Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 28, 2024
Woodinville, WA

The Spirit of The Herbfarm Restaurant: Cookbook & Memoir by Ron Zimmerman Now Available for Pre-Publication Purchase

Husband and wife team, Ron Zimmerman and Carrie Van Dyck turned a garage on the eastern outskirts of Seattle at Ron’s parent’s hobby herb farm into a restaurant like no other. Their pre-opening idea was that only locally sourced ingredients would be utilized. The single seating luncheon began with an educational garden tour led by Carrie, while Chef Ron was in the kitchen prepping. The ever-changing menus were planned, designed, illustrated, and cooked by Ron.

 Part memoir, part cookbook, The Spirit of The Herbfarm Restaurant offers beautiful images of each dish. Written as the master storyteller he was, Ron sets the stage and brilliantly transports readers through the formative years of the restaurant he and Carrie built. His story sheds light on the movement that was the emerging global “eat local” reawakening towards which The Herbfarm restaurant blazed the trail in its pioneering ways.

 Multi - course seasonal meals reflected what the garden, nearby forests and ocean offered at that moment. As word spread, the restaurant’s garden was expanded and ingredients were procured from foragers, farmers and local fisher folk. That tiny garage did not have an empty seat for ten years!

 The Herbfarm Restaurant first found the best, local ingredients and then created a menu, defying what was then still the convention, of designing a menu and then trying to source ingredients. .

 Everything in a dish was local, not just the protein or main component. The menus, made up of multiple courses, expertly paired with a corresponding Pacific NW wine, offered no extras, add-ons or substitutions. Guests made reservations months in advance and paid in full before arrival (including service—no tipping), knowing to the penny what their experience would cost, also innovative at the time. The Herbfarm Restaurant’s goal was and is to provide a few hours to each guest where life is a perfect as possible.                    

 Ron nearly completed this manuscript, including Adobe InDesign layouts of each page before he passed last April. Carrie, always loving challenging projects, spent the past year shepherding his work through the previously unknown world of book publication. And now, almost exactly one year after his passing, Ron’s book will arrive in your local bookstore.

 Come along on this journey, written with care, candor and wit. The Spirit of The Herbfarm Restaurant is the story of what, when nurtured by Ron and Carrie, became a big idea, taking on a life of its own. A brilliant man takes us on an incredible journey illuminating the past, present and foreshadowing the future. The meaningful life Ron led and the impact the spirit of the Herbfarm had worldwide becomes very clear.  

 About the Author

 Ron Zimmerman (1948–2023) and his wife, Carrie Van Dyck, converted a garage on his parent’s farm east of Seattle into a small restaurant in 1986. The initial twenty-four-seat affair served a prix fixe, six-course luncheon or nine-course dinner using only local ingredients. Soon, The Herbfarm received rave local and national press. Multi-page articles listed it as one of the top fifty restaurants in America. In 1997, a fire destroyed the restaurant. Ron and Carrie vowed to make its replacement even better. Through many challenges and delays, they rebuilt. In 2001, they became one of forty-nine AAA five-Diamond restaurants in America. This is Ron’s memoir of those formative years as a leader in the “eat local” food movement, along with 150 pages of Herbfarm-inspired recipes and culinary ideas. Learn more about the book at

About the Foreword Contributor

Dr. Sinclair Philip is the former co-owner operator (his wife and business partner is

Frederique), and wine director of Sooke Harbour House Hotel and Restaurant, which was named the Best Restaurant in the World for Authentic, Local Cuisine by Gourmet and Best Restaurant in Canada by the Globe and Mail. Philip is the recipient of the Governor General of Canada's Nation's Table Award for Mentoring and Inspiration, and he is a member of the British Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame. He is the cofounder Slow Food Canada and former vice president of the Southern Vancouver Island Mycological Society.

Praise for The Spirit of The Herbfarm Restaurant

“Years before I first laid eyes on The French Laundry, Ron Zimmerman showed people how to eat seasonally, eat locally, eat food with the freshest ingredients, and let them shine. The Herbfarm’s beginnings—as an actual herb farm—informed a style of cooking that helped spark something of a revolution: high-end fine dining that celebrated the connections to an ingredient's origins. I felt a kinship with him in the way we both approached our profession and while I’ll miss his influence, I’m glad his legacy lives on in the pages of The Spirit of the Herbfarm Restaurant, which, much like The Herbfarm itself, is very clearly a labor of love."

Thomas Keller, Chef/Proprietor The French Laundry | Thomas Keller Restaurant Group

 "This is a story about following your dreams and opening a restaurant where every strand of your DNA is woven into the very fabric of the place. It’s a story about disaster and rebirth. About discovering nature, seasonality, and the local bounty of the earth. But more than that, this book offers a glimpse into the genius and forward thinking of Ron Zimmerman. Ron was a man of endless curiosity, was inspired by nature, and one who embodied the warm hug of the service industry. The restaurant that he and Carrie built—The Herbfarm—is nothing short of iconic and legendary. This captivating and informative book is a must own for chefs and cooks across the world as there is no doubt that through it, the influence of Ron will live on forever."

René Redzepi, Chef and Co-Owner of noma

"Ron, Carrie, and I were culinary pioneers together in the Seattle area at a golden moment, along with a host of talented, quirky, smart, gifted people.  Most of us have stayed the course, devoted to local and seasonal ingredients and more, yet I think that Ron and Carrie have shone most brightly with their dedication to perfection, and their individual generosity to each person who crossed their threshold and sat at their table.  As I read what Ron has written, memories and flavors flood my consciousness.  You must get this book, learn, laugh, and cry with it as I have, then take it to your kitchen.  It is an inestimable gift. Merci, Ron, whom I cannot consider thinking of without Carrie.”                                                                                                            Susan Herrmann Loomis, Author and Cooking School Proprietor, On Rue Tatin

 Praise for The Herbfarm Restaurant

 “The Northwest’s most-celebrated restaurant; the ultimate expression

of the Northwest’s bounty.” — Frommer’s

 “Top 50 Restaurants in the World” —Travel-Leisure
"America’s Top Restaurants" —Zagat
“Top 50 Restaurants in America” —Gourmet
Fine Dining Hall of Fame —Nation’s Restaurant News
Award of Excellence — Distinguished Restaurants of North America
4 Stars —Mobile Travel Guide 
AAA 5-Diamond Award — One of only 49 US restaurants in 2022

10 Best in the World—National Geographic

“You can’t help but applaud at the end”—Financial Times

4 Stars —The Seattle Times
“A must experience. The fastest five hours you’ll ever experience.” —Best Places Seattle
“An unparalleled dining event.” —Seattle Times
“Best Washington Dining” —Northwest Palate
“Best Overall Restaurant” —Editor’s Choice: Where Seattle 

To request a review copy or to arrange an interview with please contact:

Deba Wegner
Recipe for Success, Inc.
425 - 241 - 9023   

The Spirit of The Herbfarm Restaurant: A Cookbook and a Memoir By Ron Zimmerman

Skyhorse Publishing, Hardcover also available in E-Book

Available for presale: A Culinary Journey: A Cookbook and Memoir by Ron Zimmerman – The Spirit of The Herbfarm Restaurant for late spring shipment. $35.00

(pre-order via this site & receive a complementary extra “Thank-You Booklet” of recipes and writings the author did not include in the main volume.)


ISBN: 9781510780125

Available at local retail outlets for $40.00 in June