The Orchard Kitchen in Bayview offers Intimate Farm to Food Experiences

by Carolyn Tamler 14th September 2015


By Carolyn Tamler

 

The Orchard Kitchen, which opened this past July, is the culmination of a vision that owners Vincent and Tyla Nattress created years ago when they were living in Napa Valley, California. They made a “Vision Board” that was a picture of how they wanted to live and how they wanted to make a living. The first need was to find a place in a beautiful setting with affordable land where they would have a farm to grow the crops for a unique farm-to-table experience.

 

In 2011 they found a five-acre property on Whidbey Island near Bayview Corner that matched their needs. They got help with funding for their project through Whidbey Island Local Lending (WILL) and a successful Kickstarter campaign; Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson helped them navigate through the various county regulations.

 

Besides the Farmhouse dinners that are offered Friday and Saturday nights, they also have cooking classes on the weekends. As Vincent says, “Our dinners and cooking classes reflect what gets us jazzed that’s seasonal, available, and, of course, delicious.”

 

Even though the quality and variety of the food offered at the restaurant is definitely high end, the atmosphere is not. Tyla describes the experience as “Intimate dining. We want people intimately involved with their food and the joy of sharing a wonderful meal with others.”

 

Vincent and Tyla met in 1998 in the Napa Valley of California. Both had come from backgrounds that prepared them for the endeavor on which they have now embarked. Vincent grew up in Coupeville on Whidbey Island in the 1970’s and 80’s when it was largely a farming community. He left the island after high school graduation and attended Fairhaven College in Bellingham, where he got a B.A. degree and immediately became a chef working in the restaurant of a friend. He moved to Napa Valley in California shortly afterwards to expand his knowledge of the culinary arts and stayed there for 16 years.

 

 

Tyla grew up in Maine (which she says looks a lot like Whidbey Island in many places) and Vermont. After high school, she moved to San Francisco to learn about food and wine. She got a Bachelor’s of Science that included a lot of chemistry, which proved to be valuable for working with wine. She got a job with Robert Mondavi Winery and learned more about wine, as well as hospitality.

 

A mutual friend in Napa Valley introduced Vincent and Tyla, and they soon were sharing a love of wine and food, as well as each other. They married in 2000, opened their first restaurant in St. Helena following year, and had three years of great reviews. Then world economics impacted their success and the restaurant was closed in 2004.

 

For the next five years, Vincent worked as the Executive Chef at Meadowood Restaurant in Napa Valley. During that time, the Nattresses welcomed two daughters, who are now 12 and 9, and Vincent worked 15 hour days.

 

That’s when the Vision Board was created. Their move to Whidbey Island is fulfilling all of their visions. They currently have six employees, who are treated as well as the customers. The price for dinner is $50 to $55 per person, plus wine, tax and an 18% gratuity so that the employees receive a good living wage.

 

Farmhouse dinners are served Friday and Saturday and generally last about 2-1/2 hours. Vincent greets each person at the door and lets them know how appreciative he is that they are at the Orchard Kitchen for dinner. The meal begins at 6:00 p.m. with hors d’ oeuvres. The first of four courses is served at 6:30 p.m.. The meal is served family-style which contributes to the friendly atmosphere. Vincent smiles, “We often notice people exchanging phone numbers at the end of the dinner.”

 

The cooking classes are on the weekends at 10:30 a.m. and last until 1:15 or 1:30 p.m. (depending on how long guests want to linger). There are different themes each week based upon the local food available and suggestions from students. The one and a half hour cooking class is followed by a lunch and is $75 per person.

 

Vincent and Tyla pride themselves on preparing and serving great food without pretention: “People leave here feeling like they have been nourished in many ways,” Vincent notes.

For more information, visit their website: http://www.orchardkitchen.com/#foodweb-1

or their Facebook page. To make a reservation call: (360) 321-1517.

 

Posted by WhidbeyLocal
Monday, 14th September 2015, 01:09pm.
Comments (0)
Popular Articles
View More

Upcoming Events

Reading with Rover

Read aloud to a loving canine listener. The Reading with Rover program helps kids strengthen reading skills and improve...
26 Jun
View More

You also might be interested in

By Carolyn Tamler Before Kim Tiller and her son, David, opened Whidbey Soap Company (now Whidbey Island Natural), both had been successful software developers.

Business Spotlight

The South Whidbey Commons on 2nd Street in Langley offers delicious Mukilteo Coffee, homemade soups, and a warm and cozy atmosphere for enjoying the community-supported bookstore.  The “Commons” is also a non-profit organization, teaching young Islanders the skills needed to get their first job in specialty coffee, a global Industry with Pacific Northwest roots.

Business Spotlight

Dianna’s Vinyasa Yoga in Coupeville: Dianna enjoys sharing her love of Yoga

Business Spotlight

By Carolyn Tamler Most people are focused on retirement by the time they reach their mid to late 60’s.  For Louise Mueller, it was the time for her to begin a new career.

Business Spotlight

“Inside Out Marketing for Healing Arts Practitioners” is a monthly series of 90-minute dialogues to help health professionals find the answers to the two basic questions that often are blocks to success: “What’s stopping me?” and “How do I think outside the box.” 

Business Spotlight

Joann Quintana is bringing a new jazz, folk rock and country blues sound to Whidbey Island.

Business Spotlight