Wednesday, March 18, 2015

FOOD EVENT: Vegfest 2015




This weekend is Seattle Vegfest 2015! Vegetarians unite! Vegfest is a healthy vegetarian food festival that offers food samples, cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, and health checks. Check out the Vegfest website for more info on the food festival.

Friday, March 21st and Saturday, March 22nd, 2015
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
10am - 6pm
Tickets available at the door
Adults $8, Kids 12 and under - Free

Sunday, March 15, 2015

FOOD NEWS: James Beard Award Semifinalists

Photo Credit: James Beard Foundation

Last month the James Beard Foundation announced the 2015 Restaurant and Chef Award Semifinalists. As always, Washington state has a good representation of outstanding chefs and restaurants. Here is a list of the Washington state Semifinalists. The finalists will be announced on March 24th, 2015, at the James Beard House in New York City.
  
Outstanding Baker
Evan Andres, Columbia City Bakery - Columbia City, Seattle

Outstanding Bar Program
Canon - Capitol Hill, Seattle

Outstanding Chef
Holly Smith, Cafe Juanita - Kirkland, WA

Outstanding Restaurant
Canlis - Queen Anne, Seattle

Outstanding Restaurateur
Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants (Staple and Fancy, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, Chippy's, MKT., Red Cow, Rione XIII, Tavolata, Ballard Pizza Company) - Seattle

Outstanding Wine Program
Wild Ginger - Downtown Seattle and Bellevue, WA

Rising Star of the Year
Jay Blackinton, Hogstone Wood Oven - Orcas Island, WA

Best Chef: Northwest
Eric Donnelly, RockCreek - Fremont, Seattle
Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins - Wallingford, Seattle
Jeremy Hansen, Sante - Spokane, WA
Nathan Lockwood, Altura - Capitol Hill, Seattle
Garrett Melkonian, Mamnoon - Capitol Hill, Seattle
Dustin Ronspies, Art of the Table - Fremont, Seattle
Jason Stratton, Spinasse - Capitol Hill, Seattle
Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn on Lummi Island - Lummi Island, WA
Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule - Wallingford, Seattle

A full list of all the national Semifinalists can be found at the James Beard Foundation website.

Congratulations to all the Semifinalists and good luck!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

REVIEW: The London Plane


Last weekend I had Brunch at The London Plane in Pioneer Square. I have been wanting to eat at this cafe since it opened a year ago. The London Plane is owned by Mathew Dillon who also owns the popular Sitka and Spruce, The Corson Building, bar ferd'nand, and bar Sajor. It is also a partnership between Katherine Anderson, owner of Marigold and Mint. The London Plane is one of many new restaurants that have opened in Pioneer Square over the last year that has started a revitalization of Seattle's oldest neighborhood.


The London Plane is located at 300 Occidental Avenue South. It is a corner space in a beautiful historic building. The space has huge floor to high-ceiling windows that just flood the space with natural light. When you enter the cafe you are greeted by a large table of beautiful flower arrangements from Marigold and Mint. The counter to the right offers fresh bakery goods and an array of salads, soups, and other delicious looking food items. There is seating available upstairs on the second level that offers up a great view of the main dining area and cafe bar.


I was really looking forward to trying the food at The London Plane. Matthew Dillon had huge success with Sitka and Spruce, so I had high expectations. I decided to start with one of the baked goods, as they all sounded so delicious. I wanted to go with the orange scented morning bun, but they were unfortunately out of them that morning. I went with my second choice, the warm biscuit with seasonal preserve and crème fraiche. I'm not going to lie, this biscuit with the preserve and crème fraiche was one of the best biscuits I have had in a very long time. So I'm kind of glad they were out of the morning bun. 


I love Brunch. It gives me an excuse to have an alcoholic beverage in the morning. Not that I really need an excuse. The Mimosa was very tasty and it was a generous pour. So we were off to a good start. Next came the main dish.


I ordered the salt cured king salmon with marinated beets, fennel, crème fraich and a boiled egg. First off, the presentation of the food was amazing. The food almost looked like a floral arrangement, and it tasted as good as it looked. Everything was so fresh and full of flavor. I really liked the paper-thin shaved radishes. I'm a big fan of fennel, and this dish had just the right amount to not overpower the salmon, which was delicious! The boiled egg was just slightly more than soft boiled and the yolk just slowly oozed when I cut into it. I would definitely come back for more of this dish.


