Taste Washington seminars

Don’t Miss Taste Washington March 29 and 30

Taste Washington 2014

Here in Vancouver, BC we typically think about wines from BC, but just a short drive south to Washington state, you can also find wonderful wines.  A great way to get an introduction to Washington State wines is to attend Taste Washington, a yearly event held in Seattle.  The 17th annual Taste Washington event is scheduled for Saturday, March 29 and Sunday, March 30, 2014, at CenturyLink Field Event Center.

Cairdeas Winery Nellie Mae Viognier Roussanne 2011

Cairdeas Winery Nellie Mae Viognier Roussanne 2011

I have been attending Taste Washington for a few years, and learn alot about the wines.  Instead of driving across Washington state to try different wines, or visiting clusters of tasting rooms in Woodinville, the wineries come to you at Taste Washington.  If you are a lover of Syrah for example, you could sample and compare the wide range at this event, and finding out which wineries match to your palate.  All in one day.  On your own, it may take a whole summer of driving around Washington state to taste the same number of Syrah.  Also you can also go back to a winery table and re-taste a wine to compare with another wine.  A real fun, learning experience.

Seared tuna salad at Taste Washington

Seared tuna salad at Taste Washington

There are two components to this event.  The first, and largest, component is the food & wine tasting room, where you can try wine from over 180 different wineries!  I really like the tasting room as there are food stations hosted by various Washington state restaurants where you can try food and wine together.  The other component are the seminars. There are 4 seminars each day covering different topics related to Washington wine.  The seminars are very interesting. A few topics are:

  • learning about blending wines (a hands-on experience),
  • food & wine pairing, wines from old vines,
  • Rhone grape varieties, and
  • Washington vs the world.

Here are a few posts and youtube videos that I have done from past Taste Washington events:

I encourage you to buy your tickets for this event before it sells out.  See you there!

“Life Is A Cabernet” At John Howie Steak’s Silver Oak & Twomey Cellars Wine Dinner

In case you are going to be in Seattle on March 5, or you are lucky to be living in the Seattle area, you may want to sign up for this delicious looking dinner from John Howie Steak in Bellvue.  The food menu looks very rich; Muscovy duck breast, Wagyu beef… The wines are from the prestigious Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars in Napa Valley, plus some of these wines are poured as a vertical tasting!  The press release is below.

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Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars wines

Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars wines

Bellevue, Washington – A limited amount of lucky guests will get the red carpet treatment on Tuesday, March 5th, at John Howie Steak in Bellevue, when the award winning chef prepares an incredible menu paired with the top selling wines of Silver Oak and Twomey Cellars. He will be joined by Tim Duncan, Executive Vice President for Silver Oak Winery, and Managing Partner of Twomey Winery, overseeing all production of these critically acclaimed wines.

Silver Oak has focused solely on producing exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon for over 40 years. Each Cab, produced from either their Napa Valley or Alexander Valley vineyards, is distinctive, food friendly and aged to be drinkable upon release. Founded in the ‘70’s by Raymond Twomey Duncan and Justin Meyer, the wines are aged exclusively in American oak. In 1999, the Duncan family created Twomey Cellars with winemaker Daniel Baron. It also has two wineries: one in Calistoga and the other in Healdsburg, where Merlot, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are produced using classical French technique.

The Menu

Proprietor and author John Howie, together with Chef Mark Hipkiss, have designed an opulent six-course dinner, as follows:

Humboldt Fog & Roasted Beets

Candied hazelnuts, chevre vinaigrette, baby greens

Twomey, Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, CA 2009

Torchon of Foie Gras

Grapes three ways

Twomey, Pinot Noir ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard’, Santa Maria Valley CA 2009

Alaskan King Salmon

Spring chanterelles, creamed leeks, reduction

Twomey, Merlot, Napa, CA 2008

Seared Muscovy Duck Breast

Duck confit risotto, sweet peas, black truffle

Silver Oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, CA Vintages from 2004, 2005 and 2006

