Food & Drink

Sacramento Kings issue sustainable food charter for Golden 1 Center

The view from court level onto the floor of the Golden 1 Center, in Sacramento, Calif. March 7, 2016
The view from court level onto the floor of the Golden 1 Center, in Sacramento, Calif. March 7, 2016

The Sacramento Kings announced on Thursday an ambitious new food and sustainability charter that aims to turn the new Golden 1 Center arena into a trailblazer in culinary, nutritional and ethical food standards.

While the team is struggling yet again to reach the playoffs, its food and beverage initiatives might soon be leading the league when it comes to seasonal menus, sustainable practices and locally sourced ingredients.

The charter is a more detailed rundown of the team’s oft-stated goal to source ingredients from the many farms in the Sacramento region and beyond – but not too far beyond. The charter aims to have 90 percent of the ingredients come from within a 150-mile radius of the downtown arena, which is on track to open in October.

The principles outlined in the one-page document are a reflection of the city’s high-profile marketing campaign to position Sacramento as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.”

“With our new arena, Golden 1 Center, we see an opportunity to directly honor the people and values of Sacramento,” stated Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive in an essay penned for the launch of the food charter. “From concept to design to construction, we have purposefully made decisions that shine a light on the people, the businesses and the culture of the Central Valley.”

In addition to its sourcing and menu initiatives, the food charter says the Golden 1 Center “will partner with farmers, growers and producers who produce in a good, clean and fair manner consistent with the Slow Food ethos.”

The charter says the arena will practice sustainable waste management by using disposable containers that are compostable and biodegradable as well as a “biodigester” to reduce green waste. The arena will donate extra food to hunger relief efforts such as food banks and related nonprofits; and it will serve as a “hub” for sustainability education. Michael Tuohy is the executive chef at the arena and has been working for months to pull all of the charter’s pieces together.

Additionally, the Kings have assembled an advisory panel to help with ideas and solutions related to the food and sustainability charter. The panel includes leaders in the agricultural, environmental and culinary fields and businesses such as Raley’s Family of Fine Stores.

“It’s the first real corporate-level partner that has fully embraced this notion of good quality food and supporting the agricultural economy. We’re really pleased with them stepping up,” said advisory panel member Shawn Harrison, founder and co-director of Soil Born Farms. “As far as somebody stepping fully into this from an institutional perspective, I haven’t seen anybody else do this. If they pull this off, it’s going to set the gold standard, as far as I’m concerned.”

Golden 1 Center is scheduled to open in the fall. The first event is an Oct. 15 concert by the pop music group Maroon 5.

Blair Anthony Robertson: 916-321-1099, @Blarob