farm-to-table events

Outstanding in the Field, July 12, 2015

FAC79C0D-9092-8A89-C1FF240862F314F6Friends! Please join us for this lovely celebration – it will be our last Outstanding in the Field! And it could never be better. Jimgermanbar joins with the stellar Mike Easton of Seattle’s Il Corvo and Pizza Gabbiano. A once in a lifetime night!

From Outstanding in the Field website:

Host Farmers: Joan & Pierre-Louis Monteillet, Monteillet Fromagerie, Dayton (Walla Walla), Washington
Guest Chef: Clare Johnston, Jim German, & Anne Jaso, Jimgermanbar, Hannah McDonald, Brasserie 4, Mike Easton, Il Corvo, Jamie Guerin, Whitehouse-Crawford, Walla Walla, WA

OK, we have to say it: This was the best dinner of 2014. Between Joan & Pierre-Louis, the wonderful chefs from The Whoopemup Cafe, Patit Creek Restaurant and The Weinhard Hotel, it was truly a night to remember. This year, we have some new restaurants participating and we can’t wait to see what they’ve got! If you decide to join us at Monteillet, make sure to take time to check out the nearby town of Waitsburg and find a seat at the Jimgermanbar. (Maybe we’ll see you there.)

When: Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 4:00 PM
Ticket Price: $195.00
Where: Monteillet Fromagerie 109 Ward Road Dayton (Walla Walla), WA 99328

Purchase tickets here.

2014 Outstanding in the Field – A true al fresco delight.

photo of set table in gardens—2011 Outstanding in the Field Dinner—photo by The Farm ChicksThe 2014 Outstanding in the Field farm-to-table dinner was a great success.

Thank you! Join us next year.

Watch our video from the 2011 Outstanding in the Field Tour.

July 17, 2014 @ 4pm
Bryant Bader, Whoopemup Hollow Cafe,Bruce and Heather Hiebert, Patit Creek Restaurant & Mandi Wendt, Weinhard Café

photo credit: Serena of The Farm Chicks Blog

Cheese in the Northwest I love — Seattle Dining


Season to Season

May – It’s salad time!

Tom Mehren / May 2014

It’s been a long winter and with May here, the “In Season” grid is lit up like a Christmas tree in spring!

Here in the Northwest we can retire our cold month diet of kale, green beans and chard, and start enjoying the wonderful flavors of this fantastic region. The ride begins now and goes on into the fall. For May, here’s what’s going on locally….

Goat and kid at Monteillet Fromagerie, Dayton, WA / photo by Steve Scardina

photo by Steve Scardina

Looking for cheese? — All this talk about salad has me thinking about what kind of cheese to use. There are two in the Northwest I just can’t get enough of….

I also love the cheeses that come out of Dayton, Washington, from the Monteillet creamery. I’m a real stinker about goat cheese. It can’t be stinky! If it tastes like a petting zoo, keep it away from me. I’ve found that the higher-end goat cheeses are smooth sans the stinky.

For Monteillet, their cheeses are seasonal. The deal is they spend the better part of winter birthing and weaning their younger goats who are now just starting to produce milk. In addition, a number of their aged cheeses made last year are just coming to market now.

The trick with Monteillet is you can’t buy their cheeses in the Puget Sound. You’ll need to make the drive to Dayton to get it. No problem. With the Walla Walla sweets coming in June, you’ll want to make an epicurean road trip out east anyway!

Read Tom Mehren’s Seattle Dining article in its entirety here>>

2014 Outstanding in the Field farm-to-table dinner

photo: Outstanding in the Field 2014

Announcing the 2014 Outstanding in the Field farm-to-table dinner hosted at our farm —

July 17, 2014 @ 4pm
Bryant Bader, Whoopemup Hollow Cafe,Bruce and Heather Hiebert, Patit Creek Restaurant & Mandi Wendt, Weinhard Café

Here’s what Outstanding in the Field says about our dinner:
“Jim and Joan. Our farm dinner tour wouldn’t be the same without a yearly visit to Joan and Pierre Louis of Monteillet Fromagerie. It’s a long road ahead, and at this point we take advantage of every opportunity to steel ourselves for the rigors to come. Monteillet is a nurturing redoubt created by two artisan cheesemakers. When you’re heading off to cross the entire country, hauling out a long table at nearly 80 stops along the way, a good redoubt comes in handy. This event in Walla Walla always involves a mess of area chefs who rotate on who gets top billing. But they’re all good at sharing, and the collaboration always brings good things to the table.”

Purchase tickets>>

Washington’s Initiative 522: A Tale Of Two Northwest Farms

opb logo

Northwest News Network
Contributed by Anna King
October 17, 2013

The state of Washington grows about 300 types of crops — from the lush valleys north of Seattle, to the orchards of the Columbia Basin, to the rolling fields between Spokane and Walla Walla. And if you ask any of those farmers about Washington’s Initiative 522 and you’ll get every kind of answer.

