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All You Can Eat

Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.

July 29, 2014 at 2:38 PM

How does your garden grow? Send us your harvest photos

This summer’s sunshine is making for some terrific gardens in Washington: tasty tomatoes, a bounty of beans and squash to share with every house in the neighborhood. What have you grown in your garden? Send us your best harvest photos. Northwest gardening expert Ciscoe Morris will head our judging team. Prizes: Our prizes include six $50 gift…

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Comments | More in Gardening | Topics: contest, gardening, harvest

July 25, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Girl Meets Dirt on Orcas Island

Gerry and Audra Lawlor at the Orcas Island Farmer's Market /  Photo: monicabennett.com

Gerry and Audra Lawlor at the Orcas Island Farmer’s Market / Photo: monicabennett.com

The network of chefs, growers and food artisans on Orcas Island is so intertwined that the night before I met Audra and Gerry Lawlor selling their line of Girl Meets Dirt Archipelago Preserves at the Orcas Island Farmer’s Market, I had already tasted one of their wares in an elegant Prosecco cocktail tinged with rhubarb and lavender at The Inn at Ship Bay.

Turns out, the inn’s commercial kitchen is where girl meets stove to craft her chunky, jam-like “spoon preserves” and the firmer, concentrated fruit purees Audra calls “cutting preserves,” modeled after Spanish membrillo, or quince paste.

Quince, in fact, is their bestselling flavor. It comes from Willowrose Bay on Guemes, another of the islands in the San Juan archipelago. Audra says she is adamant about sourcing fruit only from the San Juans; often they pick it themselves. With the exception of rhubarb, she exclusively uses orchard fruit, almost all heirlooms, “a nod to the San Juan’s, and in particular Orcas’s orchard keeping history.”

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Comments | Topics: Girl Meets Dirt, Orcas Island, Providence Cicero

July 25, 2014 at 10:43 AM

The Charms of Chippy’s Fish & Drink

If summer ever returns, I hope this glorious chilled tomato soup does too. During this month’s heat wave, it was a special at Chippy’s Fish & Drink, the new Ethan Stowell eatery next door to his Staple & Fancy Mercantile in Ballard. Topped with celery leaves, serrano chile and smoked mussels, and drizzled with…

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Comments | Topics: Chippy's Fish & Drink, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Providence Cicero

July 22, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Construction threatens beloved Grinders shop

Mitch Gilbert has said it so many times over the past two months: “We’re open for business during construction!” Now, the energetic owner of Grinders Hot Sands is at his wits end, with business plummeting during a massive improvement project to Aurora Avenue North. “I’ve been doing everything I can to put a positive spin…

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July 18, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Orcas Island’s farmer-chef

Jay Blackinton on the front porch of Hogstone's Wood Oven on Orcas Island. Photo: The Seattle Times

Jay Blackinton on the front porch of Hogstone’s Wood Oven on Orcas Island. Photo: Maddie Meyer/The Seattle Times

More than a few disaffected youths have found fulfillment through hard work and a lot of them end up in restaurant kitchens. Jay Blackinton’s path to the kitchen at Hogstone’s Wood Oven, the Orcas Island restaurant he co-owns with John Steward, founder of Maple Rock Farm, took him first through the fields.

I met Blackinton when I had dinner at Hogstone on a recent eating tour of Orcas Island, chronicled this coming Sunday in The Seattle Time’s travel section. The 26-year-old’s fingers are inked below the knuckles with letters that read “So it goes” when he puts his fists together, remnants of an early infatuation with Kurt Vonnegut. His emails sign off with the 19th century socialist epigram: “The plough is a better backbone than the factory.”

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Comments | Topics: Hogstone's Wood Oven, Maple Rock Farm, Orcas Island

July 16, 2014 at 6:15 AM

8 tips for doing the Bite of Seattle right

Heading to the Bite of Seattle July 18-20? Here are our tips for doing it right: 1. Bring cash. 2. Don’t miss the Alley, particularly on Saturday, including charred Monterey Bay squid salad from Crush, Din Tai Fung wontons, poached prawns from Salty’s and Skillet’s “fried chicken sammy.” Dessert is a Pinkabella cupcake. 3. Check out the…

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July 16, 2014 at 6:15 AM

There’s a new whisk in town at the Bite of Seattle

Chef Jason Wilson’s big projects this year: Manning a massive wood-fired grill at his polished new downtown restaurant, Miller’s Guild, and transforming the menu at his Madison Valley mainstay, Crush. Both places get their share of special-event diners. This coming weekend, though, it’s all a special event. Wilson is the new host of the Alley at…

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