By Charlotte King

The newest “foodie craze” sweeping Sacramento in not food trucks or cupcakes — it’s Restaurant-Hosted Dinners. From importing celebrity chefs to combining restaurant local chefs’ talents under a blended theme, themed cook-offs or winery dinners – Sacramento is finding new ways to keep its culinary talents alive. A great way to keep up with who’s doing what where is to follow these chefs’ or restaurants’ Facebook pages. Here’s a sampling of some of the recent excitement.

The Kitchen
2225 Hurley Way
Sacramento, California 95825
(916) 568-7171
Hours Wed to Thu 6:30pm-10pm; Fri to Sat 7pm-10:30pm; Sun 5pm-10pm
Directory listing

1131 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 443-3772
Hours: Weekdays 11:30am-10pm; Sat 5pm-10pm
Directory listing

elladiningroom Exclusive Dinners, Hosted by Your Local Restaurant

(credit: Ella Dining Room and Bar website)

The Kitchen, a Randall Selland venture started over 20 years ago has long been thought of a the haute couture in Sacramento dining, with a monthly changing six-course Demonstration Menu at $125.00 a head it’s our own little slice of The French Laundry right here in Sac. But Chef Randell’s newest venture is Ella, named after his granddaughter this gorgeous white linen and glass restaurants is not only the current cooking house of Chef Kelly McGowan but is a common guest host to the likes of the legendary Todd Humphries. Such dinners like The Ella “Wild Table” Dinner with Chef Todd Humphries of Kitchen Door Napa and Famed Forager and Wild Food Aficionado Connie Green of Wine Forest Mushrooms. This is a more commonplace occurrence than ever at Ella.

grange Exclusive Dinners, Hosted by Your Local Restaurant

(credit: Grange website)

926 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 492-4450
Hours Mon to Thu 6:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm; Fri to Sat 6:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11:30pm; Sun
6am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-9pm

Another culinary adventure comes around holiday time for The Annual Duck Off competition in Sacramento between the two-time James Beard nominee Hank Shaw and Grange Restaurant’s very talented Chef Tuohy. Diners are served 5-courses from both, where the guests then vote for the winner. This competition brings together everything that is local, sustainable, farm-to-table, and slow food about Sacramento – not to mention outstandingly good eats, while two very talented chef’s try to out-do the other.

Formoli Bistro
3839 J Street
Sacramento, California 95816
(916) 448-5699
Hours Tue-Thu 11:30am-9:30pm;
Fri-Sat 11:30am-10pm
red lotus charlotte king Exclusive Dinners, Hosted by Your Local Restaurant

(credit: Charlotte King)

Red Lotus Kitchen & Bar
2718 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816-4314
(916) 231-0961
Hours: Mon to Fri Lunch 11:30am-10:00pm; Fri to Sat Dinner 3:00pm-12:00am; Sat to Sun Brunch

Slow Beer Movement Dinners. Thus far there have been four, and their cult following is growing fast. These dinners are being used as a “teaching tool” as well, and there are six courses to study here, all about beer and food; and the symmetry that can be found when they are paired. When Chefs’ Billy Ngo and Aimal Formoli get together the food becomes very creative. Their food paired with sour beers from around the globe put together by Mark Neuhauser, takes a normal meal to abnormal standards. “The concept came from putting local chefs and local breweries together and involving people in the whole process,” says Formoli. “Putting all that together and making people that attend involved and showing them the whole thing.”

Charlotte King is an aspiring food photographer, and freelance food & wine writer in midtown Sacramento. Find out more about her adventures at Food and Wine Diva.

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