Chef Maria Hines of Tilth - Biography

Seattle, WA

October 2011

Chef Maria Hines opened Tilth in three weeks; with the help of four people, she hand-sanded the chairs, put bamboo plywood on all the tables, made the curtains, and more. It all ties in with her sustainability-focused outlook: “From a sustainability standpoint, you save a lot of energy and reduce your carbon footprint by doing it yourself.”

Tilth opened in September 2006 and became the second restaurant in the country to be certified by Oregon Tilth, a non-profit organic certification group. Beyond organics, Hines incorporates sustainable practices in every aspect of her restaurant, from the bathroom (recycled toilet paper) and the building (sourcing responsible building materials) to the wine list (a handful of organic and biodynamic producers) and, of course, the kitchen, which recycles and composts.

Prior to Tilth, Hines worked throughout the country and in France, landing in Seattle in 2003 as executive chef of Earth & Ocean in the W Seattle. Hines was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Top Ten Best New Chefs in America” in 2005, and the next year left the W to pursue her first self-owned restaurant. The sustainable and organic focus of Tilth reflects Hines’s life philosophy: “it’s how I live, and I always knew that if I was going to open a restaurant it would be the same way.