In this Harvest Dinner series, we’ve traveled from Nebraska to Georgia to Florida. Our next stop is Santa Rosa, California, which is the home to ZAZU Restaurant & Farm. Co-owners and chefs, Duskie Estes and John Stewart, opened the restaurant in 2001 and have been busy earning accolades ever since.
Like many of the other restaurants in this series, ZAZU provides meals created from locally sourced ingredients. What makes ZAZU unique is that their harvest dinners happen on a weekly basis. Every Monday from the end of May until the end of December a 3-course dinner is served to diners. The idea for the Farm Suppers was based on Duskie’s travels in Europe. Many restaurants there make only one menu for the night, meaning that patrons have no options except what is listed. As Duskie explained, “You put yourself in the hands of a chef you trust.”
Having been open for nine years and earned the trust of many diners, Farm Suppers began in May 2010. At this meal, the only choice diners have is whether they want a vegetarian menu or not. A three-course dinner is provided for a mere thirty-nine dollars. Ingredients for this dinner come from one of two sources. The first source is MacBryde Farm, which is owned by the chefs. The other source can be described as “know the face that feeds you”, which means that the ingredients come from no further than 50 miles away and is produced by farmers and purveyors that the chefs know.
This coming Monday, October 17th, has an Oktoberfest theme. The menu will be:
- Backyard cucumber & beet salad with dill créme fraiche & pumpernickel croutons
- Juniper boar sausages with sauerkraut and Black Pig bacon potato salad
- Nussschnitten (hazelnut cake) with nutella gelato
This meal can be accompanied by beer pairings from Russian River Brewery for an additional fee.
In addition to running the restaurant, Duskie and John oversee MacBryde farm, on which they grow fruits and vegetables and raise livestock. Chickens (raised as layers), turkeys, pig, rabbits, goats, and more can be found here. In addition to farming and cooking, Duskie and John also run Black Pig Meat Co. and produce wines.
With two and a half months of Monday Night Farm Suppers ahead, there’s plenty of time to make a reservation and enjoy some deliciously cooked, locally sourced dishes.