Tamara Murphy, Chef/Author
When the Seattle PI named Tamara Murphy one of the five entertainment and culture icons to watch in 2009, it also cited that she “… has been a Seattle cooking star for nearly two decades, but now she’s moving beyond traditional restaurants into wild and vibrant collaborations.” This much honored and always inventive James Beard award winner and one of Food & Wine magazine’s early career picks for “Ten Best New Chefs in America” is doing just that – as owner of two diverse restaurants (with a third in the works), a leading force in connecting the Northwest’s culinary and farm community, and most recently as an author in the collaborative first book: TENDER: farmers, cooks, eaters
Trained in New York City and drawn to the Northwest twenty years ago by the bounty of fresh ingredients and budding artisan producers, Tamara partnered in 1999 to open Brasa, one of the first area restaurants to focus on sourcing local, seasonal products as much as possible in support of regional farmers. In 2008, Tamara assumed ownership of the Elliott Bay Café in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, creating sustainable menus with an eye to organics as well as focusing on community building through programs featuring local artists and authors. A second Elliott Bay Cafe is slated to open in mid-2010 in Seattle’s Capitol Hill area.
A real force in the national culinary community, Tamara has traveled the country to share the important message of local sustainable food. Regionally, she has created events such as An Incredible Feast – Where the Farmer’s are the Stars (pairing farmers and chefs to raise awareness and funds for local family farms), The Good Farmer Fund (to help local farmers gain direct access to emergency funding during crop or farm loss due to disastrous events), and Burning Beast (where chefs come together in a creative setting to raise awareness for local farmers). TENDER explores simple ways to enjoy eating, cooking and choosing our food.