Chef Duskie Estes of Zazu - Biography

Sonoma, Sonoma

October 2011

Husband and wife team Duskie Estes and John Stewart has created the perfect restaurant-garden partnership with their Santa Rosa, CA, eatery, Zazu Restaurant & Farm. Serving innovative New American-Northern Italian classics, Estes and Stewart supply their recipes with produce from the restaurant’s own sustainable organic garden. Both chefs place a heavy emphasis on using fresh-picked ingredients—much of the produce they serve to clients is same-day picked and never refrigerated—and they would sooner run out and harvest an ingredient in the middle of service than take an item off the menu. The couple’s second restaurant, Bovolo, is located in Healdsburg, CA.

A lover of all things Italian, Stewart is an avid gardener and budding chicken farmer whose eggs can be found in the pasta he makes daily at Zazu. Also a dedicated salumist, Stewart is responsible for the couple’s line of Black Pig Salumi—bacon, salumi and fresh sausage made from antibiotic- and hormone-free pork, boar, and lamb. In 2005, both Duskie and Stewart released their first wine, Holdredge Schiopettino, MacBryde Vineyard.

Prior to Zazu, both Estes and Stewart lived and worked in Seattle, leaving their marks on the kitchens at Etta’s Seafood and Palace Kitchen, where Estes was executive chef. In addition to working as sous chef at Café Lago, Stewart also studied cured meat alongside Chef Mario Batali and attended courses at Iowa State University’s Meat Lab.