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Where's the Beef...!?

If you haven’t heard the term “Farm-to-Fork” by now you probably don’t live in Sacramento.

Dan and Kim Domenighini of Painted Hills Natural Beef with Firehouse Executive Chef Stephen Ashley

In the off chance you haven’t been on Interstate 5 near the Cosumnes River Exit in the last half decade or so, there’s a big water tower there that says: “Welcome to Sacramento, America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.” Said tower has been making this proud proclamation since 2017, but obviously the delta region – with its meandering tendrils of rivers, sloughs, and canals – has long been an agrarian epicenter known to have some of the nation’s best staple food industries such as wine grapes, corn, rice, and tomatoes – oh, and caviar, don’t forget about the caviar. Sacramento is in fact, the caviar capital of the United States.

Many believe the farm-to-fork "movement" (especially when it's written in eight-foot-tall letters) is just a marketing ploy. Candidly, we don't think they're totally wrong, but primarily because this is not a new phenomenon. You can see from the menu below which was served at The Firehouse for Ronald Reagan's pre-inaugural dinner in 1967 that there was a pretty strong focus on local ingredients...

Proudly serving “Farm-to-Fork” cuisine since 1960...

While much of the food we serve at The Firehouse does indeed come from farms that are just down the road, things have changed a bit in the last 55 years (thank you refrigerated trucking) and it’s also up to us a culinary and management team here at the restaurant to find the absolute BEST ingredients we can.

Sometimes, those ingredients are caught in the ocean half-a-world away and sold to us by a local distributor. When it comes to terrestrial proteins though, the best ones usually come from a ranch that’s been run by a particular family (or group of families) for generations.

Our our rack of lamb for example is provided by a wholesaler who works with a network of small farms in New Zealand. Our pork belly and chops come most often from Rancho Llano Seco in Chico. And currently, both our UDSA Prime Ribeye and USDA Prime Filet Mignon come from Painted Hills Natural Beef in Central Oregon.

Earlier this year, Painted Hills won our business in a blind taste test that Chef Stephen prepared for restaurant management and ownership. We looked at unprepared, as well as prepared samples of numerous products marked simply with numbers 1 through 6. We then did blind taste-tests of both the Rib-Eyes and Filets, separately.