He Did It His Whey
Until recently, the sloping hillside of KURT TIMMERMEISTER’s 13-acre Vashon Island farm had the look of an archaeological dig, with mounds of upturned earth framing a deep chasm in the ground. By the time you read this, that pit will house a 330-square-foot cheese-aging cave, where his new Grana Padano–style hard cheese, Francesca’s, will funkify and mature for 12 months at a consistently cool temperature. When it appears on store shelves next fall, fans of Dinah’s, Timmermeister’s silky Camembert-style cheese, will need no introduction to the Kurtwood Farms label. Somewhere between making the soft cheese and digging a home for the hard, the former restaurateur (he owned Seattle’s Cafe Septieme until 2004) found time to write a book. W. W. Norton will publish Growing a Farmer—his memoir and how-to for wannabe farmers—this January.
Food fad that should fade “Using the terms local and seasonal for PR alone.”
He can’t live without his “Immersion blender, the most underrated home tool.”
He Cuts Against the Grain
In August of 2009 HAJIME SATO’s 16-year-old West Seattle restaurant Mashiko became the third fully sustainable sushi bar in the U.S. (the others are in San Francisco and Portland). The change meant overhauling 50 percent of the menu and saying sayonara to customer faves like unagi, an endangered freshwater eel found at most sushi bars. He had to source from a slew of new-to-him vendors. Not cheap. Or popular. “People”—employees, friends, the man who stormed out when Sato refused him eel—“looked at me like I was in a cult,” says Sato.
Business dipped, bankruptcy loomed. But he stuck with it. One year later, customers from around the world show up to sample his handiwork; he’s consulted with Pike Place Market in its pledge to go sustainable; and he fills classrooms at Diane’s Market Kitchen and Asian cooking school Nu-Culinary, where he encourages students to always question the chow between their chopsticks.
Food fad that should fade “All of the diet fads. What happened to eating a balanced diet every day?”
The next big food thing will be “I wish people would not follow fads, so I refuse to predict them.”
When restaurateur Donna Moodie launched a search for a chef at her new Capitol Hill restaurant Marjorie, she found a soul mate in KYLEN MCCARTHY—both in the kitchen and out in the community. “I want to cook with foods that are in themselves books of stories,” says Moodie, and she trusted McCarthy to find them. McCarthy, last at the Harvest Vine, has a strong sense of civic involvement, which matched Moodie’s own. On his days off, you’ll find him driving out to the farms where he sources ingredients for Marjorie—not to work with the farmers, but to work for them.
He can’t live without his “Meat grinder and sausage stuffer.”
The next big food thing will be “A rebirth of small artisanal craftsmen and farmers.”