First, a huge apology to Chef Jeremy Fox for not writing up our meal at Ubuntu in July.  Second, a huge congratulations to Chef Jeremy Fox for being named by the James Beard Foundation as one of the final nominees for Best Chef: Pacific Region. As it has been some time since this meal, my descriptions will be somewhat limited (I can’t find my notes), but hopefully the photos will tell the story.

Ubuntu is an all vegetable restaurant – no meat, no fish. This is not to say that it is green grass restaurant with no taste or low in calorie. Jeremy handles vegetables with the care and finesse normally accorded to proteins. What you are immediately struck by is his layering of flavors and his reliance on culinary technique not “tricks.’


Adorable Jeremy



Italian olives, Nasturtium pesto, Nasturtium petals



Marcona almonds with lavender sugar and sea salt



Breakfast radishes with local chevre, nori infusion and smoked black sea salt



Chickpea fries with herbs, Romesco sauce

All of the above are addictive



Assorted fried peppers from the garden with mint



Watermelon Velouté with Basil, Basil Seed Caviar, Sprouts – I am not sure I got this right so apologies to everyone if I am wrong.



 Cool Watermelon and Lemongrass Soup with a splash of coconut milk and decorated with a cascade of shoots. This had a definite Asian feel due to the lemongrass and coconut milk.



Leaves and Things – walk into a garden and enjoy.



English Peas and Shoots in Pea Shoot  Consommé with White Chocolate, Macadamia and Mint – never in a million years would I think to pair peas with white chocolate, but it was a remarkable marriage.



Grilled Peach Panzallels, Burrata, Mozarella, Brioche, Basil, Aged Balsamic – I think



Water-retained Plants 



 Ubuntu Pizza with truffled pecorino and ???



Roasted, Puréed, and Raw Courgettes and Succulents with Ubuntu Vadouvan and Panisses 



Squash #2



This was in a word a masterpiece – we requested an egg dish and Jeremy did eggs in all its various guises – absolutely extraordinary

Now for Deanie’s desserts


Plums with Nasturtium







A wonderful meal and a huge thank you to Jeremy and Deanie.



5 Responses to “Ubuntu”

  1. 1 sygyzy March 27, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Great writeup Liz. I made it a point to make it to Ubuntu last year when I was visiting SF. We had a special chef’s tasting arranged for lunch. Having dined at Manresa the night before, can you guess which was a better experience?

  2. 2 lizziee March 27, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Actually I love both restaurants. They are very different, but their commitment to sourcing, technique and no short-cuts is extraordinary.

  3. 3 Loving Annie March 28, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Oooh – interesting !!! I have to try it when I go back to Napa this fall…

  4. 4 mattatouille June 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I’ve wanted to go here for over a year, ever since my cook-friend told me that it was the best meal he’s ever had in his life. and no he is not a vegetarian. let’s put it this way, I am terribly hungry after reading this post. I love my vegetables.

  5. 5 S Lloyd February 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Awesome report Liz. Chef Jeremy Fox’s work at Ubuntu has caught my attention: refreshingly different, moving, creative.

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