Dry Aged Australian Wagyu Zabuton

Porcini jam, Stilton potato cake, braised carrots, jus

Silver Oak, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, CA Vintages from 2004, 2005 and 2006

5 year Reggiano Parmigiano

Dried fruit jam, walnut crisp, red wine honey

 Sweets and Truffles

Illy Café

Where and When

The Silver Oak and Twomey winemaker’s dinner on Tuesday, March 5th, will start at 6:30 pm, is priced at $195.00 per person (tax and gratuity are additional), with limited seating.  John Howie Steak is located in The Shops at The Bravern at 11111 NE 8th Street, Suite 125, Bellevue, Washington.  For reservations please call Wilma Manchester at 425-440-0878.  Available seats will be allocated on a first contact, first serve basis.

Party with a Purpose in January in Seattle with NOLA Style

If you have been reading my past articles you will know about Chef John Howie and how he contributes back to Society.  Here is his latest event in Seattle, Washington.  It sounds fun.  I love New Orleans food and spirit.  Here is the announcement of the event.  If you are in Vancouver, BC like me, this is an easy trip down. Enjoy!

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John Howie and Craig Terrill

John Howie and Craig Terrill

Seattle, Washington — Chef John Howie and singing Seahawk alumni Craig Terrill are bringing a taste of New Orleans, the official host city of Super Bowl XLVII, to SPORT Restaurant & Bar on Thursday, January 10th, 2013. The duo, the Seahawks’ chef and alumni representatives for football’s biggest faceoff, have organized “The Big Easy” inspired event as part of the “Kick Hunger Challenge” sponsored by Taste of the NFL.   That evening, 150 guests will enjoy an evening of fun, food and foot-stomping music with 100% of the proceeds going to Food Lifeline and fighting hunger in Western Washington. For every dollar raised, the organization will be able to provide a full day of nutritious meals for a hungry individual.

The “Party with a Purpose” is priced at $35 per person and kicks off at 7:00 pm with a hearty dinner of distinctive Creole and Cajun influenced dishes including Gumbo, Spicy Creole Chicken, Cajun Style Crawfish Boil with Corn & Red Potatoes, Jambalaya made with Andouille Sausage & Tasso Ham, and Maker’s Mark Bourbon Bread Pudding.  Craig Terrill and his band, comprised of some of Seattle’s best musicians, will play original American Rock songs as well as classics.  Guests will also have a chance during a special silent auction to bid on an amazing array of specialty items from Seahawk memorabilia to food and drink certificates at venues throughout the city. Throughout the evening, there will be special drink pricing on featured cocktails such as the Hurricane and local brews.

SPORT will be closed for this blockbuster fundraiser to walk-in dining the night of the event.  Tickets are available for purchase on Brown Paper Tickets at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/306667 .

Fonte’s 4th Annual Holiday Coffee For a Cause

Fonte Coffee Roaster and Pike Market Child CareIf you are in the Seattle area and you like good coffee, you may want to buy coffee from Fonté Coffee Roaster, who will donate net proceeds of their Limited Edition Holiday blend to a charity. Read the details below.

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Seattle WA — Beginning November 20 through the end of December 2012, Seattle’s Fonté Coffee Roaster will donate all net proceeds from sales of its “Limited Edition Holiday Blend” to The Pike Market Child Care and Preschool. Fonté has set a fundraising goal of $25,000 to underwrite the Preschool’s 2013 meal program, which will serve 25,000 meals and nutritional snacks for the entire year. It will also help the school reach its goal to make high quality child care and preschool programs available to children in need.  This year’s Holiday Blend will be available for $18 per pound at Fonté Café and Wine Bar, located in downtown Seattle across from the Seattle Art Museum or online at www.fontecoffee.com.

