Sous Chef Kyle Johnson created an extraordinary menu for the “Tote to Table Dinner” that took place at the Dahlia Lounge recently. This dinner, focusing on produce from our own Prosser Farm, was a unique opportunity for the chef, the farmer, and the consumer to come together and enjoy glorious dishes like the Neah Bay salmon pastrami you see Chef Kyle preparing above. The salmon pastrami was served with Prosser Farm sour cucumbers, creme fraiche, and rye croutons. Read the whole Prosser Farm post here.
I have been working at Palace Kitchen for a few weeks and can already claim Chef Desmond is a rustic genius. The dishes here are as honest as can be, from farm to table. This kitchen is filled with rock stars from the back to the front line, and it contains more heart/soul than a Coltrane jazz album. Art on a plate.
Everyone in here has a passion with a purpose, and when you dine here you can feel that. There is a reason why Tom Douglas is the best in Seattle.
Palace beet salad pictured above:
Marinated pink beets accompanied by plump nectarines, smothered with a spicy, velvety almond relish, topped with Prosser Farm‘s fresh basil.
Labor Day weekend marked our 5th Annual “Salmon Chanted Evening” fundraiser for Seattle Parks Department. We had beautiful weather—your typical late summer Seattle day. There was a gorgeous 3-masted ship docked in Elliott Bay as our background, and a wonderful host of volunteers who helped serve food to guests. This year, the event ran all day from 12-6 pm, and took an entire community to pull off.
Joining in the fun this year, Blvd Park played a 3-person live bluegrass set. Over 400 people were served plates of Rub with Love salmon, donated by Orca Bay Seafood, and salads made by our chefs with produce donated by Charlie’s Produce and Merlino’s. Rachel of Rachel’s Ginger Beer joined us to serve up her delicious original ginger beer and mango tangerine flavor. Talking Rain provided additional sparkling waters and sparkling ices for guests. Pike Foundation set up a booth to show people the blueprints of the remodeling plans for their “MarketFront” campaign. And lastly, A Capella Joy sang in the latter part of the event, completing their set with a serenade to Tom of Sinatra’s “It Had to be You.”
All in all, over $12,116 was raised for Victor Steinbrueck Park! Ever major and small downtown park has a community group that contributes to the success of each park, except for Victor Steinbrueck Park. As of now, these dinners are the only community involvement that engages and raises money for that park–and for that, we thank all of our volunteers, our team, our sponsors, and the hungry picnic-ers who helped create another successful event and raised money to maintain the beautiful and heavily traveled, Victor Steinbrueck Park!
A few weeks ago, we asked Seattle Kitchen listeners and Tom Douglas Newsletter readers to send in their favorite home-concocted, most refreshing, favorite non-alcoholic summer drinks. We chose 6 winners and are including their recipes below! Each winner will receive a $25 gift card to Assembly Juice & Coffee. Thank you for you contributions!
Charisma Herrera’s “Sunshine in a Glass”
*Make sure to wash all veggies and store in cold fridge before preparation
1 medium-size carrot — cut ends and peel
1/4 of a large cucumber– cut in half (do not peel)
1 medium-size beet – cut ends and slice in 1-cm thick rounds
1/2 cup cilantro–cut ends
1 ice cube
Place a cold glass in the freezer. Place the carrot in your juicer. Grab a couple slices of beet and a bunch of cilantro and “sandwich” in between the beet slices. Adjust the size according to your juicer. Do this with all of your beets and cilantro. Now place cucumber halves in your juicer. Remove juice container and squeeze your lemon directly into the drink. Take your cold glass from the freezer. Place the ice cube into your small strainer and pour the juice over the strainer into your cup (the ice will make it a little colder as it runs over it). Use a teaspoon to remove blockage from your strainer if need be to keep the juice flowing.
Cara Hellings’ “Basil Rose Grapefruit Mocktail”
1 Tablespoon basil simple syrup
1 drop rose water
1/2-1 fresh squeezed grapefruit
Dash of club soda or sparkling water
Serve up or on the rocks!
