One of the many things we love about being based in the Bay Area is the abundance of restaurants where food is an expression of craft and creativity. We recently had the pleasure of dining at one of our favorite new-ish restaurants in Oakland that places great emphasis on utilizing seasonal, locally grown produce to curate a menu that will please every palette. Pomet opened it's doors in March of 2022 and has since established itself as a must-visit restaurant for diners who truly appreciate farm to table fare.
Read along for our interview with the owner of Pomet and K&J Orchards.
You're a second generation farmer; can you share with our readers a bit about your family's history and experience with farming?
K & J Orchards was created by my father and Mother. James and Kalayada Beutel. My dad was a pomologist @ UCD and mom was a RN @ Kaiser. Pomet is an homage to my father in a way. Pomet means orchard in ancient Roman dialect as he was basically a “fruit tree” doctor. I grew up pulling weeds in the nursery as young as I can remember and hating it actually, lol. I grew up going to farmers’ market every weekend and when I was able to drive…I would go to the markets on my own. To this day forward I still attend farmers markets on Saturdays and Sundays.
What inspired the leap from farmer to restaurateur?
Initially, I never dreamt about opening a restaurant. When the opportunity landed in my lap, it took me a couple of weeks to pull the trigger and say yes.
Can you share the inspiration behind the restaurant's name?
Pomet stems from the word Pomology which is the study and cultivation of fruit and nut trees. My dad served as a pomologist for over 40 years for the state of California and UC extensions. Pomet pays tribute my late father who helped create K&J orchards.
How would you describe the menu offerings? Is it curated based on what is being produced at K&J Orchards?
The food here at Pomet is the truest form of “farm to table” in my opinion. The ingredients sourced are from the farm and from other fellow farmers that I have grown up with and worked with over my tenure. The food is fresh and hyper seasonal. It will offer the freshest ingredients to the kitchen where they will let the food speak for itself.
What shouldn't be missed on the menu right now?
Two things that have been on the menu since day one are the mushroom pasta and the salt & pepper quail. Many of these orders go out every night for all to enjoy!
What was your vision while creating the space? Was there something specific that inspired the design?
I had the help of an old corporate colleague that is the VP of Design at Pottery Barn help make my vision a reality. He help put a color palette together and then I ran with it! It helped catapult the simple but elegant ambience of the space. Also, I am lucky enough to be able to dine in many establishments across the world where the unique spaces have help garner my ideas for the space.
What kind of environment were you hoping to cultivate for the local community?
The drive to curate wonderful food here also is to educate our guests on the richness and bounty California has to offer. We are so fortunate to live in a state with amazing resources that are abundant and easily accessible.