Tuesday, September 4, 2018

2018 Fall San Diego Farm to Fork Week About to Begin

San Diego Farm to Fork Week has now become a tradition. This month marks the third such event, held by Farm to Fork San Diego, a membership organization conceived by Trish Watlington, former owner of The Red Door, that brings farming, fishing, and food awareness to consumers by verifying and promoting local businesses and non-profits that support local farmers and fishermen. San Diego Farm to Fork Week is the signature event of the organization, and runs from September 9th to 15th.

Here's why you want to participate: You'll get dining discounts and special dishes from the participating restaurants. And, it's a chance to try new, locally sourced restaurants, bakeries, and breweries at affordable prices.

"We hope diners will not only experience the fresh flavors and creativity that come from working with local food that’s in season," Watlington said, "but that they will appreciate and become part of the important food supply chain that starts all the way back with seed farmers and extends all the way to chefs, brewers, vintners and ultimately they’ll be proud to support a local, sustainable, accessible and healthy food community."

Among those participating in Farm to Fork Week is Garden Kitchen's chef/owner Coral Fodor Strong. She explained that she's involved to bring additional awareness to what her restaurant is offering in the context of totally supporting local farmers by executing a daily changing menu with what San Diego farmers are growing exactly within a 50-mile radius.

"Farm to Fork SD showcases so many amazing restaurants, chefs and diners that embrace the local food scene, so the upcoming week can bring more attention to those that are truly engaging and supporting our farmers, our fishermen and our community as a whole," she added.

For Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub's chef/owner Davin Waite, it's an opportunity to acknowledge both that San Diego's local farms are a treasure--and that, unfortunately, a lot of them struggle. "We like to be a part of events that recognize and showcase local growers. It's always a pleasure to play with food that comes from local farms, and we always love seeing our names mentioned next to restaurants we love and respect," he said.

Part of the fun of the event is sampling special dishes chefs will be making for it. Robin Ross of Pt. Loma's Cupcakes Squared is featuring a Lemon Fig cupcake giveaway, free with any purchase that week. The figs are sourced from Watlington's Two Forks Farm.

Courtesy of Robin Ross
"I fell in love with the concept of Farm to Fork Week at it's inception," Ross said. "It's a reliable source of information dedicated to showcasing the efforts of businesses, small and large, supporting local farms and food producers. Promoting seasonal eating allows our food to be at peak flavor. I am in hope that Farm to Fork Week will awaken the senses of diners as they partake in events and special
menus provided.   It should be a way of eating, daily, and Farm To Fork San Diego is a wonderful resource."

Like Ross, other chefs will be determining their own discounts, menu items, or prix fixe menus. For example, you can enjoy three exclusively local courses at Garden Kitchen, an omakase tasting menu at Wrench and Rodent, or an heirloom tomato salad with charred strawberries at Juniper & Ivy. And special Farm to Fork Week brews from Bivouac Ciderworks and Benchmark Brewing, made with produce from local farms, will be available all week.

Specifics are posted on each restaurant’s website.

Here's a complete list of who's participating:

Benchmark Brewing
Biga San Diego
Bivouac Cider Works
Blind Lady Alehouse
Ceviche House
Cupcakes Squared
FaVe Tacos
Garden Kitchen
Juniper and Ivy
Kettner Exchange
Land and Water Company
Loaf and Fish Sandwiches
Masters Kitchen and Cocktail
Wrench and Rodent Seabasstropub

Along with the restaurant offerings during the week of the 9th will also be a host of other very cool events that begin on September 5 and go through the 17th.

The kick-off event is "Shop with Chefs at Little Italy Wednesday Market": Shop with local chefs including Mike Reidy of Ironside Fish and Oyster, Stevan Novoa of Duckfoot Brewing, Heath Toms of the Glass Door, Chef Juan Carlos Recamier of Ceviche House and D J Tangalin of Bivouac Ciderworks while they show you how to choose the tastiest, freshest ingredients from local farmers ranchers and food makers. Chat with Brijette Romstedt, owner of San Diego Seed company, about her seed-to-table project and how you can grow some of your own food with seeds specifically acclimated for San Diego's climate. There will be free seed samples too!

There will also be a similar event the following Saturday at Tuna Harbor, a Shop Talk Industry Mixer at Bivouac Cider, Garden Kitchen-Benchmark Pairing, Royale-In Good Company Guest Bartenders, a Sea to Fire Dinner at BIGA San Diego, Sunday Asado at Nopalito Farms, and, concludes with the Good Food Showcase on the 17th. You can learn more about each event here.

The big, in-your-face takeaway from Farm to Fork Week, though, isn't just participating in events. It's what we all do once the event is over. 

As Watlington said, "Celebrate every day and every week by supporting your local farmers and fishermen. Support farmers by buying direct at farmers markets or from locally sourced groceries like Stehly Farms Organics. Support fishermen and the environment by buying at Tuna Harbor Dockside market every Saturday. Become a regular at any or all of the restaurant, winery and brewery members and by supporting our business members and local non-profits. Supporting them also supports local farmers and fishermen and a healthy local food system. We’re here, not just to promote certain businesses but to create a community centered around food and food producers. That community depends on the support of all San Diegans." 

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