January 3, 2008

Local Treasures

Saveur.jpg McDermott%20%26%20Rowley.JPG

There they were last night, perched at the counter at Steelhead Diner, enjoying a glass of bubbly and gossiping with the chef: Jon Rowley and his wife, Kate McDermott, quietly celebrating their appearance in the new issue of Saveur. The least ostentatious of Seattle's food stars, Rowley is probably the most influential. He's the oyster guru, the peach guru, and above all the salmon guru. No one in town has done more to change the way we eat, or the way our farmers and fishers think about the food they grow or catch.

Saveur names Rowley to its Top 100 list for 2008. (Most of the entries aren't people but food trends and restaurants.) His 500-word biographical sketch is titled Disciple of Flavor. "We admire the passion that's sustained him in his pursuits, which, in hindsight, more closely resemble a quest than a career."

The quest is never-ending. "Rowley is acutely curious about what makes a particular food taste good. Environmental factors are crucial, he's discovered, whether it's the unique blend of local algae and minerals that allows the Virginica oysters of Totten Inlet, in Washington's Puget Sound, to grow incomparably plump and sweet, or the precise proportions of water and compost that beget the perfect blackberry." Rowley carries a refractometer to measure sugar content and tell him everything he needs to know about the plant, whether it's a blackberry or a peach.

And speaking of blackberries, that's Kate's blackberry pie in the upper right-hand corner of the magazine cover. Recipe here.

Posted by Ronald Holden at January 3, 2008 10:34 AM | TrackBack

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Sorry -Saveur just ain't been the same (or nearly as good for that matter) since the departure of COLMAN ANDREWS. I guess it takes some time for such news to reach the west coast....and I guess as they say "better to be in than out !"

Happy New Year Ron !

Posted by: tim Johnston at January 4, 2008 5:56 AM

Spot on, Ronald. Jon is a true believer and holds the torch high as always. Bravo for his recognition and cheers to you for maintaining the window on our downtown.
Joyeaux Annee. Je depart a Paris sur lundi. Un bonne commencement pour 2008, n'est ce pas?

Posted by: Sally McArthur at January 3, 2008 10:59 AM
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