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Recipes, resources and food inspiration from people and places in Kitsap County. By Kitsap Sun Web Editor Angela Dice.
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Weekend food events: Lavender festival foods, Bite of Seattle, strawberry festival

Friday, July 15th, 2011

For this week’s food news roundup, I thought I’d serve up a few ideas for food-inspired day trips this weekend.

 

Lavender on the Tongue

As part of this year’s Sequim Lavender festivals, a new one called Lavender Farm Faire has been added, an it includes a culinary program with food, crafts and cooking demonstrations at Carrie Blake Park (click for a Google map). The festival started Friday, but goes through Sunday.

Five cooking demonstrations will happen Sunday, though Sunshine Lavender and Herb Farm will host several a day today and Saturday. Among what’s cooking will be a four-course meal made by Cedarbook Lavender and Herb Farm with a spring green and asparagus salad with cranberry lavender vinaigrette, roasted red potatoes with Herbs de Provence (with lavender, of course), grilled flank steak with lavender pepper marinade and sautéed pears with lavender honey.

Farms also will offer lavender-laced (and non-lavender) foods throughout the fair. The wine and beer garden also will offer a taste of Olympic Cellars’ lavender infused wine Mélange Nouveau. Purple Haze restaurant will have a variety of food and lavender cocktails (margaritas and cosmopolitans).

For more information, visit sequimlavenderfarms.org.

Bite of Seattle

Across the water on the other side of Kitsap this weekend is the annual Bite of Seattle at the Seattle Center.

For those who’ve in the past grown tired of going and getting filled up on only one giant plate of taste (or bursting at the seems when you try to top off two plates with a Shishkaberry),  this year’s festival requires participating restaurants to have actual bite-sized portions for $3.75, the Seattle Weekly reports.

Over at the Fisher Building, local celebrity chefs will offer near-hourly demonstrations for The Bite Cooks portion of the festival. And in the Alki courtyard, for $10, you can get into The Alley, hosted by Tom Douglas for tastes from both established and new Seattle restaurants. Most proceeds from the Alley benefit Food Lifeline, so you can feed your soul a little as well.

Strawberry Festival

Vashon Island is home to a festival more than a century old (though it apparently has had several names over the years). The Strawberry Festival has a variety of vendors, like those you’d see at a variety of small-town festivals, including booths with strawberry shortcakes, smoothies, and chocolate-dipped strawberries.  The weekend festival also includes what I’ve decided should be a requisite at any festival, an early morning pancake breakfast (with strawberries!). A shuttle leaves every 30 minutes from the ferry terminal. It’s $1 each way.

Pike Place Chef Demos

On Sunday, Pike Place Market hosts another of its Sunday chef demonstrations with Burce Naftalay of Le Gourmand at noon and Seth Caswell of emmer & rye at 2 p.m. Next Sunday is the second annual “Master of the Market” cooking competition.

 

Note on next weekend

The brewer lineup for Bremerton’s Summer Brewfest on July 23 was announced this week. The event will include 24 breweries, including Kitsap’s half dozen commercial breweries.

The same day (or maybe before) also is supposed to mark the opening of Bremerton’s Toro Lounge on Pacific Avenue.

And lastly, as I just mentioned earlier this afternoon, Sunday will be the inaugural Sunday farmers market in Bremerton.

Just a note

I apparently missed this when it went online in late May, but Bremerton’s Blackberry fest apparently got a nod from New York Magazine, which compiled a list of 50 food destinations in 50 states. They recommended the blackberry slugs and had this to say in general, “devotees can head to a three-day orgy of blackberry consumption: the Bremerton Blackberry Festival, held along the boardwalk in downtown Bremerton — a smallish Navy town southwest of Bainbridge Island on Puget Sound.” I pity the poor New Yorkers who’ll take the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge and drive 50 minutes to Bremerton. Hopefully someone at the terminal will point them the right way.

 


Food news roundup: cider celebration, Chinatown food walk, fishy fish

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Events

  • I learned from the Washington Beer Blog that on Saturday, Port Townsend will host a Summer Cider Day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Fort Worden.
  • Seattle’s Chinatown/International District’s Dragon Fest this year will include a food walk with $2 tastes from restaurants like Sea Garden, Fuji Bakery, Fu-lin Ramen House and Dim Sum King. Try four tastes and get a card punched to be entered for a drawing.

