Our Committment to Sustainability
We regularly practice and employ techniques in our culinary program such as preservation, fermentation, charcuterie, and distillation in order to extend seasons and work with our partners when there's an abundance of a particular product.
When we first opened Sabio 8 years ago, there was no commercial composting program for our city. We worked with PGS our local refuse company and offered ourselves to start a pilot program. With our suggestions, within 2 years the city had made commercial composting mandatory. We were named Green Business of the Year by the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce in 2019.
Prior to the statewide mandate, we switched to biodegradable straws and takeout packaging.
We know where our ingredients come from at all times and are fanatics about sharing that story. We make choices on what ingredients to use based on how it impacts our community and planet.
From our inception, we have been relentlessly committed to sourcing our products from producers and purveyors that share our commitment to sustainability, seasonality, and traceability. The restaurant industry can do a much better job with transparency of product, and we strive to be leaders of that initiative. We source our proteins from CreamCo Meats in Oakland whose commitment to regenerative ranching practices is second to none. We strongly believe in doing our part to not rob the already depleted planet of its precious resources, and working with CreamCo gives us the knowledge and confidence to proudly serve these proteins.
We recently partnered with Nancy Mueller at Circle H Ranch in Livermore. Not only do we use her grass fed grass finished free range Livermore beef, but when Nancy took over ranch operations, she came to me to discuss marketing and talk about grass fed beef. I guided her on how to approach selling grass fed beef in a very different way from commodity grain fed beef. We even use her bay leaves, grown on the ranch in our cooking and cocktails.
We source our eggs from Rose Ranch in Livermore, a small but growing family run egg producer providing high-quality, free-range eggs. Our olive oil comes from the Crohare Family at Olivina, a multi-generational family in Livermore producing varietal special XVOO.
I'm a member of the butcher guild which promotes and educates the value of whole animal usage focusing on heritage breed, small farm animals.
By working with Water2Table, we are able to serve responsibly and humanely caught seafood that we not only know exactly where it was caught, but more often than not, by whom. The seafood industry is rife with issues like overfishing, deceptive naming, and ecosystem disruption/destruction. We're proud to serve these fish to our guests and have the ability to not just explain where it came from, but why these fish are beneficial to our environment and local economy.
Our farming partners are the backbone of everything we do at Sabio. When we pivoted to a 6 week menu cycle, this was for many reasons, but one major being the added ability to support our farmers as hyper seasonally as their crops grow. When I write our menus, it always starts with a call/text to our farming partners. We don't create dishes before knowing and understanding the ebbs and flows our farmers are experiencing and planning accordingly so we can give as much support as we can. With the wild winter we had this year, this communication is even more integral. Seasons were shorted, delayed, and affected by the winter weather, and we are well equipped and prepared to change with mother nature.
The commitment to seasonality comes with its challenges, and we're willing and able to embrace those. Often times, this means that a fish or a vegetable may be available one day and not available the next. While common practice may be to source that product from somewhere else, we actively adapt when these challenges arise and ensure our staff can explain to our guests why a product they had recently may not be available that day. It tells the story of our farmers, fishermen, and ranchers and all the unpredictability they experience. We feel its disingenuous to not only our partners but to our planet to assume that all the food we want is available all the time. Unfortunately, mega-processing and the mass industrialization of food over the last 70 years has convinced many that is in fact the fact, despite the negative effects it has on society.
When we speak of sustainability, we're not just referring to the products we serve, but the people who produce them. We feel incredibly responsible to do everything we can to keep our purchases within our community. From the farmers who farm just 5 miles from our front door in Sunol to the fisherman who dock their boats at Fisherman's Wharf in SF, every penny we can keep within our community helps strengthen and support the network of passionate people who share the same values as we do. It's very easy to place an order for a product that comes from halfway around the world, but once that money is spent, it leaves our community forever. We feel that supporting local is a many tiered process, and is more than shopping at farmer's markets (although it is a good start!) We as a restaurant have the ability to be leaders in that space when we show our commitment to supporting every level of our community we can touch.
We do more than just talk the talk – we were certified by both EatReal and Good Food 100 for our sustainable practices.
Chef Francis X. Hogan