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Zazu Kitchen + Farm Opens at Sebastopol's Barlow Center

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 John and Duskie in kitchen PicmonkeyJohn and Duskie working side-by-side.

SEBASTOPOL, August 7, 2013--The Next Iron Chef contestant Duskie Estes and husband, artisan salumist, John Stewart announced the opening of their new restaurant with a new name, zazu kitchen + farm, in the heartland of Sonoma County today. The new restaurant is located just a few miles south of their former location at The Barlow, an old apple cannery in the town of Sebastopol.

A sanctuary for “makers,” the former apple processing plant has been revitalized as the first community in the U.S. to connect visitors with not only fine locally made products and the inspired people who make them, but also directly with the act of food production itself, all in one place. The Barlow assembles dozens of artisans: brewers, a coffee roaster, a craft distiller, a butcher, baker and ice-cream maker, cheesemakers, farmers, and fishmongers. Wineries including Kosta Browne, La Follette and MacPhail are joined by a glass blowing studio and a bronze foundry, and bocce ball courts and fire pits invite the community to gather to share food, wine, art, and time together.

 “We’re thrilled to open our doors here at the Barlow and be part of this community,” says Estes. “We are as 'local' as 'local' gets. At our new, bigger kitchen, you can watch John cure Black Pig Meat Co.’s bacon and salumi, or sip cocktails featuring infusions from our own farm. We’ll have great locally inspired food right next door to great coffee, beer, and wine. Stroll down the courtyard and check out the hand-made crafts, and make a day of it.”

Zazu’s new home features the couple’s dream kitchen, where Duskie and John both work in the same place at the same time making Zazu's farm-to-table plates and John’s cured meats, plus their famous gelati. The new restaurant features a full bar offering artisan farm cocktails created by mixologist Michael Cecconi, and signature snacks like chicharrone peanut butter cups and black pig bacon caramel corn.

Diners interested in the farm-to-table experience are invited to pick some of their own organic ingredients from the garden before dinner. Duskie’s and John’s farm-to-table ethos will play out as families and friends taste the terroir of Sonoma County and get a real sense of where food really comes from.

John and Duskie’s former zazu restaurant in Santa Rosa was a charming but cramped diner housed in a (purportedly) former chicken coop, with a kitchen barely big enough to cook in. Passionate about food, family, and farming, Duskie and John champion that animals be raised on pasture (some in their own backyard), insisting on using the whole animal “snout to tail,” proving the lesser cuts can emerge from their kitchen as irresistible. Despite the challenges inherent in the original location, Duskie and John earned myriad awards and recognition for their food and their food ethics—they were dubbed King and Queen of Pork of the Grand Cochon at Aspen Food & Wine Festival; Duskie made multiple appearances on Food Network's The Next Iron Chef; and zazu earned the prestigious Michelin good value award.

Editor's note: Planning a trip to Sonoma County? In the Resource Directory of Taste California Travel you'll find links to the website of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to the sites of area wineries and beer-centric establishments.

(Information for this article was supplied from TASTE News Service Sources)

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