Fun with food

There's a lot more to Sacramento's food culture than “farm-to-fork.” That tiny but oft-repeated catchphrase leaves out all the cutting, cooking, plating, serving, photographing, blogging and cleaning up of food that goes on in between the farming and the forking. Indeed, it's pretty darn exciting that the inaugural Farm-to-Fork Festival is coming up on September 28, but first, check out three unique food-related events happening this week.

A fine-art photography exhibition called 60 Faces of Our Food Culture shows the people behind Sacramento's food scene. The show includes portraits of 30 farmers and 30 chefs taken last year by Janine Mapurunga, and the photos will eventually be paired with interviews of the subjects and made into a book. The opening party is at 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 14, at Sunh Fish Company (1900 V Street), with beer, wine and food from Kru Contemporary Japanese Cuisine, Ettore's European Bakery & Restaurant, and Bistro Michel. Live jazz will be performed by the Ross Hammond Trio. This event also raises money for the California Food Literacy Center. Tickets cost $20 and can be purchased at

UC Davis' new Confucius Institute, dedicated to “Chinese food and beverage culture,” has its grand-opening ceremony on Monday, September 16. The institute, a partnership between UC Davis and China's Jiangnan University, will begin offering public workshops and lectures. Monday's 8 p.m. opening ceremony at the Mondavi Center (9399 Old Davis Road in Davis) will feature a book signing by prolific cookbook author, Yan Can Cook TV-series host and UC Davis alumnus Martin Yan—as well as speeches and performances by students from Jiangnan University. Visit for more information.

Competition will be fierce at Raley Field on Wednesday, September 18, when 15 restaurants vie for a championship at the second annual Sacramento Burger Battle. Six judges—including chefs Patrick Mulvaney and Randall Selland, and food writers Chris Macias and Erin Jackson—will decide on the champion, and a People's Choice award will be voted on by participants. The event, organized by Rodney Blackwell of the website Burger Junkies and coinciding with National Cheeseburger Day, benefits the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. Participating restaurants include 2012 champion The Chef's Table, Relish Burger Bar and 2012's People's Choice winner Krush Burger. Admission ($55 for general admission, $75 for VIP) also includes craft-beer and wine tastings, dessert samples, and music by James Cavern. It happens from 7 to 10 p.m. at Raley Field (400 Ballpark Drive in West Sacramento). Visit for more information.