A Full Feast, Finally

Farm to fork bash returns for real

By Tessa Marguerite Outland
September 2021

Last year at this time, I was writing about the “squashed” Farm-to-Fork Festival due to the pandemic. Now it’s back and blooming and better than ever.

Sacramento’s beloved music and food street festival returns to the Capitol Mall Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17–18. Attendees will find local foods, wines, craft beer, cooking demonstrations and more, all within view of the Tower Bridge and state Capitol.

The Farm-to-Fork Festival was created by Visit Sacramento as a celebration of the region’s food and agriculture. It’s an opportunity to introduce everyone to the local chefs, farmers, ranchers, vintners and brewers who bring delicious food and drinks to our restaurants and markets.

Since 2013, Farm-to-Fork has become our most highly anticipated food and music festival and culinary experience, drawing thousands of visitors.

This year, organizers will work with health officials to implement recommended safety measures. The event is outdoors and in past years has drawn more than 155,000 guests.

Kari Miskit, Visit Sacramento’s chief communications officer, says there’s been a great response from vendors. “As always, we will have new details sprinkled throughout all of our events,” Miskit says. “But especially this year, it’s also important to bring back the things that people have grown to love and look forward to.”

This year’s Farm-to-Fork Street Festival events feature new foods, beers and wine. Guests can learn about new farms and producers, and check out some new music—all with the spirit of celebration we remember from past festivals.

Local artists headline the festival’s free two-day concert series. Artists include Fantastic Negrito, White Reaper and The Record Company.

The Tower Bridge Dinner fundraiser also returns this year, with the addition of Tower Bridge Dinner To Go. “We started this program in 2020 to bring more customers to local restaurants, and it was so successful that we are thrilled to bring it back again this year,” Miskit says. “The program invites local restaurants and caterers to create their own spin on a Tower Bridge Dinner menu for their customers to enjoy.”

A portion of the dinner proceeds will fund scholarships for Sacramento State students in the College Assistance Migrant Program. This federal program is available to students who are the children of migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

UC Davis Health’s Executive Chef Santana Diaz serves as lead chef for this year’s Tower Bridge Dinner. Other chefs are Sarah Saldana of Track 7 Brewing Company; Billy Ngo, founder and partner of Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisin, Kodaiko Ramen and Bar, and Fish Face Poke Bar; Dane Blom of Grange Restaurant & Bar; Patricio Wise, owner and chef at Nixtaco Mexican Kitchen; and Evelyn Miliate of Raley’s. The group was selected to lead the 2020 dining experience, and is even more eager to concoct and create the farm-to-fork menu.

“Over the years, our farm-to-fork events, particularly the festival, have grown to be some of the most anticipated food and music events not just locally, but on the West Coast,” Miskit says. “And our culinary and agricultural community in particular look forward to these events as a time that they get to come together and collaborate and celebrate.”

This homegrown celebration is an opportunity to gather with our community and acknowledge the necessity of farmed foods and the importance of local farmers. When was the last time you sat on a hay bale while listening to a live band in the heart of Sacramento? It’s been too long.

“We feel privileged to be able to bring these events back,” Miskit says. “And, frankly, bring some fun and joy after such a challenging time.”

For more information, visit farmtofork.com.

Tessa Marguerite Outland can be reached at tessa.m.outland@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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