Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Grow Cook Savor Saturday June 1

The diversity and bounty of Sacramento’s food, wine and beer heritage is center stage atGrow, Cook, Savor on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at the Central Library, 828 I Street in downtown Sacramento. Admission is $25.
The daylong event will seem like a food midway featuring the riches of Sacramento Country. Talks, demonstrations, exhibits and tastings will continue in seamless presentations by native born chefs, Sacramento-centric craft-beer purveyors, wine growers, regional food historians and scholars. Guests are invited to share their favorite “food” memory at a recording area called the StoryStation. A time-line and culinary map of Sacramento’s food-drink-restaurant history will also be unveiled.
Hosted by the Sacramento Public Library, Capital Public Radio and other local partners, the event is the highlight of We Are Where We Eat, a project culinary historian Maryellen Burns and food journalist Elaine Corn undertook too capture the stories of the people who grow, cook, serve, and yes, eat and drink in Sacramento County.
  • Cooking Demonstrations hosted by Master of Ceremonies Rick Kushman, with homegrown chefs Kurt Spataro, David SooHoo, Doug Silva, Richard Pannell, and Ed and Janelle Roehr.
  • Craft Beer Tasting moderated by Sacramento News and Reviews Nick Miller with Track 7, New Helvetia, Ruthstaller and Rubicon. 
  • Exhibits, Tastings and Conversations with local wine and beer makers, food purveyors, historians, growers, authors and culinary professionals.
  • Discussions and tastings with agricultural and food historians William Burg, Ken Albala, Robin Datel -- olive oil tasting Darrell Corti, oyster history and shucking Hilary Lyons of Blackbird Kitchen. 
  • Record Your Favorite Food Memory at our StoryStation.
“If we are what we eat, it follows that where we eat is even more influential,” says Elaine Corn, Contributing Food Reporter for Capital Public Radio. “In Sacramento, it starts with early helpings of caviar and oysters to today’s revival of traditions in beer and new respect for agriculture.”
For more information and to buy tickets, contact Maryellen Burns atwearewhereweat@me.com, (916) 768-6077, or www.we-are-where-we-eat.com. Tickets can be purchased in advance at wearewhereweeat.brownpapertickets.com. Limited tickets will be available at the door.
We Are Where We Eat was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Sacramento Public Library, with additional support from Capital Public Radio, Sacramento River Delta Historical Society, Sacramento County Historical Society, and California Agriculture in the Classroom.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Field is Fertile in Delta for Black Farmer

Elaine Corn has a great new story on Capital Public Radio -- Field is Fertile in Delta for Black Farmer.  It's a story about Run Kelley, who runs a successful farm in The Delta. As an African American, he's not your typical farmer. Less than 1 percent of farms are black-owned in both California and across the nation.  

She was joined in the fields with Chef Richard Pannell who made a Kelleys Green Salad with the picking that day. We'll post the recipe soon.  Chef Pannell is one of the featured chefs at We Are Where We Eat -- Sacramento -- a forum we're hosting to celebrate our first year. It will be at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at the Central Library, 828 I Street,  on Saturday June 1, 2013.  He'll be joined by other home-grown chefs including David Soohoo, Kurt Spataro, Doug Silva and Ed and Janelle Roehr. 

The multi-level event also features food demonstrations, talks and tastings with homegrown chefs, wine makers, local food purveyors, and historians; an opportunity to talk with local growers, food and wine organizations, authors, and culinary experts; and the StoryStation – a place for you to share your story. Tickets are only $25. More information can be found at our events page. 

Here's a link to the CPR site and a transcript of the story.  Check out other stories Elaine has collected over the last year to chronicle the stories of Sacramento's tasters, tastemakers, and taste producers:http://www.capradio.org/articles/2013/02/27/field-is-fertile-in-delta-for-black-farmer

 Sacramento, CA) Elaine Corn, Capital Public Radio
Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ron Kelley's 50-acre farm skirts the Sacramento River.  Kelley snaps the stems off big, floppy mustard greens that taste like … is that Grey Poupon? Now, Kelley comes to the turnips.

Farmer Kelley: Here's a nice big one right here, I'll just pull it out.

At age 65, Kelley has farmed nearly 60 years. He began as a child weeding his mother's garden in his hometown of Courtland.

Farmer Kelley: That was my first introduction to what has now turned out to be farming a small parcel. 

R. Kelley Farms began as a 3-acre patch 19 years ago.

Farmer Kelley: It was something to keep me occupied on the weekends.

