COOK TAVERN & PIZZERIA

What happens when you mix two of Napa Valley’s most beloved chefs together, place them in adjoining shared restaurants and then throw in a big handful of family? Diners of Cook and Cook Tavern in St. Helena are about to find out: Jude Wilmoth, the chef and owner of Cook, has partnered with Ryder Zetts, previously the chef at Archetype in St. Helena.

“Twelve and a half years ago we opened Cook and two years ago we expanded into our second space, Cook Tavern,” Wilmoth said. “Today we are making another change. “We’ve partnered with Ryder and will be sharing all aspects of the business, from the cooking to running the day to day.”

Wilmoth, a St. Helena native, was one of 11 children, and he learned to cook early. “In our family you either did dishes or cooked,” he said. “So I learned to cook.”

He went on to work with celebrity chefs such as Michael Chiarello and Cat Cora, where he gained a deep appreciation for the cuisines of Northern Italy. “Growing up we ate family-style, serving food on big platters around a table — it’s when I feel most comfortable. It’s what I wanted to create at Cook. And with Ryder and his family joining our team, we will be continuing what we started.”

“I’ve been wanting a change for some time and was especially interested in becoming an owner,” Zetts said. “Jude and I have been talking about doing something together for the last year or so, and his style and vision just seemed like a natural fit.”

Prior to Archetype, Zetts was chef de cuisine at Calistoga Michelin-star-rated Solbar. Earlier he worked at the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia, and at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville.