Farmer’s Market Tips from Chef Matt
Spring has arrived in Portland which means in addition to May flowers. Farmer’s Markets are popping back up as well! You can find Chef Matt most Wednesdays at the Shemanski Park Portland Farmer’s Market but these tips from Chef will serve you well no matter where you are shopping.
Q: What are the best farmer’s market items to buy in May in Portland?
Chef Matt: In early May look for the tender shoots of over-wintered vegetables. As the soil temperatures are warming the plant send up shoots to race for the sun. These shoots are sweet, spicy and tender. They are best eaten raw or lightly grilled and marinated. Look for shoots of the following around Portland; turnip, broccoli rabe, mustard greens, kale and bok choy. This is a short-lived season as they will be harvested quickly, and other crops will go in for the summer. #covercrop
Q: Are there any farmer’s market items that are especially affordable at this time of year?
Chef Matt: Items that have survived the winter and are now being harvested to make way for the summer’s planting will be abundant and inexpensive. They will also be packed with nutrients from their slow growth over the winter. Look for harvests of both leafy greens and the last of the season’s root vegetables. Watch for what chef Matt calls “wood core”. When the root vegetables bolt and shoot up flowers they also develop a hard, firm core that can be inedible.
Q: What items are particularly over-priced that consumers stay away from?
Chef Matt: Every year there will be a new high demand item. Remember Kale? Each consumer will have to make their own decision as to the importance of having this in their diet.
Q: What are some spring dishes you can make with the above ingredients?
Chef Matt: ‘Flowering mustard green and Kale rabe, lemon preserves and hazelnut’ the sweet spiciness of the rabe balances nicely with the acidic preserved lemon and the toasted nuts provide a robust note.
Q: Do you have any other general advice for farmer’s market shoppers?
Chef Matt: Taste and sample as much as you can. Put yourself out there and meet a farmer!
In celebration of Earth Day, Urban Farmer will be hosting four days of tastings, demonstrations and tours as we highlight the many initiatives throughout the restaurant to promote sustainability, support waste reduction and to better our practices for the community.
All events will gather at 3pm each day in the Urban Farmer lobby and conclude with tours of our collective Farming operations. Don’t miss this very unique tour!
THURSDAY, APRIL 19TH 3-5PM
DISCUSSION & DEMONSTRATION BY OUR RESIDENT CHEFS FEATURING ALL THINGS CANNED, PICKLED AND FERMENTED
- Food and Cocktail pairings concluding with canning takeaways for your pantry!
FRIDAY, APRIL 20TH 3-5PM
INTRODUCTION TO MUSHROOM CULTIVATION
- Discussions surrounding Oregon’s place on the largest interconnected mycological network on the plant
- Guest speakers, mushroom cocktails and snacks, concluding with our garden tour
SATURDAY, APRIL 21ST
The restaurants will feature dishes featuring our in-house farming and foraging. Tableside conversations and tastes from our chefs will be abundant with tours of our underground hydroponic garden available. Please call ahead or make a note on your web reservation to request a tour while dining with us this day.
SUNDAY, APRIL 22ND – EARTH DAY 3-5PM
A CONVERSATION ON COMMUNITY, TRACEABILITY IN FOOD AND PERSONAL BEST PRACTICES WITH EXECUTIVE CHEF MATT CHRISTIANSON
- Beekeeping discussion and tours of our hives with resident beekeepers
- Snacks and takeaways for your pantry!
For questions or further information please call 503-802-4638, or email email@example.com
We look forward to celebrating the Earth with you all year!
Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse, Portland, OR
Wagu vs. Kobe Beef
Considered the pinnacle of decadence and luxury among steak connoisseurs, Wagu beef is highly prized for good reason. So what accounts for the price tag and what exactly is the difference between Wagu & Kobe?
Kobe (koh-bay) beef refers to a specific strain of Japanese cattle (Tajima) and must be born, fed, and fabricated in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan – think Champagne or Prosciutto di Parma. After a rigorous grading process roughly half of the Tajima cattle quality as Kobe which equates to about less than one midsize US cattle ranch.
