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This month, we'd like to introduce you to Berkley Bar's rockstar bartender, Marisa Heyne.

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Paragary's is excited to welcome and introduce chef de cuisine, Patrick Prager. With 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry and a passion for creating delicious food, we are thrilled to have Patrick on our team.

While we can certainly speak to Patrick's talents as a chef, this month we got the chance to learn more about his life beyond the kitchen - from his greatest inspiration and favorite activities outside of work, to his number one guilty pleasure food and more.

We hope you enjoy learning more about Patrick as much as we did!


Q&A With Chef Patrick Prager:

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If you've been to Paragary's, you know we have a passionate, talented and knowledgable team. This month, we had the chance to catch up with award winning bartender & Paragary's house sommelier, Kristin Lozano.

Kristin recently won first place - a trip to Ireland - in the national Tullamore D.E.W. Bar Stories Cocktail competition for her cocktail, Irish Rose. She was also featured in the latest issue of SOMM Journal Magazine as part of their SommCamp, hosted by Fred Dame- MS and the Wineries and Vintners in Santa Barbara County.

So we know Kristin can craft a delicious cocktail and tell us all about wine, but what's her favorite thing to do outside of work? Her guilty-pleasure food? Her favorite thing about Sacramento? We're about to find...

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In honor of Farm-to-Fork month, we decided to have some fun with our chefs and get them to spill the beans on their most secret vegetable aspirations.

We asked them to tell us, if they could be any vegetable, what would it be and why. It is pretty obvious that some of our veggie loving chefs have put a good deal of thought into this question before.

First up, Chef Jason from Hock Farm! He says he would be a pepper because he is fiery and sweet! Do you think he looks more fiery or sweet in this picture?

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That's just his chef face! He is the sweetest pepper ever!

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Next, Chef Kelly Her from Cafe Bernardo on Capitol is a broccoli fanatic exclaiming, "Grill it! Steam it! Saute it! Eat or raw! Mash it! Use it any way you want. I love those little trees."

Chef Scott Turnipseed from Cafe Bernardo Pavillions stuck to his roots and decided he would be a turnip because he comes from a turnip seed and is sustainable and rooted in the ground!

Chef TJ Brewer from Cafe Bernardo-R15 might just have been a green bean in a past life. He said he "would like to be a green bean, when I grow I hang and watch everything else grow day and nite. Everyone likes to watch me grow into this beautiful eatable bean." temp-post-image

Chef TJB went on to explain that, as a green bean, he could be served up in many many ways, and is very nutritional. He also suggest that he would prefer to be served as chilled green bean salad with red wine vinaigrette.
Do you see a resemblance?
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Paragary's chef, Jodie Chavious was a bit more indecisive than the rest of the chefs. First she chose to be a sweet pea. Then she decided that a spring carrot was more appropriate because it is grounded, sweet, and a staple in cooking. But then her true vegetables dreams were realized when she decided to become a couch potato...or better yet, a fun-gi (mushroom, get it?)!

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If you could be any vegetable, what would it be and why?
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People are often surprised to hear that, in addition to operating 14 restaurants and bars in the Sacramento area, Paragary Restaurant Group also runs a bakery that supplies pastries, desserts, bread, pasta, and pizza dough to all their own locations, as well as a few other restaurants outside of their group.

It is no easy task managing a bakery with such high demand, but Laurel Sanders-Melchor, head pastry chef and bakery manager, handles it with ease. She is backed up by a dedicated crew that works throughout the night to make sure all orders are ready to be delivered by 7a.m. every morning, like Ramon Lopez, who has helped manage the bakery since 1999, and starts his shifts at midnight.

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Laurel has been with Paragary Restaurant Group s...

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Jen Lewis, the assistant general manager at Cafe Bernardo on K and KBAR, is a Sacramento native with a passion for the growth of the downtown Sacramento dining and nightlife. Jen’s career with Paragary Restaurant Group began in November 2014 as a bartender and supervisor at Cafe Bernardo Midtown and Monkey Bar located on Capitol and 28th in midtown Sacramento. Her hard work, quick wit and humor quickly earned her a spot in the heart of frequenters to the midtown location.In August 2015, Jen was promoted to assistant general manager of Cafe Bernardo on K and KBAR located on K and 10th Street in downtown Sacramento. Jen is the type of manager who is willing to get her hands dirty while remembering the importance of keeping a positive...

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Since opening its doors a little over two years ago, Berkley Bar in the Pavilion shopping center has become a popular spot to enjoy a libations and provisions in a friendly and lively (yet relaxing) space. While Berkley Bar has gained a reputation as the go-to wine bar in the area, the new bar manager, Eli Bob has some exciting new ideas to set the bar even higher for Berkley Bar by expanding its craft cocktail selections and ensuring that every visit to Berkley Bar is one you won’t forget.

Berkley Bar has always offered top-notch service from knowledgeable service staff, but Eli Bob wants to help all staff focus on creating an extra special experience for his guests. Bob prides himself on his desire to always find a way to connec...

