National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Something’s cooking



What makes the Sacramento food scene so special? We’re surrounded by farms. We live in such a rich agricultur­al region and the Northern California­n climate means we’re blessed with a 12-month growing season. From tomatoes to sushi rice, the produce grown here is so good it ends up in the best restaurant­s in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. But, obviously, it’s freshest here because we’re right on its doorstep, so, dishes in our restaurant­s are full of flavour as a result.

You’ve been working as a chef in Sacramento for over 25 years. How has the restaurant scene changed in that time? Dramatical­ly. When I first came here, there were about five local farms producing great ingredient­s; now there are 50. Plus, the quality has gone up along with the quantity. Local farmers are better educated and better engaged in the process — and we, as chefs, have begun celebratin­g them on our menus. You know when the tomatoes on a menu have your name on them, then you’re right out front. The farmers enjoy that — and they’ve responded with consistent­ly amazing produce.

How does the food here compare to that of other California­n cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco? We have a way, way closer relationsh­ip with our farmers here. There’s a two-way trust you don’t get anywhere else in California, and that’s reflected in our menus: what they bring through the door each morning is what we end up putting on plates that evening. The food scene in LA is very different; the city is a melting pot of cultures, and that comes through in its restaurant scene, where you get these amazing fusions. It’s very creative, and intriguing to explore.

Farm-to-fork has been a highly successful movement since the turn of the century. Where do you see it 20 years’ time? A new generation of incredibly creative chefs has started coming through. For me, as I get older, it’s time to step back a little and watch. For more than two decades, we’ve worked hard to make Sacramento a better place to live and eat in. I’d argue that we’ve been successful — and I’m excited to see what comes next. visitsacra­ visitcalif­


Patrick Mulvaney is the co-owner and chef of Mulvaney’s B+L, a New American restaurant in Midtown. He also works with Roots of Change, a California-based think tank promoting a sustainabl­e food supply chain. mulvaneysb­ rootsofcha­

 ?? ?? From left: Tower Bridge at sunrise; chef
Patrick Mulvaney
From left: Tower Bridge at sunrise; chef Patrick Mulvaney
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 ?? ?? Assorted pickled vegetables at Canon
Assorted pickled vegetables at Canon

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