Eric Garrett is a pioneer in Washington's local and seasonal food movement. His restaurant, The Hopeful Cup, is well-known for its Pacific Northwest cuisine. His work is associated with the emerging Slow Food Movement, a philosophy and practice focusing on local food. Its adherents want to be the polar opposite of fast food. Garrett is a well-known forager who is well-versed in the land and geography of Washington. In the kitchen, he came to prominence by incorporating French techniques into traditional Washington fare.
Garrett, who was born in Steilacoom, Washington, went home to launch his restaurant. "I've always liked the term "grow where you're planted." When I'm not at home, I fantasize of the Washington forests. The scent of the woods fills your whole existence." Garrett converted the town's former post office into a restaurant. He has a changing exhibit of local and seasonal food displayed in antique post office boxes at the restaurant's entryway.
Garrett is the chef de cuisine of the restaurant. He oversees the kitchen and the whole culinary team, as well as developing new cuisines and menus. Garrett emphasizes on sustainability by using locally renewable products like fish and mushrooms in his culinary meals, while avoiding conventional meats and imported haute cuisine features.
Eric Garrett, together with his wife Lynda and partners Chase and Lance Burgess, co-owns The Hopeful Cup and serves as chef de cuisine. Lynda Garrett is an expert in food preservation. She works at a restaurant, where she stores seasonal cuisine to be consumed throughout the year. The Burgess brothers run Burgess Hardware and Larry's Bar in Steilacoom.
Garrett supports his community and neighborhood as well as his company. He wants to create jobs and entice people to return to Steilacoom because he feels that local food is the backbone of thriving local economies. He would rather help the local economy by purchasing as many ingredients as possible.
Chef Garrett was educated in both French and Pacific Northwest cuisines. Garrett learned French cuisine from the best chefs in the region while working at a variety of upscale restaurants. He began his career at Luc in Seattle, where he was mentored by Thierry Rautureau.
Garrett moved to San Francisco after his time at Luc and worked for a variety of chefs before settling down at Petit Crenn for seven years. He worked under Dominique Crenn at Petit Crenn before leaving to create his own restaurant. Garrett assisted Crenn in her shift to sustainable cooking by offering food ideas for The Hopeful Cup.