Byron and Anitha Hummel will cook up plenty of “NaanSense” on October 20 at Soni and Henri Schock’s Madrona wine bar, Bottlehouse.
The dinner launches the Hummel’s Kickstarter campaign to secure the second half of the funding they need to get their Indian food truck, NaanSense, rolling. The three-course menu ($75 with Bottlehouse wine pairings) offers guests a taste of what the couple plan to dispense from their mobile kitchen. Menu choices will include: prawn varuval, paneer masala, madras lamb curry, coho salmon curry, coconut eggplant masala, and for dessert cardamom ricotta cheesecake with tamarind peach compote.
The Hummels met in culinary school but their romance kindled in the kitchen at Phoenecia on Alki, where she was his sous chef and he turned out incredible pizzas. That gig ended abruptly for Byron, but the personal relationship flourished. Eventually he helped open Pritty Boy Family Pizzeria in Madrona, where he is now general manager, and she moved on to Branzino and other cooking jobs. They married three years ago.
Byron not only fell in love with Anitha, he became besotted with her cooking. “She is from India and makes awesome Indian food which I wasn’t really exposed to prior to our union,” he said. “Indian food is some of the best food in the world. When done right the complexity and layers of flavors that come through are amazing.”
Here are a couple of dishes from the NaanSense repertoire:
As described in their Kickstarter précis, the “three pillars” of their business will be: all natural ingredients; a flexible, affordable, á la carte menu with protein-based and vegetable-based dishes; and a tandoori oven for making the airy, Indian flatbread, naan.
“I’ve always been passionate about bread,” says Byron, a dough master who has merged his pizza skills with the traditional Indian preparation of naan. His method uses a starter, slow fermentation and whole milk yogurt. He finishes the fresh-baked rounds with ghee, garlic, shallots and Murray River pink salt.
Now that I’ve got you salivating, you should know that Bottlehouse only has room for about 40 people at the dinner. Contact them to reserve tickets at firstname.lastname@example.org.