On Saturday, Chipotle brings its Cultivate Festival to Golden Gate Park, an event that blends cooking demos from well known chefs, interactive lessons on sustainable food practice and musical acts like Mayer Hawthorne, The Walkmen, and Walk the Moon. Even though it's a major marketing effort for Chipotle, the event seems like it could be worthwhile from a food perspective, considering admission is free and you can walk away from the experience knowing how to properly grow an avocado.
The food lineup is also promising. Hot local chefs like Michael Chiarello (Coqueta), Sarah and Evan Rich (Rich Table) and Evan Bloom and Leo Beckerman (Wise Sons Deli) will all be giving food demos to showcase their latest recipes.
Visiting chefs will be part of the festival as well, like Los Angeles dream trio Ludo Lefebvre (of LudoBites fame), Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Son of a Gun) who collectively opened Trois Mec in LA this April -- the restaurant where getting a reservation is akin to buying a ticket to a concert. From the East Coast there's Richard Blais, executive chef at Spence in Atlanta, and from New York comes soft serve marvels Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff of Big Gay Ice Cream. Salty Pimp diehards should be pumped.
So, tents full of chefs talking (check out the schedule on the Cultivate website) as well as tents with food samplings. And it won't all be Chipotle. There will be a tasting hall with drinks from 21st Amendment, Magnolia, and Southpaw BBQ as well as food vendors like 4505 Meats, El Porteno Empanadas, Nana Joes Granola, and cookies from Sunbud Bakery. Chipotle fanatics are welcome to imbibe in the various Chipotle offerings, of which there will be no shortage.
You can also learn more about the food Chipotle serves in interactive experiences, like a meet-and-greet with avocado farmers, an exhibit about pasture-raised animals vs. captivity raised animals, an exhibit about the ingredients of "typical" fast food vs. Chipotle's, and a glimpse into the Tabasco production process. Visit four of them, get your program stamped, bring in to the Info Tent, and you'll get a coupon for a free burrito, bowl, salad, or order of tacos. It's not exactly a free lunch, but it's close.