As a leader in Sacramento’s drive to be “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” and the creative force at Grange—one of the city’s top restaurants—Oliver Ridgeway knows where to find foodie treasures.
The British-born chef started cooking in his father’s restaurant in Sussex. After attending cooking school, his career took off at a meteoric rate—the Queen Elizabeth II cruise ship, K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen, the Olympics, and New York’s Carlyle Restaurant are just a few places he’s showcased his culinary gifts. He started at Grange—in the Citizen Hotel—in 2011, and has drawn rave reviews ever since, focusing on what he loves: California’s abundance of seafood and vegetables.
So we asked him where he likes to eat when he goes out, and about some other favorite places in the city he now calls home.
“People think vegetarian food is boring. Not at Mother. You won’t miss meat.” Chef Oliver’s pick: the nightly Chef’s 10 ($65), featuring a changing menu of seasonal small plates.
“Sacramento is like a Disneyland for craft-beer lovers, and Track 7 created all the buzz. They’ve got a fun, experimental approach to making beer—their IPA took the city by storm—plus it’s got food trucks and great areas for kids.”
“Chef Patrick Mulvaney takes a rustic-but-elevated approach to farmhouse cuisine, using honest ingredients that are sourced locally—fresh pasta, hand-pulled mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes. At Mulvaney’s B&L, you definitely feel like you’re in someone’s living room.”
“This farm’s urban-ag programs are creating farmers for tomorrow. What you see at Soil Born Farms depends on the season. In spring, there are lambs and baby pigs; autumn brings special events with small bites and live music.”
“This is a really nice celebration on the Capitol Mall, a good opportunity to experience local restaurants’ food and see what farmers are doing. Even better, it's free!”