Duskie & John

janddDuskie Estes began cooking at the age of five in her EZ-Bake oven. She is a graduate of Brown University. Growing up in San Francisco, she fell in love with everything restaurant through her weekly Wednesday night dinners out with her father. She worked at Lucky’s/Al Forno (Rhode Island), 21 Federal and Kinkead’s (WashingtonDC), Green’s and Glide Church (San Francisco), Baywolf (Oakland), Share Our Strength (WashingtonDC and Seattle), and Dahlia Lounge, Etta’s Seafood, and Palace Kitchen (Seattle, WA.). During her two year tenure as chef of Palace Kitchen, she was voted City Search’s Seattle Best Chef in 2000. Under her leadership, Palace Kitchen was rated by Gourmet magazine as one of the top five Seattle restaurants in 2000 and in the nation’s top 50 restaurants in 2001. She was coauthor on Tom Douglas’s Seattle Kitchen, which received the James Beard Award in 2001.

John Stewart is from Mt. Kisco, New York and grew up in the kitchen of his family’s four generation catering company, Thomas Fox and Sons, founded in 1919 by his great grandfather. By the age of 7, he was polishing silver, folding pastry boxes, and icing petit fours with his grandmother. He is a 1990 graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. John worked at Etta’s Seafood and Palace Kitchen in Seattle where he met Duskie. He became sous chef at Cafe Lago, and fell deeply in love with making the most incredible pastas. John is an avid salumist studying with chef Mario Batali and at the University of Iowa Meat Lab. He is responsible for their line of BLACK PIG meats, bacon & salumi made from pasture raised, heritage breed, antibiotic and hormone free pork. In 2009, Rachel Ray picked their BLACK PIG Bacon for her holiday gift giving guide and Men’s Journal named it one of the TOP BACON’s in 2010 and his coppa received a GOOD FOOD AWARD in 2016. If that wasn’t enough, he is also responsible for caring for their farm animals: chickens, pigs, goats, ducks, sheep, and rabbits.

In 2001, Duskie and John opened ZAZU kitchen + farm in Sonoma County. ZAZU was named a TOP 10 best new restaurant of 2002 and was listed in the San Francisco Chronicle’s TOP 100 restaurants in 2003, 2004, and 2005. ZAZU was also rated TOP 50 restaurants in the Bay Area by San Francisco Magazine. 2008 through 2016, ZAZU has been included in the San Francisco Michelin guide. In 2009, Duskie & John received the Rising Star Chef Awards for Sustainability. Together, they were crowned“KING & QUEEN of PORC” at the Grand Cochon at Aspen Food & Wine 2011.

Duskie & John released their first wine in 2005, Holdredge Schiopettino, MacBryde Vineyard, which landed a coveted spot on the wine list at The French Laundry. When the vineyard had to be torn out, Duskie & John were unwillingness to spray near their family, so the family decided to build the “Pig Palace” and put in a fruit orchard. In addition, they are making their own wine with Thomas George Estates: BLACK PIG PINOT, and PINK PIG sparkling wine. 

In 2007, Duskie and John were fortunate to be on the cover of Wine Spectator. They are also among those featured in the California Commercial with Thomas Keller, Doug Keene, Suzanne Goin, and Guy Fieri. Duskie was a fierce competitor on the Food Network’s Next Iron Chef, season 3 and season 5. Duskie is currently a judge on Food Network’s Guy’s Grocery Games. They have also been featured on Guy’s Big Bites, Emeril Green, P.B.S.’s Chefs-A-Field and A Moveable FeastZAZU has been included in The New York Times, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Sunset, Every Day with Rachel Ray, Wine Spectator, Bon Appetit, Art Culinaire, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Press Democrat, Travel + Leisure, USA Today, Food Arts, San Francisco Magazine, Hemisphere, Zagat, Elle (Japan & Mexico), Marie Claire, Luxury, Los Angeles Times, Michelin and more. You can catch Duskie in the ZAZU garden before service gathering fava leaves or squash blossoms with her two girls.