a taste of delicious things from my adventures the worlds of food, travel, beverages, fun, frolicking and beyond

Oct 2016
Drinking Well: The Trident

After so many years working in the culinary business, I cannot say how much I relish the incredibly broad, diverse, fascinating, inspiring group of colleagues I've had the pleasure to interact with over the years. And it is so very satisfying to cheer them in their accomplishments and milestones, tip a glass in their direction when they get some well-deserved recognition. Such is the case this week when the Friday Seattle Times included a tribute to Robert Hess and one ...

Aug 2016
Salmon and that White Goo

Yeah, it's not the most appetizing adornment. Hard to miss against salmon's rosy-orange flesh, the white gooey stuff that sometimes appears during cooking is certainly a visual distraction. And might leave you feeling like you've messed up somehow. Possibly ruined that glorious piece of salmon even. First off, not ruined. Maybe a bit overcooked (more on that shortly), but not a calamity. And you’ll be happy to know there are a couple simple things you can do ...

Jul 2016
Oysters in Summer

"What's the deal?" a number of people have been asking me lately. "Isn't there something about not eating oysters in the summer?" Yeah, there is. Or was. The truth in the "don't eat oysters in the months without an 'R'" relates in part to the basic biology of oysters. When summer brings along an increase in water temperature, it induces natural oysters to spawn. These oysters aren't harmful to ...

May 2016
No-Shuck Oyster Shells

It's no surprise that I've been talking A LOT about oysters in the past few months, since the release of Oysters: Recipe that Bring Home a Taste of the Sea. And no, I haven't gotten tired of the topic, I'm not sick of them yet! In the course of interviews I've been doing and classes I'm teaching, a frequent question I get asked is about my favorite way to cook oysters. I  ...

May 2016
Gin & Tonic’s Time to Shine

Ready for a gin and tonic revolution? Well. Maybe revolution is a bit overboard. But it's time for a movement of some kind to elevate the glories of the beloved G & T. A campaign maybe? Sure would beat the other brand of campaign we're being pounded with these days. This would be a happy and uplifting campaign. No caucuses and delegate-counting, no juvenile jousting and mind-numbing politicking. ...

Apr 2016
The Kitchen Reno: Before and After

Even though the dust has settled and the workmen gone, I keep a comic strip stuck to the wall that really struck a chord a few months ago. In that timeless setting of the therapist's office, the therapist prattles on about how there are no quick fixes in therapy, it's a frustrating often traumatic process, it can be lengthy -- to which the patient replies "much like having your kitchen remodeled." Heavens. Could I relate. And we ...

Jan 2016
Taste of Place: Meroir

Most of us have wrapped our brains, and our palates, around the idea of terroir by now. According to Merriam-Webster, its usage dates back to the mid-19th century, referencing the various influences from soil, climate, altitude, aspect, wind exposure, etc. that contribute to the unique character of wine grapes grown in a particular area. My 1941 copy of the Merriam-Webster New International Dictionary doesn’t include terroir sandwiched between territory and terror. Wine jargon seems to have owned the ...

Dec 2015
The Gift of Experience

As a culture we've gotten incredibly good at accumulating things. Buying things that we need. Things that we don't need. Replacing things with new things because we get bored. Buying shiny-pretty-ooooh-gotta-have-it things just because. And then trying to figure out where to put it all. So then, what are we to do when those holidays hit? Just shift gears and do the same for others. I'm not dismissing gift-giving altogether, of course not. I'm not that much a Grinch! Finding items ...

Nov 2015
The Joy of Thanksgiving

This time next week many of us will be scrambling around the kitchen, tending to a bird, popping a batch of rolls in the oven, trimming Brussels sprouts to steam, setting just-baked pies aside to cool. For some I know this can be a stressful occasion, whether it's because of pressure to not mess up the beloved meal, or in anticipation of the potentially-awkward dynamics around the dinner table later. (After ...

Oct 2015
Egg in Wine Sauce: Oeufs en Meurette

Eggs in your wine? I realize that concept may sound less than appealing at first. But leave it to the French to have put eggs in wine and made something glorious of it. Perhaps it doesn't hurt that there is also bacon, mushrooms, pearl onions. A bit of butter helping make a luscious sauce. If you've ever had oeufs en meurette--dug your fork into that pillow of poached egg, the yolk blending ...