Loosely translated Wagu (wag-yoo) means Japanese cattle. Wagyu sold in the U.S need only be 25 percent Japanese cattle which is renowned for its intense marbling, unmatched flavor, and surprising tenderness, thus the range of quality in American Wagyu beef can range significantly. The quality of Wagyu generally comes down to the bloodline and breeding of the cattle and that’s where knowing your rancher and sourcing responsibly comes in.
Urban Farmer Portland proudly serves 7X Wagyu which is 100 percent pure Japanese beef raised in the high mountain meadows of Colorado. Once a year we are lucky enough to receive one of the four 100 percent American Wagyu steers raised 30 minutes away in Hillsboro Oregon at LDR Ranch. A relationship Chef Matt has built with Bob Laderoute over the last nine years with deals made with on his good word and a handshake.
Monterey Bay Seafood Watch
With a new year brings renewed commitments to sustainability. A cornerstone of our commitment to sustainability would be our participation in the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch. As a restaurant partner, Urban Famer Portland commits to no longer serving items from the red “Avoid” list in addition to training our staff members to help raise awareness.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program creates science-based recommendations that help consumers and businesses make ocean-friendly seafood choices.
Buy first; they’re well managed and caught or farmed responsibly.
Buy, but be aware there are concerns with how they’re caught or farmed.
Take a pass on these for now; they’re overfished or caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment.
How can YOU help keep our oceans healthy? Take moment to familiarize yourself with the fish included on the lists above.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch West Coast Consumer Guide
The holidays are here which to us means not only a season of celebrating but one of giving!
Urban Farmer Portland and Sage Restaurant Group are proud to partner with CORE providing support to children of our food and beverage service community whose families are navigating life-altering situations brought on by family death, injury or diagnosed medical condition, loss of home, or other sudden or extreme circumstances.
We make donation easy by including a field located at the bottom of your check to support at any dollar amount when signing your bill. The perfect ending to any meal!
Urban Farmer Portland has all of your holiday celebration bases covered from family brunch in the Pantry, business luncheons in the Library, receptions in the Atrium to seated dinners in the Barrel Room.
Our diverse range of upscale, modern event spaces and central downtown Portland location are parallel to none with a vast array of responsibly sourced menu options and thoughtfully crafted libations.
Hosting with Urban Farmer Portland includes the service of our knowledgeable events team to collaborate on curating an experience uniquely tailored to your vision.
Make it memorable by customizing a cake with our pastry chef, a tableside cheese cart service, a barrel aged vieux carre presentation by our bar experts or a welcome from Chef Matt.
Reserve your space today and check this off your holiday to do list!
Urban Farmer Portland sits in the heart of a city which is increasingly (and deservedly) lauded as a top destination for all things food + drink. Since 2012 the FEAST Portland festival has been celebrating this authentic and dynamic culinary scene by drawing likeminded folks from all over the world to showcase Portland and its talented culinarians.
Chef Matt has been a FEAST Portland mainstay and is honored to once again represent Urban Farmer in the much beloved Sandwich Invitational alongside 19 nationally renowned chefs. This year Chef Matt will also be flexing his culinary muscles by hosting an intimate Portland Surf and Texas Turf dinner in the Barrel Room cooking alongside ‘Top Chefs’ and friends Gregory Gourdet, Doug Adams, BJ Smith and out of towner Texan, John Tesar.
We’ll keep you updated with drool worthy pics of the edible art Chef Mat and company will be serving up for everyone’s FEAST-ing pleasure – stay tuned!
ABOUT FEAST: ‘Feast Portland is more than a food and drink festival. It’s a movement that showcases the energy, creativity and enthusiasm that’s driving America’s food revolution while celebrating two of the culinary world’s most inspiring places: Portland and Oregon. From spirited one-of-a-kind large-scale events featuring trendsetting chefs from all over the country and the world, to intimate hands-on classes, collaborative dinners and panels, Feast offers some of the most compelling experiences and original programming in the modern food festival conversation.’