Caroline Scott’s “AHHH Fruit of the Gods” Smoothie
In your blender, mix strawberries, raspberries, nectarines, cherries, pineapple and mango chunks. Drizzle in a little orange juice or pear nectar and enjoy!
Pamela Zoller’s “Berry Fresh”
3 cups watermelon (no seeds)
2 cups tightly packed whole strawberries
2 cups pitted dark charries, halved
Juice of one lime
1/4 teaspoon Himalayan (or other mineral) salt
Put everything through an extraction juicer, add salt, and chill. Makes enough for about 3 drinks. Serve chilled, no ice. (Also happens to be great topped with prosecco!)
Tonne Monroe’s “Day Started” Smoothie
This is the best way to get your ACE on (vitamins A, C, E)! Save the pulp after you blend- it makes a nourishing face mask for your skin!
Blend carrots, beets, ginger, pineapples, and kale (optional). Blend and strain into your cup. Enjoy!
Brent Roger’s Cold Melon & Peach Shooters with Serrano Ham Crisps
*Adapted from Pintxos Gerald Hirigoyen
Chilled melon and peach tastes like essence of summer. The melon variety changes the color and taste. Because there are just a few main ingredients, they all must be perfect. Cantaloupe, Crenshaw, Honeydew, and Canary melons are all good.
Makes 3-4 cups; enough for 6-8 shooters with a little leftover for breakfast.
1 ripe melon cut into large cupes (I use cantaloupe)
1 ripe peach, skinned and cut into cubes
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ancho or other chili powder–then to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Piment d’Espelette for finishing
Combine melon cubes, peach cubes, and lime juice in a blender and puree until the mixture is smooth. Strain through fine-mesh sieve into a container, and season to taste with salt, chili powder, and Piment d’Espelette (When adding salt, keep in mind the ham is salty). Cover and refrigerate or place in thermos for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Pour the liquid into 8 small chilled glasses and dust each serving with Piment d’Espelette. Lay ham crisp on rim.
Place 3-4 pieces sliced serrano ham (about 1/16″ thickness) in a baking pan or skillet in a 225 degree oven for 80-90 minutes. Turning and blotting oil after 35-40 minutes. (Test crispness by cooling a small piece and checking for crisp snap). Cool on paper towels until ready to use.
We have beautiful melons growing at our Prosser Farm now, and being shipped to all our restaurants. What a wonderful recipe to try with them before summer is over! Thank you to all of our participants and their contributions!
Does fat make you fat? A new study financed by the National Institutes of Health may dispute the long held notion that dietary fat, particularly saturated fat, is harmful and will make you fat, according to this article in the New York Times. The study suggests that by eating fewer carbs and more fat (with the exception of trans fat), participants were able to both reduce their risk of heart disease and lose weight. The individuals in the low carbohydrate group were allowed to eat mostly protein and fat, primarily foods with unsaturated fats like olive oil, fish, and nuts. They could also eat some foods high in saturated fat like cheese, red meat and butter. The people in this group were also encouraged to eat vegetables and were allowed some beans and fresh fruit. Those who followed this low carb diet were able to reduce weight, reduce body fat, and lower their Farmingham risk scores, which calculates the risk of a heart attack in the next 10 years. On the other hand, the people who followed a low-fat-high-carb diet did not lower their risk scores, and any weight they lost tended to be from muscle,not from body fat. One conclusion expressed by doctors such as Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of Tufts University (who was not involved in the study), is that “health authorities should pivot away from fat restrictions and encourage people to eat fewer processed foods, particularly those with refined carbohydrates.”