The London Plane is also a specialty foods store. They offer foods, gift ideas, cookbooks, soaps, cards, tableware, and other great food-related items. I highly recommend stopping into The London Plane,either for some delicious food, or to wander through their store items. If you do plan on going for dinner, I would suggest making reservations, as they tend to fill up very quickly.


 
The London Plane on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 27, 2015

FOOD EVENT: Dine Around Seattle

http://dinearoundseattle.org/about/

The bi-annual dining promotion Dine Around Seattle is here again! Some of the area's best restaurants offer up a 3-course prix-fixe menu for only $33! Some even offer a 3-course lunch for only $18! It takes place all during the month of March, Sundays through Thursdays, excluding Sunday Brunch and Holidays.

Check out their website for a full listing of all the participating restaurants.


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Sunday, January 18, 2015

RECIPES: Food for the big game!


This Sunday is the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. The winner of the game is on their way to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX. If you're a football fan you'll most likely be glued to the TV on Sunday to see which teams will punch their ticket to the Super Bowl. If you're going to be watching the game with some friends, try making some of these tasty snacks for the game!



http://www.chowdownseattle.com/2014/08/drinks-classic-bloody-mary.html#uds-search-results

Since the Seahawks game on Sunday starts at Noon, try making some classic Bloody Marys! Check out my recipe here.

http://www.chowdownseattle.com/2012/11/recipe-classic-deviled-eggs.html

For some brunch finger foods, try making some deviled eggs. Check out my recipe here.

http://www.chowdownseattle.com/2012/07/recipe-pico-de-gallo.html#uds-search-results

No game watching is complete without chips. Try making some fresh Pico de Gallo! Try my recipe here.


http://www.chowdownseattle.com/2011/11/recipe-butterscotch-chocolate-chip.html#uds-search-results

For the sweet tooth, make some Chocolate Chip and Butterscotch Chip Cookies! Check out my recipe here.


I hope you have fun watching the game with good friends and good food!

GO SEAHAWKS!!!



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!


I hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving filled with family, friends and delicious food!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

RECIPE: Fresh Cranberry Sauce


 Like I have mentioned before, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's all about food, family and friends. If there's one thing I love, it's food! Of course I love my family and friends too! So every year, one of my favorite side dishes to make for Thanksgiving dinner is fresh cranberry sauce. Plus it's very easy to make! I like to make it the night before and let it settle in the fridge overnight. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Ingredients:

12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup white sugar

Directions:

In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar and orange juice over medium heat. Stir in the cranberries and cook until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes). Remove the cranberries from heat and place the sauce in a bowl. The cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Enjoy!


I hope you all have a fun and delicious Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2014

HOLIDAY: Thanksgiving 2014




Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It's all about family, friends, food, and of course football! Oh, and giving thanks for all that we have. There is nothing better than stuffing your face with a great turkey dinner, devouring a couple pieces of pie, downing a few too many glasses of wine, and then taking a nice, long tryptophan-induced nap before watching the Seattle Seahawks defeat the San Francisco 49ers! That is what I call the perfect Thanksgiving Day!

Are you the lucky one hosting a Thanksgiving dinner this year? Or are you invited to your friend's or family's house for dinner? Either way, I scoured the internet to find some great recipes to help make this year's Thanksgiving dinner a delicious feast!

Turkey
Perfect Roast Turkey - By Ina Garten from Food Network
Roast Turkey with Cornbread Dressing - By LouElla Hill from Saveur
Dry-Brined Turkey - By Russ Parsons from FOOD52

Stuffing
Chorizo and Collard Green Dressing - By Patrick and Gina Neely from Food Network
Essential Thanksgiving Herbed Stuffing - By Kelsey Nixon from the Cooking Channel
Wild Mushroom Whole Wheat Stuffing with Tarragon - By Barbara Lynch from Food and Wine

Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole - By Southern Living from MyRecipes.com
Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes - By Martha Stewart from MarthaStewart.com
Yukon Gold Potato and Wild Mushroom Gratin - By Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier from Bon Appetit

Cranberry Sauce
Simple Cranberry Sauce - By Betty Crocker from BettyCrocker.com
Cranberry Apple Chutney - By Martha Stewart from MarthaStewart.com
Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Sauce - By Aaron McCargo Jr. from Food Network

Pies
The Great Pumpkin Pie Recipe - By Sally from Sally'sBakingAddiction.com
Old-Fashioned Pecan Pie - By Andrea Albin from Epicurious.com
Dutch Apple Pie with Oatmeal Streusel - By Ginny from Allrecipes.com

I hope some of those recipes help! Have a great Thanksgiving! I hope it's filled with good company, delicious food, and a Seahawks win!!


