premier chef's dinner with Fred Hutch
It occurred to me this weekend that I actually have no idea how many years Mr. Hedin and I have been going to the Fred Hutch Premier Chef's Dinner. This event is my favorite event of the year (no offense to other events, it's just the best). The evening celebrates local chefs, wineries, and finding a cure for cancer.
Every year a fabulous chef is brought in as the guest speaker, last year it was Alice Waters (whom I adore) and this year we heard from the D A R L I N G and idol worthy Dominique Crenn. She's the gal from the Visa commercial who makes the giant soufflé. She's also the gal who has two Michelin Stars (the first lady to ever receive two stars in the US), best female chef in 2016, and most recently, Best Chef West by the James Beard Foundation just this year. That's all to say, her culinary chops are legit. She's also the cutest thing you've ever seen and a motorcycle jacket just jumped up on my wish list.
5 FAVORITE THINGS FROM THE CHEF'S DINNER
1. The "whoop" that went out as soon as I finished presenting about Two Mountain Winery. My friends are the best.
2. Daisley Gordon's Asparagus Tart (below) which I might have eaten that whole sheet of... the pickled asparagus salad on top was to die for.
3. Dominique Crenn's motorcycle jacket. #goals
4. Braised Short Ribs as big as your hand served on the creamiest polenta I think I've ever had.
5. Raising more money than ever before for the study and research of cancer prevention.
The way the evening works is unique for a charity event - at least in Seattle. If there's an event like this near you I'd love to hear about it!
Chef's throughout the city of Seattle are invited to cook for the meal. Each chef cooks half of the courses so that you and your date are each served something different at each course. The idea being that you switch halfway though and you each get to eat two plates per course. Since there are four courses, that's a lot of food. A lot of amazing food.
With each course of food, a wine is paired to compliment it. Generally the wines are all local, this year we featured three Washington wines and one from Oregon. I had the privilege of speaking to the meat course wine provided by Two Mountain Winery - one of my favorite wineries in the state.
Two Mountain paired their 2015 Cabernet Franc with a Duck Breast from chef Elijah DiStephano from Thackeray Kitchen & Bar AND a Braised Short Rib cooked by Samuel West from San Fermo. The Cab Franc is literally my favorite wine that Two Mountain makes - it's easy to drink, rich, and bold without overpowering anything, and just delightful.
The wine was grown in the Copeland Vineyard on the Two Mountain property. It's the first vineyard Matt planted in 2000 when they started the winery. It's 95% Cabernet Franc and 5% Merlot - a perfect food friendly wine with good acid, tannin and structure. Hints of oak, rose petals, and vanilla lend it to pair really nicely with red meat or dense mushrooms.
Unless you're friends with me, you may not have heard of the winery. It's actually owned and managed by Matt and Pat - brothers who grew up in Seattle and Eastern Washington where they lived on the family orchards and learned the agricultural business. When they lived in Seattle they lived on the same block as Mr. Hedin and their families have been great friends ever since.
In 2000 when we all graduated from college, Matt convinced his uncle to let him plant grapes in part of the orchard. When Uncle Ron died unexpectedly, Matt and Pat took over orchard and - by then - a growing winery business. Between the two of them, the brothers do everything; the wines are estate grown, they are blended by the brothers on the property, and most of the sales calls are handled by them as well. It's truly a family operation.
I would love to have you join us next year at this amazing event. It's a foodie's paradise - when else do you get to eat the food of 10 amazing chefs in one night? Here is the landing page for the Chef's Dinner and as soon as the event staff has come up for air from this year, they will begin to update with next year's information. If you really want to be on top of it, send an email to the email address on the page and they will get you on the list so you will be one of the first to know when next year's event happens.
Did I mention it's a fundraiser too? The remarkable people in the room raised more than $1.4 million dollars for cancer prevention. Come be a part of that life changing conversation. If we can prevent cancer, we don't need to cure it.
Hope I see you there next year