Can fast food be revolutionary? Daniel Patterson (Coi, SF) and Roy Choi (Kogi, LA) have teamed up to go into the fast food business with the goal of creating delicious food “with the heart of a chef,” according to this interview with Roy Choi in Eater. Choi says their fast food concept, called Loco’l, will not be “Fast Food Plus,” in other words will not be semi-gourmet food in a fast food format with higher quality but also higher prices such as Shake Shack, or Chipotle. Instead, Loco’l plans to go “toe to toe” with uber popular fast food chains like McDonalds. That’s why, though Choi says the Loco’l menu has not been determined yet, the cornerstone will be a 99 cent burger (though the meat may be cut with tofu and grains to get to that price point.) Choi says, of the dominance of fast food in society: “So the fact is, we’ve destroyed our whole eating culture and we’ve destroyed a lot of who we are as humans in America by the way we’re eating. We poisoned basically the last two generations.” The idea of Loco’l is to give people the fast food they crave, but change things for the better little by little. Who else is on board besides Patterson and Choi? None other than Rene Redzepi. For now, these three high profile celebrity chefs entirely comprise the board of directors of Loco’l.
Can farmers grow vegetables 200 miles from the Arctic Circle? Alaska imports about 95% of its food, and Fairbanks, located 200 miles from the Arctic Circle, has a short summer with frosts continuing into June and summer ending as early as mid-August. But according to this article in the New York Times, “advocates for local food are now pushing back against the widespread notion that eating food grown or raised in Alaska is impossible or too expensive.” The effort has been “boosted by a state program that is helping school districts buy local products, and food stamp incentives that are luring low-income shoppers to farmers’ markets,” and “locavore warriors are teaching small farmers how to reach the public and consumers how and where to buy.” Local products include salmon tamales for school lunches and cabbage and cauliflower as big as basketballs (from the long hours of summer daylight). Don’t forget, there’s more here than cabbage: “in Alaska, local can also mean wild, as in moose or seal meat.”
The Tom Douglas Restaurants are bursting at the seams with big, fat, ripe, juicy peak-of-summer TOMATOES!! The heirloom varieties of Copia, Landis, Brandywine, and Goldie tomatoes from our own Prosser Farm are coming at us right now in all shapes, sizes and colors! Read the Prosser Farm blog here to find out what the Tom Douglas chefs are doing with our favorite Prosser crop of the summer!
This year’s Pellegrini Award winners are…. (drumroll, please) our very own Tom Douglas and Jackie Cross! According to All You Can Eat blog, this is the first Pelligrini award given to restaurateurs and the first to a couple. Angelo Pelligrini was an Italian immigrant to the US who became a UW English literature professor, but his true loves were vegetable gardening, growing grapes, extolling the virtues of local and high quality ingredients, cooking straightforward, rustic meals to eat with friends and family, drinking wine, and writing a number of influential books such as The Unprejudiced Palate. “I wonder what Angelo would think of me winning an award with his name tattooed all over it…” muses Tom, “I am truly inspired to carry forward his inspiring message. Angelo, you rock.” We say: Tom and Jackie, you rock!! Congrats!!
Ok, we’re getting used to the idea that we humans are happy hosts to all the beneficial microbes living in our guts, but are the little bugs actually running the show? Read this.
“Thirty-six year old Sandeep Byawali, who holds a job as a neuroscientist at UT, has a passion for the chemistry of baking,” says this article from The Austin Chronicle. Sandeep has been developing recipes for rustic breads using knowledge from “current research on dough science, natural leavening, and organic home-milled grains,” to create bread Claudia Alarcon, the author of this article, calls “the best I’d ever tasted.” Now Sandeep is working on starting a community supported bread subscription with a few pick up locations around Austin. Lucky Austinites. I want to try those rye cookies with dark chocolate chips and bitters.
The Kitchn helpfully offers “10 pictures of your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables” which will make you realize- you can do it!
Finally, one of the most gifted writers in the food blogosphere, Elissa Altman of Poor Man’s Feast, says farewell to the much loved Robin Williams with a poem by W.S. Merwin.
Our Pappy Hour last night was a great success! Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve is often regarded as one of the finest bourbons in the world but is difficult to find in the market due to low production and high demand. At Brave Horse Tavern, we make an annual event of celebrating this very special bourbon with a tasting and fun dinner.
