Maria Hines has been turning heads in the culinary world for over two decades as an ambassador for organic and sustainable food. The James Beard Award-winner has two critically acclaimed restaurants in Seattle: Tilth and Agrodolce.
In 2005, she was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs and went on to open her first restaurant, Tilth, in September 2006, which remains among one of the nation’s top culinary destinations. In 2008, Frank Bruni of the New York Times named Tilth one of the top 10 best new restaurants in the country. Maria competed in “Top Chef Masters” in 2010 and later that year appeared on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and won the “Battle of Pacific Cod.” In 2012, Maria opened Agrodolce with a focus on Southern Italian and Sicilian fare. Adding to her list of accolades, Maria was a semifinalist for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2013.
She is a leader in the restaurant and sustainability community, donating her time to such causes as James Beard Foundation sustainability programs, American Chef Corps, Puget Sound Food Council, food equality for low-income families and other food system advocacy. She is a founding member of Seattle Restaurant Week, on the advisory council for the Mountaineers and previously served on the board for PCC Farmland Trust.
With her dedication to local, organic unwavering, both of her restaurants are certified organic by the highly esteemed, Oregon Tilth. Her long-standing commitment to use seasonal and organic Northwest products has blended together a personal and professional passion with New American cuisine at Tilth and Southern Italian and Sicilian fare at Agrodolce.
Abby’s culinary direction is inspired by the farm-fresh bounty and a belief grounded in the farmer-chef relationship. Abby first entered the Maria Hines Restaurants family at Tilth, then moved on to open Agrodolce before being promoted to executive chef in 2016. Having cooked in Italy and attended the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners, Abby’s talents are particularly well-suited for the restaurant’s Southern Italian and Sicilian cuisine.
Abby cooks to bring out the ingredients’ natural flavors in a unique and delicious approach, experimenting with new flavor, texture and even color combinations. The source of the ingredients is of the utmost importance and Abby works directly with the farmers to understand the energy and devotion put into growing the best products possible, making her job “ tasty easy.”
Abby’s time away from the restaurant kitchen is often filled with riding motorcycles. While unwinding from a long day, wine glass in hand, Abby stays busy fixing up her first vintage bike.
Joel‘s meticulous ingredient sourcing and dedication to organic cuisine make him a natural fit at Tilth. His technique is grounded in his time at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He further defined his culinary style working for several years in New York at Eleven Madison Park, where he first met Maria; followed by Tabla with Chef Floyd Cardoz. His culinary journey also had him doing stints at several fine dining restaurants in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, before joining Tilth in 2014.
From the time he was young and cooking with his grandfather, food meant family, drawing people together and being transported to a different time and place. This notion, along with the energy and creativity of a restaurant kitchen that results in making guests happy, is what drives Joel to cook to his full potential at Tilth.
While fine dining restaurants have dominated his career path, his expertise at home lies with his well-used collection of six different grills and smokers. Joel’s two young sons and golden retriever also keep him busy with hikes while personal time finds him flipping through culinary books such as “The Flavor Bible” and “On Food and Cooking.”