Food & Culture

Must List: Northwest Chocolate Festival, Short Run Comix and Arts Festival, Cinema Italian Style

Your weekly guide to Seattle's hottest events

By Lauren Alexander & Jorn Peterson November 7, 2019

SEVERAL MORE IN THIS SERIES. Bar of dark belgian chocolate broken into pieces.  Very shallow DOF.

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Northwest Chocolate Festival
Get your fix of handmade truffles, caramels and quirky confections at the largest celebration in the world for chocolate lovers. Featuring about 100 artisanal chocolatiers from 20 countries, the event entices with handcrafted, dark and milk chocolate treats that will melt any discipline you thought you had, and includes educational workshops. In the end, your taste buds will thank you. Times and prices vary. Pier 91, Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, Interbay;


Hmong New Year Celebration
Celebrate the end of harvest season—which is the beginning of the Hmong new year—with the city’s Hmong communities. Although the festival traditionally lasts 10 days, this one-day version features dance, food, hemp and cotton embroidered clothing, and other attractions. Refugees with roots in China and Southeast Asia but no country of their own, the Hmong have had a huge and enriching influence on the Pacific Northwest; for example, they comprise about 40% of the flower vendors at Pike Place Market. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Seattle Center, Lower Queen Anne;


Short Run Comix and Arts Festival
(11/9) No matter how large this annual celebration of “alternative comix and self-published, small press, and handmade books of all kinds” has grown—it’s now filling Fisher Pavilion with hundreds of exhibitors, about half from the Northwest and half from the rest of the world—it’s always retained its DIY feel, its focus on the individual artist and the nurturing effects of community. 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Free. Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center;


Orphans, Thieves, and other Unlived Lives 
(11/7-11/9, 11/14-11/16)
This dance-theater performance plays to our fantasy, showing us not only what we have lived, but more surrealistic, what we haven’t lived. Jessica Jobaris & General Magic, a dance-theatre company, is putting on the brand-new work, with performers exploring their ‘unlived lives’ in front of all of us. Times and prices vary. Base: Experimental Arts & Space, Georgetown;


Slack Key Festival
(11/10) The archetypal laidback attitude of Hawaiian culture is reflected in its music: In the slack-key guitar style, strings are tuned down—slackened slightly, hence the name—to mellow the instrument’s tone from bright and twangy to sonorous and chiming. This 11th annual celebration, which includes traditional food, crafts and hula dance, will be preceded on November 9 by introductory guitar and ukulele workshops. 1–6 p.m. Prices vary. Highline Performing Arts Center, Burien;


ATK Seattle Eats Festival
Join the 20th anniversary celebration of television series America’s Test Kitchen with two special events this weekend. Night one offers the cast and hosts of the show alongside the culinary creations of celebrated chefs and local bartenders mixing up signature Seattle libations. Night two is all about the food with cooking demonstrations, beer, wine, cocktails and… unlimited sampling. Times, prices and locations vary.  


Cinema Italian Style
For its 11th year, Italian cinema returns to SIFF screens. The week-long event will feature fifteen films from Italy, ranging from comedy to drama. The week kicks off with a screening of Parenting in Progress in which director Laura Chiossone is scheduled to attend. After the screening, take part in the opening night party at A/NT Gallery, which will include eats from Tutta Bella and Big John’s PFI and bevvies from Santa Cristina winery. Prices and times vary. SIFF Cinema Uptown, Lower Queen Anne;


KOLARS at Tractor Tavern
Husband and wife duo KOLARS is bringing their “desert disco” music to the north. The couple, whose genre-bending music has been described as “glam-a-billy” and “space blues” will take to the stage in Ballard for one night before heading south. Can’t make it on Nov. 8? They’re also playing at Alma Mater in Tacoma on Nov. 9, before really heading south. This is a 21-and-older event.
$15. 9 p.m. Tractor Tavern, Ballard;

Coming up:
These events are weeks away but are bound to sell out—get your tickets now.


Ahamefule J. Oluo: SUSAN
Seattle-based Ahamefule J. Oluo returns to the stage to present his follow up production to the highly-acclaimed Now I’m Fine. Oluo’s SUSAN follows the narratives of his own life along with his mother’s, combining music and comedy to portray “a tragedy about the most comically optimistic person on earth.” Prices and times vary. On the Boards, Queen Anne;


Washington Distillers Festival
Have a sip straight from the distillery at a festival devoted to the creators of Washington’s spirits. Aside from the handcrafted beverages, the silent auction offers private distillery tours, limited edition bottles and overnight stay packages. The event is free, but a ticket will get you ten tasting tokens, which should be more than enough. This is a 21-and-older event. $35. 6 p.m. McMenamins Anderson School, Bothell; Facebook: “McMenamins Anderson School”


Truffle Hunt & Tasting
Local restaurant Tarsan i Jane is offering an opportunity to catch what you eat—but not in the ocean. The event offers a day of truffle hunting with Chef Perfecte Rocher and professional truffle hunter Sunny Diaz alongside her delicacy-detecting dog, Stella. After the hunt, sit down to a dinner and taste the day’s finds; a well-deserved meal after a long day of foraging. $350. 11 a.m. Tarsan i Jane, Fremont;

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