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San Francisco's Sustainable And Tasty World Of CUESA
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San Francisco's Sustainable And Tasty World Of CUESA

Picture of Margot McKelvie
Updated: 11 January 2017
The majority of events held at San Francisco’s beloved Ferry Building on Pier 1, as well as the highly-attended farmers’ market, are all hosted by CUESA, a nonprofit organization that connects local farmers to residents of the Bay Area. We had the opportunity to sit down with Brie Mazurek, CUESA’s Communication Manager, and talk more about the organization’s role throughout the year.
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Ferry Plaza Farmers Market / | © Amanda Lynn Photography

Started in 1994 as a nonprofit organization, CUESA brings together local farmers and urban citizens through educational programs, cooking demonstrations, and the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market. Their mission is to educate the people of San Francisco and the Bay Area about local and sustainable agricultural and seasonal eating. Over the years, CUESA has built a large fan base through their high-quality vendors, farmers and food producers. They hope to continue to grow and evolve in conjunction with the food culture of the greater San Francisco area, a city that values quality food and sustainable growing.

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Lunch vendors preparing food at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market / | ©CUESA

In the past couple of decades, the popularity of farmers’ markets and sustainable food has grown throughout the country. San Francisco has close to over 30 farmers markets, with one of the best being the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, hosted by CUESA. The market brings together over 100 local vendors, including farmers, food crafters, and prepared food vendors on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On their website you can find a full list of all of their vendors, with background descriptions for shoppers. The market’s wide diversity of products attracts over 300 chefs from all over the city who are drawn to the sustainably-grown fresh produce. What originally started as a small market just in front of the Clock Tower has drastically expanded to occupy the side and back of the building. A few of their vendors, including Frog Hollow Farm, started selling at the farmers’ market and have since moved into the Ferry Building.

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The Back of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market / | ©Gary Yost Photography

In addition to the farmers’ market, the nonprofit organization hosts all sorts of events throughout the year for all ages, with the goal of creating community and educating customers about the farm-to-table lifestyle. A few of their events include Market-to-Table Cooking Demonstrations, The Food Shed education tent, kitchen skills classes and farm tours. On Saturdays, don’t miss the Market-to-Table Cooking Demonstrations starting at 11 am. Visitors are invited to watch top Bay Area chefs and well-known cookbook authors create recipes made with sustainable ingredients fresh from the farmers’ market. Nearby you can also find The Food Shed, a booth dedicated to teaching people about sustainable food systems through an array of interactive exhibits. CUESA offers farm tours that bring visitors to farms, where they can meet farmers and learn more about food production. For more information about their regular events, click here.

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Foodwise Kids, one of their many educational programs for children in the Bay Area / | ©Amanda Lynn Photography

A few upcoming events to keep an eye out for this month are the Summer Cocktails of the Farmers’ Market event, Saturday cooking demos, and a fish sauce-themed class taught by celebrity chef Chris Cosentino. On three separate occasions this summer, CUESA brings together bartenders from around the city for seasonal cocktail nights. The Gala fundraiser on October 18th invites attendees to enjoy a four-course meal, created by a wide array of chefs from the area, on the upper level of the Ferry Building. The event raises money for educational programs held throughout the year.

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Seasonal cocktail nights held by CUESA / | ©Amanda Lynn Photography

Support the sustainable food culture of the Bay Area by checking out CUESA’s website for more information about events held throughout the year. Also, be sure to head over to the Ferry Building farmers’ market for cooking demos and fresh produce brought to you straight from local sustainable farms.

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Ferry Plaza Farmers Market over looking the Bay Bridge / | © Gary Yost Photography