On To Chocolate
by LINDA MURPHY photography by CHRIS HARDY
Taking their sustainable ethics in a different direction, the Malls embark on a sweet new adventure
JEFF AND SUSAN MALL were ahead of the Sonoma farm-to-table movement when they opened Zin Restaurant & Wine Bar in Healdsburg in 1999, basing their menu on what they grew and raised on their Eastside Road farm, and what they could procure from nearby ranchers and fishermen. Such farm-to-fork service is now de rigueur, and the couple, lifelong culinary adventurers, are off on another journey.
During a stint cooking at a Baja California Sur resort, they developed a taste for Mexican chocolate, appreciating its intense flavor, distinctive salt and spice notes, and compatibility with savory ingredients. While their year-old VOLO Chocolate business in Windsor keeps the Malls rooted in Sonoma, their ingredients are decidedly not local. And that’s the point.