We are very excited to introduce our fans to our new series on the Makers of Sonoma County. These are the chefs, the cheesemakers, the musicians, the artisans - the folks who themselves have reached the highest levels of excellence. These Makers are the members of our community that help create that truly unique "Sonoma Style".
As you peruse our digital feeds, look for the hashtag "#ThisIsSonoma" to find snapshots of the Sonoma lifestyle.
For our first profile we selected Chefs Daniel Kedan and Marianna Gardenhire owners of Backyard and Bee Run Hollow Farm inWest Sonoma County. Chef Daniel has catered numerous dining experiences at the winery, and has put together a spectacular pig roast for this fall’s Harvest Dinner “Roast & Toast”.
Daniel’s culinary career began in Connecticut in 2004 and after a year abroad in 2006 enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena. While attending classes he received real world tutelage from Chef Dave Cruz at Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc in Yountville and was a member of the opening team. Time spent in Napa Valley offered the opportunity to hone his skills, and gain an ever expanding appreciation for great local produce, meat and dairy.
As Chef d’ Cuisine at the General’s Daughter in Sonoma, Daniel learned the ins and outs of the business and began to focus his energy on developing seasonal rotations of the menu with the help of local farmers and ranchers, along with executing large scale wine dinners and participating in auction events.
But, it was his time at Lowell’s in Sebastopol that Daniel found his home here in West County. Most of his time was spent on the restaurants 2 acre farm that produces the majority of the produce for the restaurant. It was from here that Daniel and his wife Marianna decided to take the leap of faith and open their own restaurant, Backyard in 2012. Located just minutes from the winery in the sleepy little town of Forestville, it’s become a team favorite through the years and a bastion of community supported dining here in Sonoma County.
While we love the restaurant, it’s what Daniel and Marianna are doing for the community that really inspires us. We all recognize the tragedy of the October wildfires here in northern California. It touched countless members of our community and created heroes out of the most unlikely folks. Daniel and Marianna turned their restaurant into a soup kitchen, turning out 18,000 boxed meals for first responders and victims for days upon days. They opened their larders, emptied their commercial refrigerators, and continuously cooked for the community with the support of many other chefs, farmers and ranchers. They did this until there was no longer a need and showed us all how strong our communities can be, and just how important a home cooked meal is.
For these two, just owning the restaurant is not enough, and in 2017 they embarked on another fantastic journey, starting Bee Run Hollow Farm in Sebastopol. Focusing on biodiversity on the farm, since summer 2017 they have added livestock, including a flock of heritage chickens, as well as many bee hives. They have orchards, row crops, hops and of course honey! Each year they are adding another element to their farm to continue to support the community and farming heritage of Sonoma County.
We invite you to dine at their incredible neighborhood restaurant, or join us at the “Toast & Roast” Harvest Dinner in October.