The most recent American Grown Field to Vase Dinner was unique, even for this remarkable tour.
It wasn’t on a farm. It involved politicians and was held on the lawn of a state capitol.
And it was awesome.
It started with a beautiful reception where guests enjoyed watching members of the California state assembly compete in a floral design competition hosted by the California Cut Flower Commission. For the last three years, the California Cut Flower Commission has hosted this design competition involving legislators to help raise awareness that June is California Grown Flower Month. Combining the American Grown Field to Vase Dinner with this annual tradition by CCFC was not only fitting, but it also really helped guests, including California’s lawmakers, understand just how valuable the American Grown Flower movement has become.
After the vote was tallied, Assemblywoman Monique Limón was announced the champion of the 2018 Floral Design Challenge. Limón will receive a delivery of fresh American Grown Flowers each month for an entire year to display in her office.
One guest commented that the design competition was “entertaining and a great local touch.”
The reception included delicious hors d’oeuvres, a very popular floral-inspired cocktail by J.J. Pfister Distilling Company [link https://www.jjpfister.com/] and great local brew by Track 7 Brewery [link https://track7brewing.com/].
Always a guest favorite, the boutonniere bar brought lots of smiles and delight, thanks to sponsor Smithers Oasis.
Designed by Liezet Arnold of Bloem Decor of Sacramento, the dinner’s tablescape was a stunning arrangement of flowers and meaning. Rather than the tradition of one long farm table, Liezet took the opportunity to showcase growing regions by arranging the table like a compass, highlighting the different growing regions throughout California. Starting in the north, with lilies, iris and tulips and through the state to the south where her designs showcased protea, pincushions, leucadendron, eucalyptus, Italian ruscus and wax flower. It was one of the most beautiful table settings we have ever had on the tour.
Statehouse Chef Dan Watterson walked everyone through the menu, highlighting the great care that went into procuring the evening’s ingredients. He explained that the potatoes and carrots were sourced from Full Belly Farm, which he had a chance to visit himself prior to the dinner. The entrée was a delicious rack of lamb that was sponsored by the California Sheep Commission and provided by Richard Hamilton, who was in attendance with his family. Richard was acknowledged and thanked for his contribution to the dinner. Last, but certainly not least, California Grown Strawberries, donated by the California Strawberry Commission, rounded out the meal for dessert, a light and refreshing strawberry shortcake.
We’ve since received some wonderful feedback from our guests:
“We enjoyed the entire dinner experience! From the tour of the capitol, the flower arranging competition, looking at all the beautiful arrangements, listening to the music in such a beautiful setting, we loved every minute!” ~ Denise C.
“There’s something really special about being surrounded by so many flowers. The boutonniere bar was my favorite part of the event—what a great idea! And it was terrific to be able to bring so many amazing flowers home, thank you!” ~ Anonymous
“Thank you for the amazing hospitality! Loved the boutonniere bar. The swag bag was a fun treat!!!” ~ Sarah H.
“I love the idea of field to vase as it is in keeping with farm to fork.” ~ Nancy K.
We love it too, which is why we’re headed to Star Valley Farm, in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin, for our next dinner on September 5.
Only two more dinners remain!