James Beard Award

2000 Best American Chef Northwest”

James Beard Foundation


★ ★ ★ ★

Mobil Travel Guide
Fodor's Best

★ ★ ★ ★

Best Places Seattle
Best Places Northwest

★ ★ ★ ★

The Seattle Times

★ ★ ★ ★

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

★ ★ ★

Frommer’s Washington State
(highest rating)

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

AAA 5-Diamond Award
(1 of 50 in America)

2007 Award of Excellence

DiRōNA

Fine Dining Hall of Fame

Nation’s Restaurant News
since 2003

#1 Destination Restaurant in the World

National Geographic

Top 40 Restaurants in the United States

Gayot
The Restaurant Issue 2007

2005 Restaurant of the Year

Seattle Times
Washington Wine Commission

America’s Top 10 Restaurants

Zagat Survey 2007

Top 50 Restaurants in the World

Travel & Leisure

Best of Award of Excellence

Wine Spectator 1997 - 2007

Best Northwest Wine List

Wine Press Northwest
2000 - 2007

Ultimate Award of Distinction

Wine Enthusiast Magazine 2006

Futile search for synonyms for bliss.

Seattle Weekly

You can’t help but applaud at the end.

Financial Times of London

An unparalleled dining event.

The Seattle Times

A must-experience. The fastest five hours you’ll ever experience.

Best Places Seattle

The Northwest’s most-celebrated restaurant; the ultimate expression of the Northwest’s bounty.

Frommer’s

Young Woodinville Chef Makes 'Impractical' Food From the Northwest's Bounty

"You get one shot," says Chris Weber, executive chef at The Herbfarm (Woodinville, 14590 NE 145th St.), about the uncompromising seasonality of the ingredients used for the menu at this legendary 31-year-old, farm-to-table restaurant on the Eastside. An East Coast transplant, Weber has long admired natures bounty in the Pacific Northwest. The seasonality and ingredients and getting to revisit them every year is incredible.

The youngest chef to run the kitchen at The Herbfarm (and one of the youngest to run a Five Diamond restaurant), Weber, 31, has the task of using hyperseasonal, local ingredients in skillful, new ways year after year. The Northwest produces wild mushrooms from spring through autumn, and so they play prominently on his menu, where Weber makes a point of creating food that is so impractical, youd never make it at home.

Morels taste like their surroundings: woodsy. Theyre found in hot, dry alpine conditions, says Weber, where you smell rocks, you smell decaying pine needles. Morels have that same kind of flavor.

At The Herbfarm, he makes caraway thyme caramel sauce with morel sabayon, a light custard-like sauce made with late-season burn morels, which bloom in late summer in areas previously burned by forest fires. The textures are so subtle, but so similar, but because there are only two things [on the plate], its explosive. Ever evolving, the dish morphs every year with slight variations. Sometimes I use birch syrup, instead of caramel, says Weber.

How many places in the world can you get morels that are good and consistent? he asks. Theyre a huge part of our food culture.


Pro Tips

Burn versus natural morels

I think the natural morels are a little meatier and thicker in texture, notes Weber of the difference between natural spring morels and summer morels that bloom in areas previously burned by forest fires. The color is the most remarkable difference, with burn morels being really dark and almost black. They both have their place, says Weber. Burn morels are drier and have lots of nooks and crannies that can soak up anything and hold onto anything.

Mushroom Hunting

You find them in places that have burned before, notes Weber of these late-season morels. While The Herbfarm sources its morels from local foraging company Foraged