With the restaurants Hugo’s, Eventide and Honey Paw, the partners of Big Tree Hospitality have achieved remarkable success. This week we speak with Arlin Smith, Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor about their own stories, winning the 2017 James Beard Award, and what life is like as they expand their business outside of Portland.
By Katy Kelleher
Cauliflower foam. Ichthyic spinal fluid. Kimchi puree. Even for those of us who are apt to drop the phrase “sous vide” into casual conversation, these elements sound mildly daunting. But that has always been a part of the program at Hugo’s. The Portland institution has been pushing diners into new culinary waters for 25 years. Only now, following a renovation and a menu revamp, they’re doing it a little more gently. No more blind tasting menus here—just shockingly good food, composed right in front of your eyes.
By Joe Ricchio
"The purchase of Hugo's was, for us, about as turn-key as one could possibly imagine. We have basically been running the restaurant for two years now, so there is really no change outside of the actual ownership itself."
This is front-of-house manager turned owner Arlin Smith, when questioned about his recent acquisition of the iconic Portland restaurant. Both of his business partners in this venture, chefs Andrew Taylor and Michael Wiley, wholeheartedly agree.