Dedicated foodies in El Dorado Hills have something new to nosh about.
The purpose of the Selland’s Market Café soft opeing in El Dorado Hills on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights was ostensibly to shake down operations and break in the roughly 50 new employees, many of whom live in El Dorado Hills, according to partner Josh Nelson, whose step-dad is Sacramento celebrity chef Randal Selland.
The three-day party also served as an open-armed introduction into El Dorado Hills for team Selland, which also includes Selland’s wife, Nancy Zimmer, who Selland credits with converting him from a stained glass artist into a restaurateur, and daughter Tamara Baker. Both women were on hand and working hard this weekend.
The team also owns and operates the multi-hour food performance experience known simply as The Kitchen, the upscale Ella’s and the first Selland’s Market Café in Midtown Sacramento.
Selland told Village Life in November that the El Dorado Hills café is a model they hope to replicate. He enlarged and opened up the dining area, but otherwise stayed with the wildly popular concept that evolved on H Street in Sacramento.
Selland prides himself on never using prepared products, “not one,” he said. “Everything here is cooked today.”
The 160-plus revelers Saturday night seemed to think the concept was working just fine. A steady stream of Selland’s hand-made creations streamed out of the kitchen.
The Selland clan envision their El Droado Hills cafe as a family joint. To prove it, Selland proudly showed off his grandson Owen to customers Saturday night, introducing him as the next generation of Selland restaurateurs, which gives Owen some big shoes to fill, as does his cousin Ella who’s name is already on another family restaurant.
Owen’s parents are Selland’s partner/step-son Nelson, who describes his role in the family business as “the guy who does all the stuff no one else wants to do,” a situation he attributes to being the youngest. True to form, Nelson was all over on Saturday night, instructing the staff and greeting customers. His wife Gina is the marketing manager for the enterprise.
Sellands is located at 4370 Town Center Blvd. It opened to the public Monday.
Selland’s popular $25 “dinner for two with a bottle of wine” promotion is available in the El Dorado Hills Café. “It’s great food and very good wine at a great price,” said Selland, who explained that he makes it work by selling the wine at cost. “A lot of people buy a bottle to take home, so it works out.”
Among the VIPs present Saturday night was Derrick Fong, board chair of the Mikuni Restaurant Group, which has plans — currently on hold — to open a Mikuni Sushi in Town Center. Fong huddled with Town Center Leasing Agent Doug Wiele and his wife Carol, lending hope to local sushi fans that a strong Selland’s opening might inspire Fong to follow suit.