Seattle is a town that has some wonderful eating adventures. For a city that is probably more well known for their wet weather than their great food offerings, it has a surprisingly vast array of choices. Best of all many of them are top rated with chefs who know a thing or two when it comes to delivering great and innovative meals.
But all that great cooking doesn’t just come by chance. We took a bit of time with a few of the top-rated chefs in our rain-blown city to ask them what they thought was the one big thing that made their options for eating so tasty. You might be surprised by the answers. While it may have included a few of the expected ingredients, there were a few things, like having access to propane from Lin-Gas, that were completely out of left field for us when we started this investigation in gastronomical secrets. Check these out.
Farm Fresh Ingredients
This may have been expected but we were surprised how many chefs told us they actually had either roof top or nearby gardens for their kitchens. While we may have begun to get used to seeing herb gardens in the flower boxes while waiting for our table at many of the farm-to-table style restaurants, this was a step up.
Many of the better restaurants work directly with Seattle area farmers to ensure they are working with the freshest eggs, vegetables and fruit. We knew that before we began this survey as this has grown out of the whole farm to table movement and the one-hundred-mile diet. But when a restaurant decides to invest hard earned cash into expensive downtown real estate to create a handy garden for those all important finishing touches, we were impressed.
Expect to see this kind of hands-on approach to fresh cooking increase as droughts and unexpected weather conditions create scarcities in some of the chef’s key ingredients. But there was one ingredient that has become scarce we weren’t expecting to hear about in this survey. It is the gas to cook with, so very vital to any restaurant.
Cooking with Gas
While we may have heard the expression, “Now that’s cooking with gas” we may have never really understood its significance or what it truly means until now. In many major cities, the shift from using gas to electricity has meant that many restaurants are having to fight to keep their gas supply. Even propane, used in many barbeque joints across town is under fire because of the city’s desire to cut down on the use of oil-based sources for power and increase the use of electricity from renewable sources.
While the concept is commendable, the impact on the restaurant business is being felt. The reason for such a fuss is that gas stoves give chefs in commercial kitchens the infinite number of settings and instant response to changes that are so important for delicate sauces and steaming of vegetables. Electric stove tops just don’t deliver the control that a professional kitchen requires, and so pretty much all of the high end professional stoves are gas and not electric.
This struggle between being ecologically green and having the right equipment is cited by many chefs as one reason for opening a restaurant outside of the downtown core. It can also affect the menu, much to the dismay of fans of the cooking styles of many chefs. How these two important elements of cooking will affect future eating adventures in our city remains to be seen.