Entries tagged with “Restaurant Awards”.


I could have made a good case for any of the Seattle chefs nominated for a James Beard Award this year, but there’s something especially sweet about Maria Hines of Tilth taking home the 2009 medallion for Best Chef: Northwest. No chef exemplifies the Northwest more than Hines; she simultaneously illustrates our cuisine and helps define it.

Hines converts diners to organic ingredients and small local farms because she also creates wonderful food, arguing her philosophy through the taste buds rather than political theories. Behind those meals, though, are endless long days of unsung work, both in the kitchen and in the larger world of food. I see her as a grass-roots leader in where our country is headed; it’s heartening to see a national nod, in turn, for her.

Hines (along with last year’s Best Chef winner, Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita) was cooking at the post-awards gala, and sent out a statement thanking her crew at Tilth and “a very special thanks to my wife for letting me put a lien on the house for Tilth.” 

Hopefully, tonight was a down payment on knowing we all appreciated it.

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Food & Wine Magazine has named its 10 best new chefs of 2009, and Mark Fuller of Spring Hill is on the list. Fuller, formerly head chef at The Dahlia Lounge, particularly impressed the judges with “olive-oil-poached albacore tuna with smoked king clam panzanella, arugula and avocado.” The chef has won raves for Spring Hill, and was also on the recent list of Seattle’s “Rising Stars.”

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Ethan Stowell's cobia crudo with fennel, chilies, and taggiasca olives

Ethan Stowell's StarChefs crudo (recipe below)/Photos by David Dickey

Seattle’s “Rising Star” chefs got a chance this week to collectively show off the dishes that won them the honor from StarChefs, the online magazine that’s been called the industry’s Gourmet. Here’s the tough part, though:

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It’s time again for Seattle Magazine’s annual “Best Restaurants” guide, and this one features “restaurants that stand the test of time” (think an all-local version of this) as well as hot newcomers.I don’t need to tell you about Maneki or Red Mill or Cafe Juanita, so — I hate to be so food porn about it, but let’s jump to the hot part.

Spinasse was named best new restaurant of the year. I’m not exactly surprised,  but I feel lonely — because I’ve never heard another person report a similar experience — to say Spinasse rated as my own biggest disappointment in a restaurant this year.  On my single, long-awaited trip, I found overcooked tajarin and unbearable noise. Still, the magazine’s description of sensational, toothsome, “confoundingly delicious” pastas makes me want to give it another try.

The Corson Building shared the prime double-spread, taking the title of  ”best dinner for all the senses.” No argument from me.  

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