3 Reasons Families Love the Sacramento Food Film Festival

Sacramento Food Film Festival

Photo by Erin Alderson

Looking for a fun and educational event for the whole family? Look no further than the Sacramento Food Film Festival, taking place April 7-16. The festival pairs films with the best chefs in town resulting in delicious food and fun for all!

For those of you still unconvinced, here are three reasons to bring your family to this year’s festival:

1. It’s fun!

Enjoy a kid-friendly event fit for all of the spaghetti lovers in your family. Kids and adults alike will dine on a spaghetti dinner prepared by chefs Randall Selland and Ravin Patel of Selland Family Restaurants. You and your family can join Flint Lockwood as he develops new technologies to save humankind from oversized fruits and vegetables in the film, Cloudy with a Chances of Meatballs 2. For more event information, click here.

2. It’s educational!

On Tuesday, April 12th, join the Food Literacy Center for Open Sesame, a free event where your whole family can learn about the importance of seeds! In partnership with America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Slow Food Sacramento, Valley Vision, UC Davis, and the Sacramento Public Library, the Center will screen Open Sesame, a thought-provoking film about the importance and impact of saving heirloom and open-pollination seeds on our health, environment, and economy. Following the documentary, local experts will discuss what we can do to save seeds locally.

3. It’s for a great cause!

You can have fun while supporting a watercress wonderful cause! Food Literacy Center’s mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. They teach low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve our health, environment and economy.

Funds from these events will help the Food Literacy Center teach low-income children cooking, nutrition, and healthy food habits that will last a lifetime. So come help make the 2016 Sacramento Food Film Festival a celery success!

For the full festival schedule and ticket information, visit its Sacramento365.com event page.

This blog post was written by Food Literacy Center Community Relations Officer Melissa A. Granville.

10 Unique Ways to Enjoy Sacramento Beer Week

Beer GlassSacramento Beer Week is back! Starting February 25 and ending March 6, our region’s local breweries and taprooms will be celebrating all things craft beer, starting with the Sacramento Brewer’s Showcase and ending in grand style with the popular Capitol Beer Fest. While Beer Week is technically longer than seven days (it’s eleven this year), with all of the events happening in the region, I’d say that the length is oh-so necessary. (And who’d complain about having more time to enjoy a cold one?)

The folks behind the Beers In Sac smartphone app sat down with Sloppy Moose Running Club to find out some of the lesser known and unique beer outings happening this year; lucky for you, I’ve paired their guide down to the handy chronological Top 10 list below. Cheers, and hope to see you at one of these events!

Locals Only
Capitol Beer and Taproom
Fri 2/26
Kick off Sacramento Beer Week with special releases from 916 breweries.

Girls Scout Cookie & Beer Pairings
Track 7 (Curtis Park and Natomas locations)
Sat 2/27
Try Nukin’ Futz Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter with Peanut Butter Sandwiches; Soulman Stout on nitro with Thanks-A-Lots; Discord Sour IPA with Lemonades; and Call Boy Imperial Coffee Porter with Caramel Delights.

The IPA, Specialty IPA and Anything Goes Invitational
Track 7 (Natomas)
Sun 2/28
If you were lucky enough to get a ticket to this sold-out event, you’ll get to taste and judge exceptional IPAS from breweries across the Western United States.

Beer and Food with Bike Dog
Sacramento Co-Op
Mon 2/29
Great food paired with beers from Bike Dog is just what you’ll need on a Monday.

Sante Adairius Hoeybier Release
Tues 3/1
Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Sacramento — enough said!

Beer Tap

Oregon Brewer’s Night
Final Gravity (Roseville)
Wed 3/2
The taproom will highlight some of the Beaver State’s best beers from Crux (Bend), Gigantic (Portland), Heater Allen (McMinnville), Deschutes (Bend), and more.

Man’s Best Friends
Der Biergarten
Thurs 3/3
What’s better than dogs and beer? The Sacramento SPCA will be there and one dollar of every beer sold will benefit them. And yes, you can bring your own dog!

Beer Prom
California Automobile Museum
Fri 3/4
A totally tubular tasting event that allows you relieve the best decade!

Sacramento Brewing Tap Takeover
Sat 3/5
Local breweries re-creating Sacramento history with Sac Brew beers.

Milk Stouts Gone Wild
Bike Dog
Sun 3/6
You can try 11 varieties of my favorite Bike Dog beer variety.

