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Posts Tagged ‘vashon restaurants’

Photo Credit: Charity Lynne Burggraaf

Last Saturday night at La Boucherie had my favorite vibe; the room full of diners, lots of chatter and laughter and enthusiastic responses to the food we prepared and served, music and candle light just right.   The crowd was a lovely mix of new customers, regulars, neighbors, Vashon Island visitors, and friends.  At least two birthdays were being celebrated.  And we were particularly happy to be hosting the crew of Pacific Crest Farm, who had grown nearly all the produce on the menu that was literally being enjoyed all around them.  Jen and Bob Parker and their intern Emily were living it up with a celebratory dinner, marking the end of their busy harvest season.

Now over the past four years, we’ve had the pleasure of serving a fair number of celebrities; well-known actors, musicians, performers, chefs and restaurateurs, and for the most part they have enjoyed privacy and anonymity while eating at La Boucherie.  I like knowing that a world-famous individual, who normally has very little privacy in public, can be in our little room that seats only 26 patrons and perhaps enjoy what is a “normal” night out for the rest of us.

Similarly, I’m going out on a limb to say that I’m guessing there have been precious few times when fans or paparazzi interrupted a farmer’s public existence.  So it was a fun twist of the predictable when Chef Dustin turned down the music and asked for everyone’s attention, explaining we had some special guests in the room that night he wanted to acknowledge.  Our farm friends looked around and wondered about whom he might be referring.  Dustin proceeded by introducing the Pacific Crest Farm team, and identifying all the ingredients of that evening’s menu that had been planted, nurtured and harvested by these three individuals, which was heartily applauded by all.

It’s something pretty special to be that close to the source.  It’s also our restaurant’s raison d’être.  Thanks again, Pacific Crest; you guys are rock stars! At least at our place.

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Here we are, on the cusp of La Boucherie’s second anniversary in the town on Vashon.  But additionally and maybe more significantly, next week is Sea Breeze Farm’s tenth anniversary.  It was Thanksgiving weekend in 2000, when George and I bought the land and small house on the north end; before the daughter, before the dog, before the goats and sheep and pigs and cows and ducks and geese and chickens.  Before fences and gates.  We didn’t even know we would eventually need and build a milking parlor.  Before inspections and certifications.  Before trucks.  Before market tents.  Before chicken slaughter classes.

That last one is something.  Ten years ago, George had one chicken slaughter under his belt.  I wrote about that experience a few months ago.  (“Claire, the Urban Chicken Experiment”)  Fast forward to yesterday; our Farm Manager Liz passed on our cumulative poultry processing knowledge to a group of fine folks attending our first class on the subject.  Time flies, but quite a bit of experience and knowledge is amassed in the process.  You just don’t always realize it while it’s happening.

So Sea Breeze is ten.  I’m trying to wrap my head around that.  What strikes me most profoundly, more than the distance traveled or the growth and expansion of the business or knowledge gained, is the human sum of this benchmark.   The word “farm” traditionally conjures an image of animals; red barn; weathervane; pasture.   For me, it is the collective hard work, creativity, passion, perseverance, humor, and intellect of so many amazing individuals –friends, employees, volunteers– that have contributed to building Sea Breeze Farm.  All have left their mark; helped launch us to the next phase; allowed the possibility of an impossible idea; put their own cleverness into the mix; waved the flag, and continue to do so, even beyond their time at Sea Breeze.  Sam, Marcia, Matt, Andrea, Carol, Charlie, Josh, Will, Telly, Brandon, Liz, Ed, Ellen, Jon, Jessie, Jemma, Chevon, Edys, Sabery, Leah, Peggie, Betsy, Margot, Ben, Max, Alex, Emily, Zeph, Teale, Meredith, Jennifer, Jared, Melanie, Thom, Marcia, Dustin.  I fear there are some I am forgetting.  But I am grateful to all, and hope to celebrate with as many as possible this evening.

La Boucherie Open House

Thursday, November 18, 2010

6:00 – 9:00 PM

Music starts at 7:30

For directions or more information, call

206. 567.GOAT

 

Photo courtesy of Tim Aguero

 

 

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