As executive chef of The Herbfarm since 1990, Jerry Traunfeld combines his passion for cooking with a love of gardening and garners national attention for his innovative multi-course menus. An expert in the subject of culinary herbs, he was featured in The New York Times Magazine, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Fortune, and many other publications. He has appeared on Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens Television and The Food Network and is a regular guest on Public Radio's The Splendid Table.
Jerry began cooking while he was in his teens, but his professional career began upon graduating from the California Culinary Academy in 1983. He cooked for a year at the San Francisco's Ernie's under Chef Jackie Robert, then joined the kitchen staff at Jeremiah Tower's Stars shortly after it opened. In 1986 he moved to Seattle and became the executive chef of the Alexis Hotel, where he remained until taking the position of Herbfarm chef in 1990.
Nancy Leson of The Seattle Times, named Jerry "an incomparable chef/genius" in a 4 star review, and The Herbfarm Restaurant was ranked number 15 of the 50 best restaurants in the United States by Gourmet in 2001. USA Today's Jerry Shriver named his dinner at The Herbfarm as his top meal of 2002. It is the only restaurant in the Northwest to be awarded 5 diamonds by AAA. Recently Jerry was named one of the "chefs who made a difference" in Bon Appetit's 2003 Decade of Dining issue.
Jerry is the recipient of the 2000 James Beard award for Best Chef; Northwest / Hawaii. He is the author of The Herbfarm Cookbook; 200 Herb-Inspired Recipes Plus a Complete Guide to Growing, Handling, and Cooking with Fresh Herbs, which won The International Association of Cooking Professionals award for the Best Cookbook in the Chef/Restaurant category. It was also named one of the Top 25 Cookbooks of the Year by Food and Wine magazine He is currently working on a new book of herbal recipes.