Asian Box continues its commitment to quality with the addition of sustainable rice and seafood products from Northern California–based Rue & Forsman Ranch and Passmore Ranch. The fine-casual lifestyle brand has plans to continue expansion from six existing locations throughout California to 12 in 2017, making commitment to quality ingredients evermore paramount as they grow.
With a longstanding partnership to source produce from Bay Area’s own Blue House Farm, culinary director Chad Newton is thrilled to add to the brand’s sustainable practices with a fresh arsenal of local purveyors. “As we expand, we are working solely with both Rue & Forsman Ranch for rice and Passmore Ranch for catfish to elevate our dishes and tie the menu back to the local communities,” Newton says.
With rice at the core of Asian Box’s menu, Newton wanted to source the best of the best. While most rice is imported, he looked no further than his own backyard to develop a partnership with local farm Rue & Forsman Ranch founded in 1946. The farm is located 30 miles north of Sacramento, harvesting its rice with environmentally sustainable farming practices by Michael Bosworth, a third-generation Rue & Forsman Ranch farmer. Newton is proud to use Bosworth’s grains as the exclusive rice offering across all Asian Box locations. From the chef-curated boxes to build-your-own-box options, the brand offers Rue & Forsman’s Calhikari Brown Rice and Jasmine White Rice as the grain-base choice for guests.
Rue and Forsman Ranch is well known for its eco-friendly approach to farming. By committing its off-season rice fields to protected wetland habitats for indigenous migrating birds, the farm has found a way to create a symbiotic relationship that benefits the local ecosystem and the farm. This aligns closely with Asian Box’s values of committing zero waste to landfills and helped solidify the partnership for Newton.
For seafood offerings, Newton worked closely with Sloughhouse, California–based Passmore Ranch to source premium freshwater, sustainable fish. Proprietor Michael Passmore partners with pedigreed chefs and restaurants across the Bay Area to supply seafood, and Newton worked alongside him to develop a chef-curated box that exclusively highlights the ranch’s catfish. Asian Box’s new Caramel Catfish Box features Passmore Ranch California fish with a house-made caramel sauce. Throughout 2017, Newton plans to introduce additional boxes in partnership with Passmore Ranch.
Coupled with Asian Box’s rapid 2017 expansion plans, Newton and executive chef Grace Nguyen are thrilled to continue to elevate the brand’s commitment to sustainability with new menu offerings and exclusive purveyors throughout the year.