West Coast fresh local restaurants

I was overdue for a vacation, so I really looked forward to it, except for one thing – I dread eating on the road because it’s so hard to find fresh food. My attitude turned around when a friend met us at Revival for dinner. This Berkeley gem sources produce in a 100 mile radius and makes as much as possible in house. It’s known for its goat dishes – one of us ordered a steak and the whole party had a taste, and it was succulent. I had a halibut steak, quite competently done, and the vegetables really shined. While in Berkeley I had to stop at Chez Panisse, a dinner that took up a post of its own. I enjoyed it as a benchmark experience, important to West Coast culinary heritage. On the way up the coast I stopped in Willets for lunch and stumbled on Burrito Exquisito. … Continue reading

Poulsbo Farmer’s Market

I’m back from vacation this week – I toured California and Oregon, eating locally, and have many exciting things to write about. First, though, the report from today’s Poulsbo Farmer’s Market. Chef John Nesby of Mor Mor Bistro gave us a chef lecture on tomatoes. He helps to line up the chef demos throughout the season but told us he enjoys doing the tomato presentation himself. Chef Nesby’s teaching style is wryly funny and very accessible. As with any talk about tomatoes, his started with knives. Of course you have to slice tomatoes with a sharp knife, but he also showed us a purpose built tomato knife, available from the splendid Poulsbo store Kitchen Karousel. The knife demo included a quick chiffonade of basil and serrano ham. John minced garlic, added his trademark salt and pepper mix, and then smashed the garlic into a paste. That was a great skill … Continue reading

Chez Panisse 39th birthday

I’m on vacation in Berkeley. Last night I had dinner with a couple of friends who mentioned to me that Chez Panisse was just down the road. Chez Panisse! Seriously? I had to go by to take a photo. While I was ogling the menu a group of people came out of the restaurant and struck up a conversation. Had I ever been there? Well, no, and I had no reservation. They encouraged me to check anyway, often it’s possible to just walk into the cafe upstairs. Back at the hotel I went online and found that 1. it was possible to make reservations 2. for tonight 3. for the 39th birthday of the restaurant. 10 p.m. reservations, but possible. The menu was prix fixe, a reprise of the menu the restaurant served the first night it was open. French restaurants are notoriously snooty, not only in France but in … Continue reading

Mor Mor is a center of Kitsap cuisine

If John and Laura Nesby did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them. Here are some things you need to develop a genuinely local cuisine: Ready access to fresh, local food. The Nesbys support the Poulsbo Farmer’s Market, voted one of the ten best of its size in the country. Deep roots in the community and an understanding of local culinary history. John grew up in Poulsbo, and the name of the restaurant he co-owns, Mor-Mor, is a Scandanvian term for grandmother. John and Laura credit their grandmothers with inspiring their love for cooking. Culinary training and apprenticeship. John and Laura met at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, and John studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. They worked at several notable and award-winning restaurants. A restaurant to showcase the combination of local food with culinary skill. Mor Mor opened in 2004 and has won rave reviews … Continue reading