Posted by Pete DeLaunay on Jul 17, 2019

James Beard award-winning chef, Jason Wilson, oversees food preparation at ten local restaurants by mentoring chefs and instilling the importance of sustainability in the culinary world.  In partnership with local restaurateur, Chad Mackay, and in addition to motivating chefs, he established Fire & Vine Hospitality dedicated to building enduring sustainability.   “What we do is horrific,” he began.  "We take beautiful food, tear it apart then serve it in appealing ways.”

 “We are passionate about culinary sustainability with smart sourcing, functional food and plans to prevent waste,” he said. “With nearly half of the food in the U.S. going to waste, we seek to embrace imperfectly delicious produce and capture the bounty of each season.  We support local producers by respecting the whole ingredient.”

Jason’s passion for cooking began at eight years of age, and that led him to become a well-known respected chef with more than 25 years of experience.  To further his commitment to sustainability, he began experimenting with coffee flour that was once considered a waste product.  “We started essentially an R&D lab for coffee flour by including it in chocolates, pizza dough, pancake mix and other food products,” he said.  “Coffee flour adds structure to gluten-free food and a somewhat spicy flavor profile.  In this way, we can reduce waste while serving the best ingredients to our guests in the simplest ways.”   

As a mentor to chefs, he shares his passion for food and sustainability by focusing on organic produce and using products that are locally grown. He also wants to know where food is grown, how it is delivered and how he can respect the whole ingredient.

President Kim called the meeting to order by introducing Lou Lundquist to lead the day’s anthem, “God Bless America,” accompanied by Marli Iverson on the piano.  Jaime Mendez followed with the day’s inspiration encouraging Rotarians to think out of the box and recognizing the magic in the room full of Rotarians.

Peacebuilder Committee co-chair, Matt Albertson, encouraged Rotarians to attend the film screening of ‘The Secret Life of Muslims’ on July 24.  Paul Suzman spoke of his first-person experience in South Africa and how apartheid there diminished humanity by refusing to treat all citizens equally.  He encouraged Rotarians to attend a lecture titled ‘Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America’ by ACLU Deputy Legal Director, Jeffery Robinson, on August 21 at Town Hall Seattle. 

The Seattle Rotary Education Committee was the day’s featured short program with co-chair, Lori Walker, providing an update on the committee’s work.  “We have several exciting volunteer opportunities for Rotarians including sponsors for our annual ‘Winners for Life’ program, readers for our literacy project that has developed from our dictionary program, and mentors for the United Negro College Fund’s 11-week portfolio project which is aimed at helping high school students with college applications,” she said. The committee is also offering ten Rotary scholarships to deserving graduating high school students.   

Totem Reporter, Pete DeLaunay

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