KCRW membership after the event. 

Each registered baker will receive a complimentary tasting ticket on the day of the event to give to a friend. This grants them access to two slices of pie from the bakers tents <3.


Member Perks 


We <3 KCRW members! Here’s how we’ll be showing our appreciation at the fest:

  • First dibs and special pricing on tasting tickets when they go on sale
  • Marketplace and bar discounts (details coming soon)
  • Lastly (and our favorite), bring a few slices home! Members will be invited into the judging area after the winners are announced around 4:45 PM. We’ll have to-go boxes so you can snag some leftovers.

Become a member here!


Become a KCRW Champion

Want to take your PieFest experience—and your support for KCRW—to another level? Join the vibrant Champion community and you’ll be invited to a VIP lounge at the event, which features:

  • An opportunity to taste the WINNING pies. No tasting ticket required!
  • Access to an exclusive, shaded area from 2-5pm. Includes beer, wine, and food! 
  • Limited edition PieFest 2024 tote
  • Becoming a Champion gives you perks beyond PieFest, too: regular invites to live Morning Becomes Eclectic sessions, cooking classes with Evan Kleiman, VIP lounges at Summer Nights, and complimentary tickets to shows at the Hollywood Bowl.


Become a Marketplace Vendor


Interested in selling pie, lunch, or wares? Join our marketplace! Apply Here!



Event Fun
(Full schedule coming soon!)


ROYCE QUAD

  • Pie Stage: Groove to sets from KCRW DJs Dan Wilcox and SiLVA throughout the day, and join us for the grand finale where Evan Kleiman and the judges will crown the winners at 4 PM!
  • Baking Demo stage: Enjoy baking demos throughout the day as well as an apron runway featuring YOU! Wear your favorite show-stopping apron and serve us kitchen eleganza realness.

  • Curated marketplace & beer garden: Full list coming soon! Expect tons of pie, lunchtime options, artisanal vendors, and coffee from Caffe Luxxe.

  • Ask a Pie Expert: Get your burning pie questions answered by Evan Kleiman, the Pie Queen herself!

  • Cookbook Swap: Bring a cookbook and exchange it at the swap.

  • KCRW Street Team: Visit the KCRW Street Team tent for limited-edition PieFest swag!  These limited edition items are thank-you gifts in exchange for a donation to KCRW that also unlocks a year of membership. Different donation levels are linked with specific thank-you gift options.

  • Fowler Museum Art Station: Feeling inspired by the sights, smells, and tastes of PieFest? Visit the Art Station and design your dream pie. If you’re up for a challenge, create your own Lineage Pie, a category dedicated to global cuisine that’s personal to YOU! Open to all ages.


FOWLER MUSEUM

The Fowler Museum is dedicated to global arts and cultures, and always free! Special exhibitions include I Will See You Yet Again: Contemporary Sikh Art, a vibrant and emotionally charged selection of work by Sikh and non-Sikh artists. A hybrid array of material and conceptual approaches reflect personal, gendered, and generational perspectives on the Sikh community and its visual expressions. The museum’s permanent collection exhibition Intersections spans the globe with works from Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the Indigenous Americas. These objects are organized by theme — such as memory, power, and action — highlighting conceptual intersections across cultures past and present.

  • Fowler Museum Amphitheater: Visit the Amphitheater for upbeat, danceable, family-oriented music with Masanga Marimba, featuring seven Zimbabwean marimbas along with vocals, drums, percussion, trumpet, and trombone. The Shona word “Masanga” describes rivers or roads coming together, and befits the ensemble’s blend of African and Latin American traditions. The band has performed at the Hollywood Bowl, and has opened for Neil Young, Nora Jones, Father John Misty, Los Lobos, and many others.


Getting There

This delicious event will be held at UCLA's Royce Quad (in front of Royce Hall). Located at 10745 Dickson Ct, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

A detailed email will be sent to all bakers the week of the event with baker parking and check-in information.

Self-parking

Event parking is available in any of the following UCLA Lots. Find an available parking space on the visitor or permitted side of each lot. 

Once parked, purchase a parking permit at a pay station using the license plate number to register the vehicle. The parking fee maximum is $15. Cash and credit card payments are accepted.

Public Transportation

The Fowler is a lovely walk from the UCLA Transit Center at Hilgard and Strathmore Avenues, where several public bus lines stop.  Use this interactive map to find the best connection to public transportation for you.

Ride sharing drop offs (Uber, Lyft) 

Ask your driver to drop you off at Perloff Hall (1317 Portola Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095)

Have questions? Email events@kcrw.org.

