Tucker Taylor is the director of culinary gardens for Kendall-Jackson Vineyard Estates. We asked him about his favorite places in Healdsburg to eat and drink on his own time
A savant for new and interesting produce, Taylor cut his teeth in gardens, including the garden at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry. He loves browsing garden stores or sipping top-notch Pinot Noir at his favorite tasting room.
Taylor sends guests to The Duchamp Healdsburg. The bungalow-style hotel is located in the heart of downtown (walking distance to wineries and Healdsburg Plaza) and offers six exclusive, private suites that surround a sleek pool and spa. Plus, each suite has its own enclosed patio.
For an everyday lunch spot or a special dinner with friends, Taylor grabs a table at Campo Fina. “You can chat with friendly locals at the outdoor bar in the back, play bocce, and enjoy one of my favorite dishes: Nonna’s Tomato Braised Chicken with sautéed Swiss chard and soft polenta.” The multicourse, farm-driven tasting menu at Single-Thread is also one of his all-time favorites.
Taylor gets his caffeine fix at Plank Coffee, a loved-by-locals spot. “I’ll splurge with a delicious frittata and the brioche French toast,” he says. Wine-wise, he’s a fan of Hartford Family Winery Tasting Room in Healdsburg Plaza downtown. “[The winery] focuses on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Zinfandel. Winemaker Jeff Stewart is a master.”
“For a beautiful hike, I always enjoy Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve,” Taylor says. The trail-filled park includes wetlands, oak woodlands, rocky serpentine chaparral, and open grasslands.
Open for 21 years, The Gardener’s Healdsburg location “is one of my go-to places for unique pots and specialty gardening and culinary gear,” Taylor says. The lush gardens are brimming with persimmon, palm, pomegranate, and willow, which offer instant inspiration.