Kory Stewart - Our Wine Forest General Manager
Kory Stewart’s and my paths began merrily crisscrossing about ten years ago. I’d run into Kory while delivering wild mushrooms. Mushrooms were like magnets for him. He proved to be a deeply curious, kind and talented chef. Kory’s zeal for mushroom hunting was unstoppable. After a few hunts and many phone calls, he began finding unknown rich porcini territory and carpets of his beloved candy cap mushrooms. Our shared mushroom hunting and friendship grew over many years and through three restaurants. When my odometer hit 65, it was easy to turn to the fine person that I’d always imagined as a partner in our 35 +year old pioneering wild foods business. For years, I’ve known he was the perfect person to join us when I saw signs that he may be ready to leave the kitchen. Now, Kory is solidly ensconced up here in our Wine Forest mountain office and barn. His knowledgeable hand and voice is added to my own when you call. We’ll be here!
Kory Stewart was lucky enough to grow up on Whidbey Island, Washington, surrounded by the wild forest and watery abundance of the Pacific NW. The love of life in a forest world never left him. Twelve year old Kory got his first job in a professional kitchen washing dishes. His love of the kitchen led him to school at the California Culinary academy during which Kory worked at Postrio and was recruited by Mitchell Rosenthal for Town Hall.
After graduation, Kory hit the culinary road and ate his way through Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Laos and Japan – and central Mexico. After these culinary adventures, Kory returned to San Francisco to work in the kitchens of Michael Mina and Scott Howard. In 2010 he became the executive chef at Americano at the Hotel Vitale and won the 7x7 magazine’s “Your City, Your Chef” readers’ poll award. Unafraid of challenges, he added Food and Beverage Director to his position of Executive chef.
In 2014, the call of country life made a job offer in Calistoga CA utterly irresistible. Kory opened and created Sam’s Social Club, an instant local favorite, at the Indian Springs Resort. With his family, wife Abby and children Maya, Levi and wee Maria, all settled in the country, finally Kory could finally indulge in the mushroom and pig hunting near his house. His love of foraging and hunting has now joined our own here at Wine Forest.