  • Baker FAQs 

  • What are this year’s pie categories?
    • Apple Crumble
    • Apple Double Crust (includes lattice)
    • Berry
    • Fruit (excluding berry & apple)
    • Nut
    • Vegan
    • Lineage Pie is inspired by the Fowler exhibition Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives. Bakers in this category are encouraged to use global flavors and consider their heritage to create a pie with personal meaning. Aim for edible storytelling in a pie tin!
    • Hand Pies
    • Junior Baker (12 and under)

    Any restrictions on categories or ingredients?
    Yes, in order to adhere to updated Health Department guidelines, we have streamlined the pie categories. The Health Department will be onsite the day of the event to help ensure bakers have followed these guidelines.

    We are no longer accepting the following categories:
    • Savory pies
    • Cream Pies
    • Cooked Custard (this includes pumpkin pies)
  • We will no longer be accepting the following ingredients:
    • Meat
    • Milk, cream, or whipped cream (butter and eggs are allowed)

    The following ingredients ARE acceptable:
    • Butter
    • Meringue (as a pie topping)
    • Eggs use in nut pie fillings and egg washes

    Are you up for a challenge? Lean into the local fruits and nuts of SoCal!

    What are tasting tickets?
    This year, members of the public will need tasting tickets in order to try pies in the bakers tents. These will need to be purchased in advance. We expect a big turnout and want to make sure there's enough pie to go around! Ticket proceeds will benefit KCRW and unlock a year of KCRW membership after the event. 

    Bakers will receive a packet with two complimentary tasting tickets on the day of the event to give to a friend <3.

    What should I bring the day of the pie contest?
    •TWO pies: one for judging; one for public serving. Pies should be roughly 9 inches. Pie pans must be labeled with your name on the bottom.
    • ONE pie utensil for public serving. We will not be providing them for contestants.
    • Cooler (optional): Cooler size cannot exceed 18” deep x 26” long.
    • Sun protection: Sunscreen, a large sun hat, or a personal umbrella.
    • Water or whatever keeps you hydrated!

    Are there refunds?
    There are no refunds so please be sure you can participate before registering.

    What can I expect after I register?
    We will email all contestants the week of the event with their drop-off time and instructions for the day of the contest. Drop-off times will be determined by pie category. If you are entering pies in multiple categories, we ask that you drop-off ALL pies at the later time. 

    Contestants must check in and deliver their pie(s) for judging at the designated time. There will be an artisan marketplace, baking demos, and fun activities to enjoy throughout the day before the public pie tasting begins at 2:30 PM. Judges will announce the winners at 4 PM.

    What size should my pie be?
    We suggest using 9” or 10” pie pans. You will need to provide two pies — one for judging and one for the public tasting.

    If I’m making hand pies, how many should I bring?
    Please submit 12 hand pies for the public tasting and at least FOUR hand pies for judging. The 2024 ingredient restrictions apply to this category.

    Can I enter multiple pies?
    Of course, the more the merrier! But you can only enter one pie per category and there will be a separate entry fee for each pie you enter.

    Should I bring a cooler?
    You are more than welcome to! Your cooler must be no larger than 40 quarts and should measure no more than 18” deep by 26” long. You can store your cooler under your assigned table once you’ve checked in. If you bring a cooler, you MUST label it with your name and cell phone number.

    Can I make a tart?
    A tart is not a pie! The judging will only be for pies.

    Can I make a galette? 
    You can. But please know a galette is not an American-style pie which is the type of pie this contest focuses on.

    I entered my pie but won’t be there to serve it. What should I do?
    You will need to send someone to check in and serve your pie for you. We will not have extra staff on hand to do so for contestants.

    My friend and I entered together. Can we both serve our pie?
    We love collaborations! However, there is limited room at the serving tables and only one person may serve a pie. If you and a collaborator would like to serve your pie together, we recommend entering pies in more than one category! You will be invited to serve your pies side-by-side to the public. 

    We will of course accommodate those who need assistance serving their pies, as well as Junior Bakers. Please make a note of this when completing your registration.

    I can’t make my designated drop-off time. Can I drop my pie off later?
    Due to the huge number of entries, we can only accept pies during their appropriate check-in times. If you cannot make the scheduled time, we suggest having someone check in your pie on your behalf.

    I am making a pie that could be in multiple categories. Which category should I enter? 
    We recommend submitting your pie in the category that feels most aligned with your ingredients. For example, if you are making an apple blackberry pie and your pie has more apples, submit it in the Apple category. If your pie has more berries, submit it in the Berry category!

