Nestled in Seattle's Central district is L'Oursin, a french restaurant and bar. A mystical place where they are pouring natural wines, mixing up aperitif cocktails, all the while serving french and locally inspired dishes. {and doing a smashing job at it}

Chef JJ Proville preparing a still moving San Juan Island Red Sea Urchin 

Chef JJ Proville preparing a still moving San Juan Island Red Sea Urchin 


Umami is the fifth sense of taste. It is what defines those meaty, brothy, rich notes in foods like mushrooms, pickles, blue as well as aged cheeses, and shellfish… especially experienced in sea urchins.

What a tray to remember. 

Butter from the Land, Butter from the Sea 

A few weeks prior to my visit I had chatted with the chef JJ about how he enjoyed the Grey Salt Butter he had been ordering from us, I was particularly curious about his favorite ways of cooking with it. His response was gold. He went on to talk that our butter was oh so treasured, therefore he didn’t incorporate it into his dishes. Rather, he used it as the finishing touch. 

So, there I sat with a friend at L'Oursin while Chef JJ put this stunning tray in front of us. Then, I knew we were in for a treat. Red sea urchins are available from the San Juan Islands and are located in reefs from Alaska to California. He prepares the dish in its raw form, pairing the urchin with pickled seaweed, a few slices of bread, and naturally our Cherry Valley Grey Salt Butter. Each element on the tray, besides the bread vessel, is unto itself such an umami forward food, that I was curious how it would all taste in one bite. After returning to earth I was still unsure what culinary wonder just occurred in my mouth. The oh so decedent urchin was offset just perfectly by our salty butter and the briny seaweed. What I found amazing was our butter was not overshadowed in the slightest, yet all the parts came together creating a new flavor of their own. 

Now this dish is not always on their menu, due to availability of the precious sea urchins, but you bet our luscious butter still is. Therefore do yourself a favor and take a few mates out for a true feast, and who know how chef JJ will use our butter next.




Not even a year old but somehow L'Oursin feels like a classic. From their bistro style lighting and chairs, to the mirror backed bar that wears their daily wine recommendations, it just feels so right.

 It is an honor to work with L’Oursin providing local, unctuous, creative, and sustainable food to our Seattle community. 



1398 East Jefferson Street, Seattle, WA