Forks & Corks, A Food & Wine Event to Benefit ARC’S Culinary Arts Program

By Annabelle Marceno Pericin
Images by Drew Poland Photography www.drewpolandphotography.com

With glass in hand, I approached a large white tent on the American River College courtyard and was greeted to enter and enjoy the Forks & Corks event on May 18. Twenty nine wineries of the Amador Vintners and over 30 Sacramento’s best restaurants participated in this food and wine pairing event, and was experienced by over 600 guests. Delectable bites from Fats, Grange, Taste, Ettore’s, Restaurant Thir13en/Tuli Bistro, Taylor’s Market, Splendid Gourmet Catering, Supperclub, Paragary Restaurant Group, Freeport Bakery, Mamzelle’s Table, and Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates along side a variety of vintners including Cooper Vineyards, Andis Wines, Avio Vineyards & Winery and Helwig Vineyard & Winery pouring their signature labels to be sampled and enjoyed.

The festivities included raffles, cooking demonstrations and activities from wine makers and grape growers, and jazz performances by The ARC Jazz Collective. This event is a partnership of the American River College Foundation and Amador Vintners to celebrate the new Culinary Arts Facility. Construction on a $10 million expansion of the current culinary program from 2,000 to 19,000 square foot facility will begin this summer with the new building expected to open by spring 2015.

With the explosion of the farm to fork movement, Forks & Corks showcases the Sacramento region as one of the most exciting wine and food centers in the state. No major city in America is more centrally located amongst a vast range of high-quality farms, ranches and vineyards. Only 35 miles east from Sacramento, the Amador County Valley region is quickly becoming known for producing signature wine varieties of barbera, zinfandel, grenache, viognier, and pinot grigio. “The Amador Vintners wanted to have a greater outreach in the Sacramento market,” explains Lee Hodo with the Amador Vintners Association. “The classic pairing with food and wine to bring more exposure to the Amador Vintners led us to partner with the American River College Culinary Arts program and bring attention to the fundraising of the expansion of the culinary program.” Currently there are over 400 students enrolled in ARC Culinary Arts program and a wait list of 400 to get into the program. With the expansion of the Culinary Arts facility, enrollment into the program would double. Amidst the restaurants present at the Forks and Corks event, Brian Knirk, Director of the ARC Culinary Arts program points out former students of the program who are now employed with the restaurants participating in the event. “I feel like a proud parent seeing my children grow,” shares Brian. This years Chair of Forks and Corks, Molly Evangelisti is one of the creative geniuses along with her husband Fred behind the inception of Forks and Corks in 2008 and generous supporters of ARC. They are excited to see the construction of the ARC Culinary Arts Facility break ground in June and look forward to making the Forks and Corks a recurring event every year.

Check out images from the recently concluded Forks and Corks event