Beer

For the local beer lovers out there: Valhöll Brewing in Poulsbo has two new brews, a Poulsbo Pale Ale and a Belgian ale infused with lavender. Sound Brewery announced that it’s Monk’s Indiscretion, a Belgian ale, won a gold medal at the U.S. Open Beer Championships. And Slippery Pig started work recently on a Nasturtium Saison with herbs.

Cooking Club

A group of professional and amateur chefs in West Seattle takes their love of cooking social with a regular recipe-sharing potluck. Read more about it in the West Seattle Blog. I’ve heard of a similar group in Kitsap, and I’m told that members of the Kitsap Mycological Society regularly share ways to cook up those freshly hunted mushrooms. I’d love to hear of any other local examples.

Fishy fish:

According to a UW Tacoma study by biology students, that wild Pacific salmon you order in a restaurant may not be what it claims to be. According to a (Tacoma) News Tribune story, “More than 38 percent of restaurant samples tested by students in the UWT’s introductory biology classes were mislabeled.” Most of those restaurants were in Pierce County.

Ahhhh

The Accidental Hedonist blogger offered a lovely little ode to the aroma of coffee that then forced me to go pour myself a cup.


Food news roundup: restaurant news, Fourth of July grilling

Friday, July 1st, 2011

Kitsap News

The restaurant action, it seems, is on Bainbridge Island. Recently chef and food writer Greg Atkinson announced that he would open a restaurant on the island. Kitsap Sun’s reporter Rachel Pritchett talked with him about it for a story on Monday. By Wednesday, news had surfaced that Hitchcock, whose locally focused fine dining fare has been lauded by area food critics, may expand into the space next door, according to Bainbridge Conversation’s Tristan Baurick.

At Poulsbo’s farmers market on Saturday, Chef Tomas Nevarez, owner of the in-home chef instruction company Simmer Down will demonstrate creating a meal with locally harvested foods.

At Bainbridge Farmers Market, fstopcafé will offer a coffee roasting demonstration and tea tastings and a talk on tea.

Other Northwest News

Seattle Beerfest started Friday. The annual, often crowded, convention for beer geeks at Seattle Center promises 130 brews on tap. It opens at noon Saturday and Sunday. Cost is $25

I missed this last week, but apparently of note is that Seattle’s food scene is better than Portland’s, according to Sunset Magazine, which pitted top cities against each other. Hmmm, I envision a Portlandia episode in the making.

And now, I’m cutting this short so I can get to …

Fourth of July

Northwest weather guru Cliff Mass predicts that the holiday will get off to a cloudy start, but will sun up by the afternoon with temperatures in the mid-70s. That means, of course, prime grilling weather. Every food magazine out there has grilling guides and suggestions.

Personally, I’m not a fan of making all the food red, white and blue (that’s what decorations are for), but there are some more subtle colored-food touches such as red, white and blue potatoes as suggested by Bainbridge Farmers Market, or maybe a little blueberry, raspberry cobbler.

Coincidentally, as the Sea Life blog’s Jeff Adams reminded readers, this weekend also is open to crabbing season and “crabs are as Northwest’erican as espresso and apple pie,” he said. You can grill crab, though some suggest that (after cleaning it, of course) that you lightly wrap it in foil. Crab can be easy to overcook, so be gentle.

From the Food Life recipe archives (which I realize is a bit anemic), I can suggest Peruvian kebabs with roasted yellow pepper sauce, perhaps accompanied by grilled corn on the cob and for dessert, grilled nectarines with berry sauce, though blueberries may make a more seasonally friendly accompaniment than blackberries.

Also of note from the fine food publications out there, Saveur magazine this year offered a grilling guide that included a half dozen barbecue sauce recipes from Dr. Pepper sauce to Carolina gold, briskets and hush puppy or pickled sides (holy wow, why aren’t I eating right now?!). Southern Living boasts the “ultimate” grilling guide. And for those who want fewer calories, Cooking Light also has a Fourth of July recipe compilation.

