Helping us feel like she hasn’t even left, Carolyn is back with another guest blog! This time, she’s here to recount two deliciously fun Seattle adventures with our very own Erin Coopey, a Parties That Cook Lead Chef in Seattle. Let the cravings begin.
One of my favorite things about being the Portland AND Seattle Manager for Parties That Cook is the opportunity to meet great chefs and winemakers and taste their delicious creations in both cities! On a recent trip to Seattle, I was lucky enough to join one of our Lead Chefs, Erin, at two great culinary events.
First, was the annual Passport to Woodinville, which we discovered when we saw we weren’t the only ones heading into Woodinville that Saturday. Erin and I happened to be teaching one of our popular Date Night couples cooking classes at Efeste Winery that very weekend. Wow, were we excited.
There were over 90 wineries open for tasting, along with food, music, and beautiful sunny weather (what a tease)! Since we were teaching our class, we decided to return the next day. I was in good hands with Erin as my guide, educator, chauffeur and all-around fun wine tasting partner – she knew exactly where to go. We had a blast!
Our approach was quality over quantity as we focused on known wineries, except for one accidental off-the-beaten-path winery, Hollywood Hill Vineyards. Their Syrah was one of the best! Erin’s membership at several winery clubs allowed us to enjoy additional tastings. In return, we indulged, and bought our share of wine (and a Dusted Valley hoodie for myself). Other highlights included Airfield’s Lightning (a Rhone-style blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne), Gewurztraminer, Mouvedre (I love discovering new varietals!), and Dusted Valley’s Petit Syrah – so proud of their reds that their wine club is called Stained Teeth Society.
Another stop Erin knew about, tucked among the wineries, was not actually winery, but a distillery. A distillery in the wine country? You got it. Within their alluring, funky walls, Project V Distillery proudly distills Washington winter wheat into vodka. “Damn fine booze,” as they like to say (and I would have to agree). I was a bit skeptical when the distiller asked if I wanted to taste their chai-infused vodka, but boy, it didn’t take long after that first sip to imagine it mixed with citrus flavors, or in a White Russian. Mmmm…. We thought it best to get some food in our bellies, so we finished off our day at The Purple Café. Of course, our wine country lunch included a flight of cheeses and glass of wine. While enjoying our meal, we recalled our day’s tastings and felt very satisfied with our choices. Already thinking about next year’s Passport!
The second food event was the Seattle Chefs Collaborative monthly event, which featured Mushrooms & Oysters of the Northwest – what fun! My gracious guide, Erin, and I met at Melrose Market Studios and were greeted with a glass of locally-made Communi-Tea Kombucha (bubbly is always a good start to an evening).
Soon enough, we found ourselves tasting and discussing the finer ingredients of Xinh’s original Mushroom and Oyster Stew among a lively group of chefs. The mouthwatering aroma wafting from Art of The Table’s homemade dashi broth drew us further down the buffet. There, we discovered a light, subtle broth filled with shiitake mushrooms and udon noodles, and topped with crispy fried shiitakes – heavenly!
Next up was a taste from the ocean – freshly shucked oysters! We first tried Hama Hama’s baby hama hamas (turned out to be our favorites!), followed by Taylor Shellfish’s oysters, featuring 3 unique varieties from the Olympia area. The Kumamoto’s were getting a lot of thumbs ups. A fresh squeeze of lemon juice and a couple dashes of Tabasco and down the hatch – Yum!
Thank you, Erin, for showing me around two great foodie events in Seattle! I look forward to returning for more!
And thank you, Carolyn, for writing up this great recap! I’m sure those of us in PTC’s San Francisco office are thoroughly hungry… and jealous!