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America’s Best Vegetarian Cooking

For restaurateur Sandy Lawrence of Napa’s Ubuntu, extraordinary vegetarian food begins with the biodynamic garden behind her ultra-eco rammed-earth house.

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The country’s most brilliant vegetarian restaurant started with a series of Napa Valley potlucks: Sandy Lawrence, a career overachiever (she ran a global conference-planning company), invited friends over for yoga and dinner in her ultra-eco rammed-earth house. These parties got so popular that, in 2007, Lawrence decided to turn them into a business: Ubuntu restaurant and yoga studio.

Ubunut

Sandy Lawrence. Photo courtesy of Ubuntu.

Jeremy Fox (an F&W Best New Chef 2008) creates stunning dishes using fruits and vegetables from Lawrence’s biodynamic garden, like a delicate pea consommé he garnishes with white chocolate.

Lawrence strives to make her business be more than a business, so she works with Napa peace organization TheCommunity.com. In fact, ubuntu is a South African word that means “humanity toward others”—an ideal that explains Lawrence’s worldview, and why, as a meat eater, she opened a vegetarian restaurant.

Published April 2009
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