Entries tagged with “Seattle”.


A few readers have asked about the new Homegrown Sandwiches in Fremont using cured meats from The Swinery on their sandwiches. Wasn’t the whole controversy with Culinary Communion and The Swinery that owner Gabriel Claycamp didn’t have a Swinery permit yet from Public Health - Seattle and King County?

I called Homegrown today to inquire, and was told the Swinery products were off the menu. 

“We had been told that the paperwork was in order for (The Swinery), and then we found out otherwise, so we decided to stop carrying their stuff,” said Brad Gillis, who owns Homegrown with Ben Friedman.

I checked in with the health department, and was told that its staff had told Homegrown the meat was not from an approved source.

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I’m selfishly sad to report that pastry chef extraordinaire Neil Robertson has left Canlis. I’ve loved what he was doing there.

Neil wrote: “It was a complicated and painful decision, but what it really came down to was my inability to find a sustainable balance between the job and personal life. My time there was hugely rewarding, and the Canlis family could not have been more supportive.”

He’ll be traveling to Japan for a few weeks in May. After that, I hope we’ll get to enjoy his work somewhere else in our town.

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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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Ethan Stowell’s band of merry competitors, having worked their way through chili, hot wings, and other challenges, are participating in a “Battle of the Lasagna” at Union on April 19. Thirteen professional and amateur cooks will compete that night for the title of “Lasagna Champion of Seattle” (because I don’t know anyone else in town who’s going to challenge them on that), plus a chance to raise money for a good cause.

Where do you come in? For $50, all benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, you get all the lasagna you can eat, plus salad, garlic bread, and beer — and a scorecard to vote for Best in Show.

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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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A sukiyaki feast in full swing. (David Dickey photos)

A sukiyaki feast in full swing. (David Dickey photos)

Several weeks ago, we got a note from our friend Eric. It began:

Real sukiyaki is something to behold. Like shabu-shabu, the raw ingredients (thin sliced beef, napa cabbage, shiitake, tofu, shirataki noodles) are brought to the table and the cooking happens on a hot plate right in front of you. The large shallow pot has a simmering sweet-salty sauce. After cooking in the sauce, you dip each bite in your own bowl of beaten raw egg. This is key, as it cools the food down and adds delicious richness.

I bring this up because I’ve been talking to Taichi Kitamura of Chiso and Kappo about doing a traditional sukiyaki dinner.(more…)

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The 5-Spot isn’t letting its specials go for a five-spot, but the restaurants in the Chow Foods group are extending what’s still a strikingly inexpensive dinner deal. It was originally supposed to end by spring.

Endolyne Joe’s, The 5-Spot, and The Hi-Life are all offering blue-plate specials linked to the price of the Dow Jones. Tonight, with the Dow’s most recent closing price at 7,278, the special would rung up at $7.28. The “Bell Ringing” deal runs Sunday through Thursday. Atlas Foods also features a nightly Blue Plate for $9.50, which the Chow folks describe as “simple supper specials like an applesauce-topped pork chop, Chicken-Fried Steak or Spicy Sausage Lasagna,” with sides and coffee. Actually, they say, “with sides and a cup o’ Joe,” because that’s how they talk at Chow. I put up with the schtick because their food is solid (sometimes much better than solid — did you notice that their chef took the title of “Prince of Pork” against the city’s best at Cochon 555?) and I still have fond memories of the Beeliner.

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Per my previous post, Gabriel Claycamp is now confirming on his Facebook page that Culinary Communion has closed.

He wrote: “Gabriel Lee Claycamp is coming to grips with the fact that this rollercoaster has ended. CC is done. We have given our whole lives to this dream and met amazing people. Love you.”

Supporters reported receiving a letter of explanation (below) a few hours later.

The short summary: The final straw for the closure, he wrote, was the city’s requirement that a second exit be built from the building’s basement. He will hold a going out of business sale at CC March 21 to raise money toward paying the staff and refunding tuition. ” It is not our intention to slip away quietly, leaving a pile of debt and bad feelings behind us.” He still plans to operate The Swinery and Lunch Counter (though, if the city does lock the building’s doors, as he references below, I’m not sure how that works.) If you want to help, he wrote, attend the sale, be vocal about good experiences you had with CC — “and, cook. Dig out your recipes and have a dinner party; invite friends or strangers, and come together around the table. Keep the food community alive. ”

Here’s the full letter:

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Readers on my old Seattle P-I blog have been asking about rumors that Culinary Communion, a lightning rod for commentary in recent weeks, has shut down.

Here’s what I know:

1. Chef Tom Black, who had taught classes at the cooking school for the past seven months, said yesterday that CC owner Gabriel Claycamp told him March 10 that the business was closed. Black is now looking for a new job. That doesn’t seem to leave much room for debate.

2. I had called Claycamp March 13, though, before hearing such first-hand information, and asked him if there was anything to the rumors. He said no. I asked him to tell me more. He made a reference to the last time we spoke, when he had asked for a favor he did not receive, and said he would therefore not talk to me. Then he repeated that it was not true that CC had shut down. Then he hung up. (Claycamp had, politely, asked for P-I staff to remove or shut down comments on the heated thread on his Swinery business. The P-I declined, though the New Media staff did remove posts that violated the paper’s terms of service.)

3. A lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court March 9 against Culinary Communion/The Swinery, suing the business for breach of contract. In the complaint, Complete Restaurant Repair, a Kent-based business, claimed that its final invoice for improvements to The Swinery space was unpaid, and asked the court to foreclose on the property to pay its $3,588.66 bill.

4. Culinary Communion’s web site is still up, and is still advertising “Chef Tom Black’s Restaurant School.” The calendar still lists a full roster of classes, including some naming Black as the instructor. If you try to sign up, though, every individual class on the March and April calendars is listed as full, with no available seats. CC’s new restaurant venture, Lunch Counter, is still listed as opening April 1. (The lunch-time restaurant already had a “soft opening,” for a few days a week, earlier this month.)

Now you know what I know. I’ll update if there’s more.

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