by Allen Cox | Photo © Swinomish Casino & Lodge
“The Swinomish, like many Coast Salish, recognize 13 lunar phases in a calendar year. The lunar cycles indicate seasonal changes, so each moon is named for the seasonal events that take place during that time.” – “13 Moons: the 13 lunar phases, and how they guide the Swinomish people,” published by Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
The Swinomish people call themselves “the people of the salmon.” They take the responsibility of land, river and sea stewardship very seriously. Sustainability always has been and still is crucial to the tribe’s health and well-being. For example, a tribal enterprise, Swinomish Fish Company, sustainably harvests with the goal of providing the highest-quality Native American brand seafood products available. Their brand, NativeCatch, is all-natural, wild, sustainably harvested seafood. They work cooperatively with native fisherman throughout the Salish Sea and the Pacific from Alaska to California to source quality seafood for global distribution.
Fortunately, the fine dining restaurant at Swinomish Casino & Lodge, 13moons, is the first stop on that distribution route. And the menu indicates which dishes feature NativeCatch seafood.
Chef de Cuisine at 13moons, Daniel Van Norman, is well known for his ability to identify the freshest seafood varieties and the best means of preparation, often drawing upon traditional tribal methods. He has a passion for sourcing in-season local foods and is very familiar with native indigenous ingredients. At 13moons, he gives traditional foods polished, contemporary treatment.
13moons draws upon the traditional wisdom of the 13 cycles of the moon for its name and its philosophy of serving fresh, seasonal food. When you climb the staircase to 13 moons, the warmth of a Northwest lodge and the tantalizing scent of alder wood smoke draw you in. You won’t go wrong with the chef-selected fresh seafood from the region, including sockeye and silver salmon, halibut, spot prawns, dungeness crab, an array of fresh shellfish; and he takes full advantage of the abundant agricultural offerings of the Skagit Valley.
In the contemporary-style bar at 13moons, look up to the ceiling for a lighted architectural feature representing of the 13 cycles of the moon of Swinomish tradition. Then turn your attention to the well-stocked wine list, the availability of local craft beers, and the menu of handcrafted cocktails using the freshest ingredients available.
For more information about a stay at Swinomish Casino & Lodge or dining at 13moons, visit swinomishcasinoandlodge.com. For information about visiting the Skagit Valley, go to visitskagitvalley.com.