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Monday, August 12, 2013

08/12 - Behind The Kitchen Door - Farmers and Foragers

This week, Slow Living continues it's look behind the scenes at some of our favorite restaurant, with chefs bringing their farmers, winemaker, and, in this case, their foraging buddies!

Todd Humphries
Chef and Owner
Entering Todd Humpries' Kitchen Door, guests will be embraced by the warmth and energy of the live wood-fired rotisserie and oven in Chef Todd Humphries’ kitchen. Famed for his forager’s eye, Humphries has stocked his kitchen with local and sourced mushrooms, both fresh and dried – including his favorite candy caps, mousserons, agaricus, morels grilled over wood, and whole roasted porcini.
Guests will have a new opportunity to enjoy Humphries’ quality cooking in a convenient venue and at an attractive price point. For Kitchen Door, Humphries has crafted an ingredient-driven menu of handmade American comfort food, created with local and seasonal products, selected to complement wine regions and meant for sharing.
Kitchen Door is the latest offering from Humphries and business partner Richard Miyashiro. General Manager Tim Seberson and Chef de Cuisine Chris Litts round out the core leadership team.

Kitchen Door is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11:30 a.m., with continuous service until 9 p.m., and serves breakfast and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Telephone: 707-226-1560


The Farmer (and forager), Juston, Full Table Farm

The Other Forager, Sean O'Toole

As Sean O’Toole puts it, the running joke with his chef friends is how an Irishman like himself learned to cook. So, as O’Toole — who has cooked at Bardessono, Quince, the Mina Group and most recently Hopper Creek Kitchen — ramps up his first solo restaurant, he’s doing it with a slight wink to his Irish heritage.

O’Toole has claimed the gorgeous downtown Napa space that previously housed celebrated vegetable restaurant Ubuntu. This fall, he’ll open a new casual, contemporary American restaurant there named Torc.

The moniker is the Gaelic word for “wild boar,”‘ and O’Toole explains that boar held a special ceremonial place in Gaelic lore, symbolizing feasts and hospitality.

O’Toole, who has lived in the Napa Valley for the last five years, will take over both the dining room, back patio and the mezzanine, which currently houses the yoga studio. With an October debut in his sights, he doesn’t plan to change much about the picturesque space.

“In my opinion, it’s one of the nicest dining rooms in the Bay Area,” he says, referencing the 100+ seats, 30 foot ceilings and 4,200 square feet overall. “The bones on it are great. What Sandy [Lawrence of Ubuntu] did on it was incredible. I think the design is timeless. It’s a pretty special room. We’ll do minimal work. but you’ll see some minor changes.”

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