Pacific Northwest Island Chefs' Creative Solutions for Winter Sourcing Issues

Pacific Northwest Island Chefs' Creative Solutions for Winter Sourcing Issues

By L.M. Archer, Foodable Contributor

No man is an island. But when cursed with winter culinary sourcing challenges, isolated island restaurants endure a true test of faith. Yet up and down the Pacific Northwest coastline, creative chefs conjure up a host of inventive solutions to stave off seasonal stove-side shortages.

Here, some of the Pacific Northwest’s most notable island cooks share their secrets to overcoming the chill of winter sourcing with Foodable WebTV Network:

Chef Blaine Wetzel | Willows Inn | Lummi Island

The rhythm of the seasons, like the tides, adjusts accordingly at Willows Inn on Puget Sound’s Lummi Island. Summer’s languorous, sun-kissed days give way to the lull of winter firesides burnished bright with laughter. As the northern island’s pace slows, so does its schedule. Willows Inn closes on winter solstice each year, reopening in spring.

“But,” as world-renown, award-winning chef Blaine Wetzel emphasizes: “...the menu is dramatically sculpted by the seasons.” Thus, the Willows Inn winter table groans with meat and game such as hog and wild duck. Exotic fruits like quince, medlar, and sorbis entice, as do vegetables “held by the earth” like sweet turnips.   

Chef Blaine observes, “The Island has much to offer during all times of the year, but it is important to know when to let the flora rest and when not to pick a berry patch empty.  It is as much about picking as it is about letting it be.”

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The Top 6 Urban Farms Providing Seattle Chefs Fresh Produce Year Round

The Top 6 Urban Farms Providing Seattle Chefs Fresh Produce Year Round

By L.M. Archer, Foodable Contributor

What would you do if you ran out of rural farms to source your local produce?

As more and more consumers demand local, farm-to-table food on the menu, Seattle chefs struggle to meet patrons’ needs. Unfortunately, "According to the USDA, the Puget Sound region has lost 60% of its farmland since 1950," reports Sheryl Wiser of Cascade Harvest Coalition. “If this trend continues,” Wiser warns, “the last acre of farmland in the region could be bulldozed or paved over by 2053." 

Luckily, Seattle enjoys a flourishing urban farm scene to fill the ‘just-picked’ niche. Here, Foodable WebTV Network gets the dirt on some of the Emerald City's urbanized Edens, and the restaurants using them.

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Seattle Chefs Discuss the Challenges of Winter Sourcing While Maintaining Local, Seasonal Menus

Seattle Chefs Discuss the Challenges of Winter Sourcing While Maintaining Local, Seasonal Menus

By L.M. Archer, Foodable Contributor

Are you a hypocrite if you ‘outsource’ menu items advertised as ‘locally grown’ during the dearth of winter?

Many Seattle chefs reliant on regional abundance face this dilemma. In a town that prides itself on authenticity, transparency, and sustainability, the problem proves notjust a logistical one, but an ethical one. “Can I look my guests in the eye and still feel good about what I’m serving?”

How Seattle-area chefs deal with scarcity varies. Yet few fail to overcome the obstacle.

Here, FoodableTV shares Seattle top chefs’ secrets to dealing with winter sourcing challenges:

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Seattle’s Most Tantalizing Tastes of Fall

Seattle’s Most Tantalizing Tastes of Fall

By L.M. Archer, Foodable Contributor

Unleash the lederhosen - it’s autumn in Seattle! From exalted eateries to harvest-inspired festivities, it’s time to roll out the Oktoberfest barrel, gas up the Trucktoberfest, raise a pint to PIKEtoberfest, and savor the Pacific Northwest’s bounty.

Here, Foodable TV spotlights Seattle’s most tantalizing tastes of fall.

Herbfarm | Woodinville 

The Herbfarm in Woodinville enjoys international acclaim for their elaborate multi-course, wine-paired, theme-inspired dinners. Chef Chris Weber and crew spares no expense showcasing the cornucopia of the Pacific Northwest’s delights with imaginative autumn menus, tendering themes like Knife, Fork, Smoke, An Indian Summer, A Mycologist’s Dream, and Harvest Table.

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