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Topic: Ethan Stowell
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September 6, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Ethan Stowell used to be known for downtown dining. Remember upscale Union, his first “outstanding” urban restaurant? Tavolata, his second, still drawing customers nightly to Belltown?
In the years since he grew from chef to major restaurateur, he’s branched up and down the scale from date-night spots to ballpark franks and pizza parlors, opening ever-smaller outposts in nearby Queen Anne and hip Capitol Hill and booming Ballard.
Next up, though, is a different kind of neighborhood: “mkt,” a downright tiny 600-square-foot contemporary American restaurant, is scheduled to open mid-month in Tangletown. It’ll be in the Keystone Building at 2108 N. 55th St., the same building where the cult-following Honey Bear Bakery used to be.
Tangletown is hardly an obscure area (though the Huffington Post did call it Seattle’s ‘hidden neighborhood,’ but it’s also hardly known for its nightlife. Stowell’s folks said in a press release that he’s “long had a goal of creating community and enlivening Seattle’s neighborhoods with his restaurants, and has endeavored to open restaurants in varied areas of the city.” (He said as far back as 2008 that he wouldn’t be looking at more 85-seat or 3,400-square-foot spots.)
Joe Ritchie, formerly of Poppy and Ray’s Boathouse, will head the kitchen at the new restaurant (it’s pronounced “market.”) Many dishes will be cooked on a wood-fired grill, and the sample opening menu includes dishes from raw porcini salad to grilled lamb tongue with baby beets. Sound like anything you’d like for your own neighborhood hangout?
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 7, 2013 at 6:00 AM
It’s a good thing it’s an honor just to be nominated, because the 2013 James Beard awards weren’t kind to Seattle.
Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland took the “Best Chef Northwest” category of the awards, commonly known as the Oscars of the food world, beating out a group that included Seattleites Jason Franey of Canlis and Ethan Stowell of Staple+Fancy. Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco was the national “Rising Star Chef,” a prestigious category where the finalists included Blaine Wetzel of the Willows Inn on Lummi Island. In the cookbook awards ceremony Friday night, three locals were finalists — Michael Natkin for Herbivoracious in the Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian category (Roots by Portland’s Diane Morgan took the medal), The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle for Baking and Desserts (Portland’s Ken Forkish won for Flour Water Salt Yeast), and Modernist Cuisine at Home by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet, of the Bellevue-based Cooking Lab, in general cooking (breaking the Portland lock, at least, that category was won by Canal House Cooks Every Day by New Jersey-based Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer.)
The complete list of 2013 winners is online here. And if there’s a consolation prize — beyond the fact that the nomination really is something to celebrate — it’s that some of the most notable awards, as L.A. Times reporters remarked, were “long overdue.” That’s starting to be true for Canlis and Stowell’s restaurants too.
April 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM
First came the self-checkout line in the supermarket. Then there was the online restaurant reservation. Don’t forget the iPhone credit card reader apps. And now, diners at least at a few Seattle restaurants, have the “RAIL” payment system. It splits the check, it calculates the tip, and it’s supposed to keep credit card transactions more secure.
Ethan Stowell just started using the system (developed by Kirkland-based Viableware) at his newest Seattle restaurants, Bar Cotto and Rione XIII. Customers will get a bill in what looks like the typical pleather bill folder, but, in this case, is a small electronic device with an encrypted credit card swiper. Customers can swipe their own cards and email receipts to themselves, or there’s an option to pay cash. The theory is that using the device will save servers (and customers) the time of having servers return to the table to grab the card, run the information, and walk back to drop off the receipt, while it will save customers the concern of having their credit cards out of their hands, or any worries about tip amounts being altered. (On the other side, will restaurateurs now need to worry about customers taking home the electronic devices?) A few restaurant chains, including P.F. Chang’s and Restaurants Unlimited, started using the system last year.
It was beta-tested at Boom Noodle, where Geekwire’s John Cook asked the all-important clincher question: What happens if you spill red wine or teriyaki sauce on an electronic bill? Viableware CEO Joe Snell told Cook that even ketchup is no problem; the system was designed for the “typical wear and tear in a restaurant environment.” No word on what happens if kids at the table try programming the device to play Plants vs. Zombies while the grownups linger over their coffee.
March 18, 2013 at 12:48 PM
Several Seattle authors and chefs were on the list when finalists for the prestigious James Beard awards were announced Monday morning.
For cookbooks, Michael Natkin’s Herbivoracious was a finalist in the Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian category, and The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook: Sweetness in Seattle was nominated for Baking and Desserts. Modernist Cuisine at Home by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet, of the Bellevue-based Cooking Lab, was a finalist in general cooking (its 6-volume predecessor, Modernist Cuisine, won two awards last year, including cookbook of the year.) Natkin, in an interesting twist, now also works for Seattle-based ChefSteps, which was founded by a handful of former members of the Modernist Cuisine team.
In the chef and restaurant awards, Blaine Wetzel of The Willows Inn on Lummi Island was a finalist for Rising Star Chef, a high-flying category whose past winners includes David Chang and Marcus Samuelsson.
In the Best Chef Northwest category, there were no surprises in the all-star lineup, all of whom have been nominated for Beards in past years: Jason Franey of Canlis and Ethan Stowell of Staple+Fancy (and other ventures) are up against Portlandites Naomi Pomeroy of Beast, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon (who won the Rising Star Chef award in 2011), and Cathy Whims of Nostrana.
Winners will be announced in May in New York City. The complete list is online here. The finalists list was narrowed down from these semifinalists — I was disappointed that more of the local semifinalists weren’t honored today. Who would have been on your list?
Photo of Michael Natkin by Alan Berner/The Seattle Times
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