Last September, 12 top Portland chefs were given ten pounds of organic pickling cucumbers and put to the challenge to create the Perfect Pickle. On February 6th, at the 2nd Annual Perfect Pickle, we will be opening up those jars for sampling, selecting a “Pickler of the Year” and selling the remaining jars to benefit DPC.
In order to provide a bit of context, we proudly present The 12 Days of Pickles. Each day leading up to the event, we will highlight one of the participating chefs. All chefs are asked the same questions…and their answers are telling. First up is Tressa Yellig of Salt, Fire & Time Community Supported Kitchen.
Tressa is the executive chef and owner of Salt, Fire & Time which is a traditional & healing foods grocery and classroom in Portland, OR. She is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York and specializes in a variety of health supportive cooking styles, though mostly advocates the Weston A. Price Foundation’s nutritional philosophy of traditional fats, sprouted grains, pastured meats, raw dairy and fermented foods. In addition, she has experience managing farmer’s markets, working with a variety of artisan food producers, and organizations promoting urban food sustainability, local food economies and seasonality. She has a special affinity for traditional food preparations and loves teaching them as well as introducing people to the nostalgic simplicity of whole foods.
Q: What is your cooking philosophy?
A: Quality in sourcing and simple preparations. As the name implies, our aim is not to get in the way of the true flavor of the foods we are working with. The techniques are old world, the way grandma used to make it, to honor the traditions that understood the delicious relationship between food and health.
Q: Tell us about your pickles.
A: They are crisp and simple in a clove-cider brine.
Q: Why should you be crowned “Pickler of the Year?”
A: Because I have a deep respect for flavor alchemy and the way that foods interact with their environment. Pickles are a traditional preparation technique but they can participate in every aspect of the gastronomic experience. They are playful and dramatic and I allow them that expression.