Maria Hines has been on the PCC Farmland Trust Board of Directors since 2008, and has worked on the Fundraising and Board Development Committees. She was instrumental in developing our Local Chefs for Local Farms dinner events which bring together notable chefs, local farmers and food lovers.
Winner of the 2009 James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest, Maria Hines has long been turning heads and palates on the national culinary scene. Hines opened her own restaurant, Tilth, in September 2006. Tilth is certified organic and features New American cuisine. In 2008, 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.” She opened her second restaurant, Golden Beetle restaurant and bar, in early 2011, offering Eastern Mediterranean cuisine and craft cocktails. In 2012, Maria opened Agrodolce with a focus on Southern Italian and Sicilian food. With her dedication to local, organic food unwavering, she now has three restaurants with the highly esteemed organic certification from Oregon Tilth. Adding to her list of accolades, Maria was a semifinalist for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2013.
How did you first get involved with PCC Farmland Trust?
I was asked if I would be the chef for a house party to help raise funds for the Trust. Without hesitation I said, “Yes!” I have been supporting farms like Full Circle Farm and Nash’s for years now at my certified organic restaurants. I felt it was time that I completed the circle of supporting local agriculture by committing to PCC Farmland Trust, whose whole focus is on preserving local organic farmland forever.
What personal experiences have led to your interest in local organic food?
I now own three certified organic restaurants, Agrodolce, Golden Beetle and Tilth. The driving force behind becoming organic was the positive effect it has on our health, environment, palate, and community.
What’s one thing you’d like to see the Farmland Trust accomplish in the next decade?
I would like to see the Trust become an inspiration for other land trusts in the nation to focus solely on preserving organic farmland. Right now, PCC Farmland Trust is the only trust in the nation with this vision. Imagine if our whole country shared in this vision and took action!