CUESA Presents the 10th Annual Sunday Supper Gala

September 7, 2012


An elegant farmers market-inspired feast brings 30 of San Francisco’s top chefs together with winemakers, bartenders, and local farmers to raise funds for CUESA’s Schoolyard to Market program.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 6, 2012)— CUESA  (the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), operator of the acclaimed Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, is partnering with over 30 of San Francisco’s best-known chefs, the Napa Valley Vintner’s Association, local brewers, and farmers to host its 10th Annual Sunday Supper on October 14, 2012.

The evening will commence with a champagne reception featuring an oyster bar from Hog & Rocks, hors d’oeurves, Napa Valley wine, and artisanal cocktails. Guests will get up close to the action in the kitchen with a special behind-the-scenes preview before ascending the stairs to the Ferry Building Grand Hall for an elegant, four-course, gourmet dining experience.

 “It’s pretty incredible. You have this group of chefs, comprised of individuals at the top of their profession, working together as a team in the temporary kitchen set up outside of the Ferry Building, right in the middle of the Embarcadero. This year, with the champagne reception, guests will be able to enjoy the chefs in action, collaborating on this spectacular meal. There’s a wonderful feeling of accessibility and family associated with this event, farmers, chefs, and market shoppers all participating to support CUESA’s education and community initiatives,” says Mary Powell, CUESA Board Member.

The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market provides a critical link between San Francisco chefs and local farmers and artisans. The market is an important weekly ritual for many chefs. Staffan Terje of Perbacco and barbacco eno trattoria has been shopping at the market for years and will be participating in his fifth Sunday Supper this year. As he says, “It starts at the market. Even though we’re all still bleary-eyed and tired from Friday night service, we see each other every Saturday and a lot of ideas are exchanged. CUESA’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market builds a really strong chef community in San Francisco.”

“We are so fortunate to have so many of San Francisco’s best chefs to support us year after year. It’s a testament not only to what the market means to them but to the importance that they place on our educational programs,” says CUESA’s Executive Director Dave Stockdale.

Sunday Supper features six distinct, four-course, farmers market-inspired menus created by six teams of chefs. Included in the all-star lineup are chefs from Aziza, Bar Agricole, Delfina, Fifth Floor Restaurant, Frances, Nopa, Outerlands, Spruce, and many more. This year’s teams will be led by six accomplished chef chairs, including: Daniel Capra (Paula LeDuc Fine Catering), Thom Fox (Bon Appétit Management Company), Taira Kater (Green Cap Catering by Charles Phan), Nate Keller (FK Restaurant & Hospitality), Staffan Terje (Perbacco and barbacco eno trattoria), and Scott Youkilis (Maverick and Hog & Rocks). Speaking to how the collaboration works, Chef Terje says, “Everyone helps everyone else out. Egos are checked at the door and it’s just about cooking really good food.”

As a reflection of the market community the meal is served family-style at long tables gracing the historic Ferry Building Grand Hall. The highlight of the dinner is the presentation of the whole beast entrée course, with emcee Liam Mayclem, Emmy award-winning host and producer for CBS 5 TV’s Eye on the Bay, circling the room to unveil the six whole-beast preparations. The chefs are tableside to describe their dishes and answer questions about their process and inspiration.

Both the first course and the entrée are paired with premier Napa Valley wines, and in keeping with the burgeoning artisanal beer movement, local beers are paired with the second course. This year Michael Pierce, distinguished sommelier, pairing master, and co-owner of Maverick will oversee this effort.
Sunday Supper is no ordinary fundraiser. In a city defined by its culinary scene the event stands apart. Cathy Curtis, a member of the CUESA Board of Directors and Program Director for the Bay Gourmet Forum of the Commonwealth Club of California, says, “Not only is the meal one of the best you could dream of enjoying, but the historic and elegant Ferry Building setting, as well as the community, make this the very best culinary event in the city. It is truly an unforgettable meal. As a guest at this event you really feel like a culinary insider and the best part is supporting such an important cause.”

The inaugural Sunday Supper marked CUESA’s move to the Ferry Building. To date, the event has raised over $700,000, providing critical support for CUESA’s programs including: free cooking demonstrations, low-cost kitchen skill-building classes, Foodwise Tours, and sustainability scholarships that help farmers become leaders in their field.

This year CUESA aims to raise funds for its Schoolyard to Market program. Entering its third year, the youth development and entrepreneurship program now serves three local public high schools: Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island, John O’Connell in the Mission, and June Jordan in the Excelsior. The students learn about health and nutrition, and gain valuable job skills as they cultivate plants in their school gardens and then sell them at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. As Stockdale states, “The program is proving to be a really dynamic way to connect with young people. Not only do they develop awareness and values around healthy eating through a better understanding of their food system, but they are also empowered by the real world job experiences that they gain from selling in the market.” There is growing demand to continue to expand the program each year. Stockdale continues, “We’ve already been approached by a few other high schools and we’d like to continue to build the Schoolyard to Market model so that we have the ability to connect with more schools and reach more students.”

The evening’s exclusive live auction items will help entice guests to open their pocket books. This year’s auction will feature six once-in-a-lifetime culinary experiences, including: dinner at Frog Hollow Farm for 20 with Chef Joyce Goldstein in partnership with Taste Catering; a VIP Valencia Street culinary crawl including stops at Locanda, Craftsman and Wolves, Abbot’s Cellar and a special dinner prepared by Charles Phan at Wo Hing General Store; and an exclusive farmers market shopping trip with Michael Tusk of Quince, followed by dinner in his restaurant’s private dining room.

Tickets for the event are on sale now. Visit for tickets and more information. 


The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) a non-profit whose mission is to cultivate a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and its educational programs.

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