Chef Jamil Peden tells BiteClub that Applewood Inn Restaurant in Guerneville will close Nov. 21, 2015 just eight months into his impressive kitchen takeover. Despite high critical praise for his haute California cuisine inspired by the restaurant garden, the West County Inn’s owner has decided to close the restaurant.
“We brought to restaurant to a great point over the last few months on our own, and without any marketing. I really love what I did there, ” he said. Peden had high hopes when he took over the kitchen in April 2015, and was lauded by foodies for his attempts to recapture some of the restaurant’s former glory. However, the task may have been too Herculean after several years of chef shuffles and sagging reviews that drove most of its former fans elsewhere.
“I was really surprised, but it is a decision that had to be made,” he added.
The once-stellar Michelin-starred restaurant had been an incubator for a number of outstanding young chefs including SF Chef Brian Gerritsen, David Frakes (Lynmar), Brian Anderson (Bistro 29) and Bruce Frieseke (Bella Vineyards). Frieseke captured a Michelin star for the restaurant in 2011 and 2012, but lost it soon after his departure.
The good news is that Peden plans to begin work on his own restaurant concept, which he’s calling Medjool, immediately, and is looking for backing. Meanwhile, he plans to keep busy doing pop-ups and other gigs around the county while working to “fulfill my dream.”
The Inn remains open, and a new restaurant concept is slated for May.