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Saison Chef Joshua Skenes Is Hosting Mysterious Dinner Parties in Sonoma

Is it research for a new restaurant? Or just for fun?

Skenes’ Ranch

Fans of chef Joshua Skenes’ three-Michelin-starred cuisine at Saison may soon have another way to experience his food— in Sonoma. He’s been hosting some seriously intriguing dinners at his ranch in wine country, according to the social media accounts of some major influencers (including Lucky Peach editor-in-chief Chris Ying) who’ve been invited. The dinners focus on the chef’s passion for hunting, fishing, and foraging, featuring dishes like elk heart and bison ribs cooked over open fire.

For now there are no reservations, only a mysterious website where interested parties can sign up to receive an invitation to dinner. Partner Jared Rivera (also a co-founder of ChefsFeed) describes the experiences as “Just spontaneous dinners using what we fish, hunt, and harvest from the surrounding fields and streams.” Rivera also adds that it is “not a commercial enterprise,” so no word on how much the experience — which recently included Krug bubbles, bagpipers serenading guests, baskets of live Monarch butterflies, and participation by Saison’s top-notch front of the house and kitchen teams — might set you back.

That’s a lot of investment in a casual dinner, even from the world’s 27th best restaurant. Perhaps it’s an indication that Skenes is toying with the idea of something bigger. Does he have his sights set on a more casual restaurant in Sonoma, a la Christopher Kostow’s impending project Charter Oak? Could it be an inn and restaurant a la Kyle and Katina Connaughton’s Single Thread? Or, is the whole thing just a Pinterest-worthy creative outlet for the chef? Stay tuned for more details as this magical wonderland of roasted meats evolves. But first, take a spin through some of the images from Skenes’ ranch below.

Parker house roll with a scoop of caviar

Posted by Jason Wang on Sunday, September 25, 2016

Elk heart

Posted by Jason Wang on Sunday, September 25, 2016

Antelope and elk, it's what's for dinner. Currently, in #Sonoma.

A photo posted by ulterior epicure (@ulteriorepicure) on

A photo posted by Skenes Ranch (@skenesranch) on

As we walked closer to the house, there was someone playing the bagpipes

Posted by Jason Wang on Saturday, September 24, 2016


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