Ron Zimmerman

A photo of Ron Zimmerman hiking in the moutains of the Pacific NorthwestFollowing a childhood of mountain and seashore adventures, Ron Zimmerman and two buddies founded the outdoor recreational company of Early Winters. They struck gold when shown a new fabric that was both waterproof and breathable: Gore-Tex®. Their company soon was recognized as an innovative leader in outdoor recreation. Writing and printing beautiful, award-winning catalogs — the internet of those days— it grew into a thriving business that was sold in the 1980s.

Not wishing to move elsewhere to continue his career, he and Carrie Van Dyck, his wife, joined Ron’s parents on their Fall City Herb Farm east of Seattle. Here they converted a garage into a small restaurant. The initial 24-seat affair served only prix-fixe, 6-course luncheons or 9-course dinners using all local ingredients from farm and sea—a pioneering concept at the time.

Immediately The Herbfarm received rave local press. National press soon followed with multi-page articles listing it as one of the top 50 restaurants in America.

In 1997, a fire destroyed the restaurant-in-a-garage. Ron and Carrie vowed to make its replacement even better. Through many trials and delays in Fall City, they finally rebuilt in Woodinville WA where, in 2001 they became one of forty-nine AAA 5-Diamond restaurants in America.

This is Ron’s memoir of before, during and after those struggles along with 150-pages of Herbfarm-inspired recipes and culinary tips and techniques.