(images courtesy of Dunn+Hobbes, LLC)
I was in San Francisco earlier this month, home to one of my favorite places – the Ferry Building. In addition to being a gorgeous historic building, it’s chock full of amazing regional food producers and crafts people. Cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, Boccalone’s salumi, Blue Bottle Coffee, Frog Hollow Farm’s stone fruits … is your mouth watering yet? What’s inspiring to me is the community of businesses that have been cultivated in the Ferry Building – businesses that are creating products using traditional and sustainable production methods to make pure foods.
On this trip, I was thinking how lucky SF was to have the Ferry Building and its community but I know that Seattle is also very blessed, not only do we have Pike Place Market, but we have a new addition to our local food scene — Capitol Hill’s Melrose Market. This market-hall style building is home to Seattle’s own mix of food purveyors including Rainshadow Meats, The Calf & Kid cheese shop, Marigold and Mint, and delicious restaurants and bars that showcase regional food products on their menus: Sitka & Spruce, bar ferd’nand, Still Liquor, and Homegrown.
I had the opportunity to have lunch at Sitka & Spruce a few months ago. The food and atmosphere were amazing – they make different dishes each day and the kitchen is open so you have the opportunity to go and check out the dishes and learn about where the food is from and how it is prepared. Another good sign that it is a great place to eat – I ran into my friends Jason and Nicole Wilson eating lunch there too (owners of Crush and Chef Jason is a James Beard winner).
What I love most about places like Melrose Market and the Ferry Building – the opportunity to learn about the food I’m buying and learn about the producers. The business owners are either producing their products or buying them directly from the farmers, ranchers, cheesemakers and they can tell me about the food and how best to eat or serve it. Well… I also love that both places sell tons of DRY Soda!