A unique part of the Urban Farmer experience is a visit to your table from our cheese steward Lindsey Walton. Lindsey joined the Urban Farmer team two years ago as a host. While hosting, she became more and more curious about our cheese cart. After recognizing Lindsey’s growing passion, we promoted her to cheese steward. She immediately began putting her own touches on the program by creating house made accompaniments as well as crackers to perfectly pair with her cheese selections. Just this week Lindsey baked house made graham crackers to serve with a triple cream cheese along with house-made applesauce and fresh thyme. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for the cheese cart as spring ingredients arrive. Five nights a week, Lindsay navigates the dining room by rolling her Boos butcher block cart filled with 14 unique cheese selections for tableside service. Lindsay takes every guest on a journey through the cheese cart describing flavors, the history of each cheese and the idea behind the pairings with each table. Our guests have repeatedly complimented Lindsey for enhancing their dining experience. We are proud to have Lindsay as an integral part of the Urban Farmer guest experience.
Urban Farmer’s Executive Chef, Matt Christianson debuts live Alaskan king crabs. The crabs are also known as brown king Crabs and are 8-14lbs each. They are caught in the waters surrounding the Aleutian chain, golden king crab are the smallest of the three main species. Their shells are golden-orange in color and have the mildest flavor of the Alaska’s three commercially-harvested types of king crab. Golden king crabs have a lower percentage of meat “infill” inside their shells, and therefore cost less than blue or red. Urban Farmer currently features these exclusive crabs for their surf and turf options in dishes such as crab Oscar, crab cannelloni, crab ravioli and butter poached legs accompanied with their dry-aged steaks. Check out Chef Matt cooking up crab ravioli and the beautiful crab legs with Fox 12 correspondent Stephanie Kravelich.
Where’s the beef? A butcher’s view from the back-of-the-house! Urban Farmer sources 1/2 a cow bi-weekly from local Oregon Farm, Highland Oak Farm. Chef Ryan is charged with wrestling this hind quarter and separate short loin in preparation for the UF menus. The Highland Oak Farm can be enjoyed in a number of ways; New York strip, bone-in ribeye, filet, fried beef short rib with horseradish aioli and house-made brisket, pastrami, beef liver pate, Philly cheese steaks and all of their house ground beef.
Urban Farmer, our Modern Steakhouse has been busy playing with their food! Chef Matt is incorporating elements from their seafood offerings into platters for sharing; these offerings include tuna Carpaccio with caviar and pork rinds, their Urban Farmer shrimp cocktail, oysters and a smaller version of their famed crab salad with hearts of palm and orange. This offering will be coming soon for large in-house groups due to popular demand!
Q&A With Matt Christianson, Executive Chef, Urban Farmer Restaurant, Portland, OR
How long have you worked for Sage Restaurant Group?
Chef Matt: I began working for Sage Restaurant Group on March 17th, in 2009
What are your favorite foods and drinks at Urban Farmer & Departure restaurants, located at The Nines Hotel?
Chef Matt: As the Executive Chef of the Nines I enjoy many different styles of food on a daily basis. For instance Departure’s jasmine tea is perfect for calming down & Urban Farmer’s Stumptown coffee is great for ramping up for a busy shift. I also enjoy Departure’s carrot and avocado salad for sweet richness and bright acidity. If I am in the mood for something on the comfort side I enjoy Urban Farmer’s brussels sprouts with almond brittle, it reminds me of eating popcorn followed by a Butterfinger =). Also, I can’t forget Chef Sean, his chocolate chip cookies are delicious & to blame for the extra pounds I could stand to lose.
Where did you work before you joined SRG?
Chef Matt: The Hotel Bolderado in Boulder, CO and previous to that I worked in San Francisco with Bradley Ogden.
What do you like to do when you are not cooking delicious food?
Chef Matt: I enjoy riding & exploring the Portland, OR area on my road bike and playing with my 4 and 6 year old sons.