Steve Sando by Sara Remington
Frustrated by the lack of ingredients, especially those that are native to the New World, Steve Sando founded Rancho Gordo to make indigenous ingredients familiar.
In a few short years, Sando has taken the lowly bean from a neglected legume to superstar-status ingredient. Rancho Gordo, grows, imports, and promotes heirloom and heritage varieties while working directly with consumers and chefs like Thomas Keller, Deborah Madison, Paula Wolfert, and David Kinch.
Sando’s seed saving, bean production and marketing efforts provide professional and home chefs with heirloom beans that would otherwise have been lost to history. The beans, along with corn, chiles and tomatoes, have become key ingredients in the new American food revolution centered in Sando’s native San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, Sando and Rancho Gordo were named number two on Saveur Magazine’s “The Saveur 100 list for 2008.” Bon Appetit magazine declared Sando one of the Hot 10 in the food world of 2009. Food + Wine magazine placed Steve “at the forefront of the current seed-saving movement.”