Like most chefs, David’s appreciation and love for food started at a very early age. It wasn’t eating out at fine restaurants that piqued his interest. Instead, it was experiencing the joy and pride of grilling the fish he and his family caught. It was growing their own vegetables, picking and smelling them at harvest. This is what turned him into a believer that food was not a matter of sustenance alone – it was there to enjoy, to savor and to experience.
Farrell remembers fondly the many occasions at his grandfather’s house when his entire family would prepare for their favorite meals. Fresh Silver Queen corn from the field, wild raspberries, and shucked local oysters. Farrell later became interested in hunting….through the woods for chanterelle and porcini mushrooms and in the open for blue teal duck. Farrell feels that there is something inherently more satisfying and seemingly more delicious when he plays a part in making a meal out of something that he personally harvested from the land or the sea.
Farrell started out in the restaurant business bussing and waiting tables during high school and college. He was invigorated by the energy and passion he witnessed from the owners and chefs. He left college to attend the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont. After graduation, he continued his classical training as a chef assistant at Jardin de la Tour in Avignon, France just 60 miles from the Mediterranean. It is here, transplanted in the heart of the Provencal cuisine and culture that left an indelible impression on Farrell. He learned of the “joie de vivre” – a passion to live, enjoy and to keep things simple. He developed a passion for its cuisine focusing on flavor and accentuating the tastes of ingredients from both from the land and sea.
After returning to the United States, Farrell spent time at several high profile restaurants around the country. Namely Stars and Postrio in San Francisco; Santacafe and Ristra in Santa Fe NM; and Mosaic in Atlanta which earned him a “Top 10 New Restaurant – Atlanta Magazine 2004”.
However, the West Coast was calling. There David created more innovative coastal cuisine at the Moosse Cafe in the historic village of Mendocino. He used the plentiful local seafood, sand dabs, petrale sole, as well as foraging for his own huckleberries, nettles, and wild mushrooms. David has always supported local farmers and encouraged the local food movement. The Moose Café is where David met Jackie.
Jackie and David moved to Portland from Mendocino with plans to open their own restaurant. “In Portland it’s possible to open your own restaurant without a huge corporation backing you” says Chef David Farrell. They are excited to be part of Portland’s food community and help create a local connection to the fishing community in Oregon and Southwestern Washington.
5200 NE Sacramento St. (at Sandy and NE 52 St.) Portland, OR 97213
Dinner served 5:30-9pm Sunday-Thursday, 5:30- 9:30pm Fri-Sat.
Reservations: (503) 284-6617
Reservations encouraged for parties of 6 or more.
Outside dining available in warmer months.