Trend-setting restaurants, Northwest cookbooks, local food news and the people who make them happen.
November 21, 2013 at 4:12 PM
Dinner under a tent in Seattle in November? Call it foolhardy, even crazy, but also call it sold out—at $200 per person no less. Four hours after Lara Hamilton sent an email in mid-October to her Book Larder mailing list announcing the November 18th event, not a ticket was left. The draw was a chef trifecta. James Beard Award-winner Matt Dillon was cooking with Blaine Wetzel of Willow’s Inn, dubbed “one of ten restaurants in the world worth a plane ride” by the NY Times.
The guest of honor was Copenhagen chef Rene Redzepi of Noma, which held the number one spot on the list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” three years running beginning in 2010. That’s the year “we went from zeros to heros,” said Redzepi in Seattle, one stop on his U.S. tour promoting his latest book, A Work in Progress. (If you missed him last night making chocolate-covered chicharones with Jimmy Kimmel and actor Idris Elba, watch it here. It’s hilarious!) Addressing the 160 people who braved Seattle’s rain and chill on Monday night an impressed Redzepi said, “This would never happen in Denmark.”
October 8, 2013 at 2:10 AM
Update: 10/09. 5 p.m. We just got word from New York City that the airing of “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking” with Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau for this Thursday is not correct as they had promo. Below are the dates of when you can catch the duo on tv.
11/08/13, 12:30 pm KCTS 9 HD
11/08/13, 12:30 pm KYVE 47
11/19/13, 4:00 pm KCTS 9 CREATE
11/19/13, 9:30 pm KCTS 9 CREATE
Also, the episode with Maria Hines and Holly Smith has been moved to a later date: 12/12 at 1 p.m.
On radio, Tom Douglas and Thierry Rautureau always sound like they’re having a great time together. The life of the party, these two. It’s no surprise, then, that their banter translates well to television. You can check them out on the premiere “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking,” a 13-episode series on KCTS. (more…)
October 3, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Those Pok Pok wings are be the biggest Asian comfort food to hit restaurants since David Chang’s pork belly buns. You can check out my cover story here. Everyone seems to do them now. But no one does them quite like Pok Pok. They ‘re garlicky dark meat with a crispy skin, coated in a salty-and-sweet glaze, an umami bomb that will have you gnawing again and again. And now you can make them at home. (more…)
September 18, 2013 at 2:56 PM
There’s nothing I like better than combining a good deed with a good meal. Two Seattle restaurants—BOKA Restaurant + Bar in the Hotel 1000 downtown, and Tilth Restaurant in Wallingford—are giving diners the chance to do just that by participating in the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® Local Dish Challenge.
Joining more than 160 restaurants across the country, BOKA and Tilth have each created a dish showcasing the best of our local bounty—and it may surprise no one to learn that both chose salmon.
At BOKA, chefs Peter Birk and Azad Rawat are serving Alaskan King Salmon with cannellini beans, braised pork belly and chanterelles, finished with salt-and-vinegar Brussels sprout chips.
At Tilth, chef Maria Hines designated her smoked sockeye salmon with celery, hazelnuts, grapes, apple, and creme fraiche as the “Local Dish” contender.
One dollar from each of those salmon dishes sold through October 31, 2013 will go to the JBF Taste America® Education Drive, which supports the Foundation’s many educational programs on topics surrounding our country’s food system. In addition, Taste America® presenting sponsor Chase Sapphire Preferred will match those dollars (up to $100,000 nationwide).
But wait, there’s more! I never thought I’d encourage the practice but, to all of you who love taking pictures of your food, whip out those smartphones and snap away because the contest has a social media twist that could benefit a local organization too.
Take a photo of the dish, and post it to Instagram with #JBFTasteamerica and the hashtag of your city. For example: Just had this salmon #jbftasteamerica dish from @BOKArestaurant (or @Tilth) in #Seattle.)
When the promotion ends, the city with the most Instagram photo uploads will be declared the winner and a local charity (selected by the participating restaurants) will receive a donation from JBF in the amount of $10,000 or 10% of the proceeds raised nationally, whichever is higher. Seattle’s beneficiary is PCC Farmland Trust.
Remember to post the photo to Instagram and use the specified hashtags for it to count toward the competition among the participating cities.
September 3, 2013 at 6:00 AM
In an “open letter to bigot diners” on the Mashiko website, Sato wrote recently that some customers were making “ignorant comments” to his staff and in online reviews, saying that there are no Japanese people working at the restaurant.
“Why yes, we do have a female sushi chef. She also happens to be Caucasian,” he wrote.
“Her name is Mariah Kmitta, and we are blessed to have her behind our sushi bar. Mariah has been wowing customers at Mashiko for over 12 years. She has an amazing following of devoted customers who only dine with us when Mariah is working…Should you refuse her fare based on her gender or race, you are an absolute fool.”
Several people of Japanese descent work at Mashiko, Sato wrote in the post, but it shouldn’t matter. “Would you refuse service at an Irish pub if your server didn’t speak with a fanciful brogue? You do realize that sometimes people in this great big melting pot may not have a look that accurately reflects their genetic makeup. Do you also insist on DNA tests wherever you go? Of course not. Stop being an ignorant racist.”
Mashiko customers applauded the letter on the website and on a Facebook post, which was widely shared and debated online.
