What does it mean to be a chef-owner of a successful restaurant? For Greg Higgins, it's more than establishing and maintaining relationships with the local farming community. It's more than artfully cooking and arranging pristine seasonal northwest ingredients on a plate. And it's more than sharing the diverse bounty of the region with satisfied customers.
Higgins turns out fine cuisine in support of his premise that food is community - an idea that creates respect, commitment and responsibility from farmer to chef to diner. "We're interested in nourishing and sustaining not only our customer's appetites but also the land and the quality of life we all enjoy," says Higgins. With an agricultural landscape that provides unparalleled abundance and diversity - from wild salmon, forest mushrooms and mountain huckleberries to world class wines, Higgins is defining a cuisine that is deeply rooted in the northwest soil.
As an avid organic grower, Greg uses his chef's eye in choosing a broad array of heirloom variety herbs, fruits and vegetables which he tends in his year-round home garden. The best of these selections in turn are shared with his growers to appear in larger quantity as mainstays of the restaurant's cooking.
A James Beard Award recipient Higgins has traveled worldwide to share his passion for northwest regional cooking. His recipes and writing have been published in numerous periodicals & books as well as his many television appearances.
Paul Mallory began working in the restaurant industry as a dishwasher at age sixteen. After taking time away for educational pursuits(a degree in English of course), he came back into the fold, joining friends that were working in a local tavern. A year later he was cooking tableside in an altogether different enviornment. Paul spent the next twenty years cooking, running kitchens, tending bar, waiting tables, and managing in several restaurants in Oregon and California. During this time he was also raising three children as a single dad. The time demands of working nights in a restaurant prompted him to take a sales position with a restaurant suppy company, also leaving his nights free to be at home with his children. It was his sales work that introduced him to Greg Higgins, then chef at the Heathman Hotel. A year later the two of them began plotting to buy a run-down restaurant blocks from Gregs job. The love of restaurant had proven to be too much in Pauls blood, and his three children simply followed him to work, balancing their own time and school as he had. Scrounging barely enough money to buy the restaurant.
Paul and Greg went to work on what was to be Higgins. Paul worked on staffing, service structure, inventory, and raising more capital. His tireless and insistent dedication to detail and service have proven to be a standard expected at Higgins.