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Farm dinner puts diners in touch with fresh food

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, Staff Writer

Heathman farm 0108It’s rare to sit down to eat a seven-course meal, complete with wine pairings, in the same place that almost all of the food was grown. But a Kirkland restaurant and a Woodinville winery have made it possible.

This Thursday, Trellis Restaurant and Sparkman Cellars will partner to host a farm dinner at South 47 Farm, with an optional tour of the farm.

Trellis chef Brian Scheehser grows much of the produce for the restaurant at his 10-acre South 47 farm.

For this event, he’ll craft the fresh fruits and vegetables into dishes such as an heirloom tomato gazpacho, a new potato salad and, for dessert, an apple galette.

"Everything served, except for the meats, is from the farm," Scheehser said.

The dinner will begin with a reception at which guests can sip on lemonade with fresh blackberries from the farm.

Diners will then sit down to a seven-course meal with six wine pairings from Woodinville’s Sparkman Cellars, including a barrel tasting of the winery’s 2012 Wonderland Grenache.

The menu includes artisan cured salumi, salmon with green garden dressing, lamb chops with tarragon and tomato tapenade and shaved Jack cheese with pepper crackers.

Scheehser began farming out of frustration with food purveyors when he was the chef at the restaurant at Sorrento Hotel in Seattle.

Ordering from suppliers often required him to buy in bigger quantities than he needed, pay more than he wanted or go without certain hard-to-find items — for example, zucchini the size of his thumb.

Now, he said, "I’m spoiled because I can pick as much as I want or as little as I want. I’m no longer held hostage to the produce companies ... We’re picking baby lettuces when they’re so small they can fit in the palm of your hand."

His farm has grown to 12 acres, although he’s become more specific about which crops he grows. Scheehser has kept the raspberries, blackberries, apples and pears from the farm’s previous life as a you-pick orchard, and he also grows vegetables and herbs. He spends Mondays and Tuesdays working on the farm; the rest of the time he’s at Trellis Restaurant at the Heathman Hotel.

"I don’t look at the farm or the restaurant as work," Scheehser said. "There’s just something amazing about having a tiny seed, putting it in the ground and nurturing it, then having 30 pounds of tomatoes and slicing them to put on a salad."

Scheehser also manages to incorporate food from the farm into Trellis’s winter menu. Although he buys some produce from California for guests who want fresh fruit, he cans tomatoes and jam from the farm to use throughout the year.

"The minute we start harvesting at the farm, we start processing," he said.

He stores thousands of pounds of winter squash; hundreds of quarts of canned tomatoes; seedless blackberry, blueberry and strawberry jams; pickles and relishes; and apple puree and reduction. He also freezes berries for pies and muffins and dries herbs from the farm.

And some vegetables, such as chard and beets, can still be harvested in the winter.

Scheehser believes it’s important to know where food comes from, and the farm dinner will give diners that familiarity.

"We forget sometimes," he said. "We’ve become out of touch with the things we eat, and farming brings that awareness back."

For reservations, call (425) 284-5858 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before 5 p.m. August 21.

The dinner will take place Thursday, August 22, at South 47 Farm in Redmond.

New breweries thrive in collaborative atmosphere

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, News Writer

TriplehornPhoto by Briana Gerdeman Head brewer and co-founder Ray Nesheim fills a barrel that previously held white wine with one of Triplehorn’s ales, which will add a distinct flavor to the beer.The surprisingly similar stories of several new breweries — Triplehorn Brewing Co., Dirty Bucket Brewery and Brickyard Brewing — show how quickly Woodinville’s brewing industry is growing. The owners of these three breweries say they turned a hobby into a profession and have been rewarded with dramatic growth — and there’s room for more breweries in the town’s friendly, collaborative beer industry.
 

Steve Acord opened Dirty Bucket Brewery with his wife, Sharon Acord, in April 2012, after hearing about other brewers’ successes.
 

“The original plan was, my brother and I wanted to start it. We’d been competitive home brewers for a long time,” he said.
 

After talking to other brewers who had expanded from homebrewing to professional, he realized “the only difference was that these guys went for it and did it.
At the beginning, Acord worked 90-hour weeks and brewed double batches of beer every night to keep up with demand. Last month he and his wife hired their first employee, a taproom manager, who has “been a godsend.”
 

For Joe Montero, Brickyard Brewing was the latest of several businesses he’s started, including an office equipment company, an IT company and a bar.
 

Brothers Rich and Ray Nesheim used to work in the construction industry, but a few years ago, decided that their hobby might be more profitable and founded Triplehorn Brewing Co.
 

“When the construction industry took a turn for the worse, we started looking at our options,” Nesheim said. “Desperation kind of forced our hand.”
 

The risk paid off.
 