For even more Sacramento Beer Week fun, you can visit Sacramento365.com or download the smartphone app, Beers In Sac. Available all year round, the app will keep you in the know about what’s brewing in the Sacramento region!

**This blog post was written by Mike Ungerbuhler, the Beer Guru at Beers In Sac.

Give the Gift of Healthy Habits

Photo courtesy of Food Literacy Center.

Photo courtesy of Food Literacy Center.

This month toy drives are in full swing, but Food Literacy Center is holding a holiday drive to meet a different need — healthy food.

Childhood obesity is a leading public health concern that disproportionately affects low-income and minority children: 40% of Sacramento children are obese. Additionally, only 4% of Americans kids are eating their recommended daily amount of vegetables. This issue impacts our entire community.

Food Literacy Center teaches low-income Sacramento area kids nutrition and cooking to improve our health, environment, and economy. Their mission is to inspire kids to eat their vegetables.

This holiday season, Sacramento area community members can make sure every child in the Food Literacy Center after-school programs at Leataata Floyd Elementary and Pacific Elementary goes home for holiday break with a box of 25 fruits and vegetables — five a day for five days.

Participants are encouraged to purchase produce at select Whole Foods Market locations, but can also drop off fresh fruits and vegetables during the six-hour window that have been gleaned from their gardens or local trees. The produce wish list includes items that will stay fresh for several days, and foods that kids can eat without much help from an adult.

“During the holidays, there are many worthwhile causes providing gifts to kids.  We’re in schools where 90 percent of the kids are on free and reduced price lunches,” said Amber Stott, executive director, Food Literacy Center. “When they go home for winter break, we want to make sure they have access to the fresh foods they’ve grown to love in our class. The donated produce will help them maintain healthy habits while also maintaining their enthusiasm for healthy food while they’re on break from school.”

The drive will take place 10am-4pm on Sunday, December 13 at the Arden Way and Roseville Whole Foods Market locations. Food Literacy Center hopes to raise 7,000 pieces of produce.

For more details on the Whole Foods Market Arden Way produce drive, click here. To learn more about the Whole Foods Market Roseville produce drive, click here.

***This blog post was written by Melissa A. Granville, the Community Relations Officer of the nonprofit Food Literacy Center. She’s a freelance journalist and passionate advocate of food education.

Calling All Freaks!

Freaks of the Industry

As America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, it is no surprise that Sacramento is overflowing with talented and hard-working individuals in the food industry — from dishwashers to chefs to farmers. These are the people behind the scenes that are growing, preparing, cleaning, and presenting the beautiful food that you see on your plate.

All of the work that goes into making Sacramento America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital does not come without sacrifice as many of the industry professionals dedicate nights and weekends, and most of the time, holidays.

Chef Tyler Bond of Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine believes that food industry workers deserve to have a little fun too. “We find ourselves, as industry folks, not being available to go to cool things and have fun,” says Bond. “So we said, ‘let’s create a pop-up event so that we are able to create some fun and hang out with our best friends and peers throughout the region.’”

Thus, Freaks of the Industry was born.

Led by Chefs Tyler Bond and Brock Macdonald of Block Butcher Bar, Freaks of the Industry is a rowdy collection of the region’s chefs that come together to create pop-up dinners “for the people, by the people.” Each event is different — hosted by a new group of chefs with a unique theme — but there is always great food and camaraderie for industry folks and the public to enjoy.

“It’s evolving and dynamic, but we are all a bunch of freaks because we love what we do,” says Bond. “[These events] offer a place where all of us can play. It allows us to create camaraderie and taste each other’s food, and it allows us to talk to people we care about most in the industry.”

Freaks of the Industry chefs utilize their restaurant and business experience to create accessible events that highlight Sacramento’s high quality cuisine and promise.

For their largest event to date, LowBrau Bierhall will close its doors on November 2 for a Dia de Los Muertos themed pop-up dinner. “The different components involved in this dinner are insane,” says Chef Brock Macdonald. “We have added so many different cogs to these dinners with DJs, photo booths, Freaks of the Industry merchandise, and the nonprofit Food Literacy Center.”

Dia de Los Muertos at LowBrau will feature celebrated chefs Tyler Bond, Brock Macdonald, Aimal Formoli, Chris Dann, Vincenzo Lazzeretto, Ed Martinez, Ramon Perez, Paul Rodriguez, and Elijah Flores Arizmendi.

“I’m excited about how big and legit things are getting. It has come so far. It’s like watching your kid grow up to be a grown man,” says Bond. “When this event is done, I can sit back and be proud of how hard we have worked.”

Tickets are $60 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Food Literacy Center, a Sacramento nonprofit with the mission to inspire kids to eat their vegetables. Costumes are strongly encouraged!

For more information on Freaks of the Industry, visit the event’s Sacramento365.com event’s page.

***This blog post was written by Melissa A. Granville, the Community Relations Officer of the nonprofit Food Literacy Center. She’s a freelance journalist and passionate advocate of food education.

Too Much Good Stuff this Labor Day Weekend

Chalk It Up Festival_ Photo courtesy of Chalk It Up

Photo courtesy of the Chalk It Up Festival.

This Labor Day in Sacramento is absurd. Truly, I have never seen so many events I’ve wanted to attend in a matter of days. If you are searching for ways to be creative, explore your culture (or a new one), or just something that’s free to do, you WILL find something right up your alley this long weekend. See below for a few noteworthy happenings that you MUST check out here in the River City. Enjoy!

Party Like It’s 1850!
Gold Rush Days 2015
Old Sacramento; Various Times
It’s back! The wildly fun and free heritage celebration offers a variety of family-friendly special activities that take place throughout the historic district to help visitors experience what life was like during the Gold Rush.

Get Animated
Sacramento Convention Center; Fri & Sat 10am-12:30am, Sun 10am-10pm
More than 10,000 people will dress in their favorite anime costumes to provide Japanese-influenced pop culture fun for the entire family!

It’s All Greek To Me
Sacramento Greek Festival 2015
Sacramento Convention Center; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat Noon-11pm; Sun Noon-9pm
Opa! Don’t miss out on the vibrant entertainment and delicious dishes you’ve been craving all year at the 52nd Annual Greek Festival.

Do Look Down
Chalk It Up Festival
Fremont Park; Sat-Mon 10am-6pm
Listen to live music all day long as you watch 200 artists make masterpieces with chalk! Now in its 25th year, this fundraiser has several hands-on art activities for children, making it a great way to get the entire family creating.

Brazilians Do It Better
Brazilian Independence Day Sacramento Street Festival 2015
Outside the MARRS Building; Sat 4pm-9pm
Shake your bum bum with the folks of Casa de Brazilian Folkloric Arts! The spirit (and delicious food) of Rio de Janeiro comes to Midtown this Saturday.

Let Your True Colors Shine Through
Sacramento Rainbow Fest
20th St and K St; Sun 10am-6pm
This colorful block party includes events at local nightclubs, a street fair, performances by local and regional talent, political speakers, and much more! See how far the LGBTQ community has come and help raise money for local charities.

Scream and Shout!
Tejano Conjunto Festival
Cesar Chavez Plaza; Sun 1:30pm
The biggest names in Conjunto — also known as Tejano or Tex-Mex — music will perform at this cultural event where there will also be a grito (shouting) contest and margaritas!

Be a Local Globetrotter
Fiesta En La Calle: Latin America Independence Celebration
Southside Park; Sun Noon-6pm
No need for a passport! Celebrate all of Latin America’s many independences with the region’s music, food, art, culture, and traditions.

Make this Labor Day weekend event better — find nearby restaurants, bars, and even hotels (perhaps you plan to have some drinks while you’re out tackling the town?) and Make It A Night!

And for even more things to do this Labor Day weekend, check out Sacramento365’s Holiday Events page.

***This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.

Sactown Wings: It’s Finger Lickin’ Good!

Are you looking for something to spice up your weekend and help a great cause? Then look no further because the Sactown Wings festival covers both and more! This Saturday, August 15, celebrate all things chicken wings (plus beer and fun, duh) all in the name of supporting Habitat for Humanity of Greater Sacramento.

I’ve compiled an essential “Do’s and Don’ts” list to ensure you’ll have a finger lickin’ good time!

DO: Dig in!
This festival is your chance to taste wings and beer from some of Sacramento’s best restaurants, including Blue Cue, Adamo’s, Chicago Fire, Yolo Brewing Company, Oak Park Brewing, and Speakeasy.

Photo courtesy of Xoso Sport & Social League

Photo courtesy of Xoso Sport & Social League

DON’T: Rub your eyes after eating
Remember they’re called hot wings for a reason! (I made the mistake myself once and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemies).

DO: Bring your friends!
There are very few things better than wings and beer, but if you can share this experience with friends then you’ll have an even better time.

Photo courtesy of Xoso Sport & Social League

Photo courtesy of Xoso Sport & Social League

DON’T: Forget to wash your hands
Sure, you can just wipe off that delicious sauce on your shirt or slurp it straight off your fingers, but then you might look like a rabid Dexter fan.

DO: Be a game player
Xoso Sport & Social League will bring cornhole, beer pong (a.k.a. giant beer pong), and giant Jenga games to Cesar Chavez Plaza for your enjoyment. Challenge your friends for the title of Sactown Wings Champion!

Photo courtesy of Xoso Sport & Social League

Photo courtesy of Xoso Sport & Social League

DON’T: Eat something that’s too hot for you

Although all of the chicken wings will be delicious, some may have a little extra kick. (Turning fire engine red in the face is not a good look for most people…) But then again, there will be beer on hand to cool you off.

DO: Shake your tail feather
Spend some time listening to local surf/roots/rock band Arden Park Roots. This will be your chance to catch the band if you missed their closing-night gig at Concerts in the Park.

Photo courtesy of Arden Park Roots

Photo courtesy of Arden Park Roots

DO: Enter our Sac365 TixFix
Share your own Sactown Wings “do” or “don’t” on our Facebook page here or in the Blog comment section below for a chance to win our last two Sactown Wings tickets! Contest ends Thursday, August 13 at 1pm. (See, sometimes happiness IS free!)

Be sure to stop by the Sactown Wings festival this Saturday, August 15 from 3pm-7pm at Cesar Chavez Plaza. Tickets are available now or you can purchase tickets the day of the event at the corner of 10th and J St. For more event info, check out the Sacramento365.com event listing here.

This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Dylan Fisher.

Ring in the Fourth Locally!

Photo courtesy of Folsom Pro Rodeo.

This Saturday marks the 239th birthday of the United States of America. Not sure how to celebrate our nation’s big day? Sacramento365.com searched high and low to find the best Independence Day events happening in the Sacramento region this weekend.

With fireworks, parades, and even a bit of croquet, you are guaranteed to have plenty of patriotic fun!

 Get in the Spirit Early

Folsom Pro Rodeo & Historic Cattle Drive
Dan Russell Rodeo Arena; Thurs-Sat 6pm

This annual tradition is a tribute to the cattle ranches which used to be spread across the Folsom foothills. Before the official start of the Folsom Pro Rodeo, don’t miss out on the cattle drive down historic Sutter Street.

Rancho Cordova Fourth of July Celebration
Hagan Park; Fri 4pm-11pm, Sat Noon-11pm

The fun starts a day early with a carnival, concert, and fireworks mini-show. On the Fourth, start off with a brisk 5K run, watch a Fourth of July Parade, then spend the rest of the day in Hagan Park for more family-friendly activities.

Red, White, and Brews
Old Sacramento; Fri 6pm-Midnight

Be the first to celebrate the Fourth by having a little fun on the Third! Ten participating Old Sacramento bars are offering select American beers for only $3.

Those Flashing Lights:

19th Annual Salute to the Red, White, and Blue
Elk Grove Regional Park; Sat 4pm-10pm

Elk Grove’s premier Fourth of July celebration is a patriotic salute to the birth of the nation. The festivities begin in the evening with live music and food – and ends with a bang!

Independence Day Celebration
Cal Expo; Sat 5pm

Cal Expo will join the City and County of Sacramento and CBS Radio to produce the largest-scale pyrotechnics display in the area on the Fourth of July.

Fourth on the Field
Raley Field; Sat 6pm-10pm

The ballpark is bringing back the feel of a neighborhood block party with delicious food trucks, live music by Nunchuck Taylor, and a dazzling display of fireworks over the Sacramento River.

Ring in the Fourth Uniquely

4th of July Picnic and Croquet Tournament
Old Sacramento; Sat 11am-2pm

Play ball? Join the Sacramento History Museum’s Living History re-enactors as they celebrate Independence Day in historic style.

Celebrating American Music
Midtown BarFly (formerly Club 21); Sat 9pm

Want to avoid the big crowds while celebrating America this year? Join the Midtown Moxies burlesque troupe for an intimate evening with their very own brand of fireworks.

Sacramento Moonwalk: In Loving Memory of Michael Jackson
Harlow’s; Sat 9:30pm

Hosted by Reggae star Xsample, this contest will give $500 to the best Moonwalk contestant and $500 to the best Michael Jackson impersonator.

To find even more Fourth of July festivities, visit the Sacramento365.com Holiday Events page.

***This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.