It was only
two decades ago that the thrice-weekly Ferry Plaza
Farmers’ Market at the historic Ferry Building welcomed its first shoppers.
Today one of San
Francisco’s must-see attractions, the market is all grown up, and to celebrate,
locals and travellers are invited to two tasty events – an evening cocktail
party and a family-friendly morning birthday bash, both feting the Californian
city’s love affair with sustainable, locally sourced food and drink.
The events will unfurl in
the Ferry Building plaza, with the organisers of the weekly market, CUESA (the Center
for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture), pulling out San Francisco
best flavours, giving guests the chance to try
the inventive food and drink that makes San Francisco one of the world’s
favourite foodie destinations.
mixologists and seven chefs (a total of 20 people to mark the 20th anniversary)
will host the cocktail event on 15 May, including subterranean cocktail bar Local Edition; seafood restaurant Dobbs Ferry; restaurant Maven, which pairs unique cocktails with
small bites; 25 Lusk, with its seasonally
driven modern American cuisine; and Starbelly,
a casual cafe known for California comfort food.
The walk-around tasting
event begins at 5:30 pm, and the $40 ticket give the holder two full-sized
signature cocktails, 11 sample-sized drinks and hors d’oeuvres, all
highlighting spring produce available at the market; try the chilled English
pea soup with goat cheese foam from chef Isaac Miller at Maven. One of San
Francisco’s newest bars, Trick Dog,
and resident mixologist Chad Amholt, will be serving up their new concoction Crimson
Stone, a cocktail combining American
Harvest Organic Spirit, a farm-to-bottle vodka made in Idaho, with lemon
juice, honey, cardamom pods and a sprig of rose geranium.
The birthday party begins at 9 am on 18 May and ticketed attendees ($20
per adult/$10 for children under 10) can explore the market, create a custom
drink at the mimosa and juice bar, and indulge in sweet and savoury toppings –
such as mushrooms, black garlic and fresh fruit – on homemade shortcakes at one
of four extravagant stations curated by top local chefs William Werner of contemporary
patisserie Craftsman and Wolves; Francis Ang of fine-dining restaraunt Fifth Floor; Jen
Musty of boutique bakery Batter Bakery;
and Luis Villavelazquez of Les Elements
Patisserie, an artisan baker and regular at the market.
Bringing the community
closer to locally sourced food has been CUESA’s mission for the last two
decades, and the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market has been instrumental in bringing
the farm-to-table movement to San Francisco. When the market debuted with 85 farmers, it was one of just three
markets operating in the city. These days you can barely throw a kumquat
without hitting one – but the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market remains among the
most popular with locals and chefs, as well as travellers who come to the Ferry
Building to browse the gourmet shops and restaurants inside, or catch a boat to
the towns of Sausalito and Tiburon across the bay.
The market today hosts
117 farmers who sell anything from fruits,
vegetables, herbs, flowers, meats and eggs to such artisan specialties as
breads, cheeses and jams and gourmet street food, including wood-fired pizza,
sandwiches and tacos. With thousands coming
each week to poke, squeeze and taste California’s abundant bounty, it looks as
if The Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market is here to stay, and that is worth
Tickets for both events can
be purchased online.
Lovato is the San Francisco Localite.