Farm-to-Table Sustainability: Chef Profile, Jay Payne

Centrum is extremely pleased to have Port Townsend’s own Jay Payne in charge of the main entree forJay_payne this year’s Gala dinner. Since the early nineteen-eighties, Payne has practiced the farm-to-table philosophy of buying directly from nearby producers. He lived in downtown Seattle and walked through the market nearly every day on the way to work and formed relationships with growers who’d supply interesting ingredients to him for experimentation.

After brief stints at two of Seattle’s best French restaurants, Jay began eight years with Four Seasons Hotels where he rose to Chef de Cuisine of The Georgian Room in Seattle’s Olympic Hotel. During that time, The Georgian was named the “Restaurant of the Decade” by The Seattle Times and was the only Five-Star, Five-Diamond hotel on the West Coast. He then moved on to open Seattle’s Tulio Ristorante as Chef de Cuisine, working with executive chef Walter Pisano.

In 2000 Jay and his family moved to Port Townsend, Washington where they opened The Wild Coho Restaurant, an intimate, ten-table restaurant that features farm-to-table Northwest cuisine. The Wild Coho was named one of the "Top Ten Organic Restaurants in the Country" by Travel Savvy Magazine. It’s also been named "Port Townsend’s Best Gourmet Restaurant" and selected as "Best Buy" in Traveler.

The restaurant has also been featured in Northwest Best Places and on ABC’s The View. Now, as Executive Chef of the Fort Worden Commons, Jay brings his years of experience and farm-to-table savvy to this historic site, surrounded by the beauty of the Northwest that is reflected in his cuisine.

The Centrum Gala takes place on Saturday, November 15 at the Fort Worden Commons in Port Townsend, Washington. Besides a wonderful dinner of Northwest cuisine, the Gala will also offer guests the chance to purchase fixed-price specialty trips, adventures and experiences from a Gatherings Catalog to premiere that night. Light entertainment and a giving opportunity to the Centrum Scholarship Fund will round out the evening.

The Gala is $125 per person and is open to everyone. Please call the Centrum office 360.385.3102 x116 for reservations and more information. (Photo credit: Matt Sircely and the Port Townsend Farmer’s Market.)

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