Discover M.F.K. Fisher's life and legacy in the house she designed on the magnificent Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR) Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen, California, and be inspired by her artfully designed spaces for writing, rest, and socializing.
M.F.K. Fisher lived in Last House on the Bouverie Preserve from 1971 until her death in 1992. She treasured her two-room palazzino, which features a simple design, her signature Chinese red walls, built-in bookcases for over 2,000 books and arched porches that look west to Sonoma Mountain and east to the 535 acres of land protected by ACR. Since 2016, ACR has been restoring Last House to capture the spirit and the flavor of her life on the preserve and as an exclusive destination honoring her love of food, wine, literature and nature.
Complementing the renovation are paintings, furnishings and memorabilia donated back to the house by family and friends. “Reaching out to family and friends who have lovingly shared items, memories, and stories has been rich,” said Kennedy Golden, Fisher’s daughter and an advisor on the project. Among the donated items, Fisher’s Coronomatic typewriter sits quietly in one corner, rough draft secured on the platen for curious observers.
To learn more about Last House, the Bouverie Preserve or the Audubon Canyon Ranch or to donate in support of their work, please visit www.egret.org.
First Meal at Last House and the project origins
On June 11, 2017 - Kennedy Golden, M.F.K.'s daughter, was the source of information for this article written by Luncheon Magazine about Last House:
"I do not know if I have mentioned to you that M.F.K. Fisher’s Last House is being restored as a venue where people will be able to gather to celebrate her life and literary contributions, as well as her love of good food, writing, people and the nature that surrounds her house on the Audubon Canyon Ranch(ACR)/Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen. ACR's hope is that the house will become a gathering place for chef lunches and dinners, presentations, gatherings around the many things important to her, meetings, and perhaps in the future, even writers’ retreats and other events connecting her to the work of Audubon Canyon Ranch. It is a very exciting venture and we are hoping to raise adequate funding so that it will be possible to maintain the house and create programming of interest to fans, friends, and community members long into the future. There was an initial fundraising event, First Meal LAST HOUSE, in June, curated by Sheana Davis of the Epicurean Connection in Sonoma, where about 100 guests, including a group of amazing chefs, gathered to enjoy good food and wine in the house in its current early stage of restoration. Although there is no desire or plan for Last House to be a museum, many of M.F.K. FIsher’s books, pieces of art and other personal possessions, including her recognizable Rattan Queen Chair, her typewriter and typing table, and her dining table at which she both prepared and enjoyed meals with many people over her 20 years in the house, have returned to the house to give a sense of her presence in the space. First Meal was a wonderful start to what is hoped to be a long list of great events both in and in support of the Last House Project. More events are planned for this fall. If you have any interest in learning more, there is some good information available on the ACR website at www.egret.org".
The chefs for First Meal at Last House included:
Sheana Davis, The Epicurean Connection: Caviar, chef-made creme Fraiche in Sonoma potato cup; Orange zest poached scallops; Cheese Bar including: Delice de la Vallee, served with spring pea shoot and mint pesto; Creme de fromage, served with raspberry rose petal jam; and P-1 double brie, served with Glen Ellen honey and meyer lemon.
Scott Worsham/Sari Zernich Worsham/Jeremy Leven, mfk. restaurant, Chicago: Boquerones, piquillo pepper-fenel slaw, baguette; Cantabrian Salt-cured anchovy, buttered toast, lemon zest.
Joanne & Keith Filipello/Wild Thyme: Mary Frances’ legendary ratatouille from her book With Bold Knife and Fork.
Justin Wangler/ Jackson Family Wines: Smoked Liberty Duck, roasted beets, strawberries, shiso.
Mathew Elias/ The Bodega: Hog Island sweet water oyster on the half shell, smoked oyster mayonnaise, herbed oyster cracker.
Jodie Rubin/ Chef: Chef-cured Bodega salmon with creme de fromage & puff pastry pillows.
Thomas Keller Restaurant Group/Bouchon Bakery: Delicious short bread
Cherlene & Alex Wright (M.F.K. Fisher's grandson)/Crack’d Toffee: Semi-sweet, dark and white chocolate toffee selection in gift bags for guests and chefs.
An article by Lisa Armand, a San Francisco-based freelance writer, and a video of Last House featuring Kennedy Golden. (San Francisco Chronicle is pay-to-read site.)