BY AMBER K. STOTT / PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARITA MADELONI

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California Congresswoman Doris Matsui was among the prominent speakers featured at the event.


 Sacramento's historic rail yards once served as the western terminus of the 1860s Transcontinental Railroad. Today, the 244-acre site is the largest unused urban development space in a metropolitan area in the United States.

Once a bustling transportation hub, the properties have long sat vacant. Redevelopment of the area has begun, promising mixed-use retail, housing, museums and more. On September 28, city officials and land developers partnered with the nonprofit Food Literacy Center to breathe life into the site once again. One of the development's bridges and an old warehouse served as the stage for a farm-to-fork five-course dinner created by more than 10 area chefs using food from more than 15 local farmers. The event, chaired by Food Literacy Center board member Peg Poswall and sponsored by LDK Ventures, brought together 120 attendees and raised $61,000 to expand food literacy education to low-income children.

 

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Photo 1: The outdoor space, with views of both the historic warehouses and Sacramento's bustling cityscape, became the chefs' kitchen with a homemade fire pit for grilling, and whole lambs slow-roasted on a cast-iron spit. Lambs were courtesy of Chef Eric Alexander of Carpe Vino and his wife, Courtney McDonald, from their five-acre farm.
Photo 2: Food Literacy Center student DeMone passes out appetizers on the 6th Street Bridge Overlook above the historic rail yards as chef Brenda Ruiz, a Food Literacy Genius and instructor, watches with pride.
Photo 3: The team of chefs included Paul Poore, Food Literacy Genius, and Tyler Bond of Freaks of the Industry, plus more than 10 others.
Photo 4: Chef Elaine Baker plates the dessert, a Fuji apple galette and vanilla bean mascarpone sabayon.


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Photo 1: The raw warehouse space was transformed into a gorgeous dining room by Mary Daffin, the event producer.
Photo 2: Puffed sturgeon skin and caviar prepared by Michael Passmore, fish wrangler and owner of Passmore Ranch.


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Chef Aimal Formoli of Formoli's Bistro and Chef Shannon McElroy of Federalist plate the fish course.