Ethics and Fine Dining – Chef Christine Keff talks Organic 2

Do you find that this approach fits well in the Seattle area? It does. It fits particularly well in the genre that we’re in, using ingredients from other cultures to compliment the fish from our waters. We use a lot of Asian ingredients, but we don’t always do “traditional” Asian dishes. It’s not always like what you would have over there, as we use those ingredients but with different techniques.

I’ve traveled rather extensively in that area of the world and I feel that our food may play around a little bit, but we’re still grounded in tradition.

Why did you decide to go organic? I decided to go organic because I feel that what we are doing to the planet is arrogant and wrong.

I understand that “organic” has a long and honorable history as a word and as a concept and has a whole philosophy behind it, but really what drew me to it was the number of things that get killed by the way we farm. If you kill the bugs, then the birds don’t have anything to eat – it just seems terrible hubris to treat the ground and everything that lives off the ground the way that we do. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I just got to me, I couldn’t really tell you why.

Do you remember when you started thinking that you had to do something? I do. It was a couple of years ago. It wasn’t entirely “spiritual” but it did starting thinking more about spiritual issues. I’m later in my life and I’ve been thinking a lot about something called creation spirituality that says things like “God is in everything”. If I really believe that, how can I condone doing the things that we do? By buying that stuff, I’m supporting it.

Fortunately Flying Fish is a profitable restaurant and I have a little bit of room to play where I can make decisions like that whereas people who are working a little closer to the bone sometimes can’t.

So I asked “what would happen if I didn’t support that anymore?”