Chef Gretchen

Why great chefs call the San Juan Islands home

"The colors, textures, and flavors. There’s just nothing else like it. Every day I push myself to take these ingredients and bring in a true island flavor into the dishes I’m creating."

Voices of the Islands Video - Chef Gretchen

"I love the pace of life here," says Chef Gretchen, who has been a restaurateur in the islands for more than 20 years.  "It's quiet and relaxed, and allows you to build relationships with  farmers,  fishermen and people in the restaurant business. It's a really cohesive community."

Island chefs are foraging everything from sea beans to Nootka rose petals, and supporting island farmers, fishers and other artisan producers. Each island has its own local specialties, with shellfish farms and wineries on each island, breweries, distilleries, a cidery and other artisan producers.

"It’s a very pleasant experience to settle down into the island pace and have a fine meal," says Chef Gretchen. "Cooking is my passion and the San Juan Islands are my home."

To learn more about where to find fresh, locally made food products in the islands, check out our Food, Farms & Artisan Producers page, or start planning your next food-focused trip to the San Juan Islands.


Butter clam dish in pink scallop shell, Ursa Minor Restaurant, Lopez Island

Island-Fresh Dining

Slurp an oyster just off the beach, or sip a glass of island grown wine at one of the many dining options on Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Island, from a casual pub lunch, to picnic fixings, to farm-to-table fare.