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New Stemilt partnership deepens farm-to-table connection

Take a tour of any major neighborhood in Seattle and you’ll likely fall upon one of chef Ethan Stowell’s creatively named restaurants. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to eat at one.Ethan-Stowell-1Ethan Stowell

Stowell is a household name in the Emerald City, with 15 restaurants spanning the city and a mark on everything from the menu at Seattle Mariner games to charitable causes that support nutrition, women’s rights and leadership, and the homeless. Now, his stardom will head east of the Cascade Mountains through a new partnership with Wenatchee, WA-based Stemilt Growers. Stemilt has named Stowell its official spokeschef and will be working with him over the next year to deepen the farm-to-table connection.

“We’re thrilled to start this partnership with Ethan,” said Brianna Shales, Stemilt communications manager. “Our companies share common goals around delighting people through wholesome and delicious food, as well as giving back to our communities. Joining forces will allow us to tell our story to more people and make for a more meaningful connection for our fans, and Ethan’s many restaurant patrons, around the farm-to-table experience.”

To kick-off the partnership, Stemilt has shared its signature apple variety, Piñata, with Stowell’s Cortina restaurant for future seasonal inclusion. It’s not the only signature Stemilt fruit that Stowell will get to work with this year, but Piñata is already a favorite because of its unique tropical flavors and ability to span different culinary applications, from shaved on salads to more traditional apple desserts.

“Most people see an apple as an apple, but there’s quite a bit of contrast between the different varieties,” said Stowell. “What I love most about Piñata is its balance between sugars and acids. It has enough of both to stand on its own, which fits well with my desire to keep food simple and fresh.”

Stemilt will host Stowell in the coming months in Wenatchee so that he can experience the sights and sounds involved in harvesting and packing fruit. The company will also share Stowell’s culinary talents with its team members and visitors through live demonstrations, as well as directly with consumers via its social and digital channels.

“This partnership allows us to continue to spread authenticity with consumers about how our fruits are grown and cared for, whether it’s at our farms or on the menu at an acclaimed restaurant,” said Shales. “Ethan is a self-taught chef and as authentic as they get. We are going to have a lot of fun sharing our joint stories to the culinary world.”