CUESA’s Summer Celebration: An Evening of Extraordinary Culinary Creations and Expert Mixology

By Cathy Curtis

The crowd surged in through the doors of the Ferry Building before 6 p.m., anticipating the culinary experience awaiting them just behind the ropes and the friendly CUESA volunteers.

CUESA’s (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) Summer Celebration is one of three major fundraising events for the nonprofit. Funds raised at the event go to support the organization’s ongoing education programs, including sustainability scholarships that help farmers become leaders in their field, a schoolyard to market program, free cooking demonstrations, and  low-cost kitchen building skill workshops.

Happily, the fundraising effort was a great success, as the event was a sellout. For those who were lucky enough to get a ticket, the eats and drinks were extraordinarily delicious. It’s amazing how many flavors and textures a good chef can fit into a small bite. Some of my personal favorites were the duck prosciutto with smoked plum, mushrooms and pickled onions created by Rob Lewis of the Bon Appetit Management Co., green eggs and lamb created by Nate Keller of Gastronaut, and the salmon rillettes with dill blossoms and smoked seal salt on rye crackers created by Deepak Kaul of Serpentine. These were just a few of the more than 38 bites to be had from the finest restaurants and caterers in San Francisco.

The cocktails were as creative as the nibbles, with names like “Blackberry Swizzle” from Square One Vodka, and “The Monkey Steals the Berry” from St. George Spirits. With the sublime desserts such as the strawberry sliders with honeyed mascarpone and caramelized blackberries from One Market Restaurant or the buttermilk panna cotta with fresh peaches from Scala’s Bistro, you could sip your choice of Peet’s or Blue Bottle Coffee or continue enjoying the various wines and cocktails available all evening!

CUESA’s next fundraising event, the Sunday Supper, will be held on October 2, 2011, on the second floor of the Ferry Building. Sixteen chefs will participate. For more details click here:
http://www.cuesa.org/events/2011/cuesas-9th-annual-sunday-supper

A picture says a thousand words and Joanne Falkenburg captured the evening perfectly with her photo album that she shared with us. To see more pictures from Joanne’s photo album, check out our Facebook Page here. Enjoy!

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