Romney Steele grew up in the restaurant business. Her grandparents founded the iconic Nepenthe Restaurant on Highway One in Big Sur, California, surrounded by nature and sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. It’s not just about food for Romney or her family. It’s about gathering around the table, sharing a meal and stories, uniting people with different backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. Where good food is served, magical things happen.
Romney’s upbringing inspired her to open her own restaurant in the historic Swans Market in Old Oakland. The Cook and Her Farmer is a cafe, oyster and wine bar. She runs the business with her partner and farmer, Steven Day, and her children. Her daughter, Nicoya, normally Romney’s right hand at work, is preparing for her first child. But until then you can find her shucking oysters with the crew.
Romney feels a maternal bond with her staff as well. The cafe is community focused, bringing in young people from the area and giving them an opportunity to learn the trade and hopefully much more. DeMaris Sanagu has been a part of the team since day one. She started fresh out of high school as a dishwasher and a second language learner. Now she runs the kitchen during the day time. Proving once again, that where good food is served, people are united, and what once seemed impossible is within reach.