Forgive me Padma! My editor made me do it.
Yes, Top Chef fever has got us whipped into quite a froth and when I showed up for my Monday morning pastry at Le Panier at the Pike Place Market, I hit the motherlode. Yes, it's true. Top Chef is filming here in Seattle.
Don't know about you, but we’re so ready to say bye bye to a rotten June! Bah humbug.
Here are a few ways to celebrate “summer” this weekend, no matter what the thermometer says:
1. This year’s first Salmon-Enchanted Evening dinner is Saturday in Victor Steinbrueck Park, just north of the Pike Place Market. It’s not just a screaming deal at $15 for a fish-centric din din, this outdoor feast is also a fundraiser for the Seattle Parks Department. And, yes, Tommy D will be there dishing it up. If you didn’t buy advance tickets, just bring cash or check.
Seattle is a drink-lover’s paradise. Not only is it in a state that has some of the best wine outside of Italy and France, but it’s also a guiding beacon in the modern cocktail revolution. If that wasn’t enough, the city was and is a major force in the craft beer brewing movement and not only produces great beer but also has an incredible amount of beer aficionados.
Enough already with the rumors! At this point, we do not give a fig if Top Chef films Season 10 in Seattle. (Oh, all right. We care. We care so much that we can barely drag ourselves away from Bravo's hit show's Twitter feed, hoping for THE official word.)
And when the news comes down -- not just the random sightings of the show's stars around town -- here's our suggested cast.
Not sure what was the most dramatically delish show-stopper at Saturday night's inaugural One Night Only (ONO): Chef Brandon Kirksey's scallop-size semolina gnocchi or the whisper-thin salmon carpaccio? Oh, but the English peas and guanciale app was like a burst of summer in my mouth. And I cannot stop thinking about the intense chocolate-y boudino either.
He had me going there. “We keep quails on the roof at the labs,” chef Maxime Bilet told the table of Modernist Cuisine aficionados on Thursday night. “And we’re playing around with feeding them different things to see how it effects the flavor of their eggs.” Before us sat a small plate with a lovely little nest of straw in which sat a speckled quail egg shell with the raw “egg” inside.
I never need an excuse to dive into a slice of pie, but the folks at High 5 are making it extra special this weekend, letting the Pride show with free rainbow-colored whipped cream topping on each order. LOVE that!
Might be a bit over-the-top on its brand new bacon cream pie, but then again, every color in the rainbow goes with bacon, right?
There’s nothing like seeing a baseball game at Safeco Field. Or any other stadium, for that matter, but I like Safeco best—especially when my pal Mark shares one of his season-ticket-holder seats.
To flip the ball over, though, I also believe that listening to a baseball game on the radio in your own backyard when the team’s on the road is pretty special. It’s better than watching a game on T.V. any ol’ day, especially any sunny day.
For Nathan Kaiser, it's all about the hard work of his grandfather and his grandfather's fathers before him. Five generations of his family worked the land of the 2 Bar Ranch in Texas, which still exists to this day and conjures images of the era when men were men, and by that I mean in a very Marlboro sort of way.
You just never know who you’re going to bump into at the huge Aspen Food & Wine Classic Grand Tasting Tent.
There are hundreds of wineries, scores of food purveyors, not to mention ginormous displays of dazzling gadgets, gizmos and kitchen equipment for the home cook and the pros.
More than 5,000 consumers streamed into the two football-field-size tents several times a day to sip and sup. It was a complete and sweet surprise to find Seattle folks in the house.
Blaine Wetzel, the wunderkind chef from Willows Inn on Lummi Island, was named one of the nation’s Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine, his increasingly famous face featured on the cover of the July issue.
One of the perks of this recognition is an invitation to the Aspen Food & Wine Festival, a slightly overwhelming – in a good way – event held this weekend.
Madison Park Conservatory’s Cormac Mahoney was glowing. And it wasn’t just the photo-op bright lights. No, the chef was basking in the steady stream of compliments flowing from the consumers at this weekend's glittering Aspen Food & Wine Classic.
Even after waiting in one of the longest lines of the event, avid food enthusiasts raved about Mahoney’s signature Coco Pork tacos crowned in crispy shoestring potatoes.
Jacques Pepin shook my hand and called me cherie. Talk about the ultimate Rocky Mountain High!
I’m at the 30th annual Aspen Food & Wine Classic, where it’s perfectly possible to bump into the A-list culinary talent. The people who put the celebrity into celebrity chef.
Sure you could get him a tie. Or maybe a wallet. But really, what dad wants is a drink (and don’t you think he deserves one after putting up with you for so long?). After working hard, he wants to sit back with a delicious sipper, relax, have a laugh with family and enjoy the moment. Provide him with a bottle of any of the above and have a drink with him. From now on, every time he makes a cocktail using the bottle you provided, he’ll remember this Father’s Day. And that is, I think, a pretty wonderful thing.