News bites

Illustration by Mark Stivers

As the Farm-to-Fork capital, Sacramento’s got a lot going on in terms of new restaurants, budding chefs and new food-related laws for Gov. Jerry Brown to consider. Here’s the scoop on what’s what in the capital city:

Hey, home cooks! Sharpen those knives because Gov. Brown signed Assembly Bill 626, the California Retail Food Code. The bill makes it possible for home cooks to turn their original recipes made with love from their very own kitchens into mini-businesses. The stipulations: All home food operations must be inspected by a local health enforcement agency; home cooks must follow similar health, training and sanitation standards like any other food business; the maximum annual income these micro-businesses can produce is $50,000; and home cooks must sell directly to customers, not restaurants or retail stores. This is great news for low-income families, stay-at-home parents and immigrants who want to earn a living wage, but don’t have the means to open a brick-and-mortar.

River City Food Bank, an organization that provides healthy emergency nourishment to families and individuals in need, will say farewell to longtime executive director Eileen Thomas, who is set to retire in 2019. Thomas’ 15 years of work with RCFB includes adapting to the growing needs of families who suffer from food insecurity in Sacramento. RCFB said that it now serves more than 110,000 people and distributes upwards of 1.8 million pounds of food annually. The organization also expanded into the Arden Arcade neighborhood earlier this year to keep up with RCFB’s mantra that no one should go hungry. “I retire hoping I made a difference or at least brought a spotlight to food insecurity in our region,” Thomas said.

Pet owners, and the fur babies they love, welcomed Healthy Hounds Kitchen to its second location in the Ice Blocks corridor just two weekends ago, and canines of all ages are waggin’ their tails in approval. Co-owned by Chris Ouchida, Tim Tseng and local restaurateur Billy Ngo (Kru, Fish Face Poke Bar), Healthy Hounds’ concept was born out of the trio’s personal dogs’ necessities for healthy meals. Ouchida told SN&R that a lot of dog food found on grocery store shelves is full of additives and byproducts. With that in mind, they developed meals made from “100 percent USDA certified meats and produce,” cooked to optimal temperatures to preserve its nutritional value. No Kibbles ’n’ Bits here. The top-dog meal at the moment? Ouchida says that goes to the Chicken & Russet Potato recipe. But his Staffordshire terrier, Kayo, prefers the Venison & Lentils variety made from sweet potato, green peas, kale, Icelandic fish oil and other quality ingredients. Bone-appétit, pups.