2025 SOMA Wild Mushroom Camp

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Faculty Biographies

Daniel Kedan

Daniel Kedan began his professional cooking career as Sous Chef of Il Palio Restaurant in Shelton, Connecticut in 2004. This ignited a passion and excitement, in the restaurant field, for him. Wanting to learn everything he could, he decided to travel to Europe in 2006. Spending time tasting the amazing flavors of France, Italy, and Germany, Daniel felt invigorated and passionate about the culinary arts.

Daniel enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America, in 2006, being part of the school's first A.O.S. program on the Saint Helena campus. While attending school, he began working under Chef Dave Cruz, at Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc restaurant in Yountville, as part of the opening team. There, he spent three years learning what true professionalism, along with love and respect for great ingredients, really was. 

Daniel continued his career, in the Napa Valley while working briefly, at Solage in Calistoga. His interest in food sustainability, lead him to become the Chef de Cuisine at The General's Daughter in Sonoma. There he learned not only how to run a restaurant, but how to work and yearly plan, with farmers, plan and execute wine dinners and participate in wine auctions.  He, again, was part of an opening culinary team at Cantinetta Piero in Yountville. Still having a strong passion for dealing with local, organic farmers, Daniel found his home at Peter Lowell's in Sebastopol in December of 2010. While working with the restaurant's 2 acre farm, along with a handful of other local farmers and ranchers, Daniel found his home in west county. 

In 2012, with his wife and favorite pastry chef, Marianna Gardenhire, he opened Backyard. He has taken his passion for local farmers, house made pastas and charcuterie into flourishing. With their own garden, and the bounties of west county, their menu changes daily with the thriving seasons. 

Daniel's passion and skills for the culinary arts, and local sustainability, are held in high regard. He has received high marks from food critics, as well as the community. Daniel is an advocate for local sustainable communities, donating his time to local schools and charities in his community. Daniel's passion and reputation has made him one of the most sought after chefs in Sonoma County.