Port Townsend is known for its old buildings, its wooden boats, and its arty residents. But increasingly it’s becoming known for food. In the last ten years Port Townsend and surrounding the Jefferson County have seen a rural renaissance of local and sustainable food production: more organic farmers, bakers, cheesemakers, cidermakers, and every other kind of maker are sprouting up every year
“We have one of the greatest concentrations of artisan food producers in the state,” boasts Jefferson County and Port Townsend Farmers Market Director Will O’Donnell. “Our small town market has a roster of local farms and food artisans that the Seattle farmers markets have to recruit from all over the state to gather,” explained O’Donnell. “I have been trying to tell that to the broader Puget Sound region since I took this job, but this year we want to show them.”
O’Donnell is helping launch the first ever Port Townsend Artisan Food Festival over Memorial Day weekend, May 24 and 25th He wants Puget Sound residents to get ton the ferry and head over the water to Port Townsend to take classes, taste the foods, sip the ciders, and meet the producers all weekend long.
On Saturday the Port Townsend Farmers Market will be open from 9am till 3pm and will add an extra location in front of the community center for special guest vendors. Inside the Community Center the Cedar Root Folk School is offering a daylong list of artisan food making classes taught by some of the markets award-winning vendors. Outside award winning Chef and educator Arran Stark will be hosting cooking demos all day with special guests in the market’s music stage.
From 5-8pm an all local dinner reception at the recently restored Ravenscroft Inn will be catered by Hadley Nye and will feature readings by bestselling author Kurt Timmermeister (Growing a Farmer and Growing a Feast) as well as the author of Washington Food Artisans, Leora Bloom. Saturday evening will be capped off with an artisan cocktail tasting courtesy of the mixologists at Cellar Door in downtown Port Townsend. Local distillers, wine, cider and beer makers will be on hand.
Sunday May 25th will cap off the event with an Artisan Food Tour to many of Jefferson County’s food and wine facilities. This all day self-guided tour begins at the Port Townsend Food Coop and moves on to Mt. Townsend Creamery before ending at Hama Hama Seafood on the Hood Canal. More information and tickets to the evening events can be found at the porttownsendartisanfoodfest.com.