Give :: Fred Hutch Premier Chefs Dinner

Sunday night Adam and I had the pleasure of going to the Premier Chefs Dinner benefitting the Fred Hutch.  The food was outstanding, the company was a delight, and the wine was heaven.   Plus we got to talk to grown ups for an entire night and not watch Mickey Mouse.

First we got to tour the kitchen with the gals from Northwest Palate.  It was pretty remarkable to see the 300 plates of food - for each course - laid out on every flat surface imaginable and chefs bent over plates carefully placing elements of the dish.  We got to meet several chefs and talk about what they were creating.  I felt so guilty taking any of their time - you could see the beads of sweat on their heads and hear the franticness in their voice.  

One of the auction items last year was the opportunity to work in the kitchen.  Denise Whitaker from KOMO 4 and her husband Teron won last year and spent the dinner this year working in the kitchen - and racing out between courses to sit at our table and enjoy the fruit of their labor.  

The food was amazing.  Seriously, amazing.  Here's the menu so you can be jealous of how well we ate.  I was so full, I didn't even eat breakfast the next morning.  

Seth Caswell, emmer&rye

Scallop Crudo
emmer&rye salad, fava bean purée, chili-grapeseed oil2008 Woodinville Wine Cellars Sauvignon Blanc ~ Columbia Valley

Dustin Ronspies, Art of the Table

Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tart
local baby greens, leek vinaigrette2008 Dusted Valley Vintners Old Vine Chardonnay ~ Yakima Valley

Mark Fuller, Spring Hill

Duck Leg and Egg
crispy smoked confit croquette, yolk, green garlic, morels, English peas, parmesan
2004 Zefina Sangiovese ~ Columbia Valley

Seif Chirchi and Rachel Yang, Joule

Crispy Lobster "Ravioli"
sweet pea vine, spring onion marmalade, spicy roasted pear jus
2007 Lachini Vineyards Family Estate Pinot Noir ~ Chehalem Mountains

Adam Stevenson, Earth & Ocean

Grilled Squab with Black Eyed Pea Chole
black eyed pea “chole”, grapefruit-celery slaw, crispy fennel sausage, apple jus2007 Walter Dacon C'est Syrah Belle ~ Columbia Valley

Jack Strong, Salish Lodge & Spa

Kurobuta Pork Belly with Soft Corn Pudding and Ham Hock Jus
wilted local greens, Wenatchee apple, pickled fiddlehead fern
 2007 Obelisco Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ~ Red Mountain

Cheese Course
Fabulous selection of ripened cheeses with Macrina bread and crackers
2008 Walla Walla Vintners Merlot ~ Walla Walla Valley

Lucy Damkoehler, TASTE

Rhubarb Cobbler Ice Cream Sandwich blue rose chévre, sweet sorrel oil, salmonberry jam

The best parts were:
- The scallop crudo - especially the salad that accompanied it.  It had sea beans which are my favorite thing.  I always forget about them until they are served on something and then I remember - SO GOOD.
- The pork belly.  Every single aspect of it.  The pork was perfectly cooked and really good - the sides set it off wonderfully and make me drool thinking of it again.
- Cheese!  I love cheese, I could have eaten the whole plate if I hadn't eaten so much already.
- The 2004 Zefina Sangiovese!  I would put a straw in a bottle.  It's the best wine I think I have ever had - get yourself a bottle today.  Click here to check out their winery.

Dessert was great - but the ice cream didn't taste enough like rhubarb for me.  I love rhubarb.  I love the tartness of it and I don't think it needs to be masked as much as most recipes mask it.  It's a tart plant.  If you don't like tart plants, don't eat rhubarb.

Our table was equally as great.  We sat with John Carlson and his lovely wife Lisa, Denise Whitaker and her husband Teron, Mary from the Hutch and her sister and brother-in-law.  Lisa, Denise, and Mary all know each other because they climb together.  I'm sure you've heard about Denise's climbs - they talk about them on channel 4 all the time.  But you would never guess that the rest of these women were mountain climbers (you wouldn't guess that Denise was either, or that she rides a motorcycle).  I am always so inspired to meet women who are physically strong.  Part of why I love Crossfit is because I love feeling strong and being surrounded by strength - especially to see women older than me who are still extremely strong mentally and physically.  Inspiring.  Sorry about the tangent.

Since the night was benefitting the Hutch, it would not be complete without hearing from a doctor or two.  We heard from one.  And then from a cancer survivor/patient who was inspiring.  At 29 years old, just a year younger than me, this young man has already battled cancer once and won.  And now it's back.  How unfair is that?  His strength and courage was amazing - but more remarkable is the work being done at the Hutch that can save his life.  It's happened once and it can happen again - assuming the doctors have had the ability (and funds) to do the research that leads to breakthroughs like using the body's own immune system to fight cancer.

If you don't know much about what the Hutch does - except occupy a ton of real estate on Eastlake - then click here and explore the site.  If you think they only deal with cancer, click here and get involved with the Innovators Network.  A collection of people under 45, the Innovators Network connects you with the scientists who are actually doing the work.  At each cocktail event they host several scientists speak for 10 (or so) minutes about what they are doing.  It's everything from groundbreaking AIDS research to studying the behavior of fish to determine nature vs. nurture.  Truly fascinating and has so many implications for curing diseases of all kinds.

I was honored to be included at the event on Sunday.  I would not encourage you to donate and get involved if I wasn't doing the same thing.  Adam and I don't have a ton of money - but we give as much as we can to a variety of charities, research facilities, and hospitals.  We may not fund an entire research project, but we like to think we help in some way.  And you can too.


BTW I wore a Milly dress & a Lauren Merkin clutch