Photo of the 2019 Farm-to-Fork Street Festival by Francisco Chavira
Where do you go when you want something fresh? You go to the source. In Sacramento, when it comes to food, we are the source.
More than 1.5 million acres of farms around the city complement the larger operations such as Blue Diamond Almond Growers that are based in the city, and a year-round growing season ensures that Sacramento chefs have ample access to an unmatched agricultural bounty to prepare fresh and delicious dishes any time of the year. While there are year-round farmers markets in the city - including the largest Certified Farmers Market in the state - the number swells from May to September as seasonal markets pop up all over.
Farm-to-fork eating has always been a way of life in the Sacramento region, long before the concept had a name. In 2012, Josh Nelson of the Selland Family Restaurants approached Visit Sacramento with the idea that the region should shine a light on its amazing food and agriculture and share it with the rest of the country. Soon after, the Sacramento region was declared America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, and the world has been paying attention ever since.
But Sacramento's farm-to-fork story goes far beyond good food at restaurants. While dining out is the easiest way to experience farm-fresh food for many, the Sacramento region is a leader in ways people might not consider. From increasing food literacy among children - getting them to eat their vegetables, to having an NBA arena that sources 90 percent of its food locally, to a health center chef pioneering a new model to make hospital food taste better as well as directly support farmers, to the farmers themselves who produce 80 percent of the domestic caviar and grow nearly all of the nation's sushi rice, the story is far more than a good restaurant here and there. It's the way we live every day, and the way we strive to be better. Learn more about each of those topics - and more - on the Visit Sacramento Podcast, available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and directly in the player below.
The authenticity of what Sacramento's agricultural and culinary communities are doing led to international recognition over the years and reached new heights in 2019 when the Michelin Guide sent inspectors to the city, then bestowed the coveted Michelin Star on Sacramento's The Kitchen Restaurant, awarded Bib Gourmands to three more, and rounded the awards out with 10 Michelin Plates. Several other Sacramento standouts were included in the Michelin Guide as well.
While we celebrate food all year in Sacramento, September is when we take it to the extreme. Visit Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork Street Festival is held on the last weekend each September and was created as a celebration of the region’s incredible food and agriculture, and a chance to introduce people to the chefs, farmers, ranchers, vintners and brewers who are bringing delicious food and drinks to our table every day. Since 2013, the event has grown to be one of the country’s most anticipated food and music festivals, drawing thousands of visitors from across the country and around the world.
Learn more about the festival and sign up for the Dig In newsletter on the official Farm-to-Fork website.