Washington Island’s Hotel Washington now features island-raised beef
during its Burgers and Beer Night on Thursdays. Chef Matt Poole is
in his debut year at the Hotel Washington, fresh from Chez Panisse: a
California farm-to-table restaurant that built relationships with local
farmers who supply fresh, high-quality ingredients. Poole wants to do
the same on the island.
“There’s something valuable about making sure more money stays on
the island,” Poole said. “Finding ways to not just offer products people
want to eat [and] experiences they want to have, but making sure we are
supporting the people who live here and showing off what exciting
things are happening on the island.”
Martin Andersen, who has been raising beef on Washington Island
since 1976, supplies the beef, but he sells most of his beef off-island to
returning customers who buy half a steer.
Poole has also been working with local foragers who are harvesting
wild mushrooms, nettles and garlic mustard, as well as several island
farms that will add fresh veggies and herbs to the menu.