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Christopher Testani was born and raised in upstate New York and studied cinema and photography at Ithaca College. In 2012 he was selected as one of PDN magazine’s 30 photographers to watch. His work has been featured in a number of publications such as House & Garden, Martha Stewart Living, Real Eats, Bon Appétit, Cooking Light, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Food & Wine, and many more.

He’s an avid cook, outdoor enthusiast and traveler, and his work draws inspiration from the things he loves - good food, nature, new people and places, and the stories that bring them all together.

Join Christopher at the International Food Blogger Conference on Sunday, September 20 for an exciting session on everything food photography!

Inside the small garden plot behind The Herbfarm restaurant in Woodinville, Wa., the host calls out to the slowly meandering crowd and tries her best to project her voice out to the stragglers. “If you can eat the leaves, you can eat the flowers,” she says loudly, while holding a basil bunch in her hands and standing on the wall of a raised garden bed.  

  

She is addressing a very well-heeled crowd of about 50 people, all of whom are walking through the garden and carrying cocktails, grinding said heels into fine gravel walkways and listening intently over the background music from an ongoing wedding. It’s not the typical preamble to a nine-course dinner in a formal dining room, but the introduction to the gardens is meant to both educate and set the tone for an extraordinary dining experience. 

  

Both the gardens and the dinner are the brainchild of Ron Zimmerman and his wife and partner, Carrie Van Dyck. The gardens are the living muse for the kitchen at The Herbfarm, the now-25- year-old restaurant that has received global accolades over its many years in business.  

  

For four nights a week, a themed menu—this years menu titles include “The Mycologists Dream” and “The Herbal Atelier”—with nine courses and five beverage pairings is served. These menus are strictly derived from local ingredients, farms and gardens, including both the herb garden on site and another five-acre farm located across town.  

  

For dinner, guests arrive early for a tour of the gardens before being seated in a formal dining room full of antiques, bric-a-brac and family heirlooms collected by Ron and Carrie over the years. While dinner is a long, evening-encompassing affair, the night tends to move quickly. The entire staff is introduced, guests are encouraged to get up and move about between courses (either for a quick round of bocce or to feed the pigs out by the garden) and soon enough, a small dessert plate is set down with meringues, pate de fruit and a cup of chicory root ‘coffee’ and it’s time to go. Time flies when you’re having fun. 

 

Fortunately for us, The Herbfarm Chef, Chris Weber, will be serving herbal delicacies from the restaurant grounds on Saturday night at the Culinary Fair and Expo. Be sure to stop by, have a chat and learn about the amazing history at this restaurant, and the inspiring resume of this young, impressive chef.

 

About The Herbfarm

 

Since 1986, The Herbfarm has promoted the foods of the Pacific Northwest through its nightly 9-course dinners. Begun before “farm-to-table” was even coined, the restaurant totally rewrites its menu every 2 or 3 weeks to showcase foods from its own 5-acres as well as the forests, farms, and waters of the Northwest. Inherent to The Herbfarm’s philosophy, is that what comes from here is every bit as good as anywhere in the world. If it doesn’t originate here, it isn’t simply isn’t used. Diverse and organic, the Herbfarm grows over 100 field crops, harvests its own eggs, maintains beehives, and raises Gloucester Old Spot pigs. Notable crops include naturalized plantings of the native Nodding Onion, Pellegrini Beans (rescued from the last 11 beans known), the Ozette Potato of 1792, and the ancient field corn that the Abenaki tribe introduced to the Pilgrims in the 1600’s. Produce is harvested and delivered to the restaurant kitchen daily.

 

The Herbfarm is located at 14590 NE 145th Street, Woodinville WA, www.theherbfarm.com

 

Judith Dern has served as senior manager, digital books, at Allrecipes.com the world’s #1 digital food brand, supervising content development and the production of 13 exclusive digital-only cookbooks. At Allrecipes, she is part of the Brand Marketing team where she writes posts for Allrecipes’ Fresh Bites blog and supervises outreach for key food media. She has also provided marketing support to launch Allrecipes’ 16 international sites. A published author with three cookbooks to her credit, most recently The Food and Cooking of Scandinavia: Sweden, Norway & Denmark (2011, Lorenz Publishing, London), she has also contributed to 10 other cookbooks as an independent writer, plus written numerous national and regional articles about food, Scandinavia and textiles. A member of IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals), she is the chair of the New Media section.

Judith will co-host an exciting session on Food Trends at this year's IFBC.

Follow Judith on Twitter @AllrecipesJDern

Aran Goyoaga is an author, food stylist and photographer based in Seattle. Her food blog Cannelle et Vanille is a 2-time James Beard Award finalist and was named number 2 best food blog in the world by the UK Times.

Aran grew up in the Basque Country in Northern Spain in a family of professional pastry chefs and cooks. Her love of food began in her maternal grandparents’ pastry shop and in the fields of her paternal grandparents’ farm. Aran worked as a professional pastry chef for years before turning into food styling and photography.

She is also the author of Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking (Little, Brown & Co), which was named one of the top 6 cookbooks of 2012 on Good Morning America.

Aran’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Food & Wine, Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP, Jamie Magazine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food, Whole Living, Coastal Living, Fine Cooking, In Style, CNN, Miami Herald, Living Without, Oprah.com, ELLE Gourmet, Design*Sponge, Sweet Paul magazine, PBS.com, Daily Candy, NBC Latino, Cooking Channel and more.

Aran works out of her downtown Seattle studio where she offers photography and styling workshops as well as communal dinners and collaborative projects.

Aran will co-host an exciting session with author Andie Mitchell and food stylist Jenn Elliott Blake at IFBC this year.

 

 

Jenn Elliott Blake is an event curator, prop stylist and blogger based in the rainy city of Seattle, WA. She aims for her work to envelop a certain degree of eclectic whimsy, while inspiring the onlooker to appreciate the simple moments and beauty within life's important milestones and celebrations. She's happiest while being on-set collaborating with folks who are also passionate about their work, or while sharing a meal over laughs and life stories.

The three loves of her life include her English Bulldog Bailie-Bug, her husband Adam and the city of lights : Paris, France. You will often find her scouring a local vintage shop or traveling the globe excessively.

Jenn will co-host an exciting session with author/blogger Andie Mitchell and food photographer/blogger Aran Goyoaga at IFBC this year.

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