Farmer/Fisher/Chef Seattle 3/1/2010

What a great day I just had connecting with chefs, farmers of all sorts, wild fishers, writers, suppport structure folks…….my oh my. I found every one of them to be interesting and engaging. It was such a great feeling spending an informative day among 400+ like-minded eaters who ALL cared passionately about their food!

The first part of the day was panel discussions on newly emerging Internet connection methods for producers and buyers. This is fairly new to most of us, but seems to be an idea worth investigating. I am a founding member of our local one http://www.psfn.org/ and was introduced to another one called http://www.food-hub.com/. Food-hub covers a little broader area, based out of Portland OR.

Another “new to me” is http://www.foodista.com/. This is the Wikipedia for just food. Can’t wait to explore that one. And for you iphone users, there is an app called “locavore” which will tell you what is in season in your area and where to find it. Wow! Guess I have more learning curve out there. Just wish some days it was a little flatter curve. Oh well, Iam pleased to learn of these. Foodista is the creation of an ex-Amazon techie exec, if I understood him right.

There were break out sections on good topics. And then there was lunch. And oh what a “lunch” it was. Local food prepared by Herban Feast. Desserts were prepared by other chefs, one of whom I met from a place called “Hot Cakes”. We had lots of beans, a sun choke gratin, lamb dishes, seafood dishes, cerviche, rabbit pasta, I can’t even remember all of it to include. It was really pretty fantastic.

After lunch, we had a “speed dating” format for buyers and producers to connect. This was fun and productive.

The location at Herban Feast was pretty neat too. It is in an old not too over restored industrial machine building in SoDo. Much is left to respect and honor its past. It is fantastic. For me, the Woman of Historic Preservation, it was near perfect. Now finding the place was a challenge. The directions were a bit sketchy and I was by myself and I am not so good at city driving anyway. You have to keep in mind our town does not even have a 4-way stop, let alone even one traffic light. I took the W. Seattle Bridge as directed, but failed to see the exit I needed. Ended up in Alki before I could turn around, then ended up on Beacon Hill, followed by Chinatown, followed by Pioneer Square. Eventually I found it and-ahem-No Parking to be found. I pulled into a paper store called Xpedex and they were gracious enough to allow me to park there. I did find some really cool paper there btw. God Bless the kindness of strangers.

I also had the pleasure of re-connecting with Julia Wayne. She is an amazing and talented, young, enthusiastic writer, eater, friend, and community member. She loves anything about any good cheese. Well, she loves any good food in general. She is a fun person to call my friend. Thank you Julia for the company, the introductions, and your help. Look for her cheese column in Edible Seattle.

The day wrapped up with a food tasting/sampling. As you can correctly envision, the choices were fabulous. I could not leave my station, but Julia was thoughtful and brought me some pretty incredible tastes. There was food, beer, wine, and who really knows what else. The attendees seemed to be really enjoying it. I sure loved meeting each of them and also re-connecting with some introductions from the past.

A huge thank you to Zachary, Chef Connection, Herban Feast and all the other folks who made this happen. I am so pleased you finally scheduled it to fit in with my kidding schedule so I could be there. I look forward to next year.

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