Jan
27

Lunch with Grange Restaurant & Bar’s New Executive Chef

by

It’s not the first time we have been to the Grange – we have been big fans since it opened in 2009. But the invitation to come and dine with the new executive chef – Chef Oliver Ridgeway – got us excited about stopping in and seeing what changes Grange has been up to.

The atmosphere of every restaurant is so influenced by the people in the kitchen, behind the bar and running between the tables. Grange has come into its own with a level of easy comfort and intense dedication to quality that is reflective of the staff in the kitchen but also feels more like this town. It’s so…Sacramento.

Part of the change can certainly be attributed to the humble yet intense personality of the executive chef. As Chef Oliver sat with us, we were struck right away by his quiet charm, intensity for detail, and his extensive experience. His background is a travel/food lover’s dream – Australia, New Orleans and the Caribbean are just a few of the places he has spent time in kitchens, learning the craft. His last gig was as the head chef at the Anasazi Restauran in Santa Fe, New Mexico – a personal favorite of mine.

Despite Chef Oliver’s impressive global background, he remains dedicated to offering cuisine that highlights the sense of place and is definitively “Sacramentan.” The passion, the demand for the freshest and most local ingredients, and the obsession over detail was evident in every dish the kitchen put in front of us.

 

I loved that the head bartender came up with a seasonal new drink using fresh ingredients, and that because tomatoes were not in season, a roasted tomato compote was used in the burger instead.

Chef Oliver’s approach to regional food is by no means unheard of, but we are excited that Sacramento has another outstanding chef who is passionately dedicated to knowing the growers behind the food, insisting on local and seasonal menus, and is persistent in defining what it means to be Sacramento cuisine. We look forward to seeing what more Grange has in store!

Grange Restaurant & Bar
926 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 492-4450

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