An Outstanding Feast at Flint Beach Ohana Farm: Setsunai Noodle Bar and the Art of Dining in the Field
As the summer sun warms the breathtaking landscapes of Lopez Island, Washington, the "Friendly Isle" prepares to host a one-of-a-kind event that promises to be a feast for the senses. On June 24, 2023, at 3:00 pm, the picturesque Flint Beach Ohana Farm, known for its pasture-raised Romney sheep and free-range chickens, will open its gates to guests for an unforgettable dining experience organized by Outstanding in the Field, the roving restaurant without walls
Outstanding in the Field is not a typical event—it's an eating adventure, a destination, and an experience rolled into one. Pioneering a unique dining concept since 1999, Outstanding in the Field has been setting its long, communal table in fields, orchards, seashores, and other extraordinary sites, with its kitchen brought right to the source of the meal's ingredients. Each event aims to reconnect diners to the land and honor the labor of those who feed us, with every table set telling a unique story of its place—from the farmer's bounty and the artisan's craftsmanship to the unique group of people gathered to share a meal.
At the heart of the event is Chef Josh Ratza of Setsunai Noodle Bar, who will be masterfully crafting the meals. Ratza has a unique culinary approach, merging Japanese influences with his passion for Lopez Island's agricultural community, and focusing on what's best in season.
Setsunai Noodle Bar, established in the Spring of 2017, has been an exceptional addition to the food landscape of Lopez Island. Originally starting as a pottery and fermentation endeavor, the restaurant has become a haven for noodle lovers, thanks to Ratza's experimental spirit and passion for food. The eatery prides itself on its dedication to food diversity and the exploration of new flavors while supporting local farms and emphasizing seasonal agriculture.
Ratza's journey began with his personal interest in food fermentation and his search for a niche market for his pottery goods. This interest led him to create fermentation weights and crocks, and soon after, his kimchi-making journey began. His kitchen soon turned into a fermenting operation, and, with a growing interest from the community, he began crafting udon and ramen noodles from scratch. By 2017, what started as a kimchi fermenting operation had evolved into the small but mighty noodle bar known today as Setsunai.
Ratza continues fine-tuning his ramen and udon-making techniques, developing a suite of flavorful broths and supplementing his nourishing noodle bowls with local meats and vibrant organic produce. This dedication to supporting local farms and using organic products is at the core of Setsunai's mission, providing guests with a satisfying meal that has been thoughtfully handcrafted.
When it comes to sourcing ingredients, Setsunai Noodle Bar does its best to rely on local products. Many of the ingredients used come from Lopez Island ranches, gardens and farms, although some items are sourced from further afield due to the specific needs of the dishes. Regardless of the origin, the team at Setsunai strives to source ingredients responsibly, ensuring the quality and love put into every dish is evident.
So, journey to Lopez Island and celebrate the wabi-sabi nature of Setsunai, where beauty is embraced in simplicity and imperfection. This event is not just about food but about community, nature, and the shared appreciation for the world of locally sourced, passionately crafted cuisine. The Flint Beach Ohana Farm event with Setsunai Noodle Bar is a testament to the spirit of Lopez Island, a celebration of its beautiful landscape, vibrant community, and culinary wonders it inspires.
Can't make the event? That's ok! You can catch Josh and the Setsunai Noodle Bar year-round. Check their website for their events and hours.
Setsunai is located just behind Skarpari on Lopez Island, WA.
The greens for the event were provided by Baba Yaga Farm, located close to the Lopez Island, WA village.