Posts Tagged ‘chef’

Sunday, February 26th: A Tribute To Seattle’s Farmers Market Loving Chefs!

February 26, 2012

Chef Brandon Kirksey of Tavolata sautes asparagus at Interbay Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

To be honest, I am exhausted this week, so I’m gonna go a little light on this week’s post. But I have a good excuse. You see, my other gig is working with the Seattle chapter of Chefs Collaborative, and tomorrow is their biggest event of the year — Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection — and I am one of the main organizers. Every year at this time of year, 400 farmers, fishers, ranchers, food & beverage artisans, chefs, retailers, distributors, institutional buyers, etc., get together for a day and network, establish business relationships, take workshops, problem solve, eat and drink great local stuff, and generally celebrate the amazing local food community of which they are all part. Tomorrow is the 7th annual such gathering, and it is the largest of its kind in the nation — part of what makes Seattle the best local food town in the country.

Lettuce wraps by Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille at Interbay Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

When Seattle Chefs Collaborative first began to organize in 1999, restaurants with chefs dedicated to using local ingredients numbered less than 50, and many ingredients we take for granted at our farmers markets today — from flour to grass-fed beef to hard cider to dried beans — were not yet available locally. That seems like a lifetime ago, and all of these local ingredients are commonplace today — we couldn’t imagine life without them. Restaurants featuring local ingredients number in the hundreds now in Seattle, and they can be found in local communities throughout the state. Heck, Ballard alone has almost as many such restaurants now as could be found in the entire city 13 years ago.

Sea Breeze's Romanian beef sausages as prepared by Chef Tana Mielke of La Spiga at Madrona Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

What is special about tomorrow’s event is that it is the living embodiment of how, in the case of Seattle’s local food movement, it does, in fact, take a village — indeed, it couldn’t happen without the involvement of the entire village — and it is at Farmer-Fisher-Chef Connection that that village will be gathered Monday. This is not a “foodie” event. It is an event for working professionals intent on making the nation’s best local food scene even better, and it is not just the “usual suspects” and big-name chefs. You’ll find an institutional food service chef who cook for bureaucrats at the FAA in Renton and another who cooks at Nordstrom, a coastal processor who believes Washington sardines are to good to simply be used for bait, a farm on Lopez Island that raises pigs and goats, and harvests pink salmon and butter clams, a guy who makes grappa and vodka from Washington apples, and an Oregon wasabi farmer.

Three of Seattle's best chefs chatting at Wallingford Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Seattle Farmers Market Association, which manages your Ballard Farmers Market, has a long relationship not only with the farmers, fishers, ranchers and food and beverage artisans of Washington, but also the chefs of Seattle who are committed to using local ingredients on their menus. We have always seen our mission as going beyond merely bringing the neighborhoods we serve with our markets great local food. We also see them as opportunities for community building, and that’s why we offer cooking demonstrations at all of our markets featuring chefs only from the area surrounding each market. Our Wallingford Farmers Market was the first in Seattle to offer a chefs-only period at the start of the market, and the photo above shows three of Seattle finest chefs, Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table, Seth Caswell of emmer&rye, and Rachel Yang of Joule & Revel, at Wallingford picking up fresh, local produce for their restaurants.

Braised roots by Chef Devra Gartenstein of Patty Pan Grill at Madrona Farmers Market. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The other yummy photos today are of various concoctions made by Seattle chefs at our markets over the course of the 2011 market season, using ingredients they got from our market vendors. Each dish is simple, beautiful, delicious, and easily replicable by you and I at home. And that, in the end, is truly what makes Seattle’s local food scene so amazing. You see, when people ask, “What is Seattle’s cuisine?”, the answer isn’t Creole like New Orleans, cheese steaks like Philly, or Kansas City barbecue. In Seattle, our cuisine is a celebration of the finest local ingredients treated with reverence by local chefs in straightforward recipes that make the ingredients themselves the stars. You can see it in the photos above, or on just about any menu in town. Sure, each menu may be different, and food styles diverse. The commonality is in how they celebrate the ingredients they use. That is Seattle’s cuisine. That is what makes Seattle a special food town. And tomorrow, Seattle’s local food community takes time out to gather, network, and celebrate. It’s our day. It’s our annual family reunion. So do us a favor. Load up on great local ingredients today at your Ballard Farmers Market, cuz you’ll be doing your own cooking tomorrow night!

Hey, there is plenty of local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

Sunday, November 13th: Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille Helps Us Eat Local For Thanksgiving!

