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If you live in Sacramento, there is something really incredible happening in your backyard. For 18 days, specific restaurants in Sacramento will be showcasing dishes using local and fresh ingredients. Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks presented by Raley’s, focuses on local farmers, winemakers and brewers, and emphasizes the influential impact that Sacramento has on the farm-to-fork movement. With special menus and dishes, this exciting event clearly demonstrates that Sacramento is America’s Farm-to-Fork capital.
restaurant-weeks-poster2This event is especially important to us, because of Allie’s background. Allie grew up on a farm in the Sacramento area, so the concept Farm-to-Fork is extremely meaningful to her. She recalls many memories going into her father’s tomato fields with her sisters in search of ripe tomatoes for that evening’s fresh tomato salad. We are the epitome of city boy meets country girl and then fall in love. I am from San Francisco and she is from a tiny farming community just north west of Sacramento. When she took me to her family farm, it was a foreign idea to me. I knew nothing like it, and let’s be honest, North Beach in beautifully overcast San Francisco is not an ideal location for a farm. She showed me the different orchards and fields with acres upon acres of squash, melon, varieties of beans, sunflowers, rice, tomatoes, and the list can go on. Every time we got to the end of a crop row, a new one started. It was such an incredible experience, and I gained a stronger appreciation for farmers. Little did we know that 10 years later there would be part of a food revolution in Sacramento and people would begin calling it the Farm-to-Fork capitol of America!

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For those that are unfamiliar with the Farm-to-Fork concept, it means that the food you are eating is grown locally and sold to local restaurants, or consumers. Essentially it means that if you are at a restaurant that practices the Farm-to-Fork idea, it ensures that the food you are eating was grown locally. It is a way for the restaurant to tell its customers that the food was grown a couple miles away instead of purchased and transported over a great distance. Sadly for most Americans, produce travels an average just under 1,500 miles to them (South University, 2011). Over that distance a lot can happen to the product, so we are extremely proud that the restaurants in our city practice the Farm-to-Fork idea.

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This post is especially important because it relates several ideals that we firmly believe in. September 8, 2016 was the first day of Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Week! The event will be going on until September 25, 2016 and amazingly has 48 restaurants in the Greater Sacramento Area participating! Check out the list of the 2016 Participating Restaurants and make sure to indulge! Each restaurant features a three-course prix fixe meal with a portion of their proceeds donated to Food Literacy Center, a non-profit organization in Sacramento.

Food Literacy Center is a Sacramento non-profit organization founded by Amber Stott that teaches low-income elementary aged children the importance of eating their vegetables. Formed in July 2011, its vision is to ensure that every child has access to food literacy education (Food Literacy Center). Allie is a pre-school special education teacher, so the Food Literacy Center is a non-profit organization we firmly believe in. Any cause that helps educate children about the importance of nutrition is a cause everyone should be aware of. Only $20 pays for one child to receive two weeks of nutrition education, so please help this amazing cause. If you would like additional information or wish to donate, please visit The Food Literacy Center. Volunteers are also very much welcomed!

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Another inciting addition to the event is the chance to win two tickets to the Tower Bridge Dinner presented by Cadillac. When dining at any participating restaurant, you can ask for a Farm-to-Fork menu. After ordering an item with a marked farm-to-form logo, you will be eligible to win a gift card to any farm-to-fork restaurant or two tickets to the coveted Tower Bridge dinner! When you receive the check, a Golden Ticket could be inside, indicating that you are a winner! For official rules, click here.

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For our dining experience, we were fortunate to dine at Hook and Ladder Manufacturing Company! Located in midtown Sacramento, Hook and Ladder is a trendy restaurant that utilizes local and fresh ingredients. In both the kitchen and the bar, Hook and Ladder values using ingredients from local farms, ranches, breweries and wineries. The rustic décor paired with an enticing and creative menu, instantly created for an incredible experience. As we sat down and absorbed the enticing farm-to-fork menu, we were wowed by the seasonal and original options. From a blackberry and delta pear crostata with almond gelato for dessert, to a chilled summer melon and sweet corn gazpacho for the starter, we were happily overwhelmed by our delicious options. Each bite was beyond amazing and we were so thrilled by the inventive pairings of crisp and ripe ingredients. Every element that went into each bite was so carefully and deliciously constructed, and perfectly highlighted the value of using locally grown foods. Saying that we were blown away by the entire experience would be an understatement. If you are looking for something to do in Sacramento soon, we would highly recommend dining here and trying this wonderful farm-to fork menu.

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If you are a local or live near Sacramento, I would not pass up this fresh and fantastic dining experience. Sacramento is incredibly proud of its farm-to-fork roots. This event perfectly showcases so many local restaurants’ abilities to beautifully utilize fresh foods and ingredients. If you are wondering what to do for dinner this week or next, dining at one of the participating restaurants would be the perfect night out. What is better than food that will completely wow, combined with proceeds that go to amazing cause? No matter what restaurant you choose, it will be so worth it to try local and creative foods that highlight our rich and bountiful area. Who knows – you may even win a golden ticket!

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