It was inevitable that a PBS series about the nationwide farm-to-table trend would make its way to Sonoma County.
When the producers of "Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking" contacted Duskie Estes of Zazu Kitchen + Farm in Sebastopol about filming one of the 13 episodes here, the chef jumped in with both cowgirl boots.
"I'm pretty relaxed in front of the camera," said Estes, who starred on the Food Network's "The Next Iron Chef" in seasons three and five. "I'm going to do the 'Julia Child' moment, where I put it in the stove, and 'Voila!'"
Hosted by Australian chef Pete Evans, the series takes viewers on a culinary journey with some of the top chefs in the country, including Tom Douglas of Seattle, and Marcus Samuelsson and Jonathan Waxman, both based in New York.
"Our chefs have the opportunity to experiment outside the confines of their regular kitchens, in fresh territory, where they can collaborate and stretch their cooking muscles," said Laurie Donnelly, executive producer. "This inspiring new series is the culinary equivalent of a jam session."
The series, produced by WGBH-TV and Fine Cooking magazine, will launch in San Francisco at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 14 on KQED Channel 9. The Sonoma County episode is scheduled to air on Nov. 23.
During each episode, Evans follows the local chefs back to the source for ingredients. Then they join forces — working under the gun, just like home chefs throwing a dinner party — to prepare a multi-course "pop-up" dinner.
As her partner in crime, Estes chose restaurateur Mark Stark, who owns five restaurants in Sonoma County.
"It's hard not to do farm-to-table cooking in Sonoma County," Stark said.
On July 31, the film crew captured Stark and Estes as they cooked for friends and family at the Davis Family Winery in Healdsburg.
"This winery speaks Sonoma County," Estes said. "You've got it in the glass, the produce is growing here, and the river is over there, which creates the climate."
Earlier in the day, the chefs led Evans on a visit to two local farms to pick up a few iconic products that are synonymous with Sonoma.
Early in the morning, Estes led the crew to Redwood Hill Farm in Sebastopol, where they filmed the goats being milked and picked up some fresh goat cheese for the chef's gnocchi dish.
"The goat cheese for the gnocchi is crazy, creamy and smooth," Estes said. "The gnocchi that we make just adds eggs and flour, and it's like a goat cheese pillow."
To serve with the gnocchi, Estes braised pork and beef short ribs in red wine, stock, herbs and spices, creating a hearty Short Rib "Zasugo."
At mid-morning, Stark met the crew at Salmon Creek Ranch in Bodega Bay to talk birds.
"We explored the farm and talked to the ducks and goats and cattle and geese," Stark said. "I love duck, so we picked up duck legs and eggs."
Poultry has been traditionally raised in Sonoma County because the aninals thrive near the cool, breezy coast.
"Duck is readily available here, more than cattle or pork," Stark said. "It can't be too hot; it was 57 degrees out there today."
Stark, an east-coaster with a deep passion for barbecue, seared the duck legs, sweated some onions, then braised the duck in a homemade barbecue sauce. He served them over smoked cheddar polenta.