By Shannon Brown
Who would toss around $1000 for a dinner for two, $500 for a beverage pairing, $172 for tax and $435 for a tip (running a hefty $2,107)? Turns out plenty of folks wanting to dine at a remote Sonoma County location with three-starred Michelin chef Joshua Skenes.
But exactly where the dinner is, who is invited, and what’s on the menu is a closely guarded secret.
It was recently reported that Skenes, widely known for his San Francisco restaurant Saison, was taking reservations for his new project, Skenes Ranch (reservations are now closed, sorry, but you can request an invite). The only official description of the experience was through the booking website Tock, stating that guests “retreat to wine country for an evening of wild foods under the stars and around an open fire.”
Pictures of the ranch show a rustic, outdoorsy scene with horse drawn carriages, monarch butterflies and a cobblestoned patio outlined by fields of vineyards. Inside the dining room, a long wooden table with chairs draped in animal fur face a large, stone fireplace that align with the evening’s theme of opulence.
This all started last fall, when Skenes posted on Instagram under the username ‘skenesranch.’ Since then, the page has featured pictures of his hunting escapades and food preparation. All but one of the pictures has a caption.
So what exactly are diners getting for such a large price tag? Well no menu has been released but speculation has been swirling about Skenes serving the animals he hunts.
Before reservations were made open to the public, food influencers were invited to the Sonoma County ranch in September to experience it for themselves. Meals served to them included bison heart, bison ribs and raw lobster, while desserts were wild strawberries and a smoked pecan sundae with smoked caramel. No substitutions will be made for dietary restrictions.
Required beverage pairings, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, will run you $500 and reserved wines for $1500 each person. Non-alcoholic drinks include infusions, elixirs, teas and juices.
There are overnight accommodations upon request and transportation can be arranged after you solidify your spot.
After making the reservations, guests are provided coordinates to meet a chauffeur who will take them to the location. The ranch is set in Sonoma County and is about 15 minutes from Downtown Sonoma.
Luxury dining isn’t new to Skenes as Saison costs around $400 per person and requires a payment for reservations.
In all this intrigue, one thing seems to remain certain; diners are paying for luxury. With high praise for his seasonal, fresh ingredients, chef Skenes is creating an atmosphere worthy of notice.