Fresh Local Organic Seasonal Sustainable

Kris Hay (A.K.A. Ms. Tacoma Aroma Flavor) shows off a basket of fresh, local produce.
~Photo by Sy Bean for Arches Magazine – Courtesy of the University of Puget Sound~

At TacomaAromaFlavor.com headquarters, I make most of our meals from scratch.

I prioritize using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients that have been produced ethically and sustainably. Sometimes those ingredients are certified “organic” and sometimes they aren’t, depending on what is available.

Still, I like the shortcut of the acronym “FLOSS” to represent my intentional choice to support fresh, local, seasonal food systems. ~It neatly encapsulates the concept and it’s easy to remember. (And my dentist appreciates any reminder of the dental floss languishing in my medicine cabinet.)

When I dine out, I want to maintain those same standards of eating. I opt for small local restaurants and bars whose chefs and bartenders share my ideals.

Here’s what some of those folks have to say on the topic:

“As Americans, we waste a large percentage of produce due to not eating within the local season. Everything tastes better when it is in season. Plus, using local produce not only creates jobs, but the produce lasts longer without travel time.” Jon Maley | ChūcH

Chef Jon Maley describes the meal he’s prepared for guests at a ChūcH pop-up event.
~Photo by Genevieve Denise for the Tacoma Aroma: Savor the Flavor cookbook~

“We strive to showcase all the wonderful flavors of the Pacific Northwest by sourcing fresh and seasonal ingredients from local producers as much as we can. We utilize local farm fresh eggs and herbs from our own garden, as well as meats and mushrooms delivered by the people who raise and forage them. We believe that you need to start with great ingredients if you hope to create delicious dishes.” Elisa Marzano | Marzano Italian Restaurant

Elisa Marzano and her son Brian laugh together in the kitchen as they plate up the duck gnocci they've just prepared.
Elisa Marzano and her son Brian share the workload at Marzano Italian Restaurant.
~Photo by Genevieve Denise for the Tacoma Aroma: Savor the Flavor cookbook~

“By changing the menu with every season, we can create dishes that reflect the best of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer. Whether that be fresh salmon, seasonal produce, or the latest batch of craft IPA to come out of a local brewery, we are able to keep our menu tasty and interesting. Keeping sustainability in mind, our meats are ethically sourced, which not only feels morally correct but makes for a better flavor.” Blanca Rodriguez | Pimienta Bistro

Blanca Rodriguez and Dennis Espinoza stand smiling in the dining room of Pimienta.
Pimienta Owner/Chef Blanca Rodriguez and Chef de Cocina Dennis Espinoza
~Photo by Genevieve Denise for the Tacoma Aroma: Savor the Flavor cookbook~

“Cooking seasonally is quite important because we like to use ingredients that are in their prime — to catch the vegetable or fruit with the best flavor and consistency.” Jan Parker | Jan Parker Cookery

Chef Jan Parker and her family take a quick break from feeding hungry fans at the Proctor Farmers Market.
~Photo by Genevieve Denise for the Tacoma Aroma: Savor the Flavor cookbook~

“We change our menus every 5 or 6 weeks so we can work within the micro-seasons and take advantage of all of the amazing products that the PNW has to offer. We think the food is more interesting, tastes better, and helps give a sense of place.

We strive to source the best ingredients we can, treat them with care, then present them with kindness and generosity that demonstrates our passion for excellence.” Chris Keil | en Rama

Chris Keil, owner of en Rama, puts the finishing touches on his Blueberry Mojito, including #gritcitygrown berries and mint. ~Photo by Genevieve Denise for the Tacoma Aroma: Savor the Flavor cookbook~

“Here in the PNW we have a wealth of delectable, seasonal foodie finds. Using local, seasonal ingredients helps keep things fresh and compelling. As a bartender, I like to mirror a few ingredients a chef is featuring on the rotating menu because it makes it more interesting to pair flavor matrimonies. If you can blow a guest’s mind with the perfect nibble and libation one-two combo, you’re having a good night at work.” Jackie Casella (Fender) | Upcoming book: “Whitegirl Wasted: Recipes and Tales from the Rail” 

“I support local, seasonal, organic, and sustainable because it is my responsibility as a chef and local business owner to support like-minded people.” Blake Lord-Wittig | Spice Lab / De La Terre

The De La Terre Team poses behind the bar for a group photo.
Owner/Chef Blake Lord-Wittig and the De La Terre Team
~Photo by Genevieve Denise for the Tacoma Aroma: Savor the Flavor cookbook~
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