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A Haven for Nature & Food Lovers

April 15, 2014

A Haven for Nature & Food Lovers

We always enjoy seeing ourselves through the eyes of others, both in the written word and through the plethora of photographs that you guests shoot and post during your stay and your dinner. A widely-read food and travel writer, under the nom de plume Global Adventuress, pinned a dozen images on her Pinterest board after dining here during March. There’s also a link to her travelog about the other joys of Lummi Island...

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The chefs have gone nomadic

January 1, 2014

The chefs have gone nomadic

The kitchen is closed until March at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island. The chefs have gone nomadic. (The Inn remains open, and Chef Jason who has been with us eight years will continue outstanding menus at our two small cafes, The Beach Store and The Taproot.) Each year, the chef staff travels during a hiatus from January into early March. They travel the U.S. and the world, dining, gleaning, learning more and more about their craft. Chef Blaine Wetzel’s plans include Italy, and his sabbatical climaxes with participation in a sensational...

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Seasonal Servings

November 26, 2013

Seasonal Servings

With 2013 closing, the kitchen remains in peak form prepping for Topical Thursdays – a special wine dinner, and New Year’s Eve. All intermingled with the four weekends of year-end holiday season dining. Starting Wednesday, Jan. 1, we close the dining room (but not the Inn) until March. Before that, given that New Year’s falls in mid-week, we’ve added an extra seating for dinner – Monday, Dec. 30, to close the year without disruption from Thursday, Dec. 26 forward. During December much more goes on for the kitchen and dining room...

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“Heavenly shades of night are falling, it’s twilight time…”

October 27, 2013

“Heavenly shades of night are falling, it’s twilight time…”

“Heavenly shades of night are falling, it’s twilight time…” Which means bed-time for the lush garden at Loganita Farm, with wake-up call set for March. But the garden is a light sleeper, awakening often throughout the twilight of 2013 to keep you freshly served. The summer plantings by our prolific grower, culinary gardener Mary von Krusenstiern, maintain the menus plentifully at both The Willows Inn kitchen and the Beach Store Café. For example, she’ll harvest summer-planted leeks, kale, chard, and specialty...

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Last day of a Lummi Island centuries-old tradition: the reef-net salmon fishery

September 30, 2013

Last day of a Lummi Island centuries-old tradition: the reef-net salmon fishery

With the first day of October came the last day of a Lummi Island centuries-old tradition: the reef-net salmon fishery. The last three of the boats and gear were pulled onto shore for idling until Summer ’14. But the salmon never stop running in our kitchen. The two months or so of reef-netting is very crucial for our chef staff. We process hundreds upon hundreds of sockeye salmon during that time in preparation for our year-round smokehouse. Beyond that, we harvest and then cure the eggs from even more hundreds of chum – the silvery...

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A picture is worth a thousand words – First Harvest Dinner

September 1, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words – First Harvest Dinner

Going by an old adage – a picture is worth a thousand words – this will be the longest blog in our history (maybe any blog’s history). Several thousand ‘words’ worth. One of the most significant, colorful food events of our year is the First Harvest Dinner with prominent chefs invited to join Chef Blaine Wetzel and his sterling chef staff to create two nights of supreme, original dinner menus. The artful beauty of every course and bite is exceeded only by its taste. Among the guests who dined, several produced blogs or articles...

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Reef-net salmon fishing

July 24, 2013

Reef-net salmon fishing

Wednesday, July 24 marked the start of salmon fishing by Lummi Island Wild’s co-op of owners in the annual reef-net fishery. Bob Jewell (pictured here in his fishing workshop), a life-long professional fisherman, joined a crew on opening day for the 72nd consecutive year; he first went out at age 13 with his father’s crew, and later invented the first electric-start winch. The benefits to our chef staff of reef-netting lay ahead for several weeks after the start. Other reef-net gear operators fish alongside the Lummi Island Wild...

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“…Best week of my life.”

July 24, 2013

“…Best week of my life.”

The First Harvest lineup of chefs (left to right): Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood), Grant Achatz (Alinia, Next, and The Aviary Bar), Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn), Justin Yu (Oxheart), Virgilio Martinez (Central Restaurante), and host Blaine Wetzel on the deck of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island. Photo courtesy of professional food photographer Charity Burggraaf     The same date that the reef-net fishery opened we held the first of two dinners in our second annual First Harvest with a kitchen full of...

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Braised seaweed and crabmeat

July 10, 2013

Braised seaweed and crabmeat

We’ve been highlighting our stupendous garden. It never stops. For now, though, take a break from the farm for a special walk down to the beach and into the sea. Yes, wade into the water with us in your mind’s eye as you read along, to experience the gathering of what transforms from a couple of buckets into an extraordinary and exquisite dish. (Just to demonstrate that we’re not into hyperbole here: exquisite, as defined by Merriam-Webster – “marked by flawless craftsmanship or by beautiful, ingenious, delicate, or...

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Show me a garden that’s bursting into life…

May 29, 2013

Show me a garden that’s bursting into life…

There’s this ritual going on here that you should know about. It’s remindful of a line in a song by Snow Patrol, called Chasing Cars: “Show me a garden that’s bursting into life….” Mary von Krusenstiern consults on a regular basis with Blaine Wetzel. The results raise the bar yet another notch for dining at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island: That garden, bursting into life. You know about Blaine – recently one of the five nominees for James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year. We’re blessed, you’re blessed, with his touches...

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