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

TRAVEL: Chow Down Seattle Visits Peru!

Machu Picchu, Peru
A little over a month ago I traveled to South America with two of my good friends. The first country we visited was Peru. We had a short flight from Seattle to LAX. Then we had a long flight to Lima, Peru. After getting our luggage, we checked in to our next flight to Cusco, Peru. We weren't done yet. We then had a private car take us to Urubamba, where we spent two nights. Urubamba is located an hour from Cusco and is the largest town in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It is about an hour and a half from Machu Picchu.

We stayed at Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Resort and Spa. It's a beautiful resort with a great restaurant. The rooms and the amenities were amazing! The night before our trip to Machu Picchu we had a great dinner at Hawa, the resort's restaurant. They use organic ingredients from neighboring farmers. The chefs prepare traditional Incan fare with a contemporary spin. I started my dinner with a glass of Peruvian wine from Tabernero Winery, Gran Tinto Fina Reserva. We were given a complimentary amuse bouche of sushi. It was delicious!

Sushi Amuse Bouche
For my dinner, I ordered chicken cooked vacuum packed, smoked with Muna and fine herbs, served with butternut squash puree, caramelized baby vegetables and Muna sauce. Everything about this meal was delicious!

Chicken with vegetables and Muna sauce

For dessert, I order a dish with chocolate cake, ice cream and caramel sauce. It tasted amazing!

Caramel sauce, ice cream and chocolate cake


We were also treated to some complimentary Peruvian cookies.

Peruvian Cookies
Below is a picture of the beautiful Hawa Restaurant at Tambo del Inka. The huge fireplace is the centerpiece of the restaurant, along with the amazing wood beams that mimic the shape of a tree. The service at Hawa was outstanding.

Hawa Restaurant at Tambo del Inka

Beef Tenderloin with Rice and Fries
For dinner the second night, I had the Beef Tenderloin with Rice and Fries. This was my favorite of the two dinners. The beef was tender and delicious, and the sauce was perfect to dip the fries into.

Peruvian Chocolates
We were treated to some complimentary Peruvian Chocolates that resembles the Andes Mountains. They too were delicious!

After two great nights in Urubamba, we traveled to Cusco for one night. Cusco is located in southeastern Peru and it is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cuzco Province. It was the site of the historic capital of the Inca Empire. One thing you do have to watch out for when visiting Cusco is altitude sickness. The city's elevation is at 11,200 feet. I definitely felt the elevation as it was hard to breath at times. One thing Cusco does have is great food! We stayed at the Palacio del Inka, another Luxury Collection Hotel. It was a beautiful hotel. We had dinner at the Inti Raymi Restaurant. They are well known for using local Andean ingredients that include Quinoa to a vast array of potatoes and vegetables from the Sacred Valley.

Dining Room at Inti Raymi Restaurant
We were seated in a small dining room in part of the restaurant that only contained four tables. The hotel is built on old Inca ruins over 500 years old.

Alpaca Tartar
We were treated to a complimentary Alpaca Tartar with mushrooms and vegetables. I was hesitant to try raw Alpaca meat, especially since Alpaca are cure furry animals, but it honestly was delicious.

Tagliatelle with Beef Sauteed, Creole Style
My main entree was Tagliatelle with Beef Sauteed, Creole Style. It was served with cooked tomatoes and onions. This was truly a delicious dish! The beef was seasoned perfectly.

Needless to say, I loved my meal.

Assortment of Peruvian Chocolates
We again were treated to some complimentary Peruvian Chocolates. They just love giving away their chocolates!

Various vegetables from Peru.
Various vegetables from Peru.
Peruvians are very proud of their food. Next to our dining room was another larger dining area that had two large tables displaying native Peruvian foods. On display were various types of potatoes, Quinoa, Lima beans, Caigua (a vegetable with a cucumber taste), corn and rice. One thing that I didn't know is that the potato is native to Peru. I have to also mention that the service at the Inti Raymi Restaurant was amazing! I could eat here every night!

