Tag date night

Parties That Cook Chefs Explore Seattle Foodie Events

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!

Photo by Gregory Heller

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!

Parties That Cook’s Most Romantic Date Night for Couples. Ever.

Friday, September 23rd, could have been our typical Date Night Couples Cooking Class in San Francisco, but we had big plans. One guest in particular was a little more excited — and probably a lot more anxious — than the rest. This guest, Ray, had reached out to us over a month before the class asking if we could help him set up a marriage proposal. We could tell he was excited, feeling very positive and eager to pop the question. (Our all-woman office was buzzing with anticipation!) Ideas bounced back and forth about when he would want to ask, how he wanted to do it, and what we could do to make it happen. With the help of Chef Irfan Dama, we finally landed on the means.

Couples arrived at the venue by 6:30pm and all were excited to get started. Chef Irfan began his usual demo, teaching some helpful tips and tricks pertaining to the evening’s recipes. He had set up camera equipment, and casually explained it away as the filming of a training video for our chefs.

We have now received the video for this proposal! Check it out below…
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During the demo, Chef Irfan spoke on the similarities between peppers and love. “If there is a vegetable that symbolizes love, which would that be? No, not onions… though onions make you cry. I would have to go with the pepper. Just like love, peppers come in several shapes and forms. Just like love, you will find that peppers can be sweet, sometimes bitter and sometimes fiery. Peppers add interesting and complex flavors to your food, and love does the same to your life —  a little sweetness, a little spice, a little color and LOT’S of flavor. If you don’t handle a pepper correctly, it could be disastrous; you could end up with a real mess. But if you take care of and foster the love in your life, like you correctly add peppers to your food, you’re sure to have the most interesting and adventurous experiences.”

Chef Irfan called upon Ray and his girlfriend, Cassie, for assistance… He had quietly hidden the ring inside a bell pepper. (It’s really easy to cut around the stem and slip the ring through.) Chef Irfan stressed that correctly chopping the pepper is KEY to successful integration in the dish. How true that is was less pressing than how carefully Cassie had to slice the pepper without hitting the ring!

After a month of planning, hoping, and holding our breath, we can now relax and say Mission Accomplished. Cassie found the ring, and said YES!!!! Surprisingly, class proceeded as usual, with the exception of one new bride-to-be beaming around the kitchen and one very, very happy fiance.

Congratulations Ray and Cassie!!! We are so glad to have played a part in this special moment. We wish you the best of luck, and hope you always remember how it all went down.