Claire Simon sells Girl Scout cookies

Girl Power

Business lessons in a box of Girl Scout cookies

Selling Girl Scout cookies on a rainy Saturday in Sacramento is a far cry from the Oscars, where A-list celebrities chipped in $65,243 after a Feb. 28 plug. Local Girl Scout Troop 1114 has to work a little harder for its money.

Mar 9, 2016 Joan Cusick
Roxy Restaurant & Bar

For the Love of Chefs

Food culture has turned chefs into local celebrities, but does it impact the restaurant’s bottom line?

Chefs continue to be among the hottest stars in Sacramento, and American, culture. That’s thanks to the Food Network’s image-building power, our exploding love of food and all things culinary, and a new societal reverence for hands-on authenticity. The consensus is that chefs with some level of recognition can help draw customers — most of the time. But restaurateurs and chefs say the cultural pizzazz around chefs can be a double-edged sword, and it’s a force they need to use wisely.

Mar 7, 2016 Rick Kushman
(Shutterstock)

Social Dining

Social media engagement is key to culinary success

It’s no news flash that chefs, just like everyone, can help construct reputations and build followings through social media. But many Sacramento chefs say that, given the competition in the restaurant business, and the number of bloggers, tweeters and Yelpers commenting on food, chefs can’t afford not to have a notable online presence.

Mar 2, 2016 Rick Kushman
Gold Hill Winery in Placerville

Country Roads

Travel spending is a solid source of income for the state’s major cities, but for rural counties in the Capital Region, it is king

In a part of the state with seemingly boundless natural assets, tourism is the number one industry for counties beyond Sacramento’s city limits. Aided by the rise of culinary travel, the farm-to-fork movement, and the craft beer and wine industries, this decade finds rural counties a bigger economic driver for the state than ever.

Feb 9, 2016 John Blomster
(Shutterstock)

The High Cost of Cheap Food

The problem with calling the food movement ‘elitist’

Americans spend very little of our overall incomes on food, only 10 percent, allowing us more expendable income than people in many other countries. In France and Japan, they spend 14 percent on food, and in the Philippines they spend 40 percent. In a system where food jobs rely on the success of food sales, cheap food creates a vicious cycle of poverty. Not surprisingly, the adverse is also true: More expensive food can create better jobs.

Jan 13, 2016 Amber Stott
(photography: kelly barr and sheryl trapani)

Feast Your Eyes on This

True gourmet dining starts with the plate, a canvas for culinary art

“There is an old adage that we eat with our eyes,” says John Weatherson, co-owner and co-chef, along with wife Nyna, of Restaurant Trokay. In his experience, the brain is conditioned to pre-determine the quality of a dish’s taste by the way it looks, and how a dish is plated ultimately helps to maximize the diner’s gastronomic experience. Located in the historic district of downtown Truckee, the couple’s culinary creations at Restaurant Trokay take center stage, but the presentation is no afterthought. 

Dec 21, 2015 Laurie Lauletta-Boshart
(Marita Madeloni of Madeloni Photography)

Sacramento Urban Farmer to Start Food Academy after Visit to Milan

South Sacramento urban farmer, Chanowk Yisrael, wants to see local food systems improve. Eight years ago, he started growing organic food for his family and eventually launched the Yisrael Family Urban Farm in Sacramento’s historic Oak Park neighborhood. Now, he’s expanding that vision to motivate Sacramento youth to become more engaged in changing our local food system — announcing today that he’ll be partnering with Slow Food Sacramento to charter the city’s first Food Academy.

Dec 10, 2015 Amber Stott
(Shutterstock)

A Sour, Hard-to-Eat, Occasionally Deadly Fruit Makes a Comeback

Let’s face it. The grapefruit is cumbersome and often sour. Also, it can kill you. So of course Stewart and Lynda Resnick decided it will be their next celebrity plant product. The Californians and their company, the Wonderful Co., have made a lot of money turning unassuming agricultural commodities into well-known brands.

Dec 8, 2015 Lauren Etter

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Cask & Barrel brings approachable dining to Del Paso Boulevard

At Cask & Barrel in north Sacramento, there are no entrees. The restaurant has a small kitchen staff and high-end food at low prices. Chef Gabriel Glasier and his pastry chef, business partner and fiancée, Kristel Flores, are bringing something different to a corner of Del Paso Boulevard that’s proved to be enigmatic, to say the least, for two decades.

Nov 16, 2015 Rick Kushman

Brewed by Design

The brewery tasting room is a new kind of social space, where ambience matters as much as ale

Wine tasting is often an experience shared only by the taster and pourer. A brewery tasting room, however, needs to facilitate the gregariously social aspects of craft beer, making space for interaction and mingling. Room to brew, room to chat and room to sample flights of beer make for highly dynamic spaces that bring to life the distinct personalities of brewers and their art.

Oct 20, 2015 Andy Galloway