Urban Farmer Portland takes full advantage of our 1.5 hour proximity to the mighty Pacific Ocean which means an abundance of fresh Pacific Northwest oysters year round. While we admit, we are a bit partial to the petite, delicate and sweet oysters from the Pacific; we are equal opportunity oyster advocates. As such, we always have our east coast Atlantic brethren represented on the menu as well so you can slurp side by side to draw your own conclusions.
What’s the difference you ask?
Look: Smooth, round shells with a somewhat shallow cup, generally ranging from 3 – 4 inches in size.
Taste: Pronounced salinity and brininess, dense and meaty with a light minerality.
Grown: Sub-tidally in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Virginia
Varieties: Blue Points, Belons, Wellfleets
Look: Fluted, pointed shells with deeper cups, generally ranging from 2 – 3 inches in size
Taste: Subdued salinity with more notes of seaweed, cucumber, watermelon and overall, more sweetness.
Grown: Inter-tidally in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia
Varieties: Kumamoto, Kusshi, Shigoku
Ever wanted to try your hand at shucking oysters? Let our friends at Hama Oyster Company share a few tricks of the trade.
Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse
Chef de Cuisine Adam Schuller
The Urban Farmer Portland kitchen has been graced with wealth of culinary talent and we now celebrate Chef Adam Schuller as he assumes the role of Chef de Cuisine. Chef Adam will also be our apiarist in residency.
Q: What defines your culinary philosophy?
Chef Adam: It all started in childhood with my desire to bring my family closer. After volunteering to cook Thanksgiving dinner at age 12 I discovered breaking bread together and sharing recipes that have been enjoyed for generations was the most organic way to achieve this. I consider dining together to be a time to put the phones away and set distractions aside to connect on an authentic level with people.
Q: What’s your favorite dish on the menu right now at Urban Farmer Portland?
Chef Adam: Our Day Boat Scallops with pork, cumin and carrot. My goal with an entrée is to have fruit, vegetable and protein represented on the plate to create a well-rounded meal. The grapes and arugula we finish it with add a freshness that lifts the dish.
Q: What are you most excited about as you assume your role as Chef de Cuisine?
Chef Adam: I want to be the community outreach chef specifically surrounding community gardens and beekeeping in backyards and homes. In my hometown of Santa Cruz, CA I started a program that partnered with farmer’s markets to educate farm workers on how to utilize the less familiar produce for example celery root, to help feed the families that feed our families and reduce food waste. My goal is to start a similar program with our local markets and farms here in Portland.
Q: How do you spend your days off?
Chef Adam: Taking care of my garden and as a triathlete a lot of time goes into training. Within the last year I have completed the Santa Cruz Half Iron Man, Chelan Long Distance Triathlon, Pac Crest Triathlon and Vancouver USA Marathon. However I try to prioritize time with my beautiful wife Chelsey and 18 month old daughter and soon to be big sister Evelyn.
In the spirit of farm-to-table dining representative of Urban Famer, we have commissioned a custom Pinot Noir from Angela Estate winery. This barrel select pinot noir was blended by the Urban Farmer team and hand crafted by internationally renowned winemaker Ken Wright.
With fruit sourced from the Angela Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton AVA of the Willamette Valley, Oregon this elegant yet focused pinot noir shows aromas of rose hips, green tea and bright raspberry compliment the flavors of cedar, black cherry, cassis, truffle, and white pepper accentuated by a long and luxurious finish.
This rare expression of Oregon terroir is available exclusively at Urban Farmer Portland, Cleveland, Philadelphia & Denver. And now we share it with you, cheers!
No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength.
It is our responsibility as food and beverage professionals to do our part. Urban Farmer Culinary Director Matt Christianson & Team Sack Lunch PDX have made a team commitment to raise $55,000 for Chefs Cycle and No Kid Hungry through events in the local Portland community to raise funds and awareness.
