In 2011, Chipotle launched their first Cultivate Festival, following it up in 2012 with stops in Denver and Chicago, and this year they're throwing one in San Francisco too, on Saturday, June 8. The idea is to bring together the music-and-food festival idea with an education component about cooking, farming and sustainability. And, of course, a hefty helping of nice PR for Chipotle.
You all may remember the ad, first aired in 2011, in which the company used a Willie Nelson cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist," and an animated film about pigs, farming, and the destructiveness of industrial farms, to promote themselves as custodians of a new, sustainable framework for fast food. The Cultivate Festival obviously fits in with that, and it's an ambitious undertaking, kind of like a mini-Outside Lands, which will go from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday in Hellman Meadow.
Chipotle founder and CEO Steve Ells got his start in the food world working the line at Stars in San Francisco, and it was his love of the Mission-style burrito that helped inspire the chain.
If you make an appearance, you'll be treated to a free burrito if you go on a scavenger hunt of sorts, getting stamps at four of the six "experiences" set up in the festival, like the California Avocado Experience, and Tabasco Mash Tasting Experience. And there's also going to be Chipotle grub and beers from Speakeasy and 21st Amendment available for purchase (for a reasonable $6).
There are some big-name music acts on the Music Stage throughout the day, including Matt Costa, Mayer Hawthorne, and The Walkmen.
And, throughout the day, there will be chef demos by the likes of Nate Appleman (the former A16 and SPQR chef who decamped to New York and now works for Chipotle), Rich Table's Evan and Sarah Rich, L.A. chefs Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook of Animal along with Top Chef Masters standout Ludo Lefebvre (with whom they've partnered on a new restaurant, Trois Mec), and Michael Chiarello.
It's all free, and the weather's supposed to be pretty nice, so you should stop by if you're looking for something to do. Oh, but because it's free, and if Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is any example, it could very well be a mob scene.
And for good measure, here's that pig video again.