Triplehorn, which will celebrate its first anniversary at the end of August, has expanded from three fermentation tanks to six, and quadrupled its production from once a week to four times a week.
 

“Anywhere we go, we don’t have enough,” Rich Nesheim said. “We keep running low on IPA in particular.”
The other breweries have also “grown hugely,” as Acord said.
 

Dirty Bucket originally produced 10 gallons of beer per batch; now, with more equipment, Acord can brew 120 gallons at a time — and he still brews two batches per night to keep up with demand.
 

Brickyard Brewing expanded from one barrel to 15 barrels, Montero said.
 

“We’re all selling to capacity, so there’s room for everybody,” Montero said.
 

The other owners echoed that sentiment, saying that the atmosphere among Woodinville breweries is collaborative rather than competitive.
 

“We all want to see each other succeed,” said Acord, who chose to open Dirty Bucket in Woodinville because it had established foot traffic for the brewing industry.
 

The camaraderie among breweries extends to wineries as well, Nesheim said. Triplehorn’s first customer was John Patterson of Patterson Cellars, who was waiting with his “nose pressed up against the glass,” Nesheim recalled.
 

Breweries and wineries draw customers to each other’s businesses, and the staff trade bottles of wine for growlers of beer.
 

Triplehorn is even aging one of its ales in a white wine barrel, which will blend the flavors of the wine and the beer.
 

All three breweries see room for growth. Brickyard Brewing, which opened less than a year ago in October 2012, is increasing its distribution to Bellingham and Vancouver, Canada this month, Montero said.
 

In September, it will begin bottling its beers to sell in Whole Foods and other grocery stores, and in 2014, Montero and co-founder Ean Forgette hope to open a brewpub.
 

Dirty Bucket and Triplehorn also envision opening brewpubs in the future, and Triplehorn may begin bottling

its beers as well. But despite the brewery’s growth, Nesheim is more concerned with serving beer to his hometown than external measures of success.
 

“I’m not out here to take over the beer world,” Nesheim said. “We’re here to just make people happy and comfortable in our community.”

Some of Woodinville’s oldest businesses reflect on longevity

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, News Writer

 WOODINVILLE CAFE
Woodinville Cafe 0044Photo by Briana Gerdeman Angela Mattocks takes customers’ orders for lunch at the Woodinville Cafe. Owner Ryan Mitchell credits the restaurant’s success to the quality of service.The Woodinville Cafe has a particularly dedicated squad of regulars.
 

Not only do they come in to the Cafe for breakfast several days a week, owner Ryan Mitchell said, they arrive half an hour before the restaurant opens and sit in the parking lot.
 

The staff, equally dedicated, brings coffee out to them.
 

“We’ve really stuck to our guns in terms of service,” Mitchell said. “We want to make sure that we’re a real personal restaurant.”
 

The Woodinville Cafe opened in 1995, and several employees have worked at the restaurant for almost that long.
 

Over the years, the restaurant’s 1940’s diner theme has been upgraded to a dinner train theme, with a possible remodel planned for next year, said Mitchell, who bought the Woodinville Cafe at the beginning of this year from the founders, his wife Cari’s parents.
 

The menu, which includes soups made from scratch and fresh baked goods, has grown slightly, but Mitchell doesn’t plan to tweak it much in the future.
 

“We’ve got a pretty loyal following, so we don’t want to mess with that,” he said.

DOUG’S BOATS AND OUTDOOR
 

Doug Spady has spent more than half his life as the owner of Doug’s Boats and Outdoor, which he opened in 1987.
 

His business has shrunk rather than grown, he said. But he’s happy with that.
 

“As you mature, it’s not about being bigger and bigger all the time,” he said.
 

When the shop — originally called Doug’s Boats — opened, Spady began by selling ski boats and sails. Later, it “morphed into a local sporting goods store” by adding tackle, guns and ammunition. The store also offers boat service and parts, and Spady teaches waterskiing.
 

When the market for boats diminishes — which is typical, Spady explained — the sporting goods business offsets the decline.
 

“The boat business is really cyclical,” he said. “...We grow a little bit and then contract as the economy changes.”

FAIRWINDS - BRITTANY PARK
 

When Fairwinds - Brittany Park retirement community opened in 1997, all of its apartments were full, and there was a waiting list, general manager Rebecca Clark recalled.
 

“That many years ago, assisted living and independent living was a pretty new concept, so of course there was a pent-up demand,” she said.
 

The retirement community expanded sooner than planned, building more apartments for a total of more than 200 by 1998.
 

Now, Brittany Park’s growth is limited only by the lack of space to grow.
 

