Sweet, sweet honey! From beauty ingredient, to cough suppressant, to simple all-natural sweetener. Salish Lodge commemorated National Honey Month and the start of fall this year with their own honeybees and the the production of local honey to integrate into their Northwest cuisine, signature treatments in The Spa, and for retail sales. To celebrate the occasion, we were invited to a very exclusive event, and got the chance to learn more about the honey and locally sourced food and drinks that Salish is proud to feature at their resort.
The Hive-to-Table celebration was held appropriately in the heart of the apiary setting. I was standing (nervously, I might add!) close to the twelve handcrafted beehive boxes when I met local beekeeper Daniel Sullivan, of Shipwreck Honey. Sullivan installed the on-site apiary last year and is dedicated to sustaining the honeybee population and ensuring that the hives flourish and produce. He is passionate about honey – high quality, local honey, that is!
Buying local honey can benefit you and your community in many ways, and we had an extended discussion on the importance of honeybees in farming and crop production. For Salish Lodge’s honey, Sullivan likes to harvest more often, producing smaller, high-quality batches. The honey produced on their property is not processed, and barely filtered, showing slight cloudiness, and tiny specks of pollen and beeswax – little known attributes of fine honey.
General Manager Ron Lapasin also proudly gave me a tour of the herb garden while I was there. This organic oasis includes Greek oregano, sage, basil, rosemary, and thyme, and is a useful addition to Salish Lodge, enhancing their menu, and the ingredients are also used in spa treatments.
Sipping on my raspberry verbena champagne cocktail, I sampled the unique hors d’oeuvres passing by – grilled watermelon cubes with honey & garden flowers, honey caviar, and grilled harissa shrimp. I could hear the buzz of nearby bees and smell the aroma of the herbs. From Hive-to-Table, it could not get any fresher than that!
Salish Lodge also seeks out the best local food and spirits, and many were featured at the event.
River Valley Cheese was served with breads from Mario’s Bakery. Gilbert Cellars served their 2009 Allobroges, a nice red blend that paired well with the evening’s fare. If I had been up for it, I could have sipped whiskey from OOLA Distillery. Shots of chilled vodka were served with a tasting of three caviars and local oysters. The Muckleshoot tribe’s run of Coho salmon went nicely with charred Yakima corn, and summer beans.
The rosemary infused steamship round of beef was also very impressive in size, and this was definitely the busiest food station. To my surprise, however, the mini cup of Jerusalem artichoke soup made a big impression! Garnished creatively with cocoa nibs, lemon oil and organic chervil, this little soup had just the right amount of tartness to contrast with the rich, creamy base.
To end the evening, there was one more little Salish treasure to try: the chocolate truffle, made with their honey, of course. Dark. Creamy. Sweet. The truffle was so enjoyable, I had to stop writing and just enjoy for a moment… it was that good!
Salish’s fresh honey and herbs provide wonderful culinary opportunities for the chefs, and it was evident throughout the evening.
Next time you’re planning a trip to the Northwest, be sure to put Salish Lodge and Snowqualmie Falls on your agenda. It’s a beautiful spot with so many unique characteristics, you’ll find the exploration outside of the city one that is well worth while.
Salish Lodge & Spa
6501 Railroad Avenue SE
P.O. Box 1109
Snoqualmie, Washington 98065-1109
Reservations: Toll-free: 800.2.SALISH (800.272.5474)
Jeanie Palm is a well-traveled freelance writer and corporate event planner in the Woodinville, Washington area. This is her first article for Crave Local.
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