It is always curious how some of our guests end up in the culinary world when their academia was meant to take them elsewhere. This is how our conversation with Chef Jonathan Beard started and continued about his journey from being a successful restaurateur/chef in Sonoma County, to eventually trading it in for a more realistic schedule that would allow him to be around for his family with young kids. His first position took him to the Sonoma Juvenile Detention program teaching cooking and life skills to the girls living there and then to landing his ‘dream’ job as the Culinary Director/Instructor at the Sonoma Valley High School. Prior to opening his first restaurant, he worked for some reputable Bay area spots including Acme Bakery, Bay Wolf and Kermit Lynch.
We reminisced about our own home economic classes in our earlier middle school years and compared to what it would be like today. With Covid, the high school has also made their pivot to online learning which couldn’t be less practical than with trying to teach cooking. Jonathan continues to adapt with his students and is waiting until they can all be in his newly designed kitchens at the high school.