Winner of the 2009 James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest, Maria Hines has been turning heads and palates on the national culinary scene since she took the helm at Earth & Ocean in 2003. In 2005, she was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs. Maria opened her own restaurant, Tilth, in September 2006, which remains among the top culinary destinations in the region. In 2008, the New York Times named Tilth one of the top-10 best new restaurants in the country. She appeared on the Food Network: Iron Chef America and won the “Battle of Pacific Cod” in 2010. Maria opened her second restaurant, Golden Beetle, in early 2011, offering Mediterranean cuisine. Inspired again by the sun-drenched cuisine of the Mediterranean, Maria opened Agrodolce in 2012 with a focus on Southern Italian and Sicilian food and wine. With her dedication to locally organic unwavering, she now has three restaurants with the highly esteemed organic certification from Oregon Tilth.
Maria donates her time to organic and sustainable food sourcing as well as being a leader in the restaurant community. She has served as president of Seattle Chefs Collaborative, a committee member for National Chefs Collaborative, and is currently a board member of the PCC Farmland Trust and founding member of Seattle Restaurant Week. In 2012 she attended the James Beard Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. Most recently, she received the honor of being inducted into the first American Chef Corps by the U.S. Department of State.
Raised in Bowling Green, Ohio, Maria’s interest in food began at an early age with creativity and imagination as the driving forces for her to seek out new and different ways to cook. After receiving her A.S. degree in Culinary Arts, Maria sought out many opportunities to learn more styles of cooking and working with different ingredients. Her stints took her from California to New York to France to Seattle and then back to the East Coast before she returned back to one of her favorite places on earth — the Northwest. It was in Seattle and the Northwest that she fell in love with the ingredients and culinary resources available.
With a long-standing commitment to using seasonal and organic Northwest products, her dedication and passion has led Maria to receive numerous awards and accolades for cooking. Maria blends together this passion with new American cuisine at Tilth, Mediterranean influences at Golden Beetle, and most recently, Southern Italian and Sicilian fare at Agrodolce.