The past two years have been remarkably unpredictable for long-time Sacramento chef Jacob Carriker.
When downtown Sacramento’s Brew It Up poured its last beer in 2011, owner Michael Costello lost more than his business. “I lost everything,” he says. “Nobody really knows the whole breadth of it. It’s not an easy thing to go through.”
Imagine you’re a successful businessman, but what you really want to be is a professional baseball player. You’re so sure of yourself that you begin spending nights and weekends studying and training as if Major League Baseball will soon be calling. And then they actually do, and at your first at-bat, you clear the bases.
That’s pretty much how things happened when Granite Bay pharmacist Dr. Grover Lee decided to become an award-winning winemaker.
Great food capitals of the world: Can you name them? Florence. Paris. Tokyo. Barcelona. Istanbul. Singapore. What do these destinations of culinary delights offer?
For the past 10 years, Paul Marsh has pledged himself to the pursuit of wine. In Chico, he learned the intricacies of its fruit by planting and harvesting a vineyard. With Kendall Jackson, he learned to sell. At The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento, he was educated on the finer points of building a wine collection in a hospitality setting, and he became a certified sommelier.
For the new owners of the Sloughhouse Inn, the challenges of running a restaurant began when patrons started walking through the door. Apparently, management wasn’t actually planning on customers showing up.
In the past two decades, bucolic Sonoma and Marin counties have been at the center of a cheese renaissance that has seen the rise of dozens of artisan and farmstead products, including cheese made from the milk of sheep, goat and water buffalo. With nearly 30 cheesemakers and creameries opening their doors to visitors, exploring curd culture has never been easier.
On Fair Oaks Boulevard, between El Camino Boulevard and Marconi Avenue sits the dormant and barely noticeable Hillside Shopping Center. Or what’s left of it.
The woman on the other end of the line, a long-time patron of the now-shuttered La Boheme restaurant, said she wouldn’t be able to dine at Mighty Tavern. Her church didn’t allow its members to go into bars.
Six months ago, Kevin O’Connor hit a wall. He had a good job in a good kitchen, but his body was exhausted and his passion was gone. So, at 24, he decided to step down as the chef of the now-shuttered Blackbird Kitchen & Bar and dig for a new plan.
Pulling up to the bland business park that is home to La Tourangelle’s nut oil bottling facility gives no indication of the nexus of culinary artistry housed inside.
But step through the doors and start talking to Matthieu Kohlmeyer, the energetic founder and CEO of the Woodland company, and you’ll discover that this quiet farming town is home to a vibrant French connection and a business that’s ridden the wave of consumer health trends and successfully plugged into the farm-to-fork movement.
It took a year of arduous twists and turns, but Matt Sin and Krissy White finally got what they wanted. The business partners and co-owners of the just-opened Foundation Restaurant & Bar at Fourth and L streets in downtown Sacramento have an eatery of their own. It’s a sweet relief to be sure, because the story behind it is rather unsavory.
Tucked in a quiet corner of western Yolo County, Winters embraces the soul of small-town living. Centered around a historic downtown complete with white gazebo and an oversized main street clock, this tiny farm town (population 6,624) is on the cusp of a burgeoning new food scene.
Emerging restaurateurs Clay Nutting and Michael Hargis found a niche made in heaven when they opened their midtown spin on a German bier hall. Now, just ten months after opening, LowBrau is operating in the black, and the owners have their sights set on future growth. Check out the story behind the beer taps in this month’s Emerge video feature.
On a late afternoon in the Caraccioli Cellars tasting room, the scrape of bar stools on the concrete floor signals the arrival of yet another couple exploring Monterey’s thriving wine scene.
Demand for gluten-free foods is increasing as more American’s are gaining awareness about the health impacts of wheat. Health seekers and people sensitive to wheat’s protein composite are often limited by the menu options at standard restaurants. But that is changing as local eateries capitalize on the surge of consumers with dietary restrictions.
In October of last year, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson declared Sacramento the “Farm-to-Fork Capital of America,” presenting the city with a long-term opportunity to build a distinct brand identity that could help the region attract and retain citizens, conventions, tourists and entrepreneurs. It’s especially valuable because a strong regional identity gives energy to the economic engines that make cities successful. Anyone needing proof can look directly to Austin, Texas.
As a child, Michael Hampton often rode his bike down Folsom’s Sutter Street in search of his grandfather, who spent a great deal of time at the Sutter Club bar and other businesses along the historic drive.
“Today, my uncle owns the Sutter Club,” Hampton says. “And because there’s a lot of family history there, I’ve always wanted to have some type of presence on the street, too.” Last year, that vision became a reality.
Across the street from the bustling Capitol, a new establishment is making the most of the region’s history of agriculture and abundance — at the hands of three owners willing to supply the gusto and know-how.