The Herbfarm’s 100-Mile Dinner

They’re even making the salt!

By Kathryn Robinson August 24, 2009

You know how The Herbfarm does its dinners in 10-day or two week theme chunks?

The theme that started last Friday was particularly compelling: The 100-Mile Dinner.

It arose from a little in-house challenge: Could they lay out a feast where every ingredient—plant, animal, mineral, and liquid—hailed from no more than 100 miles from the table?

Of course, they thought a year ago when dreaming up the thing. We have our own farm! And we always use local or regional foods. No problem!

“Then we realized,” wrote Herbfarm owner Ron Zimmerman, “If we really weren’t going to serve anything from outside of our 100 mile range, the task might become much more, let us say, profound. Like—where was the salt going to come from? Uh, pepper?”

Not to mention considerations like what vineyards were within range…could they find flour from wheat grown nearby…and what about cooking oils? Coffee and tea?

Come taste the fruits of their labor and imagination for the next few Thursdays through Sundays, til August 30. Cost is $189-$195 per diner, for nine scrupulously local courses.

And taste the salt they made from north Puget Sound waters, where they learned that different regions yield different flavors—and that it takes 26 gallons of sea water to yield a measly 16 ounces.

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