    I can't make my designated drop-off time. Can I drop my pie off later?
    Due to the number of entries, we can ONLY accept pies during their appropriate check-in times. If you cannot make the scheduled time, we suggest having someone check in your pie on your behalf.

    Do we need to submit a recipe with our pie?
    Please write your ingredients on an index card to keep with your pie.

    How do I get my pie pan back after the contest?
    Disposable pie tins will be discarded. If you wish to use a non-disposable pie pan, please be sure to label the bottom with your name. You may pick up your pie pan near baker check-in after judging. Any pie pans not claimed by 5:45 PM will be discarded.

    I missed the deadline. Can I still enter my pie?
    The official deadline to enter your pie(s) is April 21st, 2024, at 11:55 PM, OR when we hit our maximum capacity, so don't delay! We will not accept any pies after the deadline.

    Can you tell me more about the Junior Baker Category?
    This year, we've extended the age limit for the Junior Baker category to 12 and under. Young bakers can choose to make any type of pie across the adult categories. Their entries will be judged separately from the rest of the event. Awards will include overall 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Note: Junior Bakers can only enter one pie in this category! Like all other bakers, they will get to serve their pie to the judges and the public. The Junior Baker area is separate from the adult area. Because of this, Junior Bakers MUST be accompanied by an adult AT ALL TIMES. We don't have the resources to watch over your Junior Baker if you are competing separately and serving your pie to the public. The 2024 ingredient restrictions apply to this category.

    Can you tell me more about the Fowler inspired category?
    Back by popular demand! We are pleased to once again have a Lineage Pie category, inspired by the exhibition Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives on display at the Fowler Museum. Bakers in this category are encouraged to use global flavors and consider their heritage to create a pie with personal meaning. Aim for edible storytelling in a pie tin! The 2024 ingredient restrictions apply to this category.


  • General FAQs 

  • Will there be pie?
    My friends, there will be pie. We’ll have a pie marketplace onsite to purchase slices. If you’d like to try the pies entered into the contest, you will need a tasting ticket. Tickets will go on sale in mid-April. All pie ticket proceeds will benefit KCRW and events like PieFest. Plus, your tasting ticket purchase unlocks a year of KCRW membership after the event. RSVP for early access to tickets before they go on sale to the general public!

    Is this a pie eating contest?
    This is not a pie-eating contest. The contest component of the event is between the bakers only. Attendees can enjoy festivities throughout the day.

    Is this event for bakers only?
    This event is for everyone!

    When and where is the event?
    Sunday, April 28th, 2024, from 12 PM to 5 PM at Royce Quad at UCLA.

    Who is Evan?
    Evan Kleiman is the host of KCRW’s Good Food. She is also the unofficial Pie Queen of Southern California.

    Who are the judges?
    Check out the list here!

    I have allergies!
    The pies in the bakers tents are lovingly prepared in home kitchens by individual bakers. Speak directly to the baker of the pie that catches your eye about your concerns. And visit the pie marketplace for professional pie vending!

    Do I need a ticket to attend?
    The event is free for all ages and open to the public. You will however need a tasting ticket to try the pies in the bakers tents. If you do not have a tasting ticket, there will be plenty of pie for purchase, plus good fun onsite! Please RSVP here to receive all the info you’ll need!

    Can I sign up to bake?
    Please! The official deadline to enter your pie(s) is April 21st at 11:55 PM, or until we hit our maximum capacity, so don’t delay! We will not accept any pies after the deadline. Sign up here.

    What can and can’t I bring to the event?
    You CAN bring:
  • • Water bottles
    • Umbrellas
    • Blankets (the event takes place on UCLA’s grassy Royce Quad)
    • Small/medium sized bags
  • Please DO NOT bring:
  • • Alcohol
    • Ice chests
    • Chairs of any kind
    • Large bags
    • Pets (except service animals)
    • Glass containers
    • Video recording equipment
    • Professional still camera equipment (no detachable lenses, tripods, large zoom lenses, and/or commercial-use camera assemblies)
  • Where do I park?
    Parking info is located here.

    Can I bring my dog?
    Dogs are allowed on campus, but please leave them at home since it is a food event. Service animals are welcome.

    Will there be food and drink available for purchase?

    Yes! The event will feature a marketplace with pie slices and lunch options and a beer garden.



Still have more questions?

Email events@kcrw.org and we will do our best to answer them for you.


Thank you and good luck!



Special thanks to