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  • Randall Benton /

    More than 600 diners attended the 2013 inaugural Tower Bridge Gala Dinner, the culmination of Farm to Fork Week.

  • Allen Pierleoni /

    Some of the 40 chefs who assembled the menu for the Tower Bridge Dinner gathered today to check out table and flatware setups, and the four main courses, as they will appear at the meal.

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  • This year’s menu

    Appetizer: Salumi, pate, cheese, mustard, olives, quince, honeycomb

    First course: Heirloom bean salad of shelling beans, okra, heirloom cherry tomatoes, mint, red pepper cheese and organic olive oil sourced from Pedrozo Dairy, Seka Hills Farms, Yeung Farms, Dwelley Farm and Castaneda Brothers

    Second course: Mesquite-grilled quail with Seckel pears, grapes, peppers, wild rice and pork belly sourced from Next Generation Foods, Del Rio Botanical, Tolenas Farms, Stillwater Orchards and Rancho Llano Seco

    Third course: Smoked trout with fingerling potatoes, fennel arugula, herb vinaigrette dressing sourced from Passmore Ranch, Del Rio Botanical, Riverdog Farms and Fresh Origins Farm

    Fourth course: Lamb shanks braised in Track 7 Hoppy Palm Pale Ale, indigo rose tomato, graffiti eggplant, vegetable flower honey and sage sourced from Matin Emigh Farm, Track 7 Brewery, Riverdog Farms and Fresh Origins Farm

A first look at the Farm-to-Fork bridge dinner menu

Published: Tuesday, Sep. 2, 2014 - 2:29 pm

If you’re among the 740 guests who paid $175 a head to break bread at the second Tower Bridge Gala Dinner on Sept. 28, you’re probably eager to see the menu.

So is the rest of Sacramento, as the city prepares for Farm to Fork Celebration, Sept. 12-28. It’s a festival of growing, harvesting, cooking, eating, drinking and food education throughout the Sacramento region. A host of special events will headline at farms, restaurants, breweries, Raley Field, the west steps of the Capitol and along Capitol Mall ( The Tower Bridge meal is the celebration’s capstone event.

The four-main-course, locally sourced menu (with charcuterie-cheese appetizer and multiple desserts) was devised by 40 of the area’s top chefs, co-led by Brian Mizner of Hook & Ladder and Jason Poole of Dawson’s at The Hyatt restaurants in midtown.

The menu was unveiled Tuesday when about a dozen of those chefs gathered on the Embassy Suites Promenade Dock on the Sacramento River. There, organizers had set up tables and place settings just as they will appear at the bridge dinner. As the chefs looked on, plates full of the four main dishes were placed on the tables for display.

“We’re going over a mock setup of the bridge dinner, to make sure everything works,” Poole said. “Everything looks good, and we’re excited.”

“We’re showcasing all the bounty of our surrounding counties,” Mizner said.

“Sacramento could have no better champions than the folks who are producing this meal,” said Mike Testa, vice president of the City Convention and Visitors Bureau, a key organizer of the Tower Bridge dinner.

“The dinner isn’t just about produce in this region, it’s about our produce, protein, wine, craft beer – everything that makes up a meal,” Testa said. “Some regions can produce one or two elements (of the bridge dinner), but Sacramento can produce every facet of it.”

Call The Bee’s Allen Pierleoni, (916) 321-1128. Follow him on Twitter @apierleonisacbe.

Read more articles by Allen Pierleoni

About Appetizers

Chris Macias has served as The Sacramento Bee's Food & Wine writer since 2008. His writing adventures have ranged from the kitchen at French Laundry to helping pick 10 tons of zinfandel grapes with migrant farm workers in Lodi. Chris also judges regularly at food, wine and cocktail competitions around Northern California. His profile of a former gangbanger-turned-pastry-chef was included in Da Capo's "Best Food Writing 2012."

Read his Wine Buzz columns here
(916) 321-1253
Twitter: @chris_macias

Allen Pierleoni writes about casual lunchtime restaurants in The Sacramento Bee's weekly "Counter Culture" column. He covers a broad range of topics, including food, travel, books and authors. In addition to writing the weekly column "Between the Lines," he oversees the Sacramento Bee Book Club, in which well-known authors give free presentations to the public.

Read his Counter Culture reviews here
(916) 321-1128
Twitter: @apierleonisacbe

Blair Anthony Robertson is The Sacramento Bee's food critic.

Read his restaurant reviews here
(916) 321-1099
Twitter: @Blarob

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Note: The Appetizers blog switched blog platforms in August 2013. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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