Celebrating it’s 30th year, the nationally accredited Pike Market Child Care and Preschool continues to foster a passion for learning by ensuring families access to quality early education in a diverse urban environment. Since 1982, the Preschool has provided tuition assistance for 70% of families, with most living at or below the poverty level. Children in the program are afforded excellent care, healthy meals, and social and learning skills necessary to succeed in Kindergarten and beyond. For more information about the school, visit www.pikemarketkids.org.

“Each November at Fonté, we look forward to kicking off the holiday season with the release of our special limited Holiday Blend,” said owner Paul Odom. “As a father of two, I am really drawn to supporting children’s charities, especially the Pike Market Child Care and Preschool. Education and child development is important to me — this particular program helps so many.  This will be our fourth year to share the net proceeds, an annual tradition that has become very dear to us; it is our way of giving back and investing in the community.”

Fonté’s Master Roaster Steve Smith created this year’s Holiday Blend with some of their favorite coffees from the world’s 2012 crop. The creamy sweet Brazils next to rare cedar toned monsooned Indian coffees form a foundation supporting the lively interplay between a stunningly bright Kenya and the clean fruitiness of the natural Ethiopia Sidamo. The resulting cup is complex, but straightforward, featuring a smooth aged aroma that blossoms at first sip, dissolving into bright citrus notes and then reappearing in a wonderfully balanced aftertaste with distinctive cedar and sweet fruit aromas.

2012 Holiday Blend Coffees
Estate Brazil, Monsooned Malabar, Auction Lot Kenya and Ethiopia Sidamo

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About Fonté Coffee Roaster – Celebrating 20 Years
Fonté Coffee Roaster, one of Seattle’s premium independent roasters provides single origin and specialty coffees and tea for cafes, retailers, restaurants and hotels.  The company was founded in 1992 by Seattle native Paul Odom to create coffees that would please the most discriminating enthusiast.  Fonté’s Master Roaster Steve Smith (during his 12 year tenure at Starbucks, he was the first and only roaster to earn the title of Master Roaster) is committed to exceptional cup quality. He sources the best handpicked beans, blends compatible aromas and flavors with artisan quality, and roasts by hand with masterful expertise. Smith manages a rigorous roast to order production process that involves shipping on the same day of roasting, ensuring to-the-minute freshness. For more information about Fonté’s finely crafted coffees, please visit www.fontecoffee.com

John Howie – A Good Civic Citizen to Help on US Thanksgiving

Roast Turkey

I thought my WA state readers, as well as a few BC readers, may be interested in this press release about Chef John Howie and how is helping the less fortunate for the upcoming US Thanksgiving.  Thanks Chef.

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Bellevue, Washington—Chef/Proprietor John Howie has been in the restaurant industry for 37 years and during that time saw many types of giving in the establishments that he worked at.  When he opened his first restaurant – Seastar in Bellevue – almost11 years ago, he made up his mind that he wanted it to be a strong business with an incredible philanthropic culture.  Always a man of his word, since opening Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar, John has quietly provided hundreds of thousands of dollars of in-kind donations (including yearly gift certificate donations to over 850 organizations), and generated several million dollars of charitable giving.  Howie never turns down any registered organization that requests a donation.  The only limitations have been on personal appearances as he often does over 25 a year.

In keeping with this philosophy, Chef Howie and the team at Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar in Bellevue, are opening their doors and their hearts for the tenth consecutive year to guests in need on Thanksgiving Day.  They expect around 500 guests to attend the hosted, complete holiday dinner at the restaurant.  The primarily Eastside families come to Seastar through Belleve LifeSpring, Hopelink, Olive Crest, Redmond YWCA, and The Sophia Way Seastar crewmembers, families and friends will act as servers, cooks and dishwashers, as the guests are served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.  Once everyone has finished and the last plates have been cleared away, the volunteers will sit down and share a Thanksgiving meal with John and his family at the restaurant.

