Califonia Bountiful

Mother knows best

America's Farm-to-Fork Capital is home to unique restaurant and farm partnerships.

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Sacramento is the capital city of the largest agriculture-producing state in the nation. The region boasts thousands of acres of farmland, hundreds of unique restaurants and dozens of farmers markets, so it's not surprising that in 2012, Sacramento proclaimed itself America's Farm-to-Fork Capital. It's also not surprising that it keeps its title by having farms like Watanabe Farms and restaurants like Mother.

Heidi Watanabe and her husband Clark, a fourth-generation farmer, grow a variety of produce on their 7-acre farm in West Sacramento. They have found success by delivering their harvest to some of the finest restaurants in the area. And that includes one of Sacramento's newest hot spots—Mother. From the heart of downtown Sacramento, the staff at Mother restaurant creates a weekly menu by talking to their favorite farmers about what's new, fresh and in season.

Mother restaurant was started by Sacramento natives Mike Thiemann and Matt Masera.  The chefs have worked together for the last seven years in both Hawaii and San Francisco, but felt it was time to come home and start a restaurant of their own. Though the restaurant isn't entirely vegetarian, it does celebrate vegetables. Both chefs say that despite Sacramento being known as a "cow town," it's also a vegetable town—with tomatoes, asparagus, corn and leafy greens all being grown within a short drive from the restaurant.

They say, "Mother knows best," and according to these chefs, the best is locally grown fruits and vegetables from farms like Watanabe Farms. And having just opened its doors in January, Mother restaurant is well on its way to establishing roots in America's Farm-to-Fork Capital.

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