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Cultivate Festival: Golden Gate Park Eats & Beats This Weekend

Cultivate Festival

Images courtesy of Casey Colesworthy

For decades, Golden Gate Park has hosted festivals for every kind of person out there. We're talking Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Outside Lands, queer-centric celebrations, even the bike-rodeo-circus known as Tour de Fat. And this weekend, there's a new fest in town called Cultivate, throwing down on Saturday, June 8.

The one-day Cultivate festival, sponsored by Chipotle, is billed as a celebration of food, farmers, chefs, artisans, thought leaders, and musicians—sure, that sounds like a neato fit for SF. This will be the first Cultivate event in the Bay Area, and have been held in Chicago and Denver so far. It’s been whispered that Chipotle is going for that desired halo effect of having their name and logo all over a big event in a metro area where consumers are often thought of as hip and discerning with their dough–both the green variety and, of course, baked goods.

Of course, food is a main draw at Cultivate. Stop by the Artisans’ Hall for the vendors (4505 Meats, CC Made, El Porteno, Pop Nation, Handsome Coffee Roasters and others) who'll sample food and sell meals—useful info for those of us who are always planning where to eat next and wear stretchy materials 24/7 for a reason. Meat celeb Ryan Farr’s 4505 Meats will have Memphis smoked beef brisket sandwiches for sale, on white bread with pickles and smothered in Kansas City BBQ sauce. His menu will also have cheddar sausage with smoky cheese, sauerkraut and beer mustard.

Farr makes it sound like the decision to work with Cultivate came easy: “We love cooking outside and doing stuff at Golden Gate Park. They’ve really been focused on education and our main focus is on education and supporting local farmers and honing our craft as artisans. We thought it was a good platform and are excited to be out and about with the public.”

Minh Tsai—our reigning Tofu King—is also participating, which is something of a must, because his Hodo Soy Beanery created the sofritas menu items for Chipotle outlets, to the delight of many of our vegan and vegetarian compadres. If you haven't tried them, his sofritas taste like a light and mildly spicy breakfast burrito, minus the grease and gut bomb factor. Other restaurant chefs hail from Wise Sons Deli, Michael Chiarello, (Coqueta and Bottega) Rich Table and Richard Blais (The Spence, HD1, and Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta). Celeb ogling can be had in the form of peering at Amanda Freitag (Food Network’s Chopped and The Next Iron Chef); Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Son of a Gun in Los Angeles) with Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec in Los Angeles). Chef Nate Appleman will be there but keep those A16 memory lane mentions to a minimum, because Appleman’s paycheck is signed by Chipotle these days.

On the music tip, the stages will be graced by Mayer Hawthorne, The Walkmen, Walk the Moon, LP, and Matt Costa. And if you're looking to learn a little something while you're there, Chipotle's organizers will offer free activities on such subjects as how California avocados are grown, facts about factory farming, how food is made at Chipotle compared with other fast food restaurants, and more.

The event runs from 11 am to 7 pm. Free. @ Hellman Hollow in Golden Gate Park.