I grew up in Germany as the son of an American father and a German mother. Throughout my childhood, we spent summers on a small dairy ranch in the Allgäu region of Swabia, in the beautiful town of Lindau. Since the age of two, there was no greater joy for me than to follow the farmer around and to help him with his chores. We milked cows, cut grass for hay and harvested ancient varieties of apples and pears from his orchards. There was nothing in the world I’d rather be than a farmer. Alas, I became a chef instead…
After finishing my apprenticeship as a chef in Berlin, I came to California in 1994. I immediately fell in love with the San Francisco Bay Area: it’s vibrant, bohemian restaurant scene and the amazing local products emerging at the height of the California Cuisine boom. After a few short years in New York, I returned to the Bay Area in 1997 with no intention of ever leaving.
Over the years, I forged many friendships with farmers, ranchers and artisans as I bought products at local farmers markets for the various restaurants I worked for. I was inspired by the way they approached farming with organic methods and care for their land and the quality produce, meats, poultry and dairy products that resulted. Finally, after thirty years in the restaurant business, I realized that more than ever my passion for food was rooted in growing it. In January of 2019, my childhood dream finally became reality when we bought our humble 8-acre property in the beautiful Capay Valley of Yolo County, California. After laying the roots for Channa Ranch, a year and a half later we are beginning to open market and become a part of the movement towards sustainable small scale farming. We hope to offer the highest quality produce and poultry, and to continue to treat our land and our animals with respect. I am excited to see what the future holds for us.