So what does it take to feed 600 people?  The staff at Seastar will order about 500 pounds of turkey, 90 pounds of dry crouton cubes for stuffing, 300 pounds of Yukon gold potatoes, 300 pounds of yams, 90 pounds of cranberry sauce, 100 dozen dinner rolls and a whole lot of pumpkin pies!  Seastar is partnering with several local vendors, all of which have made donations to help defer some of the costs of doing this holiday meal.

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John Howie, a man known as much for his spirit of generosity as his award winning fare, shares recipes from his restaurants and for life in his just released cookbook Passion and Palate:  Recipes for a Generous Table.  This gorgeously photographed, hardbound book includes a collection of over 240 recipes of guest and family favorites from Seastar Restaurant and Raw Bar, John Howie Steak, SPORT Restaurant & Bar, and Adriatic Grill Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar.  For information please visit http://shinshinchez.com/john-howie-passion-palate .

Fish Tales and Pike Ales Educational Dinner in Seattle

Les Dames d’Escoffier

This announcement came through my email a few days ago.  If you would like to learn about the virtues of wild seafood, and enjoy some delicious seafood dishes, paired with Pike Brewing Company microbrewery beer, then you should attend this educational dinner, presented by the Les Dames d’Escoffier in Seattle.  Here is their announcement.  If you are in Vancouver, BC, it is an easy 2.5 hr drive to Seattle. Enjoy!

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Save the date for Fish Tales & Pike Ales, a progressive educational dinner presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter (LDES) on Thursday, September 27, 2012, from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Pike Pub, 1415 First Avenue, in downtown Seattle.

Fish Tales & Pike Ales is designed to “school” both food-professional and consumer “a-fish-ionados” on the virtues of wild seafood, with an emphasis on the attributes and advantages of using frozen products. The event’s major donor, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), will supply a majority of the evening’s seafood including Alaskan-caught sockeye salmon, Pacific cod, and crab. 

Dishes prepared by LDES members—seafood chowder, seafood-salad wraps, and the Pub’s signature Spicy Wild Salmon (salmon stuffed with a Dungeness crab cake)—will be paired with appropriate Pike Brewing Company microbrews and wines from Washington State. Event attendees will be divided into three groups “schooled” by professional fishers, cookbook authors, and other seafood-savvy experts.

Where to Buy Tickets

Tickets cost $75 per person and will be available through PayPal on the LDES website. A $500 raffle basket containing a Kindle Fire, a gift card for e-books, and other Dames-donated items will be another exciting part of Fish Tales & Pike Ales fundraiser.

About Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter: Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization, is an invitational society of professional women of high achievement in the fields of food, beverage, and hospitality. Its mission is education, advocacy, and philanthropy, and it provides and supports opportunities in these areas.

During its 23-year history, the organization has disbursed in excess of $475,000 for scholarships and grants. The chapter’s 67 members include such food- and wine-industry trailblazers as Kathy Casey (Kathy Casey Food Studios—Liquid Kitchen), Holly Smith (Cafe Juanita), Fran Bigelow (Fran’s Chocolates), Kay Simon (Chinook Wines), and Rose Ann Finkel (Pike Brewing Company). www.lesdamesseattle.com

About ASMI: ASMI is a partnership of the State of Alaska and the Alaska seafood industry that promotes the 
benefits of wild and sustainable Alaska seafood. For more than 50 years, Alaska has been dedicated to sustainable seafood. As a result, Alaskans understand the need to protect the fisheries and surrounding habitats for future generations. www.alaskaseafood.org

About Pike Brewing Company: Pike Brewing Company was founded in 1989 by Charles and Rose Ann Finkel. Located in downtown Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market, Pike Brewing Company crafts 14 world-class beers; serves local, sustainable food; and is family and environmentally friendly. The Museum Room is dedicated to the history of beer from its earliest beginnings in Egypt to current day, and functions as an event venue for private parties and gatherings. www.pikebrewing.com