Langdon Cook

From the moment you set foot in Seattle, you can feel it: art is everywhere.

The thriving arts scene is a priority in this city—in fact, Seattle has been recognized for having more arts-related businesses and organizations per capita than any other metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts. Writer Langdon Cook is one of the contributors to this creative city. Read on for a look at the city through his artistic lens.

Q&A with Langdon Cook

How long have you lived in Seattle? What brought you here?

I’ve lived in Seattle for more than 20 years, long enough to grow some moss and go native. It’s a place with readers, outdoorsy types, and little pretension.

As a writer who specializes in the subject of food, do you find inspiration in (or outside of) the city?

This place is food-crazed, and I’m especially grateful to all those in the foodie community who have taken me under their wing. I started with a foot squarely in the outdoors camp. Over time I’ve put the other foot in the culinary camp, which makes sense since I write about foraging.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

I’m outside, hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, and, of course, foraging. Sometimes I’ll get my nature fix at a city park—Seward or Discovery or Lincoln—and other times I’ll make tracks for farther-flung wilderness areas across the state. In the spring I hunt for morels on the sunny eastern slope of the Cascades; in the late fall, when the mountains are covered in a blanket of snow, I head for the Olympic rain forests. I love the Pasayten Wilderness, and I challenge anyone to find a more gorgeous place than the North Cascades.

Any favorite book stores?

Everyone should be so lucky to have a bookstore like Elliott Bay just a few minutes away. It’s one of the last of a dying breed and I hope it’s here forever.

What would your ideal day in Seattle be like?

Catch the dawn salmon bite in West Seattle, write for a few hours back home, then take a lunch break at Pho Bac in the International District. I get restless in he afternoons so I might need to scout mushroom patches at Tiger Mountain for exercise. Usually I cook dinner for the family, but eating out with friends at a place like Lark is always a treat, and maybe if it was a good day of writing, I’d reward myself with a show at the Triple Door or Tractor Tavern.


Interview by Jess Van Nostrand, 2012.

Photo taken at Seward Park.



Langdon Cook discusses and reads a segment from his new book “Upstream”.



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