We’ve known Jaret and Mona from the time they both worked at the Portland Farmers Market. Jaret was the market manager, and he was in the PSU Park Blocks before the vendors started arriving in the predawn darkness. Jaret made sure every vendor was in the right spot, and he directed the staff and volunteers to get everything set up. Mona was responsible for the market’s communication and public relations, and she’d be taking photos and talking to both farmers shoppers.
Their love of food and cooking had brought them to the farmers market. But Jaret, who’d worked as a chef in the other Portland as well as New York, wanted to get back into the kitchen. He’d just started dating Mona when he left the market and started Tournant to bring open fire cooking to Portland.
Mona had worked in the New York food scene as well, both at Anita Lo’s now-closed bistro Annisa and Chelsea chocolatier Vere. Together they built Tournant into something beautiful and delicious, adding a soft beauty to the open flame and cast iron aesthetic of outdoor cooking.
Like many of their friends in the local food community, we loved watching both Tournant and the relationship between Mona and Jaret grow. The business provided a creative outlet as well as a way for them to keep working with the farmers and other food producers they’d come to know at the market. But it also let them work together, and you could see and taste the love they brought to the table.
Tournant’s fire-centric approach to cooking is perfect for the way we live here in the Pacific Northwest. Great ingredients carefully cooked over open flames taste even better eaten with friends beneath tall firs or next to a dancing river. Jaret and Mona brought the same communal spirit to their event space a few blocks from Wellspent Market. We were sad to see it close as indoor dining disappeared last year, but we know they’re ready to start something new.
While we’re looking toward the future and Tournant version 2.0, we were able to spend some time outdoors with Jaret and Mona. Watch the video to see their beautifully delicious fire-based food, then check out the recipes, build a fire, and start cooking.