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Hook and Ladder Manufacturing Co. represents the bountiful harvest California has to offer and the proud Sacramento history we continue to shape today. We love our city, and we love our state. We embrace local farms, ranches, breweries and wineries in both our kitchen and our bar. We’ve also brought in the finest chefs, bartenders and serving staff to provide an exceptional customer experience that demonstrates our hometown pride.Come visit us and let us show you our vision.

1. In one sentence, describe your ethos or goal with Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. 

- To have a comfortable and casual atmosphere in which the neighborhood can grow and experience all the great bounty of fresh food and drink from the surrounding area. 

2. You are in farm country - do you have a favorite veg or fruit that you wait for all year?
- I have two- Tomatoes and Peaches. 

3. What inspires you, as a chef?
- The food. I see myself lucky to have grown up in this region and to have experienced all of the great products I have readily available all year round. 

4. How has technology shaped your business?
- Technology has made everything quicker, from ordering to reservation systems. 

5. What are you serving at IFBC?
- Green Goddess hummus on organic red wheat flour blini. 

6. If you could talk to all of our bloggers individually, what would you want them to know about food, technology, your biz?
- Although our job in the kitchen can be tiring and grueling, it's really rewarding at the end of the day because we're able to be creative and work with some of the best products the world has to offer. Here in Sacramento we’re starting to see a whole new level of exposure, whether it be from national magazines, Instagram or food bloggers. Working in this city during this time is getting really exciting.

Family owned and operated since 1926, Nugget Markets is a full-line grocery store that offers high-quality perishables and organics, specialty grocery items and conventional goods in a European marketplace setting. Since the very beginning, Nugget Markets has been committed to quality, selection, low prices and guest service. Celebrating 90 years in business, Nugget Markets now has nine locations in and around Sacramento Valley as well as three locations in Marin County and the recently acquired Sonoma Market and Glen Ellen Village Market in Sonoma Valley. Nugget Markets has been recognized by FORTUNE's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the last 11 years, ranking #13 in 2016. From ​its chef-led kitchens and artisan bakeries, to its extensive selection and world-class team of talented associates, Nugget Markets works hard to provide an extraordinary grocery experience for each and every guest.

We look forward to meeting and connecting with the 2016 attendees of the International Food Blogger Conference. Be sure to stop by our table at Friday night's Culinary Fair.

UC Davis is well-known for its long history of contributions to agriculture and expertise in food and wine. In fact, the university has probably had an influence on something delicious you’ve eaten recently. Here are six UC Davis innovations that have delighted taste buds worldwide.

1.    Sweeter Peaches

UC Davis Cooperative Extension Specialist Carlos Crisos to works with packagers and growers to pick peaches later in the season, dramatically improving flavor.

2.    The Cheese “Whiz”
Dr. Moshe Rosenberg has been studying and teaching dairy chemistry at the university since 1990 and has influenced cheese making around the world.

3.    Fresher Olive Oil
Biotechnology students created an award-winning “Oli View” biosensor that evaluates the chemical profile of olive oil—it’s a simple, cost-effective tool for detecting rancid oil.

4.    Honey, Honey
The Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute developed the honey flavor and aroma wheel and hosts tastings of numerous U.S. varietals of honey, from Florida Tupelo to Hawaiian Lihue.

5.    Muffins from Beer
Food science researchers crafted a sustainable solution to beer-making waste, transforming spent grain into nutritious, tasty baked goods.

6.    Endive Pioneer
UC Davis alum Rich Collins launched in 1983 what still remains the only commercial Belgian endive farm in the nation. Collins pioneered a method that tempers the bitterness of the vegetable by growing it in the dark.

UC Davis impacts the epicurean landscape through a wide range of disciplines and discoveries, but they all share a common goal of creating healthy, sustainable, and delicious food and drink.



Peaches image at top by ewan traveler.

Who We Are
“Tutto e possibile” — The belief that “anything is possible” connected the two passionate, thirty-something founders of HOT ITALIAN—one from an Italian-American family of artists and the other, an artistic pizzaiolo from the Italian Riviera.

