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Chef Advocates & Their Impact on Our Food Systems

3:30pm-4:15pm, James Beard Foundation Stage

Free Event!

With Diana Wu, Cheetie Kumar, Patrick Mulvaney, and Nina Curtis


Patrick Mulvaney, along with his wife Bobbin, are owners of Mulvaney’s B&L, a highly acclaimed, hyper-local restaurant in Sacramento. With over 35 years of culinary experience, Mulvaney worked across five time zones before settling down in the central valley. He and Bobbin are proud of the changes the region has seen over the last few decades and their role as leaders in Sacramento’s farm-to-fork movement.

In addition to his culinary expertise, Mulvaney is also actively engaged in the civic and political life of the community. He co-founded I Got Your Back, a mental health program that tackles issues facing the hospitality industry. He also co-founded Family Meal Sacramento, where local restaurants fed seniors three meals a day during the COVID-19 pandemic. FMS was the inspiration for Governor Newsom’s Great Plates Delivered which brought over 40 million meals to hungry people across California.

As a regional leader, Mulvaney has been involved with the Edible Sacramento Program at Sacramento High and the Plates Cafe, a workforce training initiative for St. John’s Program for Real Change. Mulvaney is the current incoming board chair of the Foundation for California Community Colleges and serves on the board of the James Beard Foundation Culinary Advisory Council, the Los Rios Community College District Foundation, We Are Farm to Fork, and Visit Sacramento. Through his culinary expertise and community involvement, Mulvaney continues to make a significant impact on Sacramento’s cultural and culinary scene and looks forward to the changes that are to come.

NINA CURTIS, Director and Executive Chef, Plant’ish & Co. Culinary Arts

nina curtis holding a bag of vegetables

Chef Nina Curtis is a culinary artist celebrated for her exceptional skill and creative prowess in plant-based cuisine. With an innate ability to transform simple ingredients into extraordinary culinary delights, she has established herself as a true connoisseur of flavor.

Her passion for plant-based cuisine spans over two decades, making her a respected advocate in the field. Through captivating dining experiences and enlightening lectures, she shares her profound knowledge of the immense potential of whole plant cuisine.

Chef Curtis’s culinary journey has led her to assume pivotal roles, including Director of Culinary and Executive Chef positions. Having honed her craft alongside prestigious culinary establishments, Chef Curtis brings a wealth of expertise to each of her culinary endeavors. Her relentless dedication to executing the finest in culinary practices and trends consistently delivers exceptional gastronomic experiences, leaving a lasting impact on guests.

Chef Curtis has received training from esteemed culinary and nutrition institutions and her MBA from Pepperdine University.

In a realm where taste, innovation, and nourishment intersect, Chef Nina Curtis reigns supreme, enchanting palates and inspiring culinary enthusiasts with her unparalleled culinary expertise and imaginative creations.

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