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.
Help us #86AIDS with (RED)
For the month of June we are partnering with Mario Batali and (RED) to help #86AIDS. During the month we will be offering special cocktails whose proceeds will go towards the United Nations global fund that fights against AIDS. By choosing where to eat lunch or have a cocktail you can help end the suffering caused by AIDS. For more information on participating restaurants or to donate to the UN Fund directly, click here.
We proudly feature some of Oregon and Washington’s best farmers and ranchers on our menu because of the quality of their product. Sometimes this means working with a farm seasonally, to get the region’s best tomatoes, for example, while other times it means working on breeding and feeding methods of cattle, as Chef Matt has done with Scott Laney of Eat Oregon First. One of our most fun relationships has been working with Bob La De Route and his 100% Wagyu. Bob raises only eight animals at a time to ensure each one is nurtured properly. He processes and sells only four every year! That means once a year we get a whole cow in to butcher and work our magic. This Valentine’s Day we’ll offer a special ribeye for two and you’ll see some choice cuts offered on our special’s card for the next couple of weeks! If you want a one-of-a-kind experience come in soon!
Daily Menu Additions & Butcher’s Cuts
Guests of Urban Farmer can never complain about a boring menu! Not only does our menu change seasonally to feature fresh, local products but we also feature daily menu additions and butcher’s cuts. The menu additions and butcher’s cuts allow the kitchen to utilize the whole animal to result in less waste. It also allows for our chefs to showcase their creativity on a daily basis! If you stopped in over during the Christmas week, you may have seen a PB&J Duck on the menu additions card; which was inspired by the classic childhood peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! This seared duck features fermented chestnut pesto (the “peanut butter”), drunken cherry gastrique (the “jelly”), finished with a sage crumble (the “bread”), and garnished with micro greens. Be sure to check the daily card each time you stop in for lunch or dinner to see what creative dishes our chefs have developed!
We spend a lot of time talking about the diversity of meats we use in dinner preparations, how we partner with sustainable farmers and ranchers to bring our butchers the very best product to work with. We’ve even discussed the wonderful job our butcher’s do utilizing every part of whole animals so that we reduce waste and the need to outsource essentials such as stock. But when’s the last time we sat down and had a conversation about brunch?
We know, we know, Portlandia already parodied our city’s unfathomable love for the late-to-rise weekend meal
. Every local has their favorite place, worth every second, or more likely hour, of the wait. There are hidden gems known only to a few and greasy spoons perfect for sopping up any remnants of last night’s fun. (In fact, our pastry chef Carrie recently profiled her fave
.) Here at Urban Farmer we strive to bring the best of all worlds together. With an entire atrium to call home no matter how many faithfuls pour out of the elevator you never have to wait too long for a table. Chef Carrie’s house-made English muffins are airy but filling. No doubt after devouring one of our burgers or benedicts you’ll beg us for the recipe. (We’ve got you covered
Speaking of our pride and joy…
We offer six rotating benedicts, from the signature grass-fed, Highland Oak sirloin to a northwest staple, house-smoked Columbia River salmon. A current seasonal favorite features a healthy slice of heirloom tomato from Groundwork Organics
or Creative Growers
. With such large orders of tomatoes we like to share the love between our favorite farms! Also on the menu, fresh Dungeness crab, Tails & Trotters
ham and California avocados, not to mention daily specials
If you’re looking to get a feel of our ethos without investing in a full dinner experience, brunch is the perfect foray into what Urban Farmer truly means.