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CHEF LIAM LUTTRELL ROWLAND Spindler’s - Provincetown, MA
CHEF LIAM LUTTRELL ROWLAND Spindler’s - Provincetown, MA
Chef Liam, who holds a BA in Anthropology, has been working as a chef for more than 15 years. He got a taste for restaurants and an interest in the food supply chain on the Cape while working selling local farm food to some of the Capes best restaurants. His first job working in an organic Juice Bar and café that he supplied food for, allowed him to learn about cooking and farming, and the many farmers and fishermen living on Cape. He did much of his training on Cape Cod under chef Jeremiah Reardon (one of the few Cape Cod chefs to be nominated for a prestigious James Beard award) and Eric Jensen Chef/Owner of Blackfish in Truro, MA. Six years later he found his way to Asheville, North Carolina and joined the burgeoning culinary scene working alongside chef Elliot Moss at the Admiral and chef Katie Button of Curate and Nightbell. Both Moss and Button were nominated for James Beard awards and each were named one of Bon Appetit magazine’s “Best New Restaurants.”
While in Asheville, Chef Liam answered the call to work for food justice and served his community as a founding chef of the Kitchen Ready culinary training program , job placement service, and free kitchen for people living in public housing and/or those coming out of the criminal justice system.
Liam returned to the Cape to take the helm at Spindler’s restaurant, a collaboration with multi-award winning chef and media personality Barbara Lynch. One of the few restaurants open year round on the Cape, Spindler’s is focused on classic, French-style cuisine with an Italian soul and the freshest of Cape Cod and New England ingredients.
“Cranberries are such a legacy ingredient. They are a constant reminder of our Cape Cod terroir and what has been locally available to eat, long before the colonists arrived. When you eat cranberries, you are investing in our community and that’s a simple and cool way to educate people about the return to the philosophy of local and regional foodways. You have a deeper sense of where you are and the legacy of the local people—the indigenous people and the settlers—people think about that history when they are here and it ties together my mission of working with community over time,” says Liam.
“As much as working with local ingredients is an older way of doing things it is also very contemporary model and important to our overall ability to sustain ourselves. We aren’t using cranberries just because they are from here, but because they are versatile and so beautiful. The sweet and tart flavor they bring to food is part of the modern palette and the color gives me a lot of options from just a bit for pale pink to really vibrant, deep red.”
“Working with farmers and fisherman is why I am cooking on Cape Cod and a very big part of what I do,” says Liam. “We use locally farmed and caught food, not just because the quality is so much better, but also because it supports the community that I am part of. Great chef-ing is collaborative, not competitive. I think it’s my responsibility to involve my community in our food. We look forward to the pride a farmer or fishermen has in his or her product. It teaches me to focus on the flavor of ingredients at their peak. To do that, I have a friendship with many farmers and growers in my area—and I get to share in their lives. The more I learn about what is growing in my area and that my restaurant is a necessary part of the food cycle, the better it feels in my role and responsibility as a chef. It’s far greater than just showing up and making food. It’s about connecting people and taking pride in each others work.”
“As a chef, there’s a large social and emotional impact to working with all our growing partners. It’s about collaboration and knowing that these farmers are real people in my community whom I respect, makes me more invested in my community and the work I do at the restaurant feeding people.”
“The cooking doesn’t start when the product is in my hands, but when the seeds are put in the ground. It doesn’t end when I plate the food, it continues on to nourish the guests we welcome.
Liam has lead his team in keeping a keen eye on and supporting the multi-cultural Provincetown and larger Cape community by working closely with the people who grow and gather food near him. He and his team are active fundraisers for Provincetown initiatives, as larger Cape Cod programs including Provincetown Schools, Sustainable Cape and the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod. He was one of the few chefs chosen to cook for the “Outstanding in the Field” event on Cape Cod, and he has been featured in Edible Cape Cod magazine.
He lives on the Cape with his wife Rachel and daughter Nova.