On Saturday, September 12th, diners will be seated at a seemingly endless table stretching through the dahlia fields at Jello Mold Farm in Mt. Vernon, Washington. If that beautiful spectacle isn’t enough to stimulate the senses (and we promise it is!), their tastebuds will be alive with excitment, as well. That’s because Chef Erik Jackson of Seattle’s Capitol Cider will serve up an unforgettable meal fitting for the season and place.
Erik Jackson, Chef de Cuisine at Seattle’s Capitol Cider.
From the first savory bite to the final spoonful of sweetness, Chef Erik Jackson’s menus and plates spring from his rich experience in Pacific Northwest restaurants, celebrating the seasonal bounty of the region.
He has worked at Tom Douglas’ Serious Pie, Dahlia Lounge and Cuoco as well Spur Gastropub and later as Chef de Cuisine at The Coterie Room under rising stars Dana Tough and Brian McCracken.
An enthusiastic collaborator, he developed the pop-up restaurant A Square Meal at The Volunteer Park Café and developed Capitol Cider’s signature quarterly series, “Apples Get Paired.”
Erik is passionate about sourcing food locally and takes pride in supporting small, local farmers especially those who grow different or unusual produce.
His gluten-free Capitol Cider menus and ingredients reflect the seasonality of our region and spring directly from products that are fresh and sourced locally.
Recently, we caught up with Erik to learn more about his culinary philosophy:
F2V: Describe your style of cooking, Erik.
EJ: It’s very ‘of the moment,’ driven by the market, whether it be fresh seasonal fruit or just-harvested vegetables.
F2V: What type of ingredients get you excited as a chef?
EJ: I seek out things that other people aren’t using in their kitchens, such as a cool pepper that I’ve never tasted before.
F2V: How do you source your ingredients?
EJ: It requires a lot of research. I look for “farm obscurities” and start a relationship with that farm.
F2V: We know Capitol Cider has one of the deepest selections of hard cider in the Pacific Northwest. Why is hard cider so popular these days?
EJ: Cider is so versatile in how it pairs with food, due to its lightness and effervescence. Its range is vast. At the restaurant, for example, we have 20 rotating taps and more than 100 different bottled ciders.
F2V: Will you feature a cider with our Field to Vase Menu?
EJ: Yes! We are planning on pairing at least one course with cider from Finnriver Cidery. Finnriver sources organic apples from across Washington State and grows its own organic orchard of over 3,000 trees, with 20 varieties of heirloom and traditional cider apple varieties.
F2V: Capitol Cider is also known for serving a gluten-free menu. How do you work with that culinary goal as a chef?
EJ: I feel as a creative person, it makes you think outside the box. You have to be more creative to develop a menu with no wheat products or with ingredients that may have been processed in a wheat facility. But believe me, there is plenty of delicious food without wheat in it! We create all sorts of amazing gluten-free desserts and pastries.
Tickets are going fast for the Field to Vase Dinner on September 12th, where Chef Erik Jackson of Capitol Cider will bring his flavorful, soulful food to the dahlia fields at Jello Mold Farm!
Reserve your seat now!