November 13, 2011

Chef Jason Stoneburner from Bastille Café & Bar. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Thanksgiving is just 11 days away, and it is time to think about how we can all Eat Local For Thanksgiving, with the help of your Ballard Farmers Market, of course. To that end, our annual Eat Local For Thanksgiving cooking demonstration series returns this week and next. Today at noon we welcome Ballard Avenue’s own Chef Jason Stoneburner of Bastille Café & Bar. Jason is no stranger to working with the bounty of your Ballard Farmers Markets. His menu incorporates ingredients from many Market farmers, fishers and ranchers. Today, he will give us some simple, delicious ideas for preparing Thanksgiving side-dishes without all the stress.

Smoked, pickled & shucked oysters from Hama Hama Oyster Company. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Oysters enhance many a Thanksgiving stuffing recipe, not to mention oyster stew. Hama Hama Oyster Company offers fresh, shucked jar oysters in various oyster and jar sizes, as well as smoked and pickled oysters to help you liven up your holiday meal or party, or just to enjoy as comfort food on a cool, dark, wet November night.

Delicata squash from Oxbow Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

You’ll want some winter squash as part of your holiday meal, and talk about a simple, low-stress side dish. Just take a few of these beautiful delicata squash from Oxbow Farm, cut them in half, lengthwise, scoop the seeds out, then just slather them in olive oil and place them face down in a glass baking dish and roast them in a 375 degree oven until tender — 20-30 minutes. Its deep sweetness will concentrate wonderfully. You can even eat the skins! And toss the seeds with some olive oil and salt in a pie tin and roast them right alongside the squash for a crunchy, salty snack. The seeds take only about 10 minutes to roast at most. Just stir them once, mid-roast.

Fresh cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

If you are like me (as terrifying a thought as that may be), you probably think of cranberry sauce as something tin can-shaped, complete with the ridges, and horribly sweet. But cranberry sauce need not be so repulsive. Washington is one of the nation’s top cranberry producing states, so there is no excuse not to get fresh cranberries to make fresh cranberry sauce. Just stop by Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm today at your Ballard Farmers Market and grab some of their fresh cranberries, and you, too, can be liberated from the dreaded canned cranberry sauce forever!

Cabbage from Red Barn Farm. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Red Barn Farm from Enumclaw returned just last week to your Ballard Farmers Market for the fall harvest season. Julie’s got this beautiful cabbage right now, which I am certain you can use to warm up your kitchen and your belly now that the cold, wet November we know and love has finally come back to us in ernest.

Roasted pumpkin seeds from Pasteria Lucchese. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

It’s pumpkin season, and that means Pasteria Lucchese is making lots of pumpkin ravioli with pumpkins from Oxbow Farm. And where there’s pumpkins, there’s pumpkin seeds. Sam and Sarah finally decided, and bless them for this, to roast the many pumpkin seeds they have been amassing lately, and the result is these yummy bags of the crunchy squash spawn. Mmm.

Blackberries from Hayton Berry Farms. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Wait, what?!? Are those, um, blackberries? In November? Yup. In this, the screwiest weather year in memory, the harvest schedule has been turned on its head. That means, among other things, that Hayton Berry Farms still has blackberries a good month after they should. So why not make some last-minute jam, or some berry cobbler. And have fun explaining it to your friends and family.

Sweet potatoes from Alm Hill Gardens. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Hey, kids! A second farm has local sweet potatoes now at your Ballard Farmers Market. Alm Hill Gardens has found a variety of beauregard sweet potatoes that has been bred to grow in their cool climate just south of the Canadian border in Whatcom County. They don’t grow as big as other sweet potatoes, but they still eat plenty good!

Macoun apples from Booth Canyon Orchard. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Booth Canyon Orchard grows an extraordinary variety of heirloom tree fruit in the Methow Valley over in Okanogan County. Among their many apples are these prized Macoun apples. You have no idea just how hard it was to capture this photo last Sunday, because so many people kept shoving me out of the way so they could buy these.

Smoked king salmon from Wilson Fish. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

The fresh coastal salmon season for Wilson Fish has now passed, but they still have plenty of the best smoked king salmon you will find anywhere. Add it to your holiday table, or just keep it to yourself! I recommend tossing it with some Pasteria Lucchese pappardelle, some peas, and a little olive oil. Yeah, baby!

