o The perfect “treat” for foodies, organic gardeners, cookbook addicts, and sustainable practitioners alike
o Sustainability is an accelerating trend in the food world
With the rising interest in organic and locally grown food, there is also an increasing interest in connecting the farm to the table. Chefs on the Farm describes the seasonal workings of Quillisascut Goat Cheese Farm, a small, family-run business in northeastern Washington state. There, owners Lora Lea and Rick Misterly started a “Farm School for the Domestic Arts” where every summer, professional chefs, culinary students, food writers, and others live and work on the farm. Cooking only with ingredients they find on the farm, students learn to be connected to the food they work with.
People say that a kitchen is the heart of the home. But I think it is also the head.
Sure, the warmth of the oven, the smells of good things bubbling and baking, the tug of good memories of conversations around a table are an umbilical cord to the past. Here nurturing happens. But in the act of nurturing, our brain grows, too. In my father’s kitchen, I learned why bread dough rises. In my mother’s kitchen I learned why onions caramelize. The heart, the head.
Oh, yes, and the hands. In my seventh kitchen (1015 Harrison), I almost sliced my finger off while chopping basil, and still have the dead nerve cells to prove it. But I also made semi-successful gnocchi for the first time in my fourth kitchen (555 1st North), awkwardly forming – with my fingers and a fork – sticky little dumplings into globby, messy balls that, nevertheless, rose to the top of the boiling pot when done and held a sauce well.
About two miles down the road from me, on the other side of the miniscule town of Olga, Buck Bay Shellfish Farm, owned by the inimitable Toni and Mark, is a true gem on Orcas Island.
Most of the year, you can stop by Toni and Mark’s oyster shack and pick up the prettiest, sweetest little Pacifics, notable for their dark stripes and delicately ruffled shells. All their shellfish are held in tanks, so they are really alive up until you eat them.
Last fall, I had the pleasure of venturing up to the Canadian Gulf Islands as a part of my friend Danielle Custer’s (former chef and current director of Taste Restaurant at the Seattle Art Museum) annual birthday trip. In the gang are three others – Rose Ann Finkel, owner – with her husband Charles Finkel – of the Pike Brewing Company, Linda Stratton (sales and marketing at the Pike), and Monique Barbeau, former chef, now mom and foodista.
Each year we pick a different wine region (so far, Willamette Valley, Lake Chelan, Okanagan, BC) – this year, we had access to a great cabin on Salt Spring Island in BC.
I will be signing my book, Chefs on the Farm, at this event on November 5th!
The Slow Food Seattle Quillisascut Farm Student Scholarship Fundraiser on Thursday November 5th at FareStart in Seattle
Slow Food Seattle and FareStart invite you to a special dinner on Thursday, November 5th to raise scholarship funds for the 2010 Slow Food Youth Workshop at the Quillisascut Farm School for the Domestic Art in Rice, Washington.
The first Slow Food Youth Workshop at the Quillisascut Farm School was hosted in August of 2009. The goal of the week was to offer people between the ages of 18 and 29 a chance to live and work on an independently owned farm that produces food in a sustainable manner. Teaching people how food is grown and where it comes from is an investment in a future of sustainable food systems. An educated consumer is an important partner in sustainable food production that is good, clean and fair for all.
To bring a taste of the Quillisascut Farm to the dinner guests in Seattle at FareStart Guest Chef Karen Jurgensen will prepare a three course meal of seasonally available ingredients with wine pairings chosen by Mark Newton, Proprietor and Director of winemaking at the DiStefano Winery. Featured will be the traditional farmstead goat cheeses from the Quillisascut Farm with DiStefano Wines.
Cheese maker and farm owner Lora Lea Misterly and Shannon Borg, wine writer for the Seattle Magazine, will be on hand to sign Chefs on the Farm, the cookbook that they collaborated on with Chef Jurgensen. Chefs on the Farm takes us through a year of farm fresh foods that are grown and eaten in season on the Quillisascut farm. Recipes created by Chef Jurgensen provide delicious inspiration and instruction for the home cook to prepare seasonal meals from the bounty of their own gardens or farmers market stalls. Chefs on the Farm will be available at FareStart. Proceeds will go to the scholarship fund.
A slide show and presentation about the 2009 Slow Food Youth Workshop at the Quillisascut Farm will be presented by Danny Barksdale, Adriana Rose Taylor-Stanley and Amy Grondin.
What: The Slow Food Seattle Quillisascut Farm Student Scholarship Fundraiser
Where: In the Private Dining Room at FareStart, 7th & Virginia