Photos by melissa mcfadden
The Ox & Cart is a local ranch and farm focused restaurant in the heart of downtown Walla Walla. The menu showcases regionally grown and harvested specialties ranging from organically raised, in-house aged meats to fresh, seasonal produce. Focusing on ingredients sourced from the small, independent farms and ranches in and around the Walla Walla Valley, our chefs are able to highlight the tastes of the seasons and fresh flavors that only eating locally can provide. Utilizing these high quality and vibrant ingredients allows our chefs to pay homage to modern American flavors from an area that is rich in agricultural history.
The Ox & Cart melds Walla Walla’s traditional farm community resources with the regions grape growing and winemaking acclaim by offering a thoughtfully crafted wine cellar. The hand selected wine list demonstrates and showcases the perfect reflection of our terroir focused restaurant. We strive to honor the food and drink that represent this sense of place, to offer a taste of what Walla Walla, the farms, the ranches, the vineyards, and the winemaking are truly about.
7 1/2 S. First Ave.
Walla Walla, Wa
Our study of local farms and ranches
include the sustainable and environmentally conscious offerings from:
Nothing's Simple Farm
Ol Timer Asparagus
Blue Mountain Lavender Farm
Small's Family Farm
Frog Hollow Farm
Welcome Table Farm
Little Dipper Dairy
Upper Dry Creek Ranch
Snake River Farms
Snake River Farm
Nicky USA Rabbit Farms
Blue Valley Meats
Lostine Cattle Co
Recognized by USA Today in 2011 as the friendliest town in America, the town so nice they named it twice lives up to its reputation. Known for rolling wheat farms and sweet seasonal onions, Walla Walla has recently expanded its repertoire to include over a 100 local wineries. With such world-class wine offerings, the restaurant world was soon to follow. Chefs from around the country have flocked to this little South East corner of Washington State for the opportunity to create in an environment rich with inspiration andresources, and the Ox & Cart is proud to be a part of this burgeoning haven for food and wine lovers alike.
Owner and Executive Chef
Jake grew up in the small Colorado town of Lyons. It didn’t take long for his cooking ambitions to lead him to bigger opportunities, working in Denver, Boulder, Santa Barbara, and Seattle. He credits his hands on experience working at prestigious restaurants like Michel Richard’s Citronelle, Jan Birnbaum’s Sazerac, and Tamara Murphy’s Brasa as laying the groundwork for the chef he has become. In 2006 Jake decide to follow his heart, leaving behind Seattle and the fast paced restaurant world, to support his wife’s quest to make wine.
What at first seemed like career sacrifice, eventually turned into amazing good fortune, as the food and wine community welcomed his talents. In 2010 Jake tackled the task of re-invigorating a classic Walla Walla eatery, opening Olive Marketplace and Café in the heart of downtown. Having also spent more than fifteen years organizing and running various kitchens and catering operations (ranging from large scale, multi-course plated events to weddings of all sizes) Jake wanted a chance to bring his expertise to the growing demand for caterers in Walla Walla. So, always up for a challenge, Jake added a full catering company to Olive’s culinary resume in 2012.
Never one to rest, in 2016 Jake finally found the perfect space to open a new restaurant that truly defines his style of cooking. Opening The Ox & Cart is Jake’s opportunity to pay homage to the area that inspires him. Living in Walla Walla, surrounded by fresh produce, local wine, and naturally raised meats is a culinary dream comes true, and to Jake, it is what truly defines who he is as a chef. It’s this rare ability to nourish his family and his community with foods that are whole,
Owner and Marketing
Answering the age old question, what do you do with a degree in Philosophy, Tabitha assures you that it makes an excellent prelude into the world of food and wine. During her studies at the University of Washington, she made ends meet by working at various Seattle restaurants, and after the BA degree was said and done, the foodie bug had settled in to stay. The opportunity to work with an amazing array of mentors at Ray’s Boathouse, Teatro Zinzanni, Chow Foods, Inc. and Brasa deepened her love of food and wine.
It was while at Brasa that she met her now husband and the two soon plotted a life altering move to Walla Walla so that she could pursue her dream of winemaking. Once in Eastern Washington, she quickly completed her Enology degree in the celebrated vocational program at WWCC and spent time working at Spring Valley Vineyards and Artifex Wine Company. Ten years, two restaurant, a catering company and three beautiful children later, they are making a happy marriage of both of their passions, food and wine.
A lot of chefs are asked what inspired them to cook. With Sarah German, it is the true child in all of us that answers, “I learned to make cookies so I could eat them.” Genius. Simply genius. Lucky for us Sarah loves to share.
Her journey from cookie monster to confection craftsman began as a baker, working in a variety of pastry shops in Montana, Oregon, and British Columbia. Compelled by a deep love of all things sugar and a drive to master classic technique, she eventually moved to New York City to attend the French Culinary Institute, enrolling in the premier pastry program led by the talented Jacques Torres. While in New York, Sarah had the opportunity to work with some of the most renowned restaurants and pastry chefs in the country—including a stint at Le Cirque.
After returning to the Northwest, Sarah visited Walla Walla on a wine vacation and fell in love with the beauty and lifestyle of the region. She soon made the valley her home and muse. For Sarah, there is nothing more rewarding than making people happy by creating nostalgic desserts reinterpreted by the impact of fresh and local ingredients. So please, indulge your inner child and treat yourself to one of her handmade, memorable creations.
Director of Operations
Tracy may have been born in New York and spent formative years in Florida, but her heart now firmly belongs to the West. She honed her impressive skill set via a Business degree from Florida State University and a notable job start at Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.
She attributes the best career decision she’s made to taking the chance and moving out West to be the Catering Manager for the Seahawks. It opened a lot of doors and eventually led her to her new home.
Walla Walla beckoned to Tracy and her husband as a Mecca for food, wine and the opportunity to really be a “part of something”. For her, food creates strong memories and reminds us all of our past. Food and celebrations are a big part of her life and she’s grateful that her enthusiasm can help make someone else’s dining experience wonderful and memorable.
Dining Room Manager
If you had to sum Rashida up in three words they would be "remember that time". This is exactly her motto, to give people memorable experiences and be a part of a special event in their lives that will live on forever. Her life is filled with adventure, food, and wine.
One of her proudest accomplishments has been putting herself through college at Washington State University, graduating with a degree in Communications. But her interest in food and wine lured her away from a promising career in radio, landing her in great positions working at famous Seattle restaurants and wine bars including Ray’s Boathouse, Oceanaire Seafood Room, Vino Volo, and Purple.
Always wanting to live life to the fullest, in 2010 she set sail with Holland America Line. For the next five years, Rashida traveled the world helping organize tours for guests at various ports of call, touching down on 5 different continents and too many countries to keep track of.
Alas, in 2016 she felt ready to come back to land and to live some place where she could feel a sense of community again. She is excited to be back in Eastern Washington and to be a part of a place where “real food is lovingly grown by real people, in a real community that supports each other."