Today Kelley's farm is a profitable enterprise. His story is unusual, though. Black agriculture is struggling to reverse a decline in ownership over the past century. Ron Kelley says that for many young urban blacks farming is a reminder of slavery.  

Farmer Kelley: I think the experience of the African-Americans on farms isn't one of  'my grandpa used to take me fishing in the farm pond.' It's 'my grandpa used to pick cotton and get whipped on the farm.'

For many African Americans, the legacy of slavery overshadows pride in farming as a profession.  That's according to Drue Brown. He's the CEO of Blacks in Agriculture headquartered in Sacramento.   

Brown: I notice some students who equate farming with slavery, still today and that's been definitely a deterrent. 

Another deterrent was discrimination by the federal government when it came to giving out farm loans to black farmers. The USDA settled a class action lawsuit over this issue in 1999. Glitches in payouts caused more lawsuits. Most recently, President Obama allotted $1.15 billion dollars to black farmers who hadn't been paid in the original settlement.  Brown is counting on black youth to gradually enter farming after exposure to school gardens.

Brown: Once they get involved, they get really turned on and some go in for a career as it relates to a technical science career.

For Ron Kelley, farming and being outdoors has always appealed. By summer, his fields will fill out with okra, black-eyed peas, gypsy peppers, cranberry beans and his specialty -- fresh speckled butter beans. Kelley says that just because he's black, his crop selections are not the ingredients for soul food.

Farmer Kelley: The largest clientele that I have for my fresh southern peas are Fujian Indians. And also Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese and African-Americans and Caucasians that are from The South. I think that's what makes me a little unique.

His crops end up in restaurants from Sacramento to the Bay Area and in the hands of local African-American chef Richard Pannell.
Pannell is chef at New Moon Bed & Breakfast in Freeport. Today, he works a large knife over the greens just picked at Ron Kelley's farm -- collards, two kinds of mustard greens and turnip tops that are peppery, like arugula. He's using all the greens raw. It's a joke in Pannell's family that he doesn't like cooked greens.

Chef Pannell: Some people say I'm not of the culture…

He puts each of the greens through the chiffonade technique.

Chef Pannell: You stack your leaves, you roll the leaves up like a cigar, then you slice

… to make ribbons. A dressing lightly sweetened with macerated strawberries offsets any bitterness in the greens.
The result? Greens grown by a black farmer and prepped by a black chef become a salad for all. Pannell named his dish for the farmer - Kelley Greens Salad.

Friday, January 11, 2013

We Are Where We Eat: Rancho Cordova

We've gathered dozens of food stories from people all around Sacramento. Now it's time to capture yours!  Join us at Rancho Cordova Library, 9845 Folsom Blvd. Saturday January 12th, from noon to 3 pm.

Capital Public Radio reporter Elaine Corn and local food maven Maryellen Burns, will be on hand to collect your favorite food stories about Sacramento -- the farmer, the baker, the donut maker.

Farmer on his fields near White Rock Road

The Friends of the Library are also holding a cookbook sale, we'll cook up a few Sacramento home and restaurant cook favorites and make  one-of-a-kind food buttons and illustrated recipes. We'll also share some of the stories collected so far -- and a little history about wineries, vineyards and food pioneers from Rancho Cordova, Folsom, and Sacramento environs. Bring your favorite recipes or even a sample dish with you to share.  This is the last chance to get a recipe into our friends of the library cookbook -- Potluck: Recipes and Remembrances.

Admission is free. For more information give us a call at 916-768-6077 or email: wearewhereweeat@me.com.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tomorrow, Saturday December 15, the friends of the Rancho Cordova Library will be celebrating regional food traditions at Recipes and Remembrances. The event runs from 11 am to 2 pm and includes a potluck, blind food tasting, food art projects for adults and kids (food and wine button making, illustrated recipes, simple recipe books. We'll also share stories, photographs, and other family mementoes of eating, growing, cooking and serving food in Sacramento. Rancho Cordova LIbrary is at 9845 Folsom Blvd.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Share Your Stories This Week!

We have a series of events coming up in the next few weeks.  The first is Tuesday December 11.  The Sacramento County Historical Society, one of We Are Where We Eat sponsors, has invited us to share “Sacramento’s unique cultural journey. ”Tasty holiday treats and a discussion of family traditions centered on food are on the menu at the Sacramento Valley Medical Society, 5380 Elvas Avenue, in east Sacramento.  The event begins with socializing followed by a panel discussion at 7:30.

