It’s almost lunch time at Ken Wright Cellars, and a savory smell from the winery kitchen is wafting up the stairwell to the office and through the alley ways of the barrels in the cellar. If good weather permits, chairs are set up in a circle underneath the canopy of Wisteria in front of the winery. Then, the staff hears the phrase “lunch is ready!” being called out from the chef in the kitchen. We all eagerly form a line and dish up, and eat together as a group outside. This is a daily routine here at the winery.
The chef who has prepared our food is none other than Karen Wright. Karen once played a large role in helping Ken run the business in its earlier years. Then as the company grew, and Ken and Karen’s family grew to include their two girls, Josie and Evy, Karen decided to concentrate on raising their girls, her own jewelry business, and other community organizations she is involved in. However, Karen still wanted to contribute to the winery. So, she began preparing meals for the whole working staff every day.
Now when you think of lunch time at work you might be en-visioning a typical brown bag lunch, with a cold sandwich, chips and a beverage. This is certainly not what is on the menu when Karen is the kitchen. She cooks a wide variety of dishes ranging from Italian, Mexican, BBQ, & seafood for example. She concentrates on cooking with local and seasonal ingredients. The meat is usually sourced from Carlton Farms, or from market animals they have purchased from local youth involved in 4-H or FFA. Now for her source of produce and fresh herbs, she simply has to walk across the street to her raised beds located behind our tasting room. These beds are filled with fresh tomatoes, kale, beans, zucchinis, and many other vegetables. These beds also provide food to the local food bank, Joseph Storehouse, during the summer.