One of the women behind K&J Orchards — the growers known for having their persimmons, Asian pears, and stone fruits featured in top Bay Area restaurants — is opening her own restaurant. From the moment it opens its doors, Pomet in Oakland will have instant farm-to-table credibility. “It’s a value-added product, I guess,” says aspiring restaurateur Aomboon “Boonie” Deasy, who runs K&J Orchards with her family.
Deasy helps run the farm with his mother; his sister, Onanong; and her husband Tim Deasy, as well as a team of full-time and seasonal workers. They also operate a popular stall at the CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market and other farmers’ markets in the area. The new restaurant is his solo project. She told Eater SF on Wednesday that it was too early to share menu or chef details, but fresh, seasonal produce from family-owned 104-acre farms in Winters and Yuba City will be the stars of the menu. “We’re really known for our Asian pears,” says Deasy.
Pomet will take over the Piedmont Avenue space formerly occupied by Homestead. Cooks and other staff were spotted in the restaurant this week, dusting and organizing. Deasy says they hope to open in late February, but the start is dependent on completing the city and county permitting and inspection process.
The name of the restaurant has its origins in the Latin word apple, meaning a grove of fruit trees. Pomet (pronounced POM-et) is the Romanian word for orchard; it is a tribute to her mother Kalayada Ammatya and father James Beutel who founded K&J Orchards in 1982. Beutel, who died in 2016, was a researcher, lecturer and cooperative extension worker at the University of California, Davis for 35 years. He was also the pioneering pomologist who introduced fragrant Asian pears and kiwis to California and worked to make pear and peach varieties in California more hardy, according to the UC Davis website.
The farm’s Instagram feed is a cornucopia of creative dishes that top local chefs have created with K&J Orchards products. The French Laundry and Thomas Keller Restaurant Group outlets have been showing off their fruits for 25 years. Last year, Saison hung hachiya persimmons the Hoshigaki way, Fiorella paired her pears in a salad with pecorino and kohlrabi, Chef Fico roasted his maple chestnuts, while Chef Eric Szeto from Shades of Sugar bakery slipped gummies into French macaroons.
Deasy’s personal favorite is citrus fruits, so she says diners can expect to sample dishes showcasing their produce that range from early spring cherries, summer peaches, fall figs and winter Satsuma tangerines. “I’m excited,” Deasy said.