Follow us:

All You Can Eat

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

November 3, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Foodportunity opportunity + Emmer & Rye @ Art of the Table

If you’re a food-blogging Tweet-and-greeter, chances are I ran into you last night at the second Foodportunity event at the Palace Ballroom. These food-networking shindigs, put together by Frantic Foodie Keren Brown, are a lot of fun for a social butterfly like me, and they’re open to the public, so stay tuned for the next one. While there, I heard Ethan Stowell tell an audience he prefers not to read blog-reviews while Kurt Dammeier swears he loves them.

Panelists (from left) Kurt Dammeier, Tamara Murphy, Ethan Stowell

(photo/Nate Naismith, Far Sighted Images)

I learned that a very excited Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang of Joule just got back from filming “Iron Chef” in NYC — in time to make apple head cheese for the masses (they even brought the head). And also that Jackie Cross is keeping her fingers crossed that her darling daughter, Miss Loretta Douglas (who’s got a restaurant nicknamed after her) may soon be cookin’ on local TV, something she proved she could do on King 5 last summer.

Rachel Yang, with head cheese in hand

(photo/Nate Naismith, Far Sighted Images)

Tamara Murphy and I commiserated about our mutual loathing for our Blackberry Storms, and I chatted with the warm and wonderful Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez who’s recovering from meniscus surgery (among other things) and notably minus his mustache. Meantime, he’s preparing to rub elbows in the kitchen with chef Philippe Thomelin at a five-course dinner tomorrow night at Olivar. (Philippe was there, too.) I even met my editor Sharon Lane’s gorgeous new daughter-in-law Susie, who (who knew?) is a personal chef. When I asked who she worked for, she pleaded the Fifth, of course.

It was interesting to see — and hear — what the evening’s panelists (Ethan, Kurt, Tamara) had to say about the restaurant business: words of wisdom Tweeted in an endless stream on dual screens on-premise. And it was every bit as interesting to snack and schmooze — which is what it’s all about anyway, right?

That’s Keren, frantically introducing moderator Mina Williams and the panel

(photo/Nate Naismith, Far Sighted Images)

I tasted seared tuna, courtesy of Rachel Apuyan — co-owner of Huiyona in North Capitol Hill, and learned she’s a member of the family that gave Tacoma its Korea-town.

Rachel Apuyan from Huiyona, smiling behind her tuna-snacks

I snacked on steak tartare on toast (thanks, Daisley Gordon), and sipped an Autumnal soup puree from Rover’s garnished with a hardboiled quail’s egg. (Hey, Chef in the Hat! Too bad you weren’t there. And here’s a news flash: your chef de cuisine Adam Hoffman says next time, you peel those wee twee eggs!)

I was surprised and thrilled to find the ever-PC Scotty Simpson and his burger-slinging squeeze Allegra passing out fabulous pulled-pork with slaw on “white trash biscuits crackers.” (Yes, he’s still working on a newer, bigger place to clone his Lunchbox Laboratory, where I’d gladly pay him a small fortune for a hamburger any day).

Sign ‘o the times: white trash biscuit cracker, indeed!

It was nice to have a chance to chat with the two young ladies who introduced themselves then told me about their work for the very informative Web site — part of “your food news network.” I’m sorry to report I missed my chance to sample frogs legs from Anita’s Crepes (mistake!). And because I’m not much of a sweet eater (much to the chagrin of that intrepid CakeSpy, Jessie Oleson, who was there with teensy sweets in hand), I didn’t do dessert, though I did get to meet Baked In Seattle’s Shaw Dixon.

I also met up with Seth Caswell, (very) late of Stumbling Goat Bistro, last seen on this blog when he and I were lending a practiced hand at FareStart’s Guest Chef Night.

Seth Caswell, after an exhausting — yet exhilarating — night at FareStart

Seth explained that his new restaurant Emmer & Rye remains on hold as he seeks out investors. In the major drag department, he lost his chief backer on the eve of signing a lease on the old Typhoon space on Western Avenue (you may know it as the original Wild Ginger). Yo! Money men (and women), not that you asked, but I’d put my chips on his table.

Meanwhile, lest his talent go unsung for long, Caswell’s keeping busy promoting Bluebird Grain Farms emmer (among other locally grown and harvested grains) and heading up the Seattle Chef’s Collaborative. What’s more, he’s put his head together with his pal Dustin Ronspies at Art of the Table, “borrowing” Dustin’s Wallingford restaurant on Tuesday nights when it’s otherwise dark.

That’s when Seth’s offering his newly launched Tuesday Dinner Series: a five-course meal composed on the fly with produce and protein coming straight from our local farmers markets. This cash-only culinary confab ($65, plus $25 for wine/beer if you’re interested, tax and tip included) is a reservation-only gig, and you eat whatever Seth’s making — even if you hate mushrooms, says he. The doors open at 7 p.m., dinner’s served at 7:30.

After sharing my beer (he was cooking emmer fries, he deserved it!), snagging him one of pulled pork sandwich Lunchbox Lab and putting myself on his e-mail list, I received word this morning of four reservations at his artful table, available tonight — thanks to a last-minute cancellation. Chances are they’ll be gone by the time you read this, so may I suggest putting yourself on the Emmer & Rye Tuesday Dinner Series e-mail list (space is limited, as he explains here), shooting for an upcoming Tuesday? Contact him at

Comments | More in Chefs, Fairs, Festivals, Special Events, Food and Restaurant News, Restaurants


No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.

The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►