For a single night, Sacramento took center stage at one of the worlds most heralded culinary centers.
Mulvaneys B&L, a figurehead eatery of Sacramentos farm-to-fork movement, was invited to prepare dinner on March 14 at the James Beard House in New York City. The James Beard Foundation, named after the trailblazing American chef and author, hosts a series of dinners at its Greenwich Village brownstone to showcase the countrys finest cooking.
James Beard was really the first person to talk about American food, said Patrick Mulvaney of Mulvaneys B&L. When I started cooking, the food world was Franco-centric. It was all France and there was nothing else out there. He had really broken many of those barriers and planted so many seeds.
Mulvaney and a 12-person crew made the 2,800-mile trek to New York, shipping boxes of the regions key ingredients for a meal titled A Promise of Spring: Savoring Sacramento. Highlights included:
• Quail eggs benedict
• Monterey abalone with first favas and brown butter
• Spring pea tortellini with green garlic and aged cheddar
• Dixon rack of lamb with new potatoes and Delta asparagus
• Strawberries jubilee for dessert
When I was writing the menu and I started with the framework, it was (about) having grown up in New York and knowing what its like in March when youve been through three hard months of winter, just hoping for that first bit of spring to come out, Mulvaney said.
Only two other Sacramentans have received invitations to cook at James Beard House: David Soohoo of Chinois East West and Maurizio Contartese of Bravo Ristorante. With Sacramentos farm-to-fork scene enjoying support from food enthusiasts and civic officials alike, the dinner was seen as a timely step for Sacramento to increase its presence on the countrys culinary map.