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The Kitchen Restaurant Wins Sacramento’s First-Ever Michelin Star

Christophe Ena / AP file

In this file photo dated Thursday, Feb.9, 2017, The Michelin Guide 2017 is pictured in Paris, France.

Christophe Ena / AP file

Updated Tuesday, 3:45 p.m.

There’s a new star in the Sacramento restaurant scene.

The Kitchen, a fine-dining destination in the city since husband-wife team Randall and Nancy Selland opened its doors in 1991, was awarded on Monday a coveted star by Michelin.

It’s the first time the group, which publishes guides to hotels and restaurants worldwide and awards up to three stars to establishments, has honored a Sacramento restaurant.

Led by executive chef Kelly McCown, The Kitchen features a set, seasonal menu at a fixed price. Chefs present each course and interact with diners, who are also invited during part of the multihour meal to explore the kitchen.

Last week, Michelin awarded three Sacramento eateries — Canon, Frank Fat’s and Mother — with “Bib Gourmand” awards, recognizing exceptional restaurants where you can get food and wine for less than $40.

Visit Sacramento worked to get Michelin to consider Sacramento, while the state's Visit California tourism board paid the group $600,000 to send its inspectors to restaurants outside of the Bay Area, where it has traditionally only awarded stars.

Michelin also gave out 10 “plate” awards to what it describes as exceptional restaurants.

Craig Takehara, chef and owner of 30-seat, “izakaya”-style restaurant Binchoyaki in downtown Sacramento, says he learned of his plate award only when friends and fellow chefs texted him the news.

"I really enjoy the food scene here in Sacramento. Everybody's so supportive of everybody,” he said. “And me being a first-time business owner and only doing this for a few years now, it's really nice to have the support of the community. And I really appreciate that."

Other Michelin plate awards went to Allora, Bacon & Butter, Ella Dining Room & Bar, Grange, Localis, Mayahuel, Ming Dynasty, Mulvaney’s B&L and Zocalo.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the group that paid Michelin. It was Visit California.

Nick Miller

Senior Editor, News & Features

Nick Miller is an award-winning editor with more than 15 years of newsroom experience. Previously he was editor-in-chief of the East Bay Express in Oakland, and worked as an editor for 12 years at the Sacramento News & Review.  Read Full Bio 

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