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. Hines opened her own restaurant, Tilth, in September 2006. Tilth is certified organic and features New American cuisine. In 2008, the New York Times named Tilth one of the top-10 best new restaurants in the country. She is a board member of the PCC Farmland Trust and a founding member of Seattle Restaurant Week.

Raised in Bowling Green, Ohio, Hines’ 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, Hines 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 preparing new American cuisine using seasonal and organic Northwest products, her commitment and passion has led Hines to receive numerous awards and accolades for cooking as well. Hines now brings her true passion to life at Tilth. Hines’ Tilth became the second restaurant in the nation to receive organic certification from Oregon Tilth in September of 2006. The first was Restaurant Nora in Washington, D.C. in 1999.