Top Local Chefs Put Santa Rosa on the National Culinary Map; Exemplify How to Maximize Popular Farm-to-Table Food Movement

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Visit Santa Rosa announces numerous local chefs getting National attention for their award-winning food and cooking techniques. Sonoma County chefs embrace the local landscape and food culture illustrating the Farm-to-Table food philosophy.

Producers of the popular National PBS series, “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking” highlighting the farm-to-table food movement, have called on local chefs Duskie Estes and Mark Stark to guest star on their program. Estes, of Zazu Kitchen + Farm, has been on the Food Network's “The Next Iron Chef” twice. Popular restaurateur Mark Stark is Executive Chef and owner of five award-winning restaurants in Santa Rosa including; Monti’s Rotisserie & Bar and Stark’s Steak & Seafood. Hosted by Australian chef Pete Evans, the unique series gives an insider’s view of top chefs outside of their own kitchen where they are free to experiment. They follow the chefs to local sources for ingredients to craft a farm fresh inspired “pop-up” meal. The series is produced by Fine Cooking magazine and the Sonoma County episode is scheduled to air Nov. 23, 2013 on KQED.

Stark and Estes shot their episode at the picturesque Davis Family Winery in neighboring Healdsburg, CA and sourced local products from; Redwood Hill Farm in neighboring Sebastopol, Salmon Creek Ranch in near-by Bodega Bay, Dry Creek Peach and others. Estes says she is inspired by a real sense of place here, her restaurant is officially; “Farm to Table, growing much of our produce…menus are put together after a hunt through the gardens to see what is ripe and ready.” Sonoma County chefs like Estes and her colleagues believe in the responsibility of supporting small farmers, diversity of agriculture, and pasture living for animals. Bon Appétit magazine writes, “Mark Stark keeps things fresh by dressing up his food…using ingredients from his wine country surrounds.” While at Salmon Creek Ranch in the episode Stark talks about the products he sources pointing out that poultry has been traditionally raised in Sonoma County because the animals thrive near the cool, breezy coast. This type of personal relationship and connection to product, soil and farmer is at the heart of farm-to-table cooking. Chefs who have a symbiotic relationship with the growers in their communities so they can bring the freshest most alive foods at their peak direct to the table and with minimal production or influence.

Emmy-award winning TV shows; Top Chef and Top Chef Masters on the Bravo Channel have featured local favorites; Chef Douglas Keane, James Beard Award winner, formerly of two Michelin starred Cyrus, and owner of Healdsburg Bar and Grill who after battling the 13 other Master Chef’s, Keane won Top Chef Master with his unique farm inspired dishes and $120,000 for his favorite local charity, The Green Dog Rescue. As well as local Chef Louis Maldonaldo, of Michelin starred Cortez and current Executive Chef of Spoonbar and Pizzando in season 11 of Top Chef. Well–known Santa Rosa resident Chef Guy Fieri won the Next Food Network Star and has been in the spotlight ever since opening over 7 restaurants in the area. Sonoma County is known for; fertile land, industrious farming and a unique food culture set against a striking landscape that attracts Chefs from across the globe.

About Visit Santa Rosa
Visit Santa Rosa provides assistance to visitors and groups seeking information about lodging, dining and entertainment opportunities in Santa Rosa. The bureau also operates an Official State of California Welcome Center, and helps to bring major events to Santa Rosa. For more information, please call (707) 577-8674 or

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