Sunday, September 7, 2008

update on emmer

Hello friends,

As the season begins to shift into fall, I thought it would be a good time to update all of you on my upcoming events and the progress of my restaurant, emmer, slated to open in spring 2009.


As many of you know, I have completed the business plan for emmer and am in lease negotiations for a space in an incredible new building. My vision is to create a restaurant that not only showcases the best of seasonal, local cuisine, but that also reflects sustainability in its construction, design and business practices. emmer will break new ground in this area. By working with LEED (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) standards, my hope is to create a state-of-the-art facility that can become a model for new businesses, particularly restaurants, in the coming years.

Turning a vision into a restaurant takes time, creativity, hard work, and a fair amount of capital, of course. I am extremely fortunate to have connected with many people who share my vision for creating a restaurant that is highly sustainable— from the tomatoes to the salvaged building materials. I have the seeds of a great development team in place. Yet these connections are just the beginning. I welcome interest from the Seattle community, from sharing perspectives or experiences with sustainable businesses to financial investment in emmer.

volunteering, events, and dinners

Over the course of this too-short summer, I also had the opportunity to strengthen my relationships with the local food community. After speaking to students at the University of Washington and conducting numerous farmers market cooking demos, I sweated and harvested in the fields of Oxbow Farm in Carnation. Recently, I helped organize “Taste of WSU” at Benaroya Hall, an annual event that pairs Seattle’s best chefs with the products of WSU agricultural research. (I slow-cooked Wagyu beef brisket served with cucumbers and mint.) Along the way, cooking for FareStart and Tamara Murphy’s Incredible Feast, I’ve been able to get the word out on emmer, my next endeavor. In fact, the name emmer came to me on a visit to Bluebird Grain Farms in early July as I helped Sam and Brooke Lucy sort, hull, and pack their delicious crop of organic whole grain farro that shares the same name. Sam, Brooke, and I share the ideals of strengthening our local food economy and promoting the use of local and seasonal products.

Until emmer opens in the spring, I will continue to volunteer time at farms and will also be keeping my knives sharp at a number of dinners, classes, and events. The following gives a sampling of events I will be participating in this autumn:

Thanks again to all of you for supporting me in my exciting new endeavors. Feel free to email or call me if you’d like more information on emmer or any of my upcoming events.


Seth Caswell

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