Farm-to-Fork Eating in Sacramento

Posted by OmarTarakiNiodeFoundation
21 October 2017 | blogpost

Image: Octavio Valencia/Visit Sacramento

The International Food Blogger Conference decided on Sacramento, California’s Capital City, as its 2017 venue for perfect reasons. Declared as America’s Farm to Fork Capital five years ago, the Sacramento region has been producing agricultural commodities for centuries, with a year-round growing season, ideal climate and a mouth-watering bounty of crops.

I only had two full days for the Conference in Sacramento, but fortunately had enough time to read about and to immerse in its farm-to-fork culture. The mission of the farm-to-fork movement is to bring awareness to the Sacramento region's local food production, consumption and sustainability as well as the contribution and exportation of sustainable products to the rest of the nation and world.

Farm-to-Fork Culture

The Sacramento region contains 1.5 million acres of regional farmland with 70 percent of the region’s land is agricultural, forest or other open space. Blessed with Mediterranean climate, the area produces the most diverse and high-quality crops year-round.

Image: Brian Baer/Visit Sacramento

California supplies nearly all of America’s sushi rice, with 97% of it grown in the Sacramento Valley. Almost 100% of processed tomatoes in the US and 33% of in the world come from 250 miles of the Sacramento Region. California also has the largest certified organic farms, acres, and sales in the United States, accounting for 38% of organic sales.

The Sacramento region’s Farm-to-Fork Program serves as a year-round platform to highlight the farms, restaurants, organizations and individuals that contributes to the local culinary and agricultural landscapes. The program is housed within Visit Sacramento  and works to increase awareness of the region’s unmatched proficiency when it comes to fresh food.

All year long Visit Sacramento organizes popular events, counting Farm-to-Fork Festival, Fresh Food Drive, Legends of Wine, Regional Events, Restaurant Week and Tower Bridge Dinner.

Bloggers Pleasure

There were several delightful Farm-to Fork experiences during the 2017 International Food Blogger Conference:

  • Premium dinner with Mootral,  featuring climate-smart, dry-aged and smoked prime rib beef raised, processed and prepared at UC Davis.
  • Cobram Estate’s 2017 Olive Harvest, a tree-to-table experience that celebrates California’s fare and the extra virgin olive oil of Cobram Estate.

 Image: Octavio Valencia/Visit Sacramento

  • American Lamb Burgers & Sliders (small hamburgers) with Superior Lamb, a cooking demonstration by Sacramento’s own Rodney Blackwell, a.k.a. The Burger Junkie, and Chef Jason Azevedo of Hock Town.
  • Expo, Taste of Sacramento & Gift Suite, a pre-dinner meet & greet with participants and conference sponsors, a tasting event with goodies and takeaways.

Image: IFBC

  • Live Food & Wine Blogging, learning and tasting about 10 different food and drink products in small-group encounters over a 50-minute period, all the while live blogging and using social media platforms.
  • El Dorado County Excursion, a farm to table brunch, cheese & wine pairing, olive oil tasting, and charcuterie. The finale made up of dry aged prime angus beef rib eye roast, old school style-over a wood fire, dessert, port and cigars
  • Picnic Lunch in the California State Capitol Park with Nugget Market.

Nugget Markets

Set on the manicured lawn of the Capitol Park, it’s called a picnic lunch, but actually was an elaborate lunch with 3 types of salad as starter, a variety of fresh sandwiches, chips, cookies, fruits, and soft drinks.


A local, family-owned grocer for 91 years, The Nugget Markets, founded by Mack and William Stille, has been on the list of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 12 consecutive years.

Its history revealed that since the very beginning, The Nugget Markets had a heart for supporting local farmers and providing communities with the best fruits and vegetables around., an extensive selection of quality products, exceptional service and lower prices than any other conventional grocery store.

Image: Nugget Markets

Nine years short of its centennial celebration The Nugget Markets with 14 outlets are still dedicated to purchasing as much local produce (and other products) as possible, and to supporting local and regional farming efforts.

Magpie Cafe

In between conference sessions some of the attendees visited the Magpie Café  to have more farm-to fork experience and to have a discussion on the food blogger's role in food activism.

Family owned, by Janel Inouye and Ed Roeh, and operated since 2005, Magpie café is located in the LEED Certified 16 Powerhouse building at 16th and P Streets with a large patio that overlooks Fremont Park.

 Image: Magpie Cafe

The fresh, high-quality ingredients available inspire its menu seasonally, with an emphasis on those from the Central Valley and Northern California.

In addition to its environmental friendly mealtime menus and catering, Magpie Café offers Box Lunches and Sandwich Boxes. Interestingly there is an option for delivery by bicycle to the downtown/midtown area through Edible Pedal

It was lunchtime, but I selected Local Mushroom Omelette, a breakfast choice consisting of mushrooms, onion, kale, potato, ube, edible flowers, Sierra Nevada organic cheddar, and three organic eggs.

Farm-to-Fork in Sacramento is not a slogan, and is not just about delivering the freshest food and drink to local restaurants, grocers and farmers’ markets; it’s about the pride of knowing what’s in the food, where the food comes from and sharing that knowledge with visitors to the city and its surrounding areas.

Image: Lisa Nottingham/Visit Sacramento