The Clever Root

Fall / Winter 2015

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8 4 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t Stick a fork in It! CHEF Spotlight SURROUNDED BY BOUNTIFUL AGRICULTURE, SACRAMENTO IS PRIMED FOR A RESTAURANT BOOM by Amy Payne " H ow the hell do I know if I have a farm-to-fork farm if there's no f**king fork on my farm?' said Dan Silva [principal organizer of the Yuba-Sutter Farmer's Market and a walnut farmer]," recounted Chef Patrick Mul- vaney, owner of Mulvaney's B&L. After Mayor Kevin Johnson proclaimed Sacramento, California the "Farm-to-Fork Capital of America "in 2012, Mulvaney, Silva, and long-time guest Mike Matteucci were standing around the bar wrap- ping their heads around what this new identity meant. "I have a plasma cutter and a few sheets of steel. How many do you want?" responded Matteucci without hesitation. Within a couple weeks, he came back with a few dozen four-foot-tall forks. "We spread them throughout local restaurants and farms that support the farm-to-fork movement," said Mulvaney. To local chefs, farm-to-fork is simply a title. Most agree that cooking with local, sea- sonal and fresh ingredients is the lifestyle of Sacramento they have been practicing for years. As a chef or resident, everywhere you turn offers produce that has been grown within a short drive. Sacramento hosts farmers' markets seven days a week, seven months of the year and three days a week, 12 months of the year. Seventy percent of the Sacramento region is productive agricultural land. With over 400 specialty crops grown in California, seasonal produce is accessible year-round. The 2012 Farm-to-Fork campaign has been promoted regionally and throughout the state through farmers' markets and culinary events, like the third annual Old Town Tower Bridge dinner in September. The climax of the two-week Farm-to-Fork celebration attracts over 700 guests, a hot ticket that sold out in 30 seconds. This is one of many events to help educate the public on why eating local products and in local restaurants is so important to the community's overall health. Here are some of the chefs who are ┬║practicing what they preach. When in doubt, just look for the ornate four-foot-tall forks. PHOTO BY OCTAVIO VALENCIA 8 4 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t

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