As always, fell free to share any other suggestions you have for celebratory eating on the Fourth! Hope you all eat (and/or drink) well and stay safe!

 


Food news roundup: Taste of Tacoma, Co-op announcement, recipes

Friday, June 24th, 2011

 

Events

The Taste of Tacoma runs Saturday and Sunday at Point Defiance Park. Admission is free, but the food is not. The TNT Diner blog has info on what restaurants are dishing up for the festival. More information on other entertainment is at tasteoftacoma.com

In the news of future events, Bremerton Summer Brewfest announced its lineup.

Kitsap Food News

The Kitsap Food Co-op, which has been gathering members and searching for a home has a “big announcement” coming on Sunday.

Poulsbo Farmers market announced that it would extend its season through Dec. 17. I’ll try to get more on that soon.

Kitsap Sun’s food critic Bernard Jacobson this week offered his review of Bay Street Bistro in Port Orchard. He gave it a 9/10 for both food and service.

Random

The Accidental Hedonist blog this week chimed in with some thoughts on locavorism, and why so much focus has been put on food. Also this week, the Kitsap Cuisine blogger also has a post on local food, imploring people to get more serious about food in Kitsap.

Recipes

On the Small Potatoes blog, Anne cooked up some savory veggie fritters/pancakes for what looks to be a simple weeknight meal.

At the Fat of the Land blog, Langdon Cook offers up a suggestion for preparing the influx of salmon at local markets as well as a use for morels in a recipe titled Salmon with Pinot Noir Sauce and Morels.

For a dish for larger gatherings, Orangette has a recipe for Deviled Eggs with Basil Ailoli and Capers.


Food news roundup: local strawberries, coffee festival and more

Friday, June 17th, 2011

 

Grocery Glee

This week, the big food news locally seems to be that some grocery store opened in Silverdale Friday. Trader something. It gave even Seattle-focused Bainbridge Islanders something to talk about regarding the main peninsula besides Costco.

To Market, To Market

Elsewhere in the local food world, Bainbridge farmers market heralded the arrival of the season’s first, fresh island strawberries! The market starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, and in years past, those berries cleared out fast.

At the Poulsbo market Saturday, “Bug Chef” (yep, it’s what you think it is) David George Gordon will be signing his new book “The Secret World of Slugs and Snails: Life in the Very Slow Lane” at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Brews

For those looking to venture outside Kitsap for Excitement this weekend (or looking for somewhere to take dad), Kenmore is hosting the Washington Brewers Festival, which features 60 brewers purring 200 beers Saturday and Sunday.

If beer isn’t your thing, Seattle Center hosts a celebration of a different brew: coffee. The Northwest Coffee Festival runs both Saturday and Sunday with taste tests, slow-pour coffee bars and other demonstrations.

Week’s Buzz

The big talk last week was the ode to Seattle food written by New York Times’ Frank Bruni.

Seattle’s Frantic Foodie Karen Brown has her own newly launched ode with a new book, “Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle.”

Know other must-share blog posts and news? Please comment and link away!


Food news roundup: festivals, $5 farmers market lunch, chocolate science, end of the world

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Events

  • THE SUN IS OUT! With such a murky May, that’s something to shout about. And to celebrate. I’ve already got iced barley tea in the making in anticipation of warmer weather yet.
  • Both Poulsbo and Port Townsend farmers markets are canceled on Saturday, but in their stead will be the festivals that pack West Sound communities during Memorial Day Weekend. You may not be able to get the same fresh veggies, but there will be parades and pancake breakfasts. And if you’re a really industrious Kitsapper (and festival nut), you may be able to squeeze in a foot ferry ride to Port Orchard after Bremerton’s Armed Forces Day Parade (10 a.m.) before you head over to Viking Fest’s (2 p.m.).  How you can also fit in Port Townsend Rhody Fest’s (1 p.m.) is beyond me.
  • Seattle Green Fest runs Saturday and Sunday at Qwest Field Event Center. While it’s focused mostly on green businesses and the like, booths will have organic vegetarian dishes, organic beer and wine and a chocolate and sustainable coffee pairing talk at noon on Sunday.
  • Seattle Beer Week kicked off this week. The Washington Beer Blog has a list of favorite events to mark the occasion.