Award-winning chocolates from Chocolates By George. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Chocolates By George has also recently returned to your Ballard Farmers Market with its many award-winning confections. George Brunjes — that’s the “George” behind Chocolates By George — has concocted a delicious array of chocolate treats in his mad scientist laboratory up on Whidbey Island. He even has a special flavor this month that incorporates wasabi. Bam! Stop by, say hi to George, and satisfy that sweet tooth today.

Fresh kombucha from CommuniTea. Photo copyright 2011 by Zachary D. Lyons.

For a refreshing drink that’ll cure what ails you, grab a bottle of kombucha from CommuniTea. They call their brew, “Kombucha without Compromise!” See, the feds have been forcing most kombucha off store shelves because it contains a small amount of alcohol as a byproduct of the natural fermentation process — small, but enough for the feds to regulate. Well, Chris from CommuniTea decided to let them regulate him, and he went and got himself a brewery license. That means you now can enjoy the real deal from him. It also means you need to be 21 to buy it.

Hey, there is plenty of local deliciousness waiting for you today at your Ballard Farmers Market. Just check What’s Fresh Now! for a more complete accounting of what is in season right now.

p.s., it’s just not the same writing this blog in the wee hours of Sunday morning with my dear feline friend, Polly, on the couch behind me, rousing with every curse I blurt out when I screw something up. She passed away on Friday, November 4, 2011 at the ripe old age of 19 — or about 130 for you and me. We should all live so long. Polly, you are missed.

Thursday, Feb. 4th: Ray’s Boathouse Presents: Sustainable Story #2: Farmers Market Fishers

February 3, 2010

Ray’s Boathouse presents the Fishing Vessel St. Jude & Loki Fish Company dinner on Thursday, February 4, 2010, in the Boathouse Dining Room

Joe Malley of St. Jude Tuna. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ray’s Boathouse, Café & Catering on Shilshole Bay (6049 Seaview Avenue NW), Seattle continues its year of farmer, fisher, rancher, cheese maker, brewmaster and winemaker dinners featuring our many quality local purveyors. Join us as we celebrate Ray’s 37-year commitment to sustainability and buying local!

Chef Peter Birk, of Ray's Boathouse, performing a cooking demonstration at Ballard Farmers Market on November 15, 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

This story begins in 1976, when Ray’s was the first restaurant in Seattle to purchase a wholesale fish buyers license. “This enabled us to buy fresh fish directly from the fishers, with no middlemen compromising selection. Over the years, Ray’s has developed enduring partnerships with the best fishing vessels in the Northwest, who value our business as much as we value their commitment to quality. The result: we get the absolute highest quality fish available, and so do you.”

Loki Fish Company at Ballard Farmer Market in May 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

Ray’s is pleased to feature two of its excellent fisher friends from the Ballard Farmers Market ~ Joe Malley with Fishing Vessel St. Jude, and Pete Knutson with Loki Fish Company. The menu is available on Ray’s website. $65.00 per guest. Beverages, tax and gratuity are not included. Reservations are available from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Please call 206.789.3770 ext. 3.

Taylor Shellfish Farms Moules a la Bier

November 29, 2009

Taylor Shellfish Farms Moules a la Bier by Bastille Chef Shannon Galusha, as prepared for his cooking demonstration on November 22, 2009. Photo copyright 2009 by Zachary D. Lyons.

By Chef Shannon Galusha of Bastille Café & Bar, as prepared for his cooking demonstration on November 22, 2009.


  • 2 cups wheat beer
  • 1 Tbl butter
  • 1 each thyme sprig
  • 1 each garlic clove sliced
  • ¼ cups leeks sliced
  • 1 pound cleaned and bearded mussel
  • to taste salt & pepper
  • to taste lemon juice


Begin by first scrubbing all your fresh mussels to remove any sand and barnacles.  Next remove the beard by pulling it firmly down towards the base.  Cover the mussel with a damp towel and keep chilled while preparing the rest of the mis en place.  Remove the top of the leek until only the white remains and slice whole ring as thin as possible.  Peel and slice one clove of the garlic as thin as possible.  Next, over medium heat, add the butter and garlic to your pan and sweat garlic lightly.  Once the butter has foamed add the mussels, the leek rounds, whole thyme sprig and beer.  Cover the pot with a lid and steam until all the mussels are open.  Finish by adjusting the seasoning with salt, pepper and lemon juice as needed.

Pairs well with Mucadet or a dry sparkling wine and toasted baguette.