Duskie Estes Bio

Photo by: brad swonetz ©brad swonetz photography

brad swonetz, brad swonetz photography

Eliminated Week Four

Duskie Estes, a graduate of Brown University, began cooking at age 5 in her Easy-Bake Oven. Growing up in San Francisco, she fell in love with everything restaurant through her weekly Wednesday night dinners out with her father. She has worked at Lucky's/Al Forno, 21 Federal and Kinkead's, Green's and Glide Church, Baywolf, Share Our Strength, Dahlia Lounge, Etta's Seafood, and Palace Kitchen.

In 2001, Duskie and her husband, John Stewart, opened ZAZU Restaurant + Farm in Santa Rosa, Calif. In 2005, they opened BOVOLO in Healdsburg. The same year their first wine debuted, Holdredge Schiopettino, MacBryde Vineyard, which can be found exclusively at ZAZU and The French Laundry; Black Pig Pinot and Blanc Pig followed. In 2009 they finally navigated the USDA process to release their renowned Black Pig Bacon. The couple also owns MacBryde Farm, named for their daughters, Brydie and Mackenzie.

Duskie likes to update comforting American classics with the best local ingredients Sonoma has to offer. She is an avid farmer and rancher, growing all the ingredients that go into her ribollita, and raising mangalitsa pigs, babydoll sheep, goats, chickens, heritage turkeys, and rabbits on their farm. She walks a life supporting local diversity of agriculture, buying responsibly and non-confinement animal-raising. She finds ingredients as close to the restaurant as possible (out back), harvests at peak ripeness and does as little as possible to alter their natural perfection. She is a proponent of "snout-to-tail" cooking — nothing shall be wasted. ZAZU Restaurant + Farm has a growing reputation as the "poor man's French laundry."

Next Up

Chef Duskie Estes' Culinary Q&A

We checked in with Chef Estes, one of 10 rival chefs competing on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption, to find out her culinary icon, favorite cookbook, go-to potluck dish and more.

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