Andrea Lepore’s and Fabrizio Cercatore’s mission was to build a place where pizza brings people together to celebrate Italy’s new generation of art, music, design, sport, food and wine.

By combining these elements with California’s urban lifestyle, seasonal, quality ingredients, and a conscious commitment to our environment and community, HOT ITALIAN hopes to inspire, make a difference, and create better neighborhoods.

Sustainability is seamlessly integrated throughout all aspects of HOT ITALIAN, from our buildings, our kitchens, our furniture, our apparel, our menus, our napkins, to the pizza in your box and on your plate, and even after.

Andrea Lepore
Founder + Creative Director
A design and cycling-enthusiast with a business background in sports marketing, Andrea handles the branding and development strategy for HOT ITALIAN. After a decade with the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, Lepore spent six years creating projects and campaigns for professional sports stars as founder of the nation’s first cause-related sports marketing agency. A University of California, Davis graduate, Lepore received her Master's Degree in Sustainable Design at Boston Architectural College and is a member of the Board of Trustees of The California Museum.

Fabrizio Cercatore
Founder + Maestro Pizzaiolo
Born in Northern Italy, Fabrizio owned tourist and local favorite “La Tavernetta” for 17 years on the Italian Riviera, minutes south of Cinque Terre, and often made over 200 pizzas in 90 minutes at the busy, 220-seat restaurant. Trained at the prominent Italian professional culinary school, IPAS, Fabrizio was one of only a handful of pizzaioli to earn the highest mark of 1,000 points in a regional competition. Cercatore created Passione Pizza in 2012, an original, organic flour company based in Berkeley, with the mission of bringing authentic, quality pizza into the home.

Whether you are first time visitor to the Sacramento area or an experienced traveler to America’s Farm-to-Fork capital, you’ll want to sign up and join this excursion to a hidden gemjust outside of city of Sacramento.  Even the area’s residents are largely unaware of this beautiful farming region. Dotted along the meandering Sacramento River not far from the city are age-old orchards, beautiful landscapes, family farms, and little-known parts of California rich with Farm-to-Fork culture.

For the first time in International Food Blogger Conference history, this year’s attendees will have an opportunity to experience America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital with an up-close look at one of California’s richest farming regions – the Sacramento Delta.

The trip will begin with a look at America’s one-and-only commercial-scale producer of Belgian Endive (pronounded “on-deev”) at California Endive Farms in Rio Vista, California.  Company founder Rich Collins will provide some background and interesting facts about this intriguing crop while enroute to the farm.  Once on-location, bloggers will get a look at the unique indoor growing facility where the second stage of a two-step process renders endives from chicory roots.

The adventure will continue back up Highway 160 through small communities situated along the historic Sacramento River levees to “pear country.”  Here the California Pear Advisory Board will introduce you to some of the farming families who have been growing pears for generations in orchards planted as far back as California’s Gold Rush. And since the excursion will be taking place at the peak of California pear season, attendees will get to see the live-action harvest of the unbelievably photogenic Bosc pears at David J. Elliot & Son’s Stillwater Orchards.

Ending the adventure with a taste of California’s glorious bounty. Guests will share a true Farm-to-Fork experience with farmers of locally-grown crops and wines in a picture-perfect setting at the heart of Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork movement. The light lunch will take place on the banks of the scenic Sacramento River and will include endive, pears, Delta-produced wines and other delicious locally-grown ingredients before heading back to the Capital City.


While basking in California’s scenic landscapes and savoring its glorious bounty, attendees of the Farm-to-Fork Adventure through Historic Sacramento Delta will have ample opportunity to capture breathtaking photos along the way.  As an added bonus, attendees are invited to enter a photo contest by sharing images captured during the excursion! By sharing photos of California pears and endive with their online communities of followers, they will be entered to win a random drawing with two opportunities to win $500! You won’t want to miss this excursion. Limited space is available, so sign up now.








REGISTER for 2016!
$195: Active Food Bloggers
$495: Non-Bloggers

Who Should Attend

Bloggers, Food Writers & Cookbook Authors

Publishers, Agents & Editors

Food Brand / Restaurant Marketers

Public Relations Professionals

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