The Feeder: Jenn Louis, Lincoln Restaurant
Established: Lincoln Restaurant (2008), Culinary Artistry (2000), Sunshine Tavern (2011)
What They Feed: Lincoln Restaurant is a balance between modern and classic, rustic and refined. Their seasonal fare concentrates on utilizing what is grown and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Together with her husband David Welch, Jenn Louis also owns one of Portland’s top catering companies, Culinary Artistry, and a warm and welcoming bar/gathering place in SE Portland called Sunshine Tavern.
Seeders They Support: Cattail Creek Lamb, Creative Growers, Sauvie Island Organics, Eat Oregon First, Mikuni Wild Harvest, MoonBrine Pickles, Wobbly Cart Farm
Jenn Louis found her passion in the kitchen after graduating from college in California, traveling through South America and Europe, spending some time on a dairy kibbutz in Southern Israel and eventually landing a job cooking for an Outward Bound base camp deep in the North Carolina woods. She was inspired to pursue a fulfilling career of cooking and followed her dreams to the Western Culinary Institute of Portland. After culinary school, Jenn became a line cook at Wildwood, Portland’s now-closed pioneer farm-to-table restaurant. This is also where Jenn met her now husband, David Welch, who was a bus boy at the time but is now the co-owner and bar manager of their businesses.
Jenn launched her catering company, Culinary Artistry, in 2000. It has been very successful and is still considered one of the top event planning companies in Portland. In 2008, David and Jenn opened their first restaurant concept: Lincoln Restaurant. At Lincoln, Jenn’s menu “takes its cue from the seasons, harvesting locally-grown Pacific Northwest ingredients and transforming them into sophisticated yet honest fare.” They source from farms and producers they have direct and on-going relationships with.
Since opening Lincoln, Jenn has received recognition as one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs (2012) and a semi-finalist as the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Northwest (2010, 2011). Jenn and David were also inspired to open a second restaurant: the Sunshine Tavern in SE Portland.
Jenn’s first cookbook “Pasta By Hand” came out in 2015 and her second “The Book of Greens” is due out in early 2017.
Jenn is also in the process of opening an Israeli restaurant in Los Angeles with the Sydell Group/Freehand brand.
“During my time in Portland I’ve seen this city grow from five chef-driven restaurants to hundreds. It is an exciting scene: there is lots of creativity and diners are becoming even more interested and open to adventure and new ideas. The chefs in Portland have a wonderful opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other. And then there’s the farmers. There are a lot of amazing characters, and they work hard to produce a consistent product for us. I choose to work closely with a select number of farms, so we can keep our minimum orders and support them as much as possible. If we’re supportive to them, they’ll support us back. Everyone here brings a lot to the table to help each other succeed.”
“Know the farmer, know their kids”
“All gnocchi are dumplings but not all dumplings are gnocchi” – about Jenn’s Pasta By Hand cookbook
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