In 1974 Bill and Lola Zimmerman bought a farm in Fall City, Washington. In the spring, Lola found herself with some extra chives from her garden and set them by the road with an “herb plants for sale" sign and an empty jar. The following day the chives were gone and the jar was full and the earliest iteration of The Herbfarm was born. Over the next few years Bill and Lola grew the farm into large scale nursery with hundreds of varieties of herbs.
In 1986, Bill and Lola’s son Ron and his wife Carrie Van Dyck had the idea to offer educational luncheons on the farm and began remodeling the farm’s garage into a restaurant. Ron was The Herbfarm’s first chef and with Carrie hosting, the first meal was served on May 25, 1986. Over the next 10 years The Herbfarm garnered national recognition for championing local foods and pioneering farm to table cooking.
Tragedy struck in 1997. An electrical fire, sparked in the newly remodeled kitchen, burned the restaurant to the ground. After several nomadic years, popping up in wineries and temporary structures the restaurant set its new roots in Woodinville and reopened on May 25, 2001, 15 years to the day from the original opening.
Both originally from the east coast, Chris Weber and Jack Gingrich met at The Herbfarm in 2010. For the following decade they worked together as Chef and Sous Chef and immersed themselves in the culture and community of the Pacific Northwest building a strong connection to the restaurant. Following Ron and Carrie’s retirement in 2021, Chris and Jack are carrying The Herbfarm into its third generation.
THE SPIRIT OF THE HERBFARM
Ron Zimmerman- friend, mentor, and founder of The Herbfarm, passed away earlier this year before finishing the cookbook he started in the early 90's. His wife, and cofounder, has taken the reins on completing this book to be released in Spring of 2024.
Reserve your copy with special, prepublication pricing at thespiritoftheherbfarm.com
The Spirit of The Herbfarm features nearly 200 recipes ranging from simple morning meals to extravagant feasts. It also includes the captivating story of humble beginnings in an old tractor barn to becoming one of Americas only 52, 5-diamond restaurants.
Your purchase of The Spirit of The Herbfarm supports The Ron Zimmerman Scholarship Fund - an endowment providing paid internships for Seattle Colleges students pursuing hospitality as a career and the future generations of our culinary landscape.