Bocanova Story
How did Rick Hackett, a chef with classical French training and a California-Mediterranean repertoire, come to open a Pan-American Kitchen, honoring and adapting the raw materials and culinary sensibilities of Central and South (as well as North) America? It all started with the "staff meal", the informal repast restaurants serve to staff members before every shift. All too often, this is a last-minute, thrown-together affair. Hackett has always felt that any food made in a professional kitchen should reflect the standards and talents of those preparing it. A good staff is a restaurant's greatest asset, so they should be well-fed.

"My Peruvian sous-chef and our mostly Hispanic staff started making dishes for the family meal inspired by the food of their homelands," Hackett explains. "The meals were fantastic! I realized that what we were eating in the kitchen was every bit as good as what we were preparing for our guests, and I decided that it was about time to celebrate the contribution Latino cooks were making to the rich culinary tapestry of San Francisco.”

Chef Hackett started researching recipes and ingredients from Mexico to Argentina. Which in turn brought him to understand how much the exchange of ingredients and techniques between Old World and New had contributed to the way we eat. The more he learned, the more excited he became about creating a restaurant that would celebrate the foods of the entire hemisphere, while acknowledging their connection with the cuisines of the Mediterranean and utilizing the treasure trove of products available to us in Northern California. That restaurant is Bocanova.