Local Food for Baby

The Small Potatoes blog has posts again after taking a little (like bouncing baby little) hiatus. She returns with this post on feeding the new little locavore with tips on equipment and food.

$5 Market Lunch

Over at the Kitsap Cuisine blog, Brandy had a chance to check out the new market lunch offered on Saturdays at Bay Street Bistro in Port Orchard. Here’s part of what she says of it in her post: “The idea is, you can come in on your own and have a low-cost plate of something wonderful, or better yet, come in with friends and order several plates to share in the Mediterranean style. … I thought this was a great way to get a feel for chef’s style.” Looks like I have something to try out on Saturday.

End of the World

At 6 p.m. Saturday, the world as we know it is slated to end, according to Harold Camping, head of the Christian network Family Radio. What does this have to do with food? Well, one clever LA Times blogger has decided (and blogged) that such an event calls for musing on last meals. Hers includes margaritas, tempura-battered fried chicken and red velvet cake. My last day of meals would likely include duck breast in cherry sauce from La Fermata, popcorn with lots of Ajinomoto (essentially pure MSG because who cares at that point?) my grandma’s yakisoba, iced and sweetened matcha and one last, full pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream. How about yours?

Fish Hype

The year’s first shipment of Copper River salmon made its way to Seattle Tuesday to much (though brief) ado from the local TV stations. don’t get me wrong, the fish is good. But I think some of the breathless hype and a fair amount of the cost has just a little to do with marketing. King fillets are, however, a little cheaper at about $30 to $50 a pound at Pike Place market this year because of a better run.

Chocolate Scientist

Theo chocolate factory in Fremont apparently has a chocolate scientist, according to The Stranger’s Charles Mudede. Andy McShea apparently has been working to make pure chocolate into more than candy bars. He’s been making beverages and pudding with nothing else added. He tells The Stranger, “By looking at the material, and understanding its properties, we can do fun things with it.”

That’s all for this week. I’d have read more food news, but frankly, I’m too busy closing my eyes and setting my face toward the sun! Have a great weekend!


Food news roundup: weakened wine, magic mushrooms, special salt

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Here’s a peppering of food news from around the region and nation:

Farmers markets

The Port Orchard Farmers Market opens Saturday, joining  Bainbridge Island, Gig Harbor,  Olalla, Port Townsend and Poulsbo, Silverdale and Suquamish in the weekly chances for local food and goodies. Next up on the opening list is Bremerton, which begins May 5, and it apparently has grown and will be in the grass this year at Evergreen Park. Following that will be Belfair and Chimacum.

Washington wines

This year’s late freeze may hurt the quality of this year’s Eastern Washington wine crop, reports Crosscut. The late freeze likely damaged grape plants’ primary buds, the ones responsible for most of the fruit, a wine expert explains. While the secondary buds also produce fruit, vineyards may have a mix of both, making ripening uneven, which has an adverse effect on the wine’s quality.

Modern dinner

Seattle Food Geek was invited to and photographed dinner at the lab where the contents of the mighty tomes of “Modernist Cuisine: the Art and Science of Cooking” were researched, tested and photographed. Since the six-book collection was released earlier this year, the food world has been abuzz over them and rekindled the conversation over more scientific approaches to cooking. The authors, including former Microsoft chief technology officer turned modern chef Nathan Myhrvold, have been inviting food experts to the lab to sample the foods. I’m sure my invitation is in the mail.

Magic Mushrooms

The (Tacoma) News Tribune reports that Lacey-based Ostrom mushrooms are offering “magic” mushrooms boosted with Vitamin D. How do they do it? The mushrooms get it the same way people can: with a little sunshine-like UV rays.

Is culinary salt worth it?

The Curious Cook at the New York Times takes a look at culinary salt and asks, can people really taste the difference? The answer: they can for some and writer Harold McGee leaves it up to readers to decide what and whether it’s worth it.


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About This Blog

The Food Life covers people, place and events involved in the food community on the Kitsap Peninsula and surrounding areas.
Written by Angela Dice. You can contact me at angela [at] angeladice.com.

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