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Jackson Family Wines

Reaching for Michelin Stars at the Kendall-Jackson Culinary Garden

By Sarah Doyle

Kendall’s Jackson’s four-acre culinary garden is known primarily for the stellar fruit, vegetables, and herbs it provides for the winery’s food and wine pairing program. But it has also become an invaluable resource for Bay Area chefs looking for unique produce that can be difficult to source locally. Overseen by Director of Culinary Gardens Tucker Taylor, the four-acre garden plays host to a bounty of worldly edibles, including oyster leaves from the Moors of Scotland, ice lettuce from coastal Africa, Japanese kinome, oca from the Andes, yacon from Bolivia, celtuce from China, and crosnes from various parts of Asia. 

            “The most rewarding part of growing produce for Michelin star restaurants is the excitement and challenge of collaborating with others in the culinary industry who are striving to perform at the highest level,” says Tucker. 

The biggest challenges? Sourcing uncommon seeds and having enough produce in production to fulfill the needs of local chefs. Earlier this year, Chef Michael Tusk from the three-Michelin star Quince in San Francisco requested several Italian varieties of eggplant.

            “The only place I was able to find the seeds was on Etsy,” says Tucker. “The germination rate wasn’t very good, but I collected the seeds so we can grow more for him next year.” Tucker has also spent the last six years growing myoga (Japanese ginger) for Chef Douglas Keane and finally has enough to provide him for service. “I’m excited to harvest it for his new restaurant Cyrus in Geyserville,” says Tucker.

Michelin starred restaurants using produce from the culinary garden include:

●      Atelier Crenn*** (#48 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list)

●      Benu*** (#28 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list)

●      Quince***

●      Single Thread*** (#37 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list)

●      Birdsong**

●      Californios**

●      Coi**

●      Commis**

●      Lazy Bear**

●      Saison**

●      Angeler*

●      Avery*

●      Bar Crenn*

●      Barndiva*

●      Mister Jiu’s*

●      Sorrel*


To learn more about the Kendall-Jackson Estate Garden, click here

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