by Nina Lary - 21 Reviews - 50 List
In the Pacific Northwest, the distance from farm to table seems to get shorter every day as some of Portland's chefs have decided to cut the commute altogether by growing their own gardens on-site. From the South Waterfront to Wine Country, check out how these local chefs are using the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.
Updated: June 09, 2010
For the second year, Portland Chef Andy Arndt is growing a garden. Pole beans, globe carrots, mizuna, eggplant, tomatoes, chocolate cherries, and a handful of other crops thrive in humble planter boxes lining the riverside patio. Arndt hand tends the garden daily, plucking baby greens for a tangy salad of fried pig ears and pickled ramps, and fresh bergamot mint to pair with a rich fava bean tortellini.
Portland's first commercial edible rooftop garden yields 3,000 square feet of inspiration for chef Leather Storrs in the form of leafy greens prepared with spicy fried sole and champagne mango, or a trio of lettuce, radish and pickled rhubarb as a salad grown all in-house, or on-house for that matter.
Perched high atop Skyline Drive is a five-acre farm that while mere miles from the city is a world apart from the restaurant where chef Earl Hook envisions the year's crops. The owners of Meriwether's own the farm and employ a full-time farmer to manifest Hook's visions, which include a fresh leek soup with Marsala broth and braised farm greens with raisins, pine nuts and olives.
Stephen Marshall, Executive Chef at this wine country inn, has more to manage than a kitchen. He is also responsible for a one-acre chef's garden, from which he culls seasonal produce for a menu that changes daily depending on well, what's ripe!