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 ...

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. ...

May 2014

Lots and Lots of Gin

Lots and Lots of Gin

What a terrible state of affairs: a gin backlog! To clarify, it's a backlog of reflections on gin rather than bottles of the stuff itself. I wish the latter were true too. I've been a fan of gin for a good while now and went through a peak gin phase a few years back while prepping for a panel about gin for the 2007 International Association of Culinary Professionals conference and working on a couple articles ...

Oct 2009

Ok, so where was I? Ah yes, lounging in my Victoria hotel room on a lazy Saturday. This was the view at one point in the morning, typically Victoria: incoming float plane and a Black Ball ferry heading in from Port Angeles. Outgoing whale-watching trip (that bright orange boat center)  and a tugboat on some mission or another. It was late morning by the time I was done with ...

Oct 2009

Having had a fabulous trip to Vancouver, BC earlier this year, which included a cocktail or two (plus an amazing dinner) at Yew in the Four Seasons Hotel, it grabbed my attention to read about the Olympics-themed cocktails recently unveiled for the restaurant. The Games will be starting in 127 days, and yes, there are a lot of people counting down (not the least, official timekeeper Omega watches at this link). I found myself mentally doing so ...

Sep 2009

Which presumes I'll actually get to the Part Two portion at some point.... I'll do my best. But with a quiet Saturday morning sitting in my lovely large room at Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, with the cry of seagulls and hum of float planes outside, I wanted to get at least part of the trip covered before returning to the real world early next week. This may be a terrible comparison to make, but ...

Aug 2009

It was the perfect refuge for a hot summer's evening. Eight of us gathered on the cool, shaded garden patio of Sambar in Ballard for drinks, some snacks and some wonderful quality time catching up with friends. Few places make me quite so happy, eating and drinking so well in such a lovely, calm, engaging setting. Sambar is the younger, hip sibling of the beloved Le Gourmand restaurant next door. Chef/owner Bruce Naftaly ...

Dec 2008

Homemade Gin — an experiment

And no, to answer your first question: a bathtub was not involved. Having written and spoken as much as I have about gin over the years, it seems somewhat sacrilegious to suggest that I "made" gin. I've been to too many distilleries, sampled too many quality gins, and studied too much the art and science of gin-making to believe what I have in this bottle is truly gin. But, an oft-repeated characteristic of gin is that--at its core--it is essentially ...

Dec 2008

I know the whole "sister city" concept is meant to bridge different cultures and countries that share a common thread. In fact, I was pretty active in the Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association back in college. But in reality those civic relationships seem more cousin-like than sisterly. Particularly after thinking recently about the great synergy that Seattle and Portland share. The two cities exhibit a lot of those sibling characteristics: similar physical features, common history, similar wardrobe (and kitchen pantry, for ...

Jun 2008

Gin Dandy

One of the best monikers that's ever been given to me is that of "gin connoisseur." I wrote a review of a really engaging, informative little book called The Joy of Drinking by Barbara Holland, which appears in the current spring issue of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. My friend and ...