Go Eat!: Kirkland's answer to Napa Valley


By Julien Perry

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- It's Kirkland's answer to Napa Valley.

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"Here at Trellis, the menu is totally planned around what's coming out of the garden. It's not a set menu; the menu is constantly changing," says chef Brian Scheehser who left The Hunt Club after 13 years when the new Heathman Hotel came calling. He was the guy they wanted to head up their new restaurant, Trellis, which opened in October.

"Trellis being a support, something that a vine would grow up onto and a seed could be planted and as it would flourish, the vine would have the strength to fall back on. That's where the name Trellis came in."

Brian has a 3-acre plot in Woodinville - where he harvests all of the restaurants veggies and herbs.

"This will be the seventh year of gardening. My ultimate goal is to be able to carry the restaurant from season to season with as much as we possibly can produce from our own garden."

As for what's in season now:

"We were out in the garden first week of December digging carrots, beets, picked thyme, savory, oregano, rosemary, sorrel, Swiss chard, leeks."

In fact, Brian requires all of his kitchen staff to tour the garden.

"Most times when culinary staff moves on, it's because they think they can't learn anything more. So as long as wee keep it interesting, as long as we keep the challenge there and keep them growing. I think more so for myself and that's what the garden does."

Winter just arrived, but Brian already has spring on his mind.

"We're going to start planting lettuce in the green house in about three-and-a-half to four weeks, so we'll have early lettuces, purple passion asparagus, strawberries and first-of-the-season artichokes."

Another thing Brian's garden offers: positive energy. Something you don't find in frozen vegetables.

"Seeing the seeds get planted, the land get cultivated, the plant grow and then being able to pick it and bring it in - there's an excitement that you can taste, you can feel, you can experience."

Places chef Scheehser likes to Go Eat!: Three Girl's Bakery, Cafe Campagne (any place in Pike Place Market, really).

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