Clark remembers the first weekend was busy, with 44 families moving in. Although that meant lots of chances for something to go wrong, “it was just flawless, except one guy dropped his coffee pot,” she said.
She credits the retirement community’s success to several factors — its strong sense of community, well-trained employees with a low turnover rate, and an atmosphere she describes as “joyful noise.”
“Many of our residents have been isolated in today’s society, where many of our neighborhoods are empty during the day,” Clark said. “...There’s always a lot of action at Brittany Park.”

BUBBLES BELOW
 

Bubbles Below dive shop thrives on a theory that might, at first, seem like bad business.
 

“We try real hard not to sell people things they’re not going to need,” owner Bud Gray said.
 

He explained that although he does accept returns, they’re especially hard for the scuba business, in which stores only keep one or two of an item in inventory. If a customer returns an item, he’s likely already bought another.
 

He’s also convinced customers to buy something cheaper when he knows the item they came in for is beyond their means.
 

“We’re honest. We have integrity,” Gray said.
 

He began scuba diving in 1970 after taking a “hardcore” class from an ex-Navy SEAL. He did commercial diving, including welding, laying cables and demolition, and worked for an engine manufacturing company at

the corporate level before opening Bubbles Below in 1999.
 

Selling and servicing scuba gear is the biggest part of his business, but he also teaches
diving and organizes diving trips, which increase the retail and service side of the business.
 

“The biggest treat in all these years is seeing the excitement in people’s eyes when they come out of the water,” Gray said. “The reason we’re here is to help people enjoy the good parts of life, and one of those is diving.”

Woodinville history: Traveling back in time with Manu Tuiasosopo

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

manu tina tihati luauPhoto courtesy of Tuiasosopo family. From the moment Manu and Tina Tuiasosopo saw Woodinville in 1979, they knew it was the place to raise their family. Manu Tuiasosopo vividly remembers the first time he saw Woodinville. The year was 1979 and he’d just been picked in the first round by the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. As a defensive tackle from UCLA, he was accustomed to the sprawling urban scene of Los Angeles. But upon arriving in Seattle, he and his wife Tina yearned for something more rural and tranquil to call home.
 

Right before training camp, the Tuiasosopos met with real estate agent Connie Mora — the wife of football coach Jim Mora, Sr.
 

“She took us around, and the first place she took us to was Woodinville,” Manu said. “I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was warm and the sky was so blue. Obviously, there was nothing in town in terms of buildings.
 

“We came up Highway 522 and took that first exit where the Dairy Queen sits. Then we came up 175th.
 

“There was a Foodland and right where the Woodinville Fields are now, that’s where the post office was. In that same building was the Armadillo BBQ. I really miss having it in town. Great food, crazy atmosphere. They catered a couple of my parties through the years. It drew criticism in the Woodinville Weekly for writing crazy sayings and quotes on its windows for the public to read. It’s in Duvall now.”
 

Manu described going past Molbak’s Nursery and referenced the current location where Wendy’s restaurant sits, saying “that’s where Goodtime Charlie’s was.”
 

When asked if that was some kind of restaurant, Manu chuckled. “No, that was an adult place.”
 

Manu also remembered reaching the corner where the present-day 7-11 and Bank of America stand. “Those were open fields,” he said. “I can remember seeing some cows and a big black Angus that were grazing on that property. There were just some shacks.
 

“That’s what we loved about it. After we left the Seahawks facilities in Kirkland, we were in Woodinville within 15 minutes. We loved that too.”
 

Woodinville in those days attracted multitudes of Seahawk players. The late Dave Brown, John Harris, Sam Atkins, Papa Fig Newton, Country Sawyer and Steve Largent all owned houses there.
 

In subsequent seasons, Jacob Green and Kenny Easley also called Woodinville home.
 

“We got out there, and you could hear a pin drop,” Manu said. “That’s what we wanted. Our son Marques was a newborn and our daughter Leslie was 18 months. So we were looking for a place like that. Of course, you could also hear the pounding of nails because the developers were putting up houses back then.”
 

When asked what he misses most about Woodinville that exists no longer, Manu pondered for a moment.
“We used to go down on the 4th of July next to Chateau St. Michelle’s,” he said. “The community would all go out and lay on the lawn and they would fire up the fireworks just like they do on Elliot Bay. They don’t do that anymore, but it was awesome! It was a great experience. We went to it every year they had it, because we loved it.”
 

In his rookie season of 1979, Manu led the Seahawks with eight sacks and started in 64 games over the next five seasons.
 

The Tuiasosopos have been a fixture in the community ever since.   
 

“We were really lucky to have raised our family here,” he said. “We were very happy with the teachers, coaches and administrators at Woodinville High School who played a big part in our kids’ lives. We appreciate that relationship. It’s all part of that Woodinville community and family atmosphere that we’ve been able to benefit from.”

