Brad Cecchi started his career in Sacramento when he was 16 years old, washing dishes and making pizzas at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Through opening the hotel and restaurant, he learned a work ethic that turned into an obsession and career. As a graduate of the Culinary Arts program at American River College and later at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, Brad learned the classical ways of cooking and returned to Sacramento with his fine-tuned skills and a passion for Northern California’s farmers, ranchers, artisans and vintners.
His first job returning to his home town was opening Mulvaney’s B&L with Patrick Mulvaney who was an inspiration and a mentor to Brad. Over the next few years he worked at some of the best restaurants in the Sacramento area and eventually landed at The Citizen Hotel and Grange where over the next six years he served as chef de cuisine under Michael Tuohy and Oliver Ridgway. Grange gave him the experience and freedom to express his style and create a presence in the industry.
Leaving Grange was bittersweet, but, in order to grow he packed up his family, and joined former Grange general manager Troy Christian in opening Urban Farmer and the Westin Downtown Cleveland, Brad as its executive chef and Troy the general manager. This 200 seat farm to table steakhouse, 484 room hotel, and $15 million food and beverage sales project is his biggest project to date and gave him the tools needed to go to the next challenge, a Michelin Starred restaurant in Napa Valley.
As the Chef de Cuisine and later Executive Chef of the Solbar in the 88 room, luxury hotel resort, Solage Calistoga, Solbar was able to maintain its Michelin Star not once but twice in 2016 and 2017. While at Solbar he was able to use ingredients from his hometown of Sacramento, like Passmore Ranch Caviar and Capay Organics produce, to showcase his style and sense of home to visitors of Napa Valley.
Chef Patricio Wise is self-trained in the culinary world; he’s an entrepreneur, and family man and chef/owner at Nixtaco Mexican Kitchen, a concept that began as a pop-up at local Farmers’ Markets and Breweries but was so successful that he secured and established a brick and mortar location within the year. Since then, he has continued to expand his career by participating in flagship culinary events around the country like the Pebble Beach and LA Food & Wine Festivals, Cochon 555’s Heritage Fire in Napa Valley and the Tower Bridge Dinner in Sacramento, to name a few. He was also a key element in selecting “The World’s Best Rice” in 2017 and 2018 in Macau, China and Hanoi, Vietnam respectively. His restaurant was lauded “One of the best taquerias in America” by Food & Wine Magazine in 2019 and was listed in the prestigious Michelin Guide with a Bib Gourmand.
He was born and raised in a large Mexican family in Monterrey, where cooking for big parties was an everyday social affair. At Nixtaco he showcases the food of his native Northeast Mexico, paying attention to detail in creating everything in-house from scratch, down to the sourcing, nixtamalization and grinding of the corn used to make masa for his award- winning tortillas.
Since its inception in 2015, Nixtaco has set a new standard for Mexican cuisine in the Northern California region and has set the road for other chefs to follow suit. In 2021 he added a Distillery to Nixtaco Mexican Kitchen, where he produces award winning Vodka and Gin, with plans for Whisky and other spirits.
He and chef Cecchi took over the production of Sacramento Baconfest in 2022 from the original founder Brian Guido.
Guido is the OG founder of Sacramento Baconfest.
Since 2012 he put the week-long festivities together with his friends Steve Allcock and Nick Miller.
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