Elaine Corn will have a conversation with our humanities advisors, including specialty grocer Darrell Corti, University of UOP History Professor Ken Albala, the author of 14 books on culinary history, and Robin Datel, Chair of the CSUS Geography Department. Don’t forget to bring a recipe and a sweet or savory dish to share. For more Info: www.sachistoricalsociety.org.

This Saturday, December 15, from 11 am to 2 pm we’ll be at Rancho Cordova Library for Recipes and Remembrances. This is the first of two programs at the library to capture stories of the farmers, home cooks, grocers, vintners and others who contribute to Rancho’s food story.

Bring your favorite food memories, old cherished recipes, memorabilia from local restaurants collected through the years, family photographs, and share them.  Bring a favorite potluck item too! We’ll share memories and a meal.  The recipes and stories will be included in Potluck: Recipes and Remembrances, a cookbook to support the libraries (and due out in late January!).

On Saturday January 12, from noon to 3 pm, Elaine Corn will record local stories, traditions and recipes centered in Rancho Cordova and Folsom. The Friends of the Rancho Cordova Library will sell used cookbooks. The library is located at 9845 Folsom Blvd.

Of course, you don’t have to be a patron of Rancho Cordova to share your story. For more information email: wearewhereweeat@me.com.

If you have time, check out Savoring Rancho Cordova – an exhibit at Rancho Cordova City Hall. Lawrence Fox has designed a display that tells the story of the region’s first food pioneers – from native people who caught local salmon and made acorn cricket cookies to Judge Peter Shields, who created an agricultural college in Davis to honor his mother, a leading orchardist in Hangtown Crossing, his boyhood home.  Rancho Cordova City Hall: 2729 Prospect Park Drive.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Upcoming events.

We have a whole slew of new events and opportunities for you to share your regional recipes and stories about food and drink– stories about the corner grocer, your favorite restaurant, first garden, school lunches, favorite hangout, family potlucks and other bits of community lore.  You can send your stories, recipes and photographs to us at: wearewhereweeat@me.com or attend one of our many events.
On Friday September 14, Maryellen Burns and the Sacramento Book Collectors Club will present A Community Cooks – a showcase of regional community cookbooks, restaurant collectibles, and other food ephemera.  It’s at the Arcade Library, 2443 Marconi Avenue, Sacramento at 7:00 pm.  Admission is free, but feel free to bring either a favorite recipe or snack with you.
We’re back at Arcade Library on Saturday September 22, for Recipes and Remembrances. Bring your favorite food memories, old file box stuffed with hand-written, food-stained index cards or family cookbook swollen with faded newspaper clippings and we’ll show you how to turn them into a family cookbook. We invite you to submit them to Potluck: Recipes and Remembrances of friends of the Del Paso Heights/North Sacramento-Hagginwood Libraries, a book we’ll have for sale by the holidays.
A week later Elaine Corn from Capital Public Radio will be on hand at the Marion O. Lawrence Library in Galt to capture your stories and provide insight on how to write a recipe and story you can share on our We Are Where We Eat website or with family and friends.  The program is from 1 pm to 4 pm, at 1000 Caroline Avenue, Galt.

On October 20, Elk Grove Library we'll host a day-long event from 10 am to 4 pm. Elaine  will be hand from 11 am to 3 pm for interviews with people who have a connection to local agriculture, the food or wine business or a compelling food story to share.  You'll leave with a disk of your interview to take home!

At noon, bring your favorite recipe and the dish with you for a community potluck. Prizes will be awarded to the best savory and sweet dish of the day. 

You can also participate in our cookbook sale, add your favorite food spots to our gastronomic maps of Sacramento County and create illustrated recipes of your favorite family meals. Families are welcome. The Elk Grove Library is located at 8900 Elk Grove Blvd.

Other upcoming events include: Courtland Library, November 2; Isleton Library, November 3; Sacramento County Historical Society, December 11. In 2013 we'll host major events at Rancho Cordova Library on January 12, Colonial Heights Library April 6, and a two day event called Savor Sacramento, at the Central Library May 31 to June 1. 

You don't have to live near any of the libraries to tell your Sacramento food story. Or wait for a library event.  You can call us or email us with your tidbits or to schedule an interview. Contact Maryellen Burns at wearewhereweeat@me.com, we-are-where-we-eat.blogspot.com, or call 916-768-6077
We Are Where We Eat was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Project partners include the Sacramento Public Library and Capital Public Radio and sponsored by the Sacramento River Delta Historical Society, Sacramento County Historical Society, and California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom