Our garden was featured in the Autumn 2006 issue of Organic Gardening Magazine.
For Zatar's chefs/owners, Waiel and Kelly Majid, the preparation of each dish begins with the planting of a seed. In their terraced, sunny, hillside backyard in Oakland, they cultivate many of the herbs, vegetables and fruits used in the restaurant’s kitchen. Pomegranates, plums, pears, apples, figs, persimmons, , apricots, mulberries, peaches and citrus occupy the top of the hill, while the rest is divided into vegetable terraces. Herbs and flowers are planted throughout, attracting an abundance of hummingbirds and bees for pollination.
Of course, tending to over a half acre of vegetables and fruits is time-consuming, hard work. But as in the kitchen, the Majids love to get their hands dirty and do the work themselves. This is the main reason the restaurant has the limited hours of being open Wednesday through Saturday only. However, regular diners know that Kelly and Waiel are often willing to open the restaurant for private parties any day of the week.
The Majid’s also raise chickens for fresh eggs. The chickens are fed food scraps left by diners and all raw kitchen scraps are composted for the garden. This not only keeps the restaurant’s waste at practically nothing, it also nourishes the garden and keeps the chickens happy and well fed.
For Waiel and Kelly, organic, sustainable farming just makes incredible sense – it’s good for the environment, good for us, and with the use of such high quality, fresh ingredients, the food simply tastes better!