If passed this November, it would require labeling of genetically modified foods. The initiative would not ban GMOs, as they’re known. But it could have a big impact on Washington agriculture.

Monteillet Fromagerie, a sheep and goat cheese farm, sits near Near Waitsburg, Wash. The house and milking barn sit in a little valley, hugged by steep rolling hills. In the farmhouse husband and wife Pierre-Louis and Joan Monteillet are setting the table. Their cluttered kitchen is filled with the smell of their-own freshly-butchered, free-range chicken roasting in the oven. Four friends have just dropped-in for a late lunch.

And soon the conversation turns to Initative 522.

“For myself, I want labeling,” says Joan Monteillet. “I want people to know they are getting a product off our farm they can totally trust. We’re not using anything, any sprays, we’re digging weeds. We’re through. We did farming for 20 years, we did all the chemical use we could do. We’re fed up with that.”

Joan’s husband, Pierre-Louis says, sure scientists have studied GMO crops and not found any ill effects on humans, but he says, “who knows what’s going to happen we have no idea of long-term effects on this. So if the producer or GMO products are so sure than they are safe, then label. If there is nothing to hide then label.

Joan and Pierre-Louis agree with experts who say labeling for GMO foods would likely cost more – and be passed on to the consumer. But Joan is OK with that.

“I think the more the consumer wakes up and sees that the choices are there, you might have to pay a little higher price to make sure that you’re eating better, but what’s wrong with that too?”

About 90 miles away, wheat stubble and newly planted fields roll in every direction. A father and son are re-working a seeding machine in a farm yard near Ritzville.

Eric Maier’s family has farmed wheat in this same place for five generations and the farm has grown to 7,000 acres. None of Maier’s crops are genetically modified at this point. But he doesn’t want to eliminate that option for the future. He thinks GMO labeling could put Washington farm products at a disadvantage.

“I produce on the world stage. I’ve got to be competitive globally,” says Maier. “Wheat is a global commodity. If someone else is able to grow it cheaper, and the market is going to go down, I have to be able to compete globally. This is another tool to get me there, if I have a home for that product.”

GMO wheat isn’t in supermarkets now. But for farm products, perception is everything.

“This initiative the way that it would be is like a warning label on a product,” Maier says. “And why are we warning people when we’ve got a food in there that’s safe? It makes no sense to me.”

Like many Washington voters – a lot of farmers are still undecided about Initiative 522. Most I’ve spoken to say they’ll wait and watch.

But these two families have one thing in common — they are less worried about the November election, than they are about the nearing spring.”

Read the entire article and listen to the Northwest News Network interview by Anna King here.

Hands-on Harvest — AAA Washington Journey

photo: Milking time by Steven Scardina | Monteillet Fromagerie, Dayton WA

Hands-on Harvest
Northwest farms let you try out the agricultural life.
by Lora Shinn

AAA Washington Journey
September/October 2013

“For a taste of rural living, or simply to connect with your food sources, there’s no better time than fall harvest. The following Northwest farms invite you to jump in and get your hands (and feet!) dirty:

…Don a cheesemaker’s fashion accessories (rubber boots and a hairnet, bien sûr) for one- and two-day artisan cheesemaking classes at Monteillet Fromagerie ( in the Walla Walla Valley town of Dayton, where you’ll use traditional French techniques to craft cheeses such as chèvre and causse noir. You’ll also enjoy wine and cheese tastings, tour the biodynamic garden, and meet the resident American Alpine goats and East Friesian-Lacaune sheep.”

Read the entire piece here>>

2013 Outstanding in the Field a great success.

photo of table set for dinner in Nourish Gardens—2011 Outstanding in the Field Dinner—photo by The Farm ChicksThis year’s Outstanding in the Field farm-to-table dinner was a great success.

Thank you! Join us next year.

Watch our video from the 2011 Outstanding in the Field Tour.

2013 Outstanding in the Field:
Thursday July 18, 2013
Monteillet Fromagerie, Walla Walla, WA

Guest Chef: Hannah MacDonald, Brasserie Four, Walla Walla

photo credit: Serena of The Farm Chicks Blog

Walla Walla Beyond Wine

In their latest issue which has just hit the stores, Seattle Met magazine confirms what we’ve known for a long time…”The best harvest in town isn’t made of grapes.” Writer David Laskin takes you to our fromagerie and gives you a little tour. Next time you visit Walla Walla wine country, come and visit us. Better yet, book a farm stay The Gite, our guest house, and spend some time with us.

photo: Pierre-Louis Monteillet from Seattle Met Magazine, July 2013

Pierre-Louis Monteillet, photo from Seattle-Met

Walla Walla Beyond Wine
The best harvest in town isn’t made of grapes.

