Plus: Please enjoy our video from this summer's Farm-to-Fork Academy for high school students.

Preview story: One of the hottest tickets in town will be to Sacramento State’s inaugural Farm-to-Fork dinner, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14, on the beautiful Guy West Bridge above the American River.

The dinner will be a high point of the daylong “Farm-to-Fork at Sac State,” a first-time celebration of food and healthy eating that kicks off with a festival, featuring cooking demonstrations and assorted activities, from noon to 3 p.m. in the Library Quad; and a keynote address by Raj Patel, author and expert on world food systems, at 6 p.m. on the Guy West Plaza (between Sequoia and Riverside halls). Both events will be free and open to the public.

Farm-to-Fork 2016Sac State kicks off Farm-to-Fork festivities in the Library Quad on Wednesday, Sept. 14. (Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone) More photos, video

The 7 p.m. dinner, featuring sustainable, locally sourced ingredients, will be prepared and served by Sacramento State students in Professor Kelly Thompson’s Food Production & Sustainability class. They’ll have assistance from Aaron Franco, the University Enterprises Inc. (UEI) executive chef, and his staff at the Epicure Restaurant on campus. The students planned the menu, as well.

Seating for dinner is limited to 150. Tickets are $50, with proceeds going to the Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Food Pantry on campus.

To purchase tickets and/or donate to the pantry: The registration deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 7.

During its first academic year, the ASI Food Pantry served 847 students who faced food insecurity and distributed 24,016 food and toiletry items to students. More than 100 volunteers managed the inventory and assisted student shoppers.

“The ASI Food Pantry experienced great success as we worked to help students to worry less about food insecurity and more about their academic success,” says Davin Brown, ASI’s director for student engagement & outreach.

With “Farm-to-Fork at Sac State,” the University joins the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau (SCVB) in celebrating the region’s claim as America’s Farm-To-Fork Capital. The Guy West Bridge dinner will fall 11 days before SCVB’s fourth annual Tower Bridge dinner for 784 people, with tickets priced at $199.

The students’ menu for the Guy West Bridge dinner includes several vegetarian options, marked with a (v):


Dino kale Caesar (v)

Entrees and sides

Stuffed chicken marsala

Sweet potato gnocchi with browned butter-sage sauce (v)

Vegetable paella (v)

Roasted seasonal vegetables (v)


Summer berry tart

Cannoli bites

Patel, the before-dinner speaker, is a research professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for African Studies, and a senior research associate at the Unit for Humanity at Rhodes University in South Africa.

He also is the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System, and The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape Market Society and Redefine Democracy. He’s working on a documentary about the global food system.

The City of Sacramento granted Sac State special permission to close the Guy West Bridge, a popular bike and pedestrian route across the river, from 3 to 11 p.m. Sept. 14.

The bridge is a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge built in the late 1960s by the developers of Campus Commons. They named it for Sac State’s first president and then deeded it to the city, which spent $3.2 million to restore and repaint it in 2014. – Dixie Reid

Sacramento State thanks the generous sponsors of the 2016 Farm-to-Fork Festival and Dinner on the Guy West Bridge: Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, SMUD, the California Department of Public Health’s Champions for Change, Capital Public Radio, and Whole Foods.

For more information:

In the media:

"Farm-to-fork dinner hosted by Sac State," interview with Kitty O'Neal, KFBK radio

"Sac State joins farm-to-fork with its own bridge dinner," Sacramento Business Journal

"Sacramento State's inaugural 'Farm-to-Fork' dinner," interview with Beth Ruyak, Capital Public Radio's "Insight"

"Sacramento's Farm-to-Fork celebration keeps adding attractions," The Sacramento Bee

"A bridge dinner with the Hornets," The Sacramento Bee