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Chef's Farm, Middle of California Wine Country

Berry Picking & Bicycles with San Francisco's SPQR Chef, Matthew Accarrino
There are few moments in life that are just like this one. Snapped hours before a day that culminated with an impromptu fig tasting of 12 varietals from the fig trees next to us, this is Michelin-starred chef, Matthew Accarrino. He has come to harvest produce for the San Francisco restaurant, SPQR. Accarrino has just completed a 100-mile bike ride in Northern California; exercise which he self-deprecatingly shrugs off as "just a regular workout." As the sun beats down around us, he painstakingly picks gooseberries, moving methodically betweens rows on a plot of land owned by the Jacobsen family. As Accarrino shares his story, his words tumble forth with unfeigned excitement.

There are tales of him as a cyclist, a chef, and his latest enterprise with the Clif family and Wilier bikes. As the dirt shuffles under our feet, his words hit home: there is a responsibility that we all have to seek happiness by taking the time to make deeply personal connections with our passions.

Much like the verdant land surrounding us, Accarrino is a man whose portrait can most aptly be described as "quietly complex." Unquestionably self-possessed, beguilingly unconventional, and genuinely charming the afternoon blurs, succumbing to the joie de vivre Accarrino selflessly exhibits. It is matched only in its vibrancy by the boldness by the lemons, the herbs, the peaches, the figs, and the 25 citrus trees surrounding us- here off a lone stretch in the middle of California's wine country.