Updated: Jan 27, 2020
As a Wine Country Chef there’s no greater pleasure than taking a step out to the front porch for a handful of garden fresh herbs. Then continuing on to the back yard for vine ripped tomato and squash.
Being in Sonoma County, we’re so fortunate to have the condition to grow just about anything. From the humble mint and basil, to shiso and lemongrass for California wine country chefs, our area is a gardener's dream. We are truly blessed with some of the freshest and tastiest ingredients around. Whether it’s from the garden, the coastal wilderness or one of the many farmers markets. There’s always something new and exciting to play with in the kitchen. I get the greatest joy out of coming home with a basket full of locally foraged edibles such as, mushrooms, wild vegetables and greens. Toss it in a sauté pan along with freshly harvested mussels and clams, you’ll sure have the neighbors knocking. Growing up, gardening and foraging was a way of life for us Laotian emigrants of the Vietnam war. One of my fondest memories as a kid was tending to the chickens while mom was weeding the garden. Just about everything came from the backyard...chicken soups and stews continues to be one of my favorites to this vary day. The chicken coups are now long gone, but the garden remains. I sometimes find myself tending to it better than tending to my kids.
Just like the children, gardening has its ups and downs. But one thing is for certain, it’s been and will continue to be a huge part of my life...good by for now, gotta get the chicken coup up before the storm!