A writer at Slate, though, said it seems like an oversimplification to say that race and gender and sexual orientation don’t matter:
“Mashiko, which has a Japanese owner, should not be accused of cultural appropriation. But if, hypothetically speaking, a group of white Americans opened a sushi restaurant and hired an all or mostly white staff, would race still “not matter”?” wrote L.V. Anderson.
“In that instance, race would matter, and quite a bit, because the owners would be capitalizing off of others’ culinary traditions and their own white privilege at the same time. It sounds great to say that everybody is equal or that you don’t see race, but it minimizes the persistent systemic racism that favors white people over everyone else.”
Sato told the West Seattle Herald that “It’s crazy, like 30,000 people looked at (the blog post). And before (the bigot letter) I posted about how smelt is great and I got like 100 people looking at it. I’m passionate about anti-racism, but I’m passionate about smelt too. I just hope people will eat smelt more and not be racist.”
August 21, 2013 at 5:51 PM
I like to cook as much as I like to eat in restaurants, but much of what I eat in restaurants, I wouldn’t attempt to reproduce at home. Isn’t that why we go to restaurants, after all? Chefs cook so much better than we do. Still there are times when I taste something delicious that seems within my grasp, and I think: “I want that recipe!”
At Radiator Whiskey, I loved the cornflake-crusted chicken livers, the lamb neck sloppy Joe and the fried beef-lip terrine that chefs Tyler Palagi and Charlie Garrison do so well. But one dish I want to work into my regular repertoire at home is their flaming-red tomato and watermelon salad —especially now, while both key ingredients are at their seasonal peaks. Palagi shared their recipe (not yet tested by me). (more…)
June 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM
Food & Wine’s Magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2013 grace the cover of the July issue (on newsstands now). No Seattle chef made the cut this year but look inside: Ethan Stowell was named a “Best New Chef All-Star.”
To celebrate 25 years of “Best New Chef” honorees, the editors chose one from each year for the All-Star roster. Stowell (Class of 2008) joins a group that includes such culinary luminaries as Thomas Keller (1988), Tom Colicchio (1991), Grant Achatz (2002) and David Chang (2006).
Stowell’s reaction to being one of the 25: “There are some pretty sweet dudes on that list. These are my idols. I looked up to all those guys.”
May 29, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Madison Park Conservatory chef Cormac Mahoney was one of 15 chefs from across the country chosen to attend the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change hosted by the James Beard Foundation. When he landed in Louisville, Kentucky for the three-day event earlier this month, a jewel-encrusted vintage limo whisked him from the airport to the art-filled 21c Museum Hotel.
Chefs are the rock stars of the food world and many are realizing that gives them a bully pulpit. Learning how to use their clout to effectively advocate for issues they care about was the main goal of the Boot Camp, where chefs spent time in the classroom, on a working farm and, of course, cooking.
The event was led by Michel Nischan, a JBF Award-winning chef and founder of Wholesome Wave, along with Eric Kessler, founder of Arabella Advisors. Wholesome Wave, a non-profit dedicated to supporting small and mid-size farms, works to improve food standards nationwide. Arabella Advisors provides strategies and structure for people who want to make change happen
Seattle chef Maria Hines attended last year’s pilot Boot Camp. She was invited back this year to talk about what the experience meant to her. As the chef/owner of three certified organic restaurants — Tilth, Golden Beetle and Agrodolce —Hines is no stranger to food advocacy. She says: (more…)
December 22, 2011 at 7:30 AM
In the cookbook “Tom’s Big Dinners,” Tom Douglas devotes a generous chapter to the late, great Seattle restaurant Labuznik, closed when owner-chef Peter Cipra retired in 1998. Under the heading “Remembering Labuznik,” Douglas writes:
“Everyone needs a home-away-from-home restaurant, where the only difference between eating there and at home is you don’t have to cook or do the dishes. For me it was Seattle’s only Czech restaurant, Labuznik. There the waiters knew I liked my martini wet and my roast pork with extra gravy. They knew there wasn’t a choice between soup and salad: I wanted both. They knew I always wanted a side order of sweet carrots and creamed spinach instead of dessert. In fact, Labuznik was the kind of restaurant we all dream about finding, where the waiter brings you what you want before you ask for it. For me, Peter Cipra was Labuznik.”
“Peter had the same respect for potato that he did for lobster,” chef Scott Carsberg said of Cipra, who died last week at 68 of pancreatic cancer. (Read the full obituary here.) “He was old school, and it was very real. In my life as a cook I can name five people that I really respect, and he was one of them.”
Seattle architect Peter Miller recalls of his friend’s devotion to doing things right at Labuznik: “He did all of his own butchering, all of his own stock, all of his own pastries. There was Peter making every single meal, every pepper steak, roasting his own peppers, making his own sauces. His pork!”
Ah, his pork. Like his Tournedos Rossini — and Cipra, himself — it was legendary.
December 9, 2011 at 8:34 AM
Be sure to read Seattle Times restaurant critic Providence Cicero’s review of Altura, the new Capitol Hill restaurant that stood atop my fall newbie list and has rocketed to the top of the star-power firmament, thanks to chef/owner Nathan Lockwood, his wife Rebecca and their stellar crew.
Open only two months, this casual 36-seat seductress has it going on on every level: food, service, ambiance, wine list — the works. After my first meal here, I made sure to plan ahead and reserve for my next. I can’t wait.
Nathan Lockwood at Altura, my new favorite restaurant. [Seattle Times/Mark Harrison]
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