“Is there a Doctor in the House?”
called primals with saws and a cleaver. Those larger pieces are then broken down into the individual cuts like chops and ribs, plus pieces that will be marinated in a chile rub and roasted in a banana leaf, then shredded to make barbacoa. Myers is also committed to her main relationships with established farms, like Laura Masterson’s 47th Avenue Farm on Grand Island near Dayton, which mainly focus on crops that originate in Western Europe and the Mediterranean. But like Sarah Minnick at Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, she’s finding that some younger farmers, looking for underserved niches in the local food landscape, are more willing to grow New World crops like fresh chilacas, epazote, quinoa and tomatillos. “I find there’s often more breadth [available] working with newbies,” she said, using as an example brothers Aaron and Jesse Nichols of Stoneboat Farm in Helvetia and Dan Sullivan of Black Locust Farm in Corbett. “They’re bouncing off the walls, extroverted and excited.” Comparing the current scene with what she experienced as recently as 10 years ago, Myers said that then she was happy to get anything fresh and was afraid to say anything critical. These days, she said, “In the best cases it’s a two-way conversation between farmers and chefs, with room for feedback.”
Nourishing a community Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans
Executive Chef, Rose Villa Senior Living 13505 SE River Rd., Portland If someone had come up to Chef Kathryn Yeomans even a year ago and told her she’d be the executive chef at a senior residence, she would have laughed at the idea. A farmers’ market-based chef and educator who’d taught classes on cooking and preserving market-fresh ingredients for years, Yeomans was also owner of her own business, The Farmer’s Feast, where she partnered with forager and farmer Roger Konka of Springwater Farm. The pop-ups they hosted around Portland earned accolades, most notably a rave by GQ food critic Alan Richman, who called Yeomans’ menu “a glorification of farm, field, woods and wild.” facebook.com/willametteliving
The seasonal nature of farmers’ market work meant that there were “long, lean winters,” according to Yeomans, and she began looking for more stable employment. That’s when she heard that Rose Villa, a senior living development in Southeast Portland, was looking for an executive chef. A conversation with CEO Vassar Byrd, whom Yeomans calls “a visionary,” convinced her that this was an opportunity she couldn’t turn down. “It’s the culmination of everything I’ve done in the past, and ties together all my past experiences,” she said of Rose Villa’s commitment to growing as much of it’s own food as possible on the property and sourcing the rest from local farms, farmers and producers. In addition, in mid-2016 the non-profit organization plans to open two restaurants to serve both its community and the public, a casual dining restaurant called Harvest and a fine dining restaurant, Heirloom, both with menus based on what’s in season. It will also have a full-service catering arm. In the few months since she started, Yeomans said she’s already switched away from institutional food suppliers, instead purchasing from local companies like Sheridan Fruit, Ota Tofu and local farms like Springwater and Gathering Together. One resident, who’d grown up in Alaska, came up to Yeomans with tears in her eyes and said that the salmon she’d just been served was exactly like her mother’s. “It feels so much better,” Yeomans said of her new focus on helping a community relish life and healthy food. “Before it felt like I was just entertaining. Now I feel like I’m nourishing people.”
Be sure to keep up with Kathleen’s blog “Good Stuff Northwest” at www.goodstuffnw.com Read us online: www.willametteliving.com
Our annual food issue with local chef profiles, recipes and more. Enjoy!