February 13, 2015

February 13, 2015
1-jeffsusan 2.jpg

Jeff and Susan Mall of Zin Restaurant head south of the border. Photo courtesy of Jeff and Susan Mall.

2-rancho_pescadero.jpg

Rancho Pescadero in Baja, Mexico. Photo courtesy of Rancho Pescadero.

pickleit.png

The makings of Buddha’s hand fruit kosho. Photo courtesy of Cultured Pickle.

By 707 correspondent Heather Irwin. Sign up for the BiteClub Newsletter.

Former Zin owners Jeff and Susan Mall are heading south of the border to take over food and beverage operations at ~RANCHO PESCADERO~ in Baja, Mexico. Que? Yup, it’s true. The Malls have been consultants for the resort since 2010, bringing their farm-to-table sensibility to the property, located south of Todos Santos. But don’t get your hankies out just yet. The couple plan to split their time between Mexico and Sonoma County and return north during the hot summer months.

No strangers to Mexico and its culinary traditions, Jeff spent many summers in Baja as a kid, staying in towns like Mulegé, La Paz, Loreto, and a much sleepier-than-it-is-now Cabo San Lucas. Susan grew up in San Diego and her summers were spent in Ensenada. Her early culinary memories include warm bolillos, turkey tortas, and carne asada. Jeff and Susan’s new menus at the resort’s restaurant, The Garden, will celebrate traditional Mexican flavors, made light and bright with locally grown ingredients. The Malls will also offer cooking classes, local food tours, and a robust guest chef program, hosting international talent for culinary weekends and events several times a year.

Sonoma County’s loss is certainly Rancho Pescadero’s gain. We will greatly miss the Malls incredible warmth, generosity, and culinary talents. The good news is, now BiteClub can go visit them in sunny Mexico.

That collective “eeeeeeeeeee!” you may be hearing from food-obsessed friends may have something to do with the Saturday February 21st Innovations in Fermentation Workshop and Dinner at ~SHED~ in Healdsburg. The half day workshop and multicourse dinner features a stunning lineup of chefs and producers, including Ali Bouzari of Pilot R&D, Kyle Connaughton of the recently announced Single Thread, Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing, Nick Balla and Cortney Burns of Bar Tartine, the co-founders of Berkeley’s Cultured Pickle Shop, and Dan Felder, head chef of development at Momofuku.

They’ll be talking beer, cheese, miso, kimchi, and more, and afterward they’ll serve a communal meal with dishes like “ice-filtered duck broth with kohlrabi and miner’s lettuce from between the vine rows.” You know, just something simple they whipped up. The event will be from 3pm-10pm, and the $125 tickets are available online. 25 North St., Healdsburg.