The Van Winkle folks gave us two bottles each of 6 different bourbons (and we’re the only bar in WA state to get this many of the special bottles):
Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year
Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 Year
Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye
Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 15 Year
Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 20 Year
Pappy Van Winkle Family Reserve 23 Year
Here are Brian and Brent pouring from the $2000/each bottles of Family Reserve being very careful not to spill a single drop!!
For the dinner menu, we went South, naturally! Our talented Brave Horse cook Bradley is the master of Southern BBQ. Here are all the BBQ sauces that he made. Every guest walked away with a jar of Bradley’s very special sauce.
Of course there was a whole roasted pig.
….and Southern style pickles.
…and don’t forget the blackberry jam cake!!
Come Enjoy a salmon cookout with Tom that raises money for the Seattle Parks Department!
August 31st, 12-6 pm
On August 31st, we invite you to celebrate a gorgeous summer evening outdoors with Chef Tom Douglas at the annual Salmon Chanted picnic dinner and fundraiser for the Seattle Parks Department. Now in its 5th year, the picnic provides an event in Victor Steinbrueck Park for nearby residents that is community-based, delicious, and fun! Salmon Chanted celebrates what is great about our town, while raising money for this beautiful park. We are inviting 600 people to picnic on salmon with seasonal sides, gaze out at Elliott Bay, and listen to live music.
More specifically, the money raised will go to fund the park’s friendly “concierges,” M. Kay Skinner and Lemont Thornton, who help clean and maintain the park. They are quick first responders to any incidents or accidents, and also answer questions for tourists. Their positive presence in the park helps everyone to feel welcome.
New developments are also on the horizon for Victor Steinbrueck Park. The Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) is preparing to complete the final piece of the Market Historic District with the addition of the Waterfront Entrance adjacent to the park. Throughout the picnic, the Pike Place Market Foundation will be on hand to talk about the new “MarketFront.”
Forty years in the making, the Market expansion is spurred by the removal of the elevated Alaskan Way Viaduct and the opportunity to create a dynamic connection from the waterfront to Pike Place and the Pike/Pine corridor. The new MarketFront will transform what is now a .75-acre surface parking lot on Western Avenue into a waterfront-facing entry point to Seattle’s public market. True to the Pike Place Market Charter and character, the expansion will provide opportunities for farmers, craftspeople and local entrepreneurs, as well as civic space, public art, social services and low-income housing.
Envisioning a brighter future for the park and all of those who frequent and enjoy the park remains a top priority for the PDA, the Market Foundation and other community stakeholders in the planning and designing of the MarketFront. The Foundation will host a table to show guests the designs and plans for the new MarketFront, answer questions, and provide information on how to stay informed on the project’s progress.
If you have any questions, please contact Eva at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-448-2001.
Tickets to the picnic dinner are $30 per person. Because everything from the food down to the forks and napkins are donated by us and other concerned businesses, we are able to give 100% of the proceeds to the Seattle Parks Department.
We invite you to join us by purchasing your tickets here or at Etta’s and Seatown.
The Tom Douglas Restaurants are bursting at the seams with glorious blueberries from Crawford Farm, our neighbor out in Prosser. We love Crawford blueberries and their Spartan variety is our top favorite! Read the Prosser Farm blog here to find out what our chefs are doing with these beautiful berries- from blueberry tarts and blueberry pies at Dahlia Bakery to a Blueberry Sangria Slushie at Brave Horse Tavern.
Welcome to Family Meal, a blog that examines all things new and noteworthy in the world of food, wine, and dining.
At family meal, otherwise known as staff meal, there’s no hierarchy; you’re breaking bread with your friends. For those 30 minutes, everyone is equal- and hungry. Family meal is our version of the water cooler- but with better food.
I’ll be sharing my thoughts, tips, and observations, and, in the spirit of family meal, I’ve invited our creative, energetic staff- everyone from line cook to bartender to bookkeeper- to have a say. I hope you’ll add your own comments and join in the conversation.