The pieces are nearly in place for the second annual Sacramento TomatoFest, July 30 at Town & Country Village. But before we get to those details, there's one other thing...
Take a good look at the TomatoFest mascot in the photograph. She'll make her debut at the festival, but she needs a name. To that end, the winner of the "Name the Mascot" contest will receive a $100 gift certificate good at participating stores at the shopping center. Email your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org, with your name, city of residence and daytime phone number. Deadline is July 22.
Also: Those tomatoes growing in your backyard garden right now could be a "cash crop" at the TomatoFest. At stake is $500 in prize money for each winner in three tomato categories: largest, smallest and ugliest. The tomatoes must be ripe. Contestants can download entry forms at www.theterracecuisine.com., or register tomatoes in person by 9:30 a.m. July 30.
There's more: Restaurant chefs will compete for the Orient & Flume glass-art trophy and bragging rights as they prepare their best salsa, bruschetta and cold or hot tomato-based soup (samples will be available to help attendees decide on the People's Choice Award). Last year's grand-prize winner was chef Jon Nelson of Sienna in El Dorado Hills.
Judging the dishes will be Gloria Glyer and Bernice Hagen, who were part of Sacramento magazine's Dining Divas team for 17 years; wine writer and former Sacramento Bee restaurant reviewer Mike Dunne; Sacramento Bee wine columnist Chris Macias; and Alex Lane, community manager of Yelp.
Also on the agenda are a village-wide sidewalk sale, live music, art displays, winetasting, gardening demonstrations, a children's area, a Tomato Trot for kids 13 and younger, and performances by the Sacramento Theatre Company. Taste-wise, look for tomato-based truffles and gelato, and bloody Marys.
Cooking demonstrations will be given by Nelson of Sienna, Buonarroti chef and co-owner Daniel Alcantaro, chef Gene Moana of Forge in the Forest in Carmel, and chef-cookbook author Elaine Corn.
The second annual Sacramento TomatoFest will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 30 at Town & Country Village, Marconi and Fulton avenues, Sacramento; (916) 933-4056, www.shoptownandcountry.com