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Chef Sondra Bernstein

Sonoma, CA

The Girl & The Fig

Sondra Bernstein’s passion for the hospitality business is the driving force that continues to inspire her culinary creations.  Proprietor of The Girl & The Fig in Sonoma, and The Fig Café & Winebar in Glen Ellen, she is also the author of the "The Girl & The Fig Cookbook" and creator of a gourmet food product line. In 2008, she took over the historic property in Sonoma known as The General’s Daughter and turned it into ESTATE, serving “country food with an Italian accent” using produce from the extensive gardens on the property, but when the property was sold in 2012, ESTATE closed.

Bernstein, who has a bachelor’s degree in photography from Philadelphia College of Art, has spent more than twenty years in the hospitality business: as TGI Friday’s trainer & team leader for restaurant openings; graduate of The Restaurant School with a degree in culinary & restaurant management; operations manager for restaurants in Philadelphia, including The Fish Market and Marabella’s, and Los Angeles, including Alice’s Restaurant and Tavern on Main; and director of operations for Viansa Winery in Sonoma County, Calif.

Her philosophy of dining is analogous to theatre: First, you start with the real thing (in theatre, raw talent; in dining, raw product). Then it takes a lot of practice before the curtain goes up. The passion, intensity, teamwork and integrity all drive the work to the climax of guest satisfaction and personal accomplishment.