Ranch to Table with a Twist

California Beef Council Gives Food Influencers Exclusive Ranch & Restaurant Pop-Up Experience

Rocklin, CA, Nov. 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When you’re into food—really into food—you like to know where your food comes from. What if you could also learn that your food likes wild blackberries? Or that your food likes their version of the occasional beer?

Recently, the California Beef Council (CBC) hosted eleven food, culinary, and lifestyle social media influencers to get a first-hand look at beef from the ranch level to the dining experience. These content creators, ranging from macro influencers with more than half a million followers to those with highly engaged followers numbering in the thousands, spent an afternoon on a San Diego County family ranch learning about how cattle are cared for, and then enjoyed a spectacular sunset pop-up dining experience at the home of San Diego food blogger, cookbook author, and on-camera host, Whitney Bond.

“Events like this are an opportunity for the CBC and influencers to network, meet new food and culinary influencers, and to provide a fun day for our cattle ranchers and food influencer partners,” said Christie Van Egmond, the CBC’s Director of Retail & Foodservice Marketing. “Our guests have a combined Instagram following of more than 1.68 million, and our hope is that those followers have a chance to vicariously share in the experience of these content creators.”

The event kicked off with a meet-up at the San Diego Mission Bay Resort. Influencers boarded the bus to head to the Flying ‘F’ Ranch, owned and operated by Alli and Bryce Fender. For many, this was the first big eye-opener of the day. A cattle ranch near San Diego?

“People forget how important agriculture is to California,” Van Egmond said, “and it’s almost everywhere in the state. Urban areas like San Diego exist in close proximity to rural areas with a decidedly different way of life. That’s the point of putting together an event like this; we bring people from different walks of life together and they find common ground.”

Guests walked the rangeland with Alli and Bryce, seeing momma cows with new calves, heifers about to give birth to their first calf, and older cow/calf pairs in the blackberry thicket down by the natural spring-fed pond on the ranch. The second big eye-opener? How cattle can “upcycle” commercial food waste into high-quality protein, keeping that food waste out of the landfill.

“We were thrilled to be able to partner with Viewpoint Brewing Company in nearby Del Mar for the restaurant pop-up menu pairings because the brewer’s grain left over at the end of the beer making process goes to Alli and Bryce at Flying ‘F’ where they feed it to their cattle,” Van Egmond said. “The spent brewer’s grains stay out of the landfill, provide extra nutrition for the cattle, and solve a disposal problem for Viewpoint. It’s a win all the way around and a part of the overall sustainability story of cattle ranching. Depending on where a ranch is located in the state, other agricultural food waste makes its way to cattle, including almond hulls, citrus peels, and cotton seeds.” Bonus: cattle love the brewer’s grain!

After a couple of hours at the Flying ‘F,’ it was time to head back to the big city and a sunset dining experience in Whitney Bond’s backyard.

Bond worked with Viewpoint Brewing and Franciscan Estate wines to create the pairings for the menu. Ranch & Restaurant Pop-Up guests were treated to:

The Fenders joined the pop-up experience, as did CBC’s Chairman Steven Maxey and his wife Cassi of Fresno’s butcher shop The Meat Up and meat processor Certified Meat Products, allowing  guests to continue the ranch-to-table conversation with people in the beef industry. As guests left Bond’s home at the end of the evening, they were treated to Nutella Beef Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies for the road.

“Experiences like this are valuable not only for the content creators and influencers we invited, but for cattle ranchers and beef producers who are able to attend,” Van Egmond said. “Sharing food, conversation, and information leads to better understanding all the way around. And when you bring creative food influencers together in this atmosphere with delicious beef, great wines, and beers from an amazing local brewery, mouthwatering posts and recipes are sure to follow.”

For more information about retail and foodservice programs like the Ranch & Restaurant Pop-Up, contact Christie Van Egmond at christie@calbeef.org. For more information on the CBC, visit calbeef.org.


About the California Beef Council

The California Beef Council (CBC) was established in 1954 to serve as the promotion, research, and education arm of the California beef industry, and is mandated by the California Food and Agricultural Code. The CBC’s mission is to amplify the voice of the California beef industry to strengthen beef demand through innovative promotions, research, and open communication. For more information, visit www.calbeef.org.

About the Beef Checkoff

The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.


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