Welcome back to Market to Menu, in which Eater shadows a chef's trip to the Portland Farmers Market, following the trajectory of Oregon's freshest ingredients from market stall to restaurant plate.
[Photography by Dina Avila]
In the spirit of downtown's recently revamped Brasserie Montmartre, Brasserie executive chef Michael Hanaghan also decided to revamp the Market to Menu format, skipping the farmers market middleman and taking Eater straight to the farm: "There is nothing more inspiring to a chef then walking the fields of a farm, seeing what's available, and coming up with menu items."
So, off Eater went to West Linn's family-owned 19th Street Farms, which Hanaghan became familiar with thanks to an induction by Brasserie culinary director Pascal Chureau. And dish ideas start popping up even more Hanaghan hits the fields. "As we pulled up to the farm and step out of the car, the air was filled with lavender from the lavender farm next door," Hanaghan says. "[And] the first thing that fills my head is crispy skin duck with honey and lavender-scented cranberries." After walking down a gravel road and stumbling upon a field of squash, Hanaghan mentally adds that to his duck dish — "next thing you know, you could have a menu item. Walking from isle to isle of the farm, ideas cant help but jump into my head."
Other possibilities culled from the farm trip: salads featuring spicy arugula, mizuna, beets and radishes, all from 19th Street Farms. "Right now most farms are transitioning between the seasons," Hanaghan says. "So being able to talk with [owner] Miles McCoy and and suggest items for him to grow for us is great."
· Brasserie Montmartre [Official site]
· 19th Street Farms [Official site]
· All Previous Market to Menu Coverage [Eater PDX]