Cusco

The flags of Peru and Cusco.
Peruvian Bakery in Cusco.
Ricuras Bakery
I highly recommend visiting Peru to take in Machu Picchu and all of the natural beauty of the Andes Mountains. The food is amazing and the people are very friendly and welcoming.

Next week I will write about our stay in Santiago, Chile and the food we experienced there. Stay tuned!

FOOD EVENT: Dine Around Seattle



We're very fortunate to live in a city with great restaurants. The food scene has exploded over the past several years. Last month was Seattle Restaurant Week and now in the month of November, it's the bi-annual dining event Dine Around Seattle! Participating restaurants off a 3-course prix-fixe dinner menu including appetizer, entree and dessert for only $33! 3-course lunches are offered at some restaurants for only $18! Just like Seattle Restaurant Week, Dine Around Seattle offers the opportunity to try out restaurants at a great price. Dine Around Seattle gives you an entire month to head out and try as many restaurants as you can. So make a list, loosen your belt and get eating!

Dine Around Seattle takes place November 2nd - 30th, Sundays through Thursdays, excluding Sunday Brunch and Holidays.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

FOOD EVENT: Seattle Restaurant Week



Yes, it's called "Seattle Restaurant Week", but lucky for us it's two weeks long! Seattle Restaurant Week gives everyone a chance to try out some new restaurants for a great price. You get three courses for only $30! Check out the Seattle Restaurant Week website for a listing of over 160 restaurants who are participating. Now make your game plan, and get out there and EAT!! Cheers!

Monday, August 18, 2014

FOOD EVENT RECAP: Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market

Friday night The Pike Place Market Foundation hosted the Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market. It is one of the largest events of the year to raise money for the Market Foundation. The Sunset Supper featured some of the best Chefs, restaurants, wineries, distilleries and breweries the Seattle area has to offer! It doesn't get any better in Seattle than savoring great food and drinks throughout a warm, summer evening at one of the city's most popular landmarks!


Even before the event started, there was already a long line of people waiting to enter the Market so they could start enjoying the great food and drinks that awaited them.



The Sunset Supper featured a lot of great Chefs including Seattle's own Thierry Rautureau, The Chef in the Hat! Thierry is well-known for his two popular restaurants, Luc and Loulay. Thierry has appeared on Bravo's "Top Chef Masters", and is also the co-host of "Seattle Kitchen" on KIRO Radio. Thierry is one of my favorite Chefs. He always takes delight in preparing delicious food he knows people will enjoy.

Throughout the evening, I had the pleasure of sampling a lot of great food, wines and liquor. Below is a slide show of some of the amazing food and drinks offered by the vendors at the Sunset Supper.

...


From the start of the event, the Market was full of energy with attendees sampling the delicious offerings from all the vendors.


Not only was everyone treated to great food and drinks, but the live entertainment was great too! The band played through the evening entertaining the crowd as they danced through the night.


The Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market would not be complete without a beautiful sunset! Earlier in the day, it almost looked as if the weather would not cooperate, but it turned out to be a beautiful evening.

Future expansion plans for Pike Place Market
Proceeds from the Sunset Support go to The Pike Place Market Foundation, which is the heart of the Market. The Foundation helps the Market we all love remain a thriving, caring community. The Foundation was established in 1982. It is a non-profit organization which supports housing and services for low-income neighbors.  They provide a food bank to feed the hungry; a preschool available to low-income families; a medical clinic offering care for homeless, low-income, and elderly clients; and Heritage House that offers assisted living to seniors.

The Market is planning to expand Westward! The viaduct will be coming down soon, and the Market will be expanding West to offer space for more vendors and access to the waterfront. This is a very ambitious project, but the benefits to the Market, downtown and the waterfront will be huge. The Waterfront Entrance to Pike Place Market will expand upon the heart of what The Market Foundation does in the community. You can help the Market realize its dream by making a donation today!


Even Rachel the Piggy Bank was all dressed up for the Sunset Supper!

The Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market was truly a great evening of food, drinks and entertainment. The event allowed some of the best Chefs, restaurants, wineries, distilleries and breweries to highlight what they have to offer. It was also a great event to raise awareness of The Market Foundation and what it does to keep the Market a thriving and caring community. This was by far the best food event I have attended this year, and I look forward to attending next year! Be sure to check out The Market Foundation's website to get the latest news on their future events, and to learn more about what the Market has to offer.