On Wednesday, the
Q: What's the earliest known meal in
A: It's the earliest known meal on the
That mastodon had a projectile in its rib cage. That means somebody was trying to eat that thing. But that projectile didn't kill it. It was killed later but it was obviously butchered.
Q: What other species did Native Americans presumably hunt into extinction?
A: Camels. They originated in
Q: When did Paleolithic peoples switch to more complex diets -- growing and cooking their food in addition to hunting and gathering?
A: About 9,000 years before present. They found earth ovens in Paisley Caves in
Q: Speaking of the Makahs, what can we learn today from the ancient potlatch system -- festivals where native peoples gave away or even destroyed food and material possessions? The feds eventually outlawed it.
A: It wasn't the guy who had the most; it was the guy who could give away the most. I grew up in
Q: You devote quite a bit of space to the Lewis and Clark expedition. What was their cuisine like?
A: Lewis liked dog meat but Clark wouldn't eat it. They'd rather eat dog than elk. I've cooked a lot of elk in restaurants over the years and I gotta tell you, dog must be tasty because elk cooked well is really good.
Q: And they ate their horses too?
A: Yes. They're up in the mountains, close to the
Q: When settlers first started coming here in the early 1800s, what were some of the tall tales and exaggerations they were told?
A: Wheat grew as tall as a man and there were 500-pound turnips.
Q: What were the first restaurants in the Northwest?
A: The oyster parlors in
No wonder Prohibition came about. Men would go to the bar for lunch every day because they would get free food. If you were the only breadwinner in the house and you spent it all at the bar. ... I could see how the temperance movement happened.
Q: How did Prohibition change the culture in the Northwest?
A: When they observed Prohibition and the men became sober they were a little more picky about what food they paid money for. If you opened a restaurant, you had to be good. That changed the restaurant and food scene in the Northwest quite a bit.
Q: Who were the first people to make wine in what would become
Q: Why just now if Whitman started growing grapes there in the 1830s?
A: Because it's the only place in the world where they keep farming grapes when they die. When it gets six degrees below zero it kills the roots. So they have to replant. And you can't harvest grapes until the fifth year.
Q: Let's fast forward to the 20th century. When did the Northwest become a food destination, on a par with
A: I'll tell you when it changed for me. My first time in
A: You'll be in
Q: What is a Northwest vibe?
A: For me it's local, fresh ingredients. Always seasonal. And the decor. It used to be you'd go to these fancy places and they'd spend a lot of money on these decorations. But these (Northwest) restaurants aren't that fancy. You know, Grandma's attic. These days it's all about the food. The art on the plate.
Q: Where is Northwest cuisine headed?
A: In the culinary food we're going two directions. Molecular gastronomy and raw food.
A lot of people want to get back to the basics. There's a lot more young people realizing they don't want to have the same physical ailments their parents do. Especially the diabetes and obesity rates we have in this country. People are getting a lot smarter about what they eat.
On the other hand, there are people who just want to have great experiences and they'll pay anything.
If you go
Cost: Free with normal admission rate to the museum.
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