A beautiful red strawberry in my garden is my first sign of summer’s probable arrival (it’s Seattle, we’re never sure). So, here’s a quick round up of all things delicious, in my kitchen, in my city and around the world…
Date night for food lovers
This dinner-as-theater parody of people who treat every dinner as theater hits a little close to home at times. In Cabinet of Curiosities, Chef Nordo’s latest production, they simultaneously skewer both those who worry too much about where their food came from (guilty!) and those who don’t quite care enough.
Cafe Nordo always seems expensive to me when I look at the prices. Then they offer me tickets, and I go, and I think about how fascinating the many hours I spent there were, combined with the five course meal I ate, plus the wine. And I am once again convinced that it’s worth your hard-earned dollars. The food ranges from mediocre to pretty good, and the food satire is almost always spot on. This show was long, making me wish I hadn’t picked a weeknight (also, I could have had more wine), but it was entertaining. If you’re looking for something to do with an evening between now and June 17th, I highly recommend grabbing your sense of whimsy, some comfortable shoes (there’s a lot of standing), and your second stomach for a tour of the Cabinet of Curiosities. Tickets.
It’s getting hot in here…
Brett’s favorite hobby when we have people over to grill at our house is trying to see how many jalapeño peppers he and his friends can eat. So, this one’s for you, darling. But I’m not sure I want to sleep in a bed next to you after you compete.
For those of you who I don’t sleep near, if you’d like to enter Barrio’s jalapeño pepper eating contest on June 9th, here’s the link. You’re a brave bunch of souls.
Chef’s are awesome. And they raised $143,000 for an awesome charity.
From the PR People (who graciously invited me):
Cedarbrook Lodge and Copperleaf Restaurant & Bar hosted the first annual Savor: Sustaining Lives, Nourishing Hope celebrity chef dinner and auction on Friday, April 27. The benefit brought in more than $143,000, an equivalent of 429,000 meals, for Food Lifeline.
One thing I remember learning from my restaurant marketing job was how much people call restaurants to donate to their charities. Like three calls a day, minimum, to our office, a few pieces of mail, plus who knows how many more to each of the six individual restaurants. And we gave and donated as much as we could, but it was never to all of them.
I have rarely in my time in and out of the industry found a chef that doesn’t donate a good deal of his or her time, skill, or money to great causes. Often, these are in the form of benefit dinners, and as far as those go, this one was a doozy. The rhubarb tart (above) with basil cream underneath and candied pine nuts was one of those desserts you had to force yourself to find room for, because it was too amazing to leave alone. Pretty as it was, it had to be destroyed.
One of the reasons I was so full at that point was this salad. Chef Jason Wilson convinces me with every bite of this salad that I need to pay a return visit to Crush. It might look like an ordinary salad, but buried underneath that pile of fragile greens and seasonal pickled ramps are the sweetest scallops and the tenderest geoduck you ever did eat. It was so good that even Armandino Batali’s salumi appetizers were quickly forgotten.
If you feel like drooling over the menu, here’s your chance. But I’m (mostly) not here just to brag about the good food I ate. I’m here to remind you that chef’s do great things for the community, and sometimes you can support them. By eating delicious food.