Wheat from Dunbar Farms, Southern Oregon

We have spread some wheat berries from Dunbar Farm around our garden a few months ago when it was really cold out.  Actually, it was our chief maintenance man, Trapper who grabbed a handful back in February when I was toiling with what to do with them.  Well, now that it’s warm, and the sun is shining, this is what we have…

 This is a great example of natural selection.  This wheat is grown in this area and selected for these growing condition.  I’m not sure of the lineage of this red wheat before I got it, only that it is an heirloom variety…  But we have kept it going for another season.  Perhaps we will continue to replant it season after season and show how this wheat is much better than GM seeds that have no value after it’s planted.  My seeds have history and can be replanted year after year, adapted to this region, unlike the genetically modified wheat that can only be planted for one season, then it’s lost.  Only time and people can decide what’s better.

Wild Ramp Butter

I made a lot of ramp butter with some more ramps I got.  Thinking something with oven braised rainbow trout….

Sous Vide Chicken with Oregon White Truffles

Here is the first dish I made today using my truffles for Sunday Brunch.

          

Hawaiian Tombo Tuna

Found a use for these great Oregon pickled ramps.  I’m pairing them with a salad of crispy Spring new potatoes, grilled asparagus, pepper bacon and a cider-mustard vinaigrette.  It’s finished with avocado puree, hard boiled egg and micro turnips/pea tendrils from our kitchen garden.  Can’t wait for the local albacore tuna season to open up!

Oregon White Spring Truffles

Funny, I didn’t even know these existed until I saw them.  And the aroma…  WOW!  Seriously.  These are unreal.  It’s frustrating though because I am having a hard time devising my next special for them for some reason.  I just want to smell them.  🙂  Hopefully I can come up with something soon.  The weather has been warm and sunny.  Not really what you would think of for truffles I’m only used to using during cold winter months.  We’ll see…

Wild Columbia River Sturgeon

The restaurant is known for it’s Salmon and Halibut on the menu that we feature year round.  People come looking for it.  As the customer demand dictates that we must have this available all the time, I have started trying to focus on other fish that we can offer that may, perhaps, sway some guests into discovering how delicious local, fresh fish can be.  Remember, ALL food we consume has a season.  Just because it can be purchased year long does not mean that it’s at it’s best year long.  With this in mind, I have been really trying to utilize some of the wild Columbia River sturgeon we have available.  This fish is truly amazing.  It is an ancient species that swam with the dinosaurs.  It has a rich history in the Columbia River.  The sous vide sturgeon we have on the menu is garnering a lot of attention.  Here we have another application.  It smokes up great.  We will probably feature this smoked sturgeon for our mother’s day brunch.  It came out delicious!

Join Me In July As I Cook For a Fantastic Farm to Fork Event July 23rd

I will be excitedly joining Matthew Domingo, Director of Farm to fork Events to be a guest Chef for his July 23rd event at Willow-Witt Ranch in Ashland featuring their wonderful pastured pork and goat.  Enjoy wines by Weisinger’s Winery as we celebrate local farmers and wineries and enjoy food right at the source.  It will be a fantastic opportunity to meet the ranchers and learn about what goes into a fun and fabulously prepared dinner.   Farm to Fork events have become known for their interactive dining formats and this evening will prove to be no different.  Come join us and see what’s new from The Jacksonville Inn.

House Made Canadian Bacon

We have started making our own canadian bacon.  Partly because high quality bacon has gotten REALLY expensive  lately and partly because this house made product is MUCH better than the high quality product we were using. And now we can feature pork loin from local producers like Willow-Witt Ranch…

New Hybrid-Hydroponic System Results for Micro Greens in Our Kitchen

Well, here are some photos of what our pea tendrils look like using the new soiless growing medium.  These photos are taken 10 days after germination with just water and organic fertilizer.


 Needless to say, we will be switching all of our indoor growing operations to this new system. 
 It’s remarkable.  Thanks to the Ladybug Store for hooking us up with the experiment.  