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Comments or news tips? Derek Johnson can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Evelyn Jones — still young-at-heart at 106

  • Written by Shannon Michael Features Writer

Evelyn JonesFrom traveling by horse and buggy to cars and then to airplanes, Evelyn Jones has seen a lot of changes in her life. The Fairwinds-Brittany Park retirement home resident recently celebrated her 106th birthday on July 11.
 

She was born Evelyn Charlotte Jolly to Floyd and Nell Jolly in 1907 in the small farming community of Leahy in central Washington west of Banks Lake.
 

Jones’ father was a wheat farmer, so they moved around central and eastern Washington quite a bit, settling long enough near Brewster where she graduated from high school in about 1925.
 

She was a female athlete, too, playing for the girls basketball team.
 

“I was very adventurous as a child. I rode horses all the time,” said Jones as she sat in her tidy apartment at Brittany Park, accompanied by her daughter Kay Vea, who helped her answer some of my questions.
Not content to be just a wheat farmer’s daughter, Jones considered herself a bit of trendsetter.
 

She was an excellent seamstress, so when she saw pictures in magazines of the latest fashions, she was able to make patterns and sew herself clothing much more fashionable than what the locals considered proper.
 

“She was considered scandalous for the times because she was the first girl to wear pants and shorts when house dresses were the norm,” said her daughter, Kay.
 

After high school, Jones attended Cheney Normal School, which is now Eastern Washington University. She was only able to attend one year of college.
 

She remembers the first presidential election she voted in was in 1928. The two candidates were Republican Herbert Hoover and Democrat Al Smith.
 

“My father was furious that Hoover won,” she remembered, “so I must have voted for Al Smith.”
 

One of Jones’ many passions was her love for dancing. She would attend the dances every Saturday night at the local community hall. It was at one of those dances that she met Stanley Jones, who would become her husband in 1928.
 

They raised their family of two daughters, Donna and Kay, on a wheat and beef ranch outside of Almira, Wash., east of Banks Lake. The ranch had been in her husband’s family since his father had emigrated from Wales and homesteaded on the land that became the ranch.
 

“I would get up at 5 a.m., make breakfast for my husband so he could go to work, and then help my girls get ready for school,” said Jones as she described what life was like living on the ranch.
 

She made almost all of the family’s clothing, and became an expert quilter, making dozens of handmade quilts through her life until a few years ago when her fingers just couldn’t handle the hand sewing anymore.
When World War II hit, and there was a shortage of manual laborers to help on the ranch, Jones learned how to drive the wheat trucks during harvest time.
 

She also rode out on a horse with her husband to help drive the cattle when it was time to move them. “But no roping!” exclaimed Jones. She didn’t learn how to rope a cow.
 

When her husband retired in 1966, the couple moved to a home in the small town of Almira. Jones’ daughter Donna Cochran and her family took over the day-to-day operations of the ranch.
 

Now Jones’ grandson, Jeff Cochran, is the fourth generation of family to run the ranch.
 

Jones and her husband were married for 55 years before he passed away in 1983. They went dancing almost every Saturday night throughout their entire marriage.
 

“‘In the Mood’ by Glenn Miller was our favorite song,” said Jones, her eyes beaming with the memory.
After Stanley died, Jones continued to live in their home until she finally moved to Brittany Park in Woodinville at the age of 98.
 

Until that time came, she enjoyed traveling all over the world and wintering in warmer climates.
Like any reporter who has  the opportunity to interview a person fortunate to live past 100, I asked Jones what she thought was the reason why she’s lived so long.
 

“To tell you the truth, I haven’t a clue!” she said.
 

She says she ate lots of beef and vegetables, exercised a lot because she was always a tomboy, and she only drank alcohol at the Saturday dances.
 

Today, she tries to avoid sugar. Her dad lived to be 95 years old, her mom until she was 89, and she had an uncle that lived to 104.
 

At 106, Jones can still walk around fine with the help of a rolling walker. She still makes her own breakfast and lunch, but has dinner made for her.
 

She was a prolific bread maker until about a year ago.
 

“She must have made 10 million whole wheat yeast rolls in her lifetime,” her daughter Kay said. It’s a recipe that the family has made sure will be passed down to younger generations.
The younger generations include her two daughters, six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
 

To keep her mind sharp, she does crossword puzzles every day and reads. She also loves the television shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.” However, she refused to ever learn how to use a computer.
What she really loves, though, are the Mariners, Seahawks and the Washington State Cougars. Some of the Brittany Park staff make sure to talk about the Cougars with her after every winning football game.
Jones doesn’t know if she’s the oldest resident in Woodinville, but she is the oldest at Brittany Park. She finally welcomed another resident to the 100+ Club this year.