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Local dish: New cooking show visits Northwest growers

Oct 1st, 2012 | Category: Community, Cooking, Farms

by Samantha Schuller

There’s so much more to a meal than slice, sizzle, and serve. Director Devin Rice is creating a new food “docu-cooking” show, Savvy Chef Northwest, which proves there’s more to a quality meal than just technique. Executive chef Jeff Linscomb of Snohomish, or “Chef Jeff,” as he is known on the show, visits farms and food producers of the Northwest to source ingredients in his dishes.

Jeff Linscomb (right) with Manny Canales, of Canales Produce in Concrete. Canales’ asparagus, among other local ingredients, was used in the pilot episode’s feature dish. COURTESY PHOTO

“The Northwest is one of the most diverse and abundant food producing regions in the country,” said Rice, the producer and director of Savvy Chef. He was inspired to create the program to show people in our region the “gigantic diversity” of the Northwest, to help them appreciate the quality of local food, and to educate them in how best to prepare and enjoy it.

Television can be a great tool to educate a wide audience on the importance of local food systems, Rice said. “The thing about most cooking shows is that all the ingredients just magically appear in the kitchen, which of course is not true in real life.” Most food travels 1,800 miles from food to plate, he said laughing. “That’s just crazy.”

The search for good quality Northwest ingredients is the basis for each episode. The pilot episode’s dish is braised pork with asparagus and mushrooms. Before Chef Jeff begins cooking, he takes viewers out to the fields, barns, and facilities where local ingredients are raised and made. Then, he returns to the kitchen, showing step-by-step how to turn out a delicious, regional meal from the highest quality ingredients.

The farms visited in the pilot include Kevin Morse in La Conner for pastured pork, Canales Produce in Concrete for asparagus, Cascadia Mushrooms in Bellingham for mushrooms, Chinook Farms in Snohomish for onions and garlic, Golden Glen Creamery in Bow for butter, and Alia Wines in Snohomish for Chardonnay.

“The farmers and producers we visit are some of the hardest working, passionate, most interesting people around, and their occupation is largely unsung,” said Rice. “Unless you belong to a CSA or regularly shop the farmers’ market, you might not ever discover some the amazing resources right in your own backyard.”

During the course of producing the episode, Rice was pleased to discover Alia Wines right in Snohomish where he lives and works.

He is optimistic about preparing future menus. “There is so much to choose from in our region. Salmon, vegetables grown in the Skagit Delta, farm-raised livestock, geoducks, Puget Sound shellfish, fruits from Yakima, vegetables from Walla Walla, deep-sea fish, wild game and fowl, regional wines, local dairy—the list is endless.”

For more information, or to view the episode, visit www.savvychefnorthwest.com or Savvy Chef Northwest’s facebook page. Rice is currently seeking a network to air the show.

Published in the October 2012 issue of Grow Northwest

Correction: The caption contained the incorrect name. Chef Jeff  Linscomb is pictured, as above.

2 Comments to “Local dish: New cooking show visits Northwest growers”

  1. Tammy Kennedy says:

    Nice article on Savvy Chef Northwest although the caption below the picture is incorrect. Jeff LINSCOMB seems to be to the right of Manny Canalas, NOT Jeff Rice.

  2. Editor says:

    Sorry about that. The caption is now correct.

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