Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

California Humanities Presents California on the Table: An Evening Celebrating Our State’s Delicious Food Stories on September 12

CA on the Table web - alt 2

Fundraiser at One Kearny Club Features Nikiko Masumoto of Masumoto Family Farms & Food by James Beard-Nominated Chef Reem Assil 

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Claudia Leung,, 415.391.1474 x303
July 12, 2019

(San Francisco, CA) —California Humanities presents California on the Table: An Evening Celebrating Our State’s Delicious Food Stories on Thursday, September 12, 2019, 6 to 8 pm, at One Kearny Club in San Francisco. The evening includes guest speakers Nikiko Masumoto of Masumoto Family Farm, and catering by James Beard Award Nominee Chef Reem Assil. Guests will also hear from two of California Humanities’ grantees, California Foodways’ Lisa Morehouse and Steven Wong of LA Heat.

Guests will begin their evening at 6 pm with hors d’oeuvres from Reem’s Catering inspired by traditional Arab street food made with California love and a hosted bar in the beautiful One Kearny Club, atop the iconic One Kearny Building in San Francisco’s Union Square. Guests will enjoy mingling with California Humanities Board, Staff, and grantees, as well as featured speakers, while enjoying the space’s modern design blended with historical features, and the dramatic skyline views from the outdoor terrace. The program includes a welcome from California Humanities President and CEO Julie Fry, followed by remarks from Masumoto, Morehouse, and Wong. A fund-a-need will offer guests the opportunity to raise a paddle to support California Humanities’ programs.

Guests may purchase tickets for $100. This special fundraising event will support California Humanities grants and programs that connect people in California to ideas and one another in order to understand our shared heritage and diverse cultures, inspire civic participation, and shape our future. For tickets, click here.

“California is known as a state with many rich food traditions, and the projects that California Humanities has supported and presented over almost 45 years have truly reflected that,” said Fry. “California on the Table is an opportunity for people to share their love for California’s incredible food stories while supporting our grants and programs that reach every corner of the state.”


Nikiko Masumoto (she/her) can be described as an organic farmer, memory keeper, community worker, and artist. She is a fourth generation farmer in California where she grows organic nectarines, apricots, peaches and grapes for raisins with her family (Masumoto Family Farm). Her work with in agriculture is often her springboard to working in place, storytelling, and community. You might find her on a stage, performing her one-woman show about Japanese American memory or speaking at a gathering about equity, story, and connection to food and the land. You could find Masumoto in community meetings, planning and designing intergenerational programming or with rural artists and creative placemakers imagining what resilient futures could be. Nikiko has co-authored two books: a cookbook called The Perfect Peach and Changing Season. She is the co-founder and co-director of Yonsei Memory Project, a movement to give power and life to Japanese American memory keeping. Masumoto serves on the board of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Western States Arts Federation, and Art of the Rural.

Lisa Morehouse is an award-winning public radio reporter and editor focusing on food, agriculture, and the people who make both possible. She produces California Foodways, a county-by-county exploration of stories at the intersection of food, culture, history, economics, labor and the environment. The stories air on KQED’s The California Report Magazine, and national shows like All Things Considered, The World, and Here and Now. The series received a national Edward R. Murrow Award and two James Beard nominations. An editor at KALW’s Crosscurrents, Morehouse also teaches audio production to high school and college students. 

Steven Wong is a curator at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Art Park. Previously he was the Interim Executive Director and the senior staff curator at the Chinese American Museum where he developed and implemented both contemporary art and history exhibitions. As part of the Getty’s 2017 Pacific Standard Time LA/LA, he conceived of and co-curated an exhibition examining the historic circuits of migrations, cross-connections, and flows of artists and Chinese diasporic communities influenced artistic production within the larger development of Caribbean art. In 2014, Wong curated LA Heat: Taste Changing Condimentsan exhibit that brought together over 30 LA-based artists from disparate art worlds to explore the sociocultural plurality and hybridity of LA via the city’s culinary innovation. Wong is also a visual art and has exhibited in museums and galleries in LA and New York.

Reem Assil founded Reem’s with a passion for the flavors of Arab street-corner bakeries and the vibrant communities where they’re located. Growing up in a Palestinian-Syrian household, Assil was surrounded by the aromas and tastes of food from the homeland and the connections they evoked of her heritage, family, and community. Before dedicating herself to a culinary career, Assil worked for a decade as a community and labor organizer and brings the warmth of community to all her events. She was a 2018 James Beard Semi-Finalist for Best Chef West, San Francisco Magazine’s 2018 Chef of the Year and San Francisco Chronicle’s 2017 Rising Star Chef.

TITLE: California on the Table: An Evening Celebrating Our State’s Delicious Food Stories
DATE & TIME: Thursday, September 12, 2019, 6–8 pm
LOCATION: One Kearny Club, 23 Geary Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
PRICE: $100 ($50 tax deductible)

California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities – focused on ideas, conversation and learning – as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect people to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more, visit, or like and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


For hi-res press images & interviews: Claudia Leung,, 415.391.1474 x303


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