“Our formula has been Food + Wine + People = Community.”
“Ecolibrium Farms is committed to growing the healthiest, freshest food.”
Farm-to-table enthusiasts tend to have the philosophy that food is a way of life, not just something to eat. They believe that a meal can and should be equally good for the environment, good for people's health and in addition, have a superior taste—ultimately boasting a love of authentic food, honoring where it comes from and the art that goes into preparing it. The term farm-to-table has honorable origins, popularized by pioneer Alice Waters, who reminded people that food really does come from farms, the seasonality involved and the importance of giving credit to everyone who produced every part of the meal. The farm-to-table movement also contributes to economic sustainability by supporting local economies and increasing profit for participating businesses.
Some critics say “farm-to-table” is so common now and overly used in restaurants that it’s been drained of any real meaning it may have once had. Rejecting that opinion and proving that the term is not just a buzzword is Matthews Winery in Woodinville. Even when creating its wines, Matthews believes “there is a deep and tangible link between the vines, hills, winegrowers and winemakers, which affects every aspect of winemaking: from the vineyard to the cellar, from the vine to the wine bottle.” This same philosophy is what they had in mind when they began planting a farm on their private 8-acre estate in 2015, with the ultimate vision of hosting thoughtfully curated dinners straight from the bounty of their property.
“We wanted to combine our Washington wine with our Woodinville Farm and create a fun, approachable farm-to-table dinner for our fans and begin to work alongside the local farms in our area to help showcase what they are growing,” says Bryan Otis, part owner of Matthews Winery. “Our formula has been Food + Wine + People = Community.”
The farm is in full bloom now, and with that, farm-to-table dinners are in full swing occurring multiple times a month throughout spring, summer and fall. Matthews sources its menu from its private farm and has also partnered with Ecolibrium Farms to enhance the experience. Alex Meizlish and Michah Mowrey, co-founders of Ecolibrium Farm, have a shared mission “to grow ecological and community resilience by bringing people closer to themselves, each other and nature.” Their goal is to find partners, like Matthews Winery, and work with them to transform underutilized indoor and outdoor spaces into beautiful and bountiful food production.
“Ecolibrium Farms is committed to growing the healthiest, freshest food, and Micah has an extensive background at many of the top restaurants in the world. It made it a natural fit to collaborate with them on these events,” Otis says.
Having a seasoned chef like Micah is key when attending a farm-to-table meal where the menu is dictated by the local soil and seasons; it requires the chef to think on his toes by adapting to changes and limitations with food varieties and quantities. Ingredients can be constantly fluctuating, and it’s up to the chef to know how to put things together in a way that is still appealing.
Indeed this partnership is definitely working for them. Matthews Winery dinners are an intentional, intimate experience from start to finish. Upon arriving you will be greeted with a glass of wine and fresh hors d'oeuvres while you mingle and meet fellow attendees and stroll through the property. Before dinner begins, a special speech from the chef and farmer brings the farm-to-table connection to life as they share where the food was sourced. As guests enjoy the meal, the farmer and chef walk the dining area, checking in on your meal, soaking up feedback and sharing their own passions and insights. As the meal winds down, bring your wine out to the back patio under the white twinkle lights, and enjoy the view of the farm.
We’re lucky to have a place in our community keeping the authenticity in farm-to-table and offering an evening where success means you’ve had good food, good wine and good community. Who doesn’t want that?
16116 140th Place NE, Woodinville, Washington, 425.487.9810, Matthewswinery.com