It was a huge year for Crush chef/owner Jason Wilson. He received the best chef in the Northwest honors from the James Beard Foundation. Which is like acing your chemistry final, making out with the cutest boy/girl on the block and winning the lottery all rolled into one. Then, Jason decided to test what it means to serve farm-to-table produce by planting a garden seven blocks from the restaurant. It belongs to the family of one of his customers, a plot that was worked for more than 30 years by her late father. So, this summer diners at Crush had the option of ordering the Tasting Menu featuring greens and root veggies harvested hours before service. Just because the peak growing season is over doesn't mean Jason is packing away his mucked up boots. Read part one of this week's Grillaxin Q&A to learn more.
What's left in the ground as we move into autumn?
Jason: Beets, leeks, onions, potatoes. We are planting a robust winter garden of kale, chard and some hearty cress.
SW: How are you going to use it in the kitchen?
Jason: We are still developing the final dishes but the focus of the dish will be the vegetable itself, rather than using the vegetable as a "garnish" or accompaniment These vegetables are so fresh that they deserve to shine in the dish.
SW: Is it really possible to make squash into something dazzling?
Jason: Of course. Everything can be made into something dazzling.
SW: What's your two favorite Seattle restaurants these days... one lowbrow and one fine dining?
Jason: I really like La Bete on Capitol Hill, they're doing some fun interpretations of classics. And we always eat pho at Pho Cyclo.
Check back for part three of this week's Grillaxin Q&A for a squash recipe designed to dazzle.