Regional Foraging Experts Share Secrets to Utilizing Fruits of the Forest

Regional Foraging Experts Share Secrets to Utilizing Fruits of the Forest

By L.M. Archer, Foodable Contributor

For many Seattle chefs, foragers play a key role in delivering fresh, seasonal fare. Yet some chefs, and many consumers, fail to understand the difference between culinary foragers and commercial purchasing agents. Often shrouded in mystery, most foragers prefer communing with nature to burnishing their brand.

Here, Foodable TV reveals regional foraging experts’ secrets to utilizing fruits of the forest. 

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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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3 Restaurant Businesses Paving Seattle’s Locavore Movement

3 Restaurant Businesses Paving Seattle’s Locavore Movement

By L.M. Archer, Foodable Contributor

Living la vida locavore in Seattle is proving lucrative. Far from a fringe trend, more and more mainstream consumers, producers and restaurants desire local edibles produced within a 100-200 mile radius.

According to a 2015 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) report, 7.8 percent of U.S. farms market locally.

Studies from both the USDA and the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2015 analysis show a number of factors driving consumer locavore interest, including a desire for healthier foods grown with less pesticides and more nutrients, products made with fewer additives and no GMOs, as well as a growing concern for animal welfare.

ERS studies also show that locally farmed foods cost less over time. Shoppers purchase fewer processed, preservatives-bloated provisions, opting instead for regional, seasonal fare as needed, when available. Meal planning contributes to cutting down on costs, too.

Here, three top industry leaders in the Seattle area reveal the benefits of a locavore business:

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