By David Laskin
Seattle Met Magazine
July 2013

“Terroir—the taste of the land—factors into cheese as well as wine,,” says Joan Monteillet of Monteillet Fromagerie. “Pairing food and wine is much more interesting than just wine tasting—and you’re much more sober afterwards.”

“…The drive from Walla Walla to Monteillet Fromagerie takes you through quintessential Palouse landscape—25 miles of billowing wheat planted on pillows of loess. Joan Monteillet’s family grew wheat on these hills for three generations, but 13 years ago she and her French-born husband Pierre-Louis traded agro-biz monoculture for diversified niche farming. They bought 32 bucolic acres on the Touchet River near the tiny town of Dayton and pastured small herds of French Alpine goats and Lacaune sheep. They started making limited batches of gourmet cheeses. Then they added an organic vegetable garden and sold the produce on the farm and at farmers markets around the region. They opened a cheese tasting room and began offering cheesemaking workshops and cooking demonstrations. Today Monteillet Fromagerie is a pilgrimage stop on the agro-tourism circuit.”

Read this great article here>>

Table & Travel magazine on Monteillet and agritourism

photo: Table & Travel MagazineChase’s Table & Travel magazine really got us. Read what they have to say in their Summer 2013 issue:

Hooked on the Bramble
by Rebecca Kleinman

Table & Travel
Summer 2013

“A sliver of the south of France occupies eastern Washington state in Monteillet Fromagerie, a 32-acre farm that’s home to 100 goats and sheep whose milk produces artisanal batches that reflect terroir much like the nearby Wall Wall Valley’s wines.

When they aren’t busy tending to their bread and butter, owners Pierre-Louis and Joan Monteillet play hosts to curious cheesemongers in-the-making by renting their Gite, French for cottage, along the Touchet River. Cooks’ eyes light up upon seeing its antique gas and wood range in perfect working condition, only to be really blown away when they open the fridge fully stocked with farm-fresh dairy from eggs to milk, cured meats, hearty bread and coffee beans—breakfast done right. Harvest veggies and take a cheesemaking class before a good long soak in the roomy cast-iron tub with a glass of local cabernet sauvignon.

Read the entire article here>>
Select “Hooked on the Bramble,” page 40.

Monteillet did it again…Top 8 in agritourism experiences


Top 8 agritourism experiences
Our favorite ways to experience the romance of the small farm (and pick up new skills), from now into harvest season

by Jess Thomson

“Save for the fact it’s in Eastern Washington, everything about the Fromagerie is unabashedly French. Rent the farmside gîte (French for “holiday home”) and live your own agrarian fantasy, with eggs, milk, and cheese straight from the farm, and a vegetable garden just outside your door.”

Read the entire piece here>>

Divine cheese and a farm stay at The Gite

“Want a taste of farm life—and the Monteillets’ divine cheese…” Mountain Living recommends you come see us, have a farm stay at The Gite and learn to make cheese in one of your hands-one workshops.

photo for Mountain Living cover by Steve Scardina,

“In Washington’s Walla Walla Valley, an area known for producing luscious wines, Joan and Pierre-Louis Monteillet nurture a different (but perfectly complementary) craft: cheese-making. At the fromagerie on their 32-acre farmstead, the couple churn out fresh herbed chèvre, sheep’s-milk mozzarella, brie-style Cardabelle and other small-batch, totally natural cheeses made of milk from the farm’s own dairy. (The particular breeds of sheep and goats the couple raise produce milk with a high butter-fat content—perfect for making creamy French-style cheese.) The Monteillets use traditional methods that Pierre-Louis learned in Roquefort, France, where world-famous cheeses are aged in natural caves.”

Mountain Living’s March/April 2013, “For the Love of Local”

2013 Tour —Outstanding in the Field

Thursday July 18, 2013
Monteillet Fromagerie, Walla Walla, WA

Guest Chef: Hannah MacDonald, Brasserie Four, Walla Walla

Time: 4 pm

Purchase your tickets here>>

photo: Outstanding in the Field 2013 Tour, Monteillet Fromagerie, July 18, 2013, photo by Serena of the Farm Chicks Blog

photo credit: Serena of The Farm Chicks Blog

We’re participating in Outstanding in the Field’s (OTIF) tour again this year!

“Years ago, the Jolly Green Giant was painted on the hillside down the road from the Monteillet farm. The Palouse region once grew an enormous amount of peas for Del Monte. Peas were replaced by wheat. The giant remains. Guests interested in experiencing such a significant agricultural and culinary oddity can choose to scale the hillside. Or just look up.

Our guest chef at Monteillet this year is Hannah MacDonald of Brasserie 4 in Walla Walla. Hannah’s cuisine francaise seems the perfect pairing for an event with our farmer/cheesemaker friends Joan and Pierre Louis Monteillet. We are so looking forward to our yearly visit!”

To purchase tickets and to view event details visit the OITF website.

Watch our video from the 2011 Outstanding in the Field Tour.

photo credit: Serena of The Farm Chicks Blog