Chef Matt and Team Sack Lunch PDX will be riding 300 miles over the course of 3 days on May 16th – 18th in Santa Rosa, CA alongside some of the brightest stars and most committed advocates in the national culinary community.
How can YOU support?
Raise a pint for a cause and by enjoying a Sack Lunch Ale brewed by Oregon’s Rogue Ales on tap at Urban Farmer Portland with $1 of every pint donated directly to the cause.
Team Sack Lunch PDX
Chris DiMinno – JackRabbit PDX
Matt Christianson – Urban Farmer Portland
Jason French – Ned Ludd
Rick Gencarelli – Lardo, Grassa, and Beer Belly
Arielle Clark – The Portland Kitchen
Chris Carriker – Bluehour
Anna Abatzoglou – Rogue Ales
Colin Howard – Multnomah Whiskey Library
Krista Anderson – New Seasons Market
Kayt Mathers – Play Nice PR
Jeff Morrell – Toro Bravo
Thomas Pisha-Duffy – Pok
Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse, Portland, OR
The bountiful brunch buffet at Urban Famer Portland has become legendary and we are privileged to welcome back families to feast together and raise a glass to spring. That means staying true to Easter classics like our array deviled egg accoutrements, house smoked fish and carrot + coffee cakes, tarts, and trifles abound. However that also means enticing with something new each year.
As National Eggs Benedict day falls on Easter this year, we had to include a build your own benedict bar with our famous house made sourdough English muffins and béarnaise or sauce choron to complete the look. Something sweet? Let the chefs guide you through our French toast bar with Bourbon bananas, honey and orange mascarpone or foietella for the adventurous set. Our suggestion would be to take a trip through both with a stop at the bloody mary bar on your way back to the table.
Sourdough English Muffins
The house-made sourdough English muffins at Urban Farmer are a testament to the expertise and dedication of our pastry and culinary teams. Anchoring signature dishes from our family of Eggs Benedict variations to the Farm Burger, our English muffins have become a highly recognizable staple of the Urban Farmer repertoire.
It all starts with our beloved eight-year-old sourdough starter ‘Charlie’. Our English muffins undergo fermentation and proofing before baking then butter griddling to perfection. Billowy, light with just the right amount of chew and that delicate sourdough tang, make sure you tuck into an Urban Farmer English muffin on your next visit!
Swelling with pride and but with heavy hearts the Urban Farmer Portland family prepares to send Chef Chris Starkus Denver, CO bound to assume the role of Executive Chef at Urban Farmer’s fourth location.
Joining the Sage Restaurant Group team in 2013, Chef Starkus has instituted initiatives that exemplify Urban Farmer’s commitment to sustainability and community. A culinary library open to all, an externship program for the future generation of culinarians, a partnership with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, a thriving rooftop apiary and rooftop garden from which both Urban Farmer & Departure PDX reap the bounty.
We’ll be keeping tabs on our beloved Starkus family as the radiant Diana, chess ace Harper and intrepid amphibian advocate Hazel forge their new #Starkushomestead seed saving, truffle hunting, mushroom foraging, chicken coop tending and exploring Denver.
Woodford Reserve Collaboration
We take our Bourbon seriously round here, so much so that we have partnered with Woodford Reserve for an exclusive bottling of Urban Farmer Portland Bourbon. Bar experts in residency Josue & Robbie traveled to Kentucky to visit one of Kentucky’s oldest distilling sites crafting whiskey since 1812 and collaborate with Woodford’s master distillers on the Urban Farmer blend.
6 select barrels were narrowed down to 4 and from these barrels Josue, Robbie and the Woodford team crafted 6 possible blends one of which was selected to represent Urban Farmer Portland with an eye towards food. A Bourbon reticent of tropical fruit and citrus, elegant and refined yet deep, and complex lingering on the palate all the way back to Portland.
Coming to a glass near you in 2017!
Mission Unfrostable – Gingerbread Adventures
What better way to honor this magical time of year than merging a time honored tradition with technology & community?
OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry) has teamed up 6 local pastry luminaries and architecture firms to collaborate on Gingerbread structures that will rival any edible feat of engineering. Pastry Chef extraordinaire Hillary Kirkton and her talented team of elves happily accepted the challenge.
Urban-Farmer-Portland-Wine-List-112016 and SRM Architecture and Marketing have spent months moving through the phases of innovation to creation of templates to structure assembly. All of this will culminate in a timed live build with the art pieces on display at OMSI for folks young and old to marvel at throughout the holiday season.
Admittedly, we’re a bit biased but pretty sure Team Urban Farmer has the crowd sourced voting in the bag if not just for nailing the iconic PDX airport carpet.
Against a background of autumn hues and misty mountains, the last of those precious little Pinot Noir berries have been picked off the vines in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Looks like the 2015 harvest will yield richly fruited wines and you can be sure that Urban Farmer will be among the first to showcase the vintage. With a world class wine growing region a mere 45 minutes away from our front door, we couldn’t help ourselves; we had to curate a Wine List boasting over 50 Oregon Pinot Noirs. Forgive us by getting a little geeky and even categorizing these gems by the 5 AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in our beloved Valley.
Next time you sit down for Chef’s Matt’s NY Tasting, don’t be so quick to order that Cabernet. Let one of our Certified Specialists of Wine guide you towards an Oregon Pinot Noir. We think you may be pleasantly surprised by how ideal a counterpoint the elegance and verve of an Oregon Pinot Noir is to a perfectly prepared steak.
Q & A with Executive Chef Matt Christianson
What fall produce are you most excited about?
Chestnuts, quince and canning the 300 pounds of peaches from Baird Family Orchards in Dayton, Oregon we picked up at the Portland Farmer’s Market this week
Favorite dish on the fall menu?
My favorite west coast fish, Alaskan halibut and as the short season ends in October get it while you can! Also our perfectly caramelized grilled cheese sandwich.
Favorite drink on the fall menu?
The addition of Dry Fly Gin to our extensive spirit selection has been long awaited. Dry Fly + a quality tonic water = a happy chef.
What was your best Halloween costume?
The stuffed monkey I wore on my back during service labeled Bradley Ogden, my longtime mentor and Chef/Owner of Lark Creek Inn in Lakespur, CA.
Bitters date back to the 1700s originally touted as natural, cure all health tonics derived from roots and barks.
A ‘cocktail’ was historically defined as spirit + sugar + bitters + water (prior to the luxury of ice). The modern day fashion in which a barman integrates bitters into a cocktail is not unlike a chef integrating seasoning into a dish. Bitters allow for incorporation of flavor into a cocktail without altering the balance.
At Urban Farmer Portland our innovative and DIY minded team has created a library of individual tinctures (single ingredient infusions) such as cacao, coffee, cinnamon, chinchona bark, citrus peel, green tea and sarsaparilla just to name a few. After a 3 month infusion in our Barrel Room, the finely tuned palates of our culinary and bar teams collaborate on custom blends of bitters created to highlight the season and compliment the cuisine for a truly hand crafted cocktail.
If the chefs seem are a bit too giddy on Wednesdays & Fridays, our farmer partners are to blame. Wednesdays mean a weekly trip to the Shemanski Farmer’s Market our red wagon in tow, but Fridays now have whole new meaning thanks to our friends at Zenger Farm, an urban farm that models, promotes and educates about sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship, community development and access to good food for all. Urban Farmer Portland is proud to be the first restaurant participating in Zenger Farm’s weekly CSA (community supported agriculture). Eacd Friday a farmer’s selection of what is seasonal and at its peak arrives for chefs Matt, Chris, Adam, Erick & Alec to articulate the season a on a plate. The bounty of our inaugural CSA became a stunning honey roasted breakfast radish salad with charred mustard greens, green garlic-radish top pesto. Cheers to summer and the farmers who tend our land year round!