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!
With spring starting unseasonably warm, Pastry Chef Carrie Merrill can’t wait for strawberry season. She’s been using a Californian varietal to perfect her shortcake and ice cream recipes and has settled on a nice balance of vanilla, cream, and sweet strawberry syrup. However, Oregon strawberries are one of the state’s oldest and best loved agricultural crops and Chef Carrie wouldn’t dream of using anything but the best. If apple pie is the icon of the good life for America, then strawberry shortcake highlights the heritage of Oregonians. It wouldn’t be summer in Oregon without a bowl of red, ripe strawberries or the luscious dessert of strawberry shortcake. Our climate includes lots of rain, cool nights and warm sunny days. These conditions are perfect for growing the sweetest strawberries as the berries stay on the vine and ripen slowly, allowing the sugars to increase before harvest.
Look for this perfect local dessert to hit our menu as the warm weather continues!