An Unforgettable Farm to City Feast

October 21, 2016

Last Sunday, local farmers, food lovers, and the Bay Area’s top chefs braved the season’s first rains to gather at the Ferry Building for CUESA’s 14th Annual Sunday Supper: A Farm to City Feast. The four-course meal was a celebration of California’s rich agricultural bounty, raising necessary funds for CUESA’s education programs, which support farmers, youth, and eaters in cultivating a healthy food system.

Among the evening’s many highlights were an appearance from our Schoolyard to Market students, who served a delicious, garden-grown appetizer; a ginormous spit-roasted Long of Naples squash; and an inspiring testimonial from Curtis Lucero of Lucero Organic Farm, introducing a film about our farmers. We were also deeply honored to be joined by special guest Ruth Reichl, who delivered a galvanizing speech about our collective power to change the food system for the better:

Nobody really wants to acknowledge that if you live in the Bay Area today, you have access to the best food in the world…but it has come at a cost, and we have two burdens that are still with us. One is that, as more and more people have moved to the Bay Area, the stresses on farmers have become enormous. When I first moved here, the entire Peninsula was farming. Farmers can’t afford that land anymore.

Farming is the hardest job in the world. It is relentless, and we need to help farmers. That’s why I’m grateful for CUESA and organizations like CUESA, which make it their mission to try and connect urban people and the farms that feed us, which are are all around urban areas and are the most stressed.

The other big burden we have is that this extraordinary food that we’re all eating is food for rich people. We need to make sure that this food becomes available to everyone. The good news—and there’s a lot of good news—is that this is a consumer movement. It’s the one thing we can all affect. If you look at the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Florida, who were fighting for the tomato pickers, they realized the best thing they could do is go to consumers. We have the power to change things for workers and farmers.

The other great thing that we have going for us is that we now have a generation of young people who understand that eating is an ethical act. And I truly believe that they are going to make this food movement work, and they’re going to make it for everyone. Thank you, CUESA, and let’s keep the revolution going.

CUESA’s heartfelt thanks go to the community of chefs, guests, sponsors, winemakers, brewers, bartenders, and volunteers who donated their time, resources, and talents to help raise vital funds for CUESA’s work to support this good food revolution.

Thanks to Drew Altizer Photography and Amanda Lynn Photography for beautifully capturing the evening. For more photos, check out Facebook albums here and here.

Our outdoor kitchen got off to a dry start, before the evening’s rains.

Special guest Ruth Reichl toured the kitchen to meet the chefs.

A spit-roasted Long of Naples squash stole the show.

At the reception, Schoolyard to Market students from John O’Connell High School—Ashley, Fale, Zay, Marissa, and Rosalinda—prepared and served Midnight Hummus Tasting Spoon with School Garden Herbs & Figs.

Food luminary Ruth Reichl delivered a rousing speech (audio).

Stuart Brioza of State Bird Provisions and The Progress and other top chefs served guests table side.

The feasts are presented!

Farmer Curtis Lucero of Lucero Organic Farms shared his family’s story (audio).

Video “The World We Are Growing Together,” featuring our farmers from McGinnis Ranch, K&J Orchards, Lucero Organic Farms, Dirty Girl Produce, Lonely Mountain Farm, and Tory Farms.

Our guests participated in a lively auction to raise funds for CUESA’s education programs. Thank you for your generous contributions!

And thank you to our amazing volunteers who helped make this important fundraiser possible…

…from all of us at CUESA!

Topics: ,