About

Jon Rowley’s career has been a fascinating life-long exploration and quest to improve the flavor, quality and understanding of fish, shellfish, fruits and vegetables.

1017425_10200394637323130_1961156558_n - Version 2After travel to Europe and attending Reed College, Jon Rowley began his career as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. In 1981, as a life-long scholar of the seafood industry from harvest to table, he began consulting to restaurants, retailers, seafood companies and other businesses. Rowley has received national marketing awards and considerable media coverage for programs he has initiated such as Bruce Gore’s “Signature Salmon” and Copper River and Yukon River King Salmon.

Sparked by an Ernest Hemingway passage  in the The Moveable Feast on eating oysters and a subsequent seminal platter of oysters at Le Dome in Paris, Jon developed a career-influencing passion for oysters. He does marketing and various consulting work for fifth generation Taylor Shellfish Farms and has organized restaurant oyster programs and promotions across the country. He produces the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, an annual dating service for West Coast wines and oysters.

In addition to his consulting and marketing work for seafood producers and buyers, Jon works with farmers, restaurants and retailers to improve the quality, flavor and distribution of fruits and vegetables. Anthony’s HomePort’s seasonal, local strawberry program based on just-picked local berries and the much-acclaimed Metropolitan Market’s Peach-O-Rama promotion are examples of this work. He is also an accomplished forager of wild mushrooms and other wild foods.

Jon has taken a personal interest in reviving American heirloom apples. To give expression to several years of research on heritage apples, Jon embarked, with his wife Kate McDermott, on what turned into a two year quest to develop the “quintessential American apple pie”. Mission accomplished, Jon and Kate co-founded Art of the Pie.

A perceived correlation between organic matter in soil and flavor led Jon to the Seattle Master Composter training, several courses on soil and soil ecology and to the Interbay P-Patch Community Garden where he served as Site-Coordinator. His work at Interbay has been featured in a number of publications including the Christian Science Monitor and Organic Gardening. One of his proudest accomplishments was the Seattle P-Patch Program’s “Most Beautiful Vegetable” award for his P-Patch grown leeks in 1999.

Rowley was inducted into the prestigious “Who’s Who of Cooking in America” in 1987 for his work improving seafood handling, quality and information. He served as a Contributing Editor to Gourmet magazine and currently serves a Contributing Editor to SAVEUR. He was the recipient of the Seattle Weekly’s first annual Angelo Pellegrini Award and is a member of the Shaw’s Crab House’s Oyster Hall of Fame in Chicago.

9 Responses to About

  1. Ray Schutte says:

    I shared that Brandywine that bixed at 14 with Jon. I remember a memory flood of taste from my grandmothers garden in Sterling, Colorado. Grandma was an organic gardener all her life, never had much to good to say about hybrids. She maintained a 1 acre garden for her family of 14 when the moved to town. She preserved and canned and never bought a vegetable in the store. I can taste the sensation in my memory now.

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  8. Eric Banh says:

    Hi Jon,

    Your depth of knowledge and love for Northwest oysters are impressive. My sister, Sophie and I are chefs and owner of a small restaurant in Seattle (Capitol Hill). It is a 15 years old place with 50 seats. We have been selling oysters from Taylors Shellfish for the past 7 years but only 2 selections weekly due to lack of storage.

    By this July, we will gain for more space in our Monsoon restaurant, we would like to learn more and grow our oysters program. Therefore, it would be an honor if you can consult us on the Northwest oysters.

    Warmly,
    Eric Banh

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