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Centro Cocina Mexicana, located on the corner of 28th and J Street, has been a staple in midtown Sacramento for over 20 years. Centro is committed to serving fresh, authentic dishes that represent the regional cuisines of Mexico. Of course, no Mexican restaurant would be complete without a wide array of tequila. Centro takes the tequila game one step further by creating their own infused tequila using fresh fruit, rotating the flavors weekly.

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When you visit a place like Centro, where everything on the menu sounds like it will hit the spot, it is nice to have knowledgeable and gracious servers to help guide you through the menu and create a memorable experience. One of the servers at Centro who can do that the best is Alexis Johnson.

Ale...

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If you have ever sat at the bar at Paragary’s Midtown or Hock Farm Craft & Provisions, you have probably had the pleasure of being served by bartender extraordinaire, Baron Stelling. Not only is he skilled at coming up with creative concoctions, but his dazzling personality will leave you wanting to ditch a table in the main dining room to keep hanging out with him at the bar! Whether he is entertaining you with his quirky humor, or answering questions about his craft, you will not forget your experience when Baron is behind the bar. Did i mention that he is part of the first place winning bartending team during Sacramento Cocktail Week 2015?
It’s time to find out more about our favorite Tiki loving bartender…

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Q: Where are you from?
A: Sacramento!

Q: What was the first concert you ever attended?
A: 107.9 The End’s Jingle Ball when I was 14. I went for the Goo Goo Dolls and also got Sir Mix-A-Lot out of the deal. It was total magic.

Q: What is your all-time favorite cocktail or dish to cook, eat, or drink?
A: Not sure. However, I have recently been on a braising kick and have been gorging myself on lamb shanks, chicken thighs and short ribs. My life has been nothing short of amazing because of this.

Q: What is the most outrageous dish/cocktail you have ever cooked?
A: Thomas Keller’s French Onion Soup. It took two of us fourteen hours to make. Totally worth it.

Q: How long have you worked for Paragary Restaurant Group? Which location(s)?
A: I have been with the Paragary’s group for around 3 years. I started with the opening of Hock Farm and had the opportunity to come to Paragary’s after the remodel. I have been there ever since.

Q: First job ever?
A: Cold Call Telemarketing. I lasted about 5 weeks, and given their turnover rate, made me one of their senior-most employees.

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: I am a sucker for good Mexican food. Carnitas specifically.

Q: What is your favorite cocktail/drink?
A: The Jack Rose: apple brandy, grenadine and lime juice. I originally read about it in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and it piqued my interest so I made one and it was love at first taste.

Q: If you could add anything to the menu what would it be?
A: A Golden Cadillac. Not only is it delicious and part of our local history (created at Poor Reds in El Dorado), it gives people permission to be nostalgic and remember “the good old days”.

Q: Favorite food-related TV show?
A: The Morgenthaler Method on Small Screen Network. Jeff is foul-mouthed, irreverent and absolutely brilliant. What’s not to love?

Q: Best PRG memory?
A: Summer 2014 running Church Key, our patio bar at Hock Farm. I got to develop and implement an entire Tiki cocktail menu. Looking back on it there are probably a lot of things I should have done differently, but it was the best learning experience I could have asked for at that point in my bartending career.

Q: Indulgences?
A: Rum, Tequila, Cognac, Ice Cream. Usually in that order.

Q: What is your favorite PRG restaurant or bar?
A: Lord Beaverbrooks. It closed before I was even born, but with a name like that how can you not love it?

Q: What cocktail would you recommend to a guest who wants to impress their valentine?
A: An Aperol Spritz. They are light, refreshing and low-alcohol, so you can sip them all evening and not feel worse for it the next morning.

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Originally from Sacramento, CA, Chef Jason Azevedo made his way cooking all around Northern California including Chico, Napa Valley, Sonoma, Marin, and Mendocino. Chef Jason was part of the “pop-up” dining scene before it was a thing. Chef Jason has been around the block but Paragary Restaurant Group was lucky enough to swoop him up as a sous chef at Esquire Grill in April 2015. Chef Jason is now bringing his exceptional butchering skills and creativity to the kitchen as head chef at Hock Farm Craft & Provisions. It’s time to learn a little bit more about this top chef in this month’s Chef’s Q&A!

Q: What are your favorite activities outside of work/the kitchen?
A: Day trips, drinking coffee & eating

Q: My most overused saying is….?
A: “Only as good as your last plate!”

Q: What is something you cannot live without?
A: Coffee, books & great food

Q: Who is your greatest inspiration/role model?
A: My grandfather

Q: What are you scared of?
A: Failure

Q: What was the first concert you ever attended?
A: Metallica

Q: What is the wisest thing someone has told you?
A: “Be you, everyone is already trying to be someone else…”

Q: What is your all-time favorite dish/thing to cook/eat?
A: Tie between a perfectly roasted chicken, or Sugo di Carne over creamy polenta.

Q: What is the most outrageous dish you have ever cooked?
A: It was a take on linguini and clams, with squid ink noodles, clams braised in romesco, saffron “cappucino” and arugula oil..it tasted good, but you could see the dish a mile away.
Filed Under: Food, Local, Resources · Tagged: Chef, chef life, esquire grill, Hock Farm, paragary restaurant group, sacramento, sacramento chef, top chef

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