Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Interview with Maria Hines, Chef and Owner of Tilth, Golden Beetle and Agrodolce

The following interview was made possible by the NW Tastemaker, a culinary travel publication forthcoming from Northwest Travel Magazine. To read more interviews with the best chefs in the Pacific Northwest, visit Northwest Travel Magazine and TableTalkNorthwest.com.

Photo by Frank Huster

Maria Hines, Chef and Owner of Tilth, Golden Beetle and Agrodolce

Award-winning chef Maria Hines has been front and center of Seattle’s culinary scene for more than a dozen years due to her impressive restaurants Tilth (New American), Golden Beetle (Eastern Mediterranean) and Agrodolce (Southern Italian). From numerous James Beard awards, to Food and Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef and Iron Chef America, Chef Hines's accomplishments are many. Early on, Maria shot onto the Seattle scene at the original W Hotel restaurant concept, Earth and Ocean. She opened Tilth in 2006, and it quickly became a national darling when the New York Times named it one of the best new restaurants in the country. 

Since picking up a love of cooking from an early age, Hines has cooked her way across the world, seeking new and creative ways to cook. Considered a thought leader on the subject of sustainability, her commitment is impressive and is practiced throughout all aspects of her company.

How do you describe Northwest cuisine?
Northwest cuisine to me is the technique of marrying hyper-seasonal local ingredients and classic European cooking techniques. 

Who are your favorite purveyors that you regularly work with?

Skagit River Ranch has the only certified organic wagyu beef in the country.
Oxbow Farm is a small farm that pays attention to detail on quality produce.
King’s Garden— I still buy product directly off the truck when she comes by. It’s a true old-school produce-buying experience.
Black Sheep Creamery has the best sheep’s milk in the state.

When you go out for a nice meal, what are two or three of your favorite spots?
Lark
Canlis
Cafe Juanita.

Who are two other Northwest chefs that you admire?
Ethan Stowell (Staple & Fancy, Tavolata, et al.) really understands what people want and is committed to making them happy. John Sundstrom (Lark) is so committed to supporting and using farm-direct product.

Looking toward the future, what about Northwest cuisine most excites you? What are you most excited to do in the kitchen?

The relationships built between chefs and local producers will always be the backbone of northwest cooking.

Tilth
1411 North 45th Street
Seattle, WA
tilthrestaurant.com

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