New Cooking Demo Video

Here’s the latest video from KTVL Channel 10 West Coast Flavors.  Grab some popcorn and enjoy!

What is Sustainable?

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the USDA Website:

Definition of Sustainable Agriculture

The term ”sustainable agriculture” (U.S. Code Title 7, Section 3103) means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will over the long-term:

  • Satisfy human food and fiber needs.
  • Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agriculture economy depends.
  • Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls.
  • Sustain the economic viability of farm operations.
  • Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.

 

From Yourdictionary.com:

us·tain·able (sə stānə bəl)

adjective

  1. capable of being sustained
  2. designating, of, or characterized by a practice that sustains a given condition, as economic growth or a human population, without destroying or depleting natural resources, polluting the environment

I need to qualify this by saying I am not a farmer.  I respect farmers/ranchers/food producers.  It’s hard work.  It’s also very unpredictable.  Farming sustainability requires an understanding of the relationships between organisms and their environment.  One must benefit the other.  Consider it a closed loop system.  You don’t really need to introduce anything if done well.  Composting, water catchment and wind or solar power are examples of sustainable practices.  It’s important for me as a chef to understand how this works.  I need to understand why a commercial egg costs me 11 cents while a sustainable egg costs me 25 cents.  It’s important for my guests to understand this as well.

Food is getting more and more expensive.  There are reasons why.  Food in the US is cheaper than most other countries.  It’s artificially kept low by the government.  I don’t yet fully understand why.  I’m in the process of studying it now.  The main thing to know is that the food system must change.  If we are to continue as a people, we need to get back to basics and re-learn what our grandparents held dearly.  Are we as Americans generally privileged?  Yes.  Are we softer because of this?  Yes.  Will this be our undoing?  Only you can decide.  For now, support your sustainable food producers.  Just in case.  It may cost more, but can you put a price on a healthy planet?

Micro Greens

Micro Greens growing nice under the grow lights.  Nice to have these…

Chicken Fried Pulled Pork.

Chicken Fried Steak?  Yeah.  How about Chicken Fried Pulled Pork?  We took our sous vide pork and pressed it into a terrine while it was hot and let it set over night.  Then it’s sliced and wrapped in chicken skin glued on with Activa.  After it sets, its coated in seasoned buttermilk and dredged in flour and fried.  Just like fried chicken, but it’s pulled pork.

Sous Vide Pulled Pork

We season pork butt with salt, sugar and aromatics and cure it over night.  It’s then sealed and sous vide for 12 hours at 176 deg.  We will be using this for our chicken fried pulled pork.

Activa RM.

We just received our shipment of Activa RM today.  AKA Meat Glue, we will be using this in several different applications.  The enzyme transglutaminase has the ability to molecularly crosslink protein molecules together.  It does not discriminate against which kind of protein, so you can theoretically glue a piece of fish to a piece of pork if you wanted to, just as if that’s how nature intended it to be. 

THRIVE Farmer’s Dinner Video

Here is a short video of the THRIVE dinner that happened at Roxyann Winery in September.  Thanks for all that came out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SemHOFYIeqI

Striploin with Chanterelles and Sous Vide Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese

We trim and cut striploin into paves and sear them.  We plate with Fall sweet peas, baby carrots from our garden, chanterelles from the coast and a “fondue” also made from Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue. 

We take about 8 ounces of the cheese and vacuum seal it.  We then roll it out with a rolling pin and the effect is like marble.  I trim thin strips and use it as a base to the presentation.

Sous Vide Filet Crusted With Rogue Creamery Blue

WIth Crispy Potatoes and Peas and Carrots (5-Color Baby Carrots from our garden…)

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

Grilled Peaches, Fresh Corn Polenta and Garden Greens…

Micro Cucumber

Awesome and fresh from the garden!  Hard to find someone who will sell these.  Gotta grow them which is fine by me.

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