California Cuisine Isn't Limited To Just The Golden State

If you've eaten sushi in the United States, odds are you've come across the ubiquitous California roll. The standard fillings are imitation crab, cucumber, and avocado, and while it might have actually been created in Canada (via Insider), it still graces menus across the country with the Golden State's name. Origins aside, the California roll is just one food many people associate with the state's cuisine.

California cooking is often focused on healthy and fresh foods, with a few cornerstone foods including sourdough bread, Dungeness crab, artichokes, and figs, according to MasterClass. But there's far more to California cuisine than a handful of ingredients or preparation styles. Part of this style of cooking comes from the depth of culinary diversity in California. The diversity of the state's population allows chefs to combine and enhance different cuisines while honoring the cultures they came from (via Thriller). And one chef played a major role in spreading the cooking style beyond the state's borders.

The movement at the heart of California cuisine

Alice Waters is overwhelmingly credited as the one of the originators of the food movement known as California cuisine. It began at her flagship restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971, where she ignited the modern day farm-to-table movement by focusing on seasonal produce from local farmers, and utilizing cooking techniques she picked up from traveling abroad to France (via Delishably). Waters' methods quickly spread beyond the state and even the country, as more chefs and diners became captivated by California cuisine.

Victor Garvey, owner and chef of the Michelin-starred SOLA in London, told the Los Angeles Times that "Californian food is an ethos ... a brightness, lightness, freshness." SOLA is just one of many California-inspired restaurants in London, and Paris also has its share of cafes introducing the Golden State's style to the French. The great thing about California cuisine is that it isn't limited to those living in California. Anyone with access to a farmers market and a desire to cook can prepare meals with this philosophy in mind.