Sacramento’s food scene is expanding with the help of this local blogger
by Kellie Randle
In the past six years, local food blogger Catherine Enfield has helped lead a food revolution in Sacramento. One of the creators of the popular SactoMoFo food-truck festival, she also founded Sacramento Food Film Festival, and in August she organized a one-day event called Have an Offal Day. With thousands of social media followers, Enfield is a food force to be reckoned with.
How did you get started food blogging?
Six years ago, there weren’t many food blogs. I was a blog reader and realized there were some that were amateur and some more professional. I figured I could be somewhere in between. My blog is called Munchie Musings. It’s thoughts about food and life, so it’s not always about just food. It’s regional so I don’t have a national following. It’s really about our area. Most of my followers are from Sacramento.
Tell me about your involvement with the food truck movement.
One of my co-founders wanted to have a taco truck festival. While we were planning, I went to San Francisco and went to an Off the Grid [food truck] event. I’d also visited my folks in Portland, Ore., and checked out the food truck scene there. I came home and decided we needed to have a gourmet food truck festival. I created the name SactoMoFo (short for mobile food). The first festival in 2011 was a political statement and a way of saying to the city and the populace, “Food trucks aren’t roach coaches any more. It’s a whole new ball game and we want them in Sacramento, too!”
When we started planning it, there weren’t any gourmet food trucks in Sacramento. We were going to import them from San Francisco. Krush Burger and Drewski’s came onto the scene in time for our first festival. I’m not involved with SactoMoFo anymore, but I’m still a food truck advocate and I run a truck tracking website, sacfoodtrucks.net. I’m also a partner in Foodmob LLC, the food truck owners’ association.
You are also a creator of Sacramento Food Film Festival. Do you plan to make it a yearly event?
This was the second year of the festival. I partnered with Slow Food Sacramento both years. We are trying to grow the festival and possibly come up with other ways of doing it. It’s been held in March the last two years. My Internet followers know that I search the web for interesting stories about food, nutrition and agriculture.
I come across so many interesting documentaries about food that I decided to bring a food film festival to Sacramento. This last year, we had interaction instead of just movies. We had a honey tasting and a sake and sushi tasting. We’ll continue to keep the interactive elements. We’re also looking at possibly an outdoor screening at a local farm or even movies sprinkled throughout the month. We’re rethinking the festival and trying to reach the most people possible.
What is Have an Offal Day?
It occurred to me that we have such great chefs in Sacramento and we talk about nose-to-tail sustainability, so why not have an event based on offal? Offal is all the extra parts of an animal: the organs, ears, tongue, skin. I created an event that brought the best Sacramento chefs together and let them create an offal dish. The event was on a Sunday at Mulvaney’s. Each chef made an appetizer or small plate of offal. We had duck, pig, lamb, pork, chicken, beef and fish offal, everything from duck tongues to lamb kidneys.
What kind of reception did you get for such a daring food event?
We sold out. We had the top chefs in Sacramento and Hank Shaw, who recently won a James Beard Award, as well as local charcuterie experts. It was a one-of-a-kind event. Unlike bacon, where you can get it all the time anywhere, this was an unusual event. I haven’t seen any city host an event like this.
How have you seen the food culture in Sacramento change over the years?
I came to Sacramento in 1987 from Portland, which was a little farther along in their dining scene. I was unimpressed. Now I’m proud to be a part of the Sacramento dining scene because there are so many quality chefs and restaurants doing great things here. There’s a reason we should be proud to be the Farm-to-Fork Capital.
You’ve been at the forefront of many food movements for our city. What’s next for you?
I still want to figure out how I can make a living at this. That’s a question I get a lot: Why do you do this if you aren’t making any money? I look at it that I’m building the network, connections and involvement, and someday it will all click and fall together. I’m beginning to think I’m getting close to that point. Everything I’ve done has been spur-of-the-moment inspiration, so we’ll see what’s next.