What and Where
LunaCafe OtherWorldly Kitchen is a virtual café located somewhere along the 45th parallel, with easy access to the sea (think Washington, Oregon, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, New York, Southwest France, and Northern Italy). Our range of microclimates–from high desert plateaus, to fertile river valleys, to coastal beaches–assures the widest possible range of produce, fruits, nuts, seafood, and meats.
We love cooking with regional ingredients in their natural seasons. It’s a wonderful way to live, looking forward to each season’s gifts, stalking the farmers markets for the best of the best, scouting roadside stands and U-pick farms, chatting with growers and sellers, creating new dishes (really focusing on a specific palette of aromas, flavors, textures, and colors), and then moving on to the next season and an entirely new palette of ingredients.
Because we are living and cooking in the 21st century, we are blessed to have access to a wide range of culinary traditions–from books, travel, and the web. We gravitate to the cuisines of France, Italy, Spain, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Latin America, and the regional cooking of the United States. However, classicism and authenticity are not our goals. Instead, we utilize these cuisines as a base of knowledge and technique, and then give imagination and curiosity free reign.
And of course, cooking like this is sustainable and supports the ecosystem of local growers and culinary artisans. Without these dedicated folks, our source ingredients would soon be gone and we would be left with the packages, bottles, and cans of largely dispirited, typically over-processed foods that are available in the average grocery store today. There is no joy in this. So if we want our culinary heritage to thrive and continue to evolve in wonderful ways, we must do all we can to support those folks who make a robust culinary culture possible. LunaCafe champions and celebrates Northwest regional food growers, producers, artisans, chefs, cooks, food writers, and entrepreneurs.
Our Chef/Writer/Food Stylist
Susan S. Bradley creates our seasonal menus and dishes, and runs the LunaCafe kitchen with the sensibilities of an artist and teacher who understands that solid craft is a great help in the aspiration to create art. She knows that part of craft is understanding your materials, how far you can push, stretch, and otherwise cajole them, and what combinations of materials are made in heaven. She loves to create old favorites with new twists, as well as to push the boundaries of expectation. Her goal always, however, is the enjoyment of the folks who eat her dishes. And because she works in a virtual café, she is dedicated to doing all she can to ensure that you, the reader, can recreate her dishes with maximum success. Check out her bio.
Our Web Developer/Blog Master/Photographer
James H. Bradley (AKA MauiJim) developed and maintains our virtual café. He is our site administrator, food photographer, and chief taster. He is often in the kitchen washing dishes, wishing he could be snorkeling on Maui. Check out his bio here.