The Herbfarm is an American restaurant and an early practioner of local food. This is a philosophy that promotes the growing, enjoyment, and consumption of foods from a limited region.
The Herbfarm is located outside of Seattle, Washington in the town of Woodinville. It was one of the first modern restaurants in America to focus solely on preparing regional foods from local sources. Other well-known practitioners include Alice Waters' Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, the Sooke Harbour House in British Columbia, and Odessa Piper's l'Etoile in Madison, Wisconsin. Like those restaurants, it is a member of Slow Food, an international movement to preserve artisinal food.
The Herbfarm began not as a restaurant but as an herbal nursery in 1974. In 1986, Ron Zimmerman joined the establishment along with his wife, Carrie Van Dyck. That year they converted a farm garage into a small restaurant and named it The Herbfarm.
In January of 1997, a fire destroyed the restaurant. Difficulties in securing building permits caused the Zimmermans to move in 1999 to the Hedges Wine Cellars in Issaquah, Washington. In 2001, The Herbfarm opened in new quarters in the town of Woodinville, Washington.
Jerry Traunfeld, winner of the 2000 James Beard Award for "Best American Chef: Northwest and Hawaii" has been the executive chef since July of 1990. He is the author of The Herbfarm Cookbook, Simon and Schuster, and The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor, Harper Collins. Traunfeld has appeared on Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, The Splendid Table and other American television and radio programs.
In 2005, The Herbfarm was the only American restaurant with the AAA 5-Diamond Award north of San Francisco and west of Chicago. It was inducted into the American Restaurant "Fine Dining Hall of Fame" in 2003. In October 2001, Gourmet magazine named The Herbfarm number 15 in its ranking of "America's Best 50 Restaurants." In 2004, Gayot put the restaurant on its "Top 40 Restaurants in the United States."
- Seattle P-I: Herbfarm Hopes to Rebuild a Four Star Memory
- Forbes, Food with Wine
- James Beard Awards 2000
- Gayot's Top 40 Restaurants in the United States
- List of AAA Five-Diamond Award Holders
- The Herbfarm Douglas Fir Sorbet Recipe
- Seattle Times/Washington Wine Commission Awards: Restaurant of the Year 2005
- 2005 Best Wine List in America article, Restaurant Hospitality
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