Tower Bridge Dinner

Earlier in September, I was asked to do photography for the Farm to Fork Dinner event on the Tower Bridge. It is always exciting to work with Savory Cafe, and I was again asked to assist them this year with photography. My time spent with Juan, Kristin and Toby is always a blessing to me. Their teamwork, love for the community, and work ethic are something to admire. They are true community leaders, and I'm grateful for their friendship. In addition to working with Savory Cafe, I did product photography for the Capay Valley Ranches. CVR produces premium olive oil, nuts, and honey and they partnered with Visit Sacramento to provide olive oil for this event. To capture both parts of this event, that of restauranteur and product provider was exciting as it gives a full picture of what makes this day so incredible.

This year I began at a Meet and Greet for renowned Chef Jeremiah Tower at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel. Savory Cafe chef Toby Barajas was invited to meet Chef Jeremiah along with several other special guests. While waiting for Toby to arrive, I was able to get a quick photo with Denise Reinnoldt and her daughter Lauren with Jeremiah. Denise is the owner of Capay Valley Ranches, and it was great to connect with her before going to the dinner on the bridge. Just before Chef Jeremiah left to prepare for his time with all of the chefs preparing for the dinner, he graciously stopped and allowed me to get a photo with Toby. I then was off to the bridge to capture meal prep for the evening.

I arrived at the commissary kitchen to find Kristin working away preparing for the appetizer that Savory was providing for the meal. What I enjoy the most of about participating at this end of an event like this is the amount of collaborating and teamwork among all of the restaurants. An event like this can't come together without this type of effort on everyone's part. For me, it's the best part of this evening. I enjoy watching people connect and have fun while serving the community. I appreciate the various gifts and talents each person brings to present each course. But the part that is the best is that we live in such an agriculturally productive region and all of the farmers and ranchers who bring their unique piece to the menu. I had the pleasure to represent Capay Valley Ranches and the unique part they played as product sponsor and the provider of olive oil for the dishes that were prepared by the chefs.

It was a day celebrating all the richness, and bounty of the region in and around Sacramento. Thank you, Juan Barajas, Kristin, and Toby for this fun opportunity and Capay Valley Ranches and Denise Reinnoldt. Such a fabulous day celebrating what our various cities bring to the Farm to Fork way of life.

The link below is from the 2017 Tower Bridge Dinner.

Tower Bridge Dinner 2017 with Savory Cafe

The last two weeks have been filled with event photography. As a person who has done events for most of my career it seems second nature to now be doing event photography. I've also really enjoyed the fact that both of the events I've done have been centered on community and food. I've always held the belief that food has a way of bringing people together. It really doesn't matter if it's for the sake of celebrating a new home, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one or to celebrate harvest and the bounty that it brings food brings us together. This weekend celebrated the harvest that is at the heart of our region and I'm grateful to have been able to capture it for my friends at Savory Cafe. 

My connection to Savory Cafe and to the owners, Chefs Juan (the Food Whisperer) and Toby Barajas and Kristin Hansen, came through a connection with Slow Food Yolo. A dear friend, Joyce Hardi, introduced me to Slow Food Yolo several years ago when I did the event photography for the Village Feast in Central Park in downtown Davis. The Village Feast was a fundraiser for Slow Food Yolo along with a coming together of community, the Davis Farmers Market and Davis Farm to School. This set me on the course to do more of these type of events, where Good, Clean and Fair food was encouraged and celebrated. That was nearly 3 years ago and today that philosophy is still strong as Savory Cafe was given one of the Snail of Approval award for 2017 recently at the Taste of Yolo event in Davis.  

With all of that said I was invited to follow Juan and Kristin as they prepared one of the many appetizers that was offered by various restaurants at the Tower Bridge Dinner. The gala which features local restaurants and foods that are grown in the region is the exclamation point of a weekend of festivities and talent. This event is an important fundraiser for the Farm to Fork program's and what an honor it was to capture it for Chef Juan and Savory Cafe, who ascribe to the Slow Food attributes of being Good, Clean and Fair. I've included the links below to all of the folks that either helped with connections to people or to the food elements that were used to prepare this appetizer.

Juan and Kristin I enjoyed watching you work, connect and celebrate community and team work. What a blessing!!

Woodland's Dinner on Main 2017

On Sunday I had the greatest time at an event that celebrated food, agriculture and community. Woodland's Dinner on Main celebrated it's second year and it was filled with laughter, making new friends and tons of hard work. I got to follow along with my friends, Joyce Hardi, who is the director of Slow Food Yolo and the owners of Savory Cafe, Juan Barajas, along with his wife, Kristin and his brother Toby. Whenever I run into them they welcome me in as family and also show me how community and hard work are done well. 

This wonderful farm to fork community meal was nothing short of lovely. Locals and newcomers alike sat at tables placed end to end in the center of Main street. Large farm equipment were place at the end of 1st and 5th street as a symbol of the coming together of land and city. It was a beautiful evening with words of praise coming from the new chancellor of UC Davis, Gary. S May along with other community leaders. This was also the official launch of Food Front the official brand and marketing initiative for Woodland's food and agriculture industry. 

I had such a great time and thank you Slow Food Yolo and Savory Cafe for including me.   

The most beautiful memories are made in the kitchen.....

Photography has given me such great opportunities to meet new people and explore different cultures. I'm fortunate to have a great friend who is a volunteer for Slow Food Yolo She includes me in all of the events that they sponsor and allows me to use my photograph skills for a useful and I believe greater purpose, in the case of Slow Food, to promote healthy eating and to purchase your food locally whenever possible. 

Earlier in the spring she invited me to come to a dinner that was being prepared by Meera Klein Meera is a local author whose first novel "My Mother's Kitchen: A Novel with Recipes" is a beautiful combination of her great storyteller and her love of cooking. Meera had the group that gathered for this meal captivated with her stories of family and her home in India. She is a beautiful person whose love for her family and traditions was so evident in the stories she shared with us. 

I was able to capture the meal prep, as everyone had a part to play. Meera is so comfortable explaining the stories behind all of the food items that were prepared. It was a lovely evening and I look forward to enjoying another evening of stories and food by this precious lady. If you are interested in learning more about Meera I've included her website (above) and her Facebook link.