Archive for October 2012
Don't forget about SpoCup on Saturday.
Five local coffee shops are hosting a coffee crawl 3-6 p.m. Participants get a passport and a T-shirt, then they hit five coffee shops in three hours. All of the details are here.
The event starts at INDABA Coffee Bar, 1425 W. Broadway Ave. That's where you'll need to go first if you didn't sign up in advance. You'll have to pay $30, but there are benefits:
1) You'll get to hang out with like-minded coffee geeks (Or not. You choose.)
2) Local businesses will benefit from your caffeine addiction.
3) There's a cool T-shirt.
4) A local non-profit benefits from a portion of sales on Saturday each of the five participating coffee shops. Big Table supports restaurant industry workers and they probably have a few people to help right now given some recent (unexpected) restaurant closures.
5) There will be swag and raffles.
6) