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.
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!
Newly appointed Executive Sous Chef of The Nines Hotel, Chris Starkus, is not one to rest on his laurels. After starting our rooftop garden and beekeeping operation last year, he is ready this year to expand its output and effect on the hotel. We’re doubling the number of hives and, with a year of study under his belt, Chef Chris is ready for the title of fulltime beekeeper. (As if he doesn’t already do enough!) We’re also expanding the garden under his direction and should be able to incorporate more delicate herbs and vegetables into the dishes here at Urban Farmer. The new bee colony and expanded garden boxes will be unveiled on April, 22nd, Earth Day so stay tuned for more!
Spring Menu Changes
Chefs Matt and Chris are ready to share a few of their latest menu changes with the world! They’ve worked hard to maintain our commitment to sustainable practices by continuing to work closely Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch and sourcing fun springtime vegetables from local farms. One of our favorite new menu items is the wild Pacific salmon. The chefs delicately place the seared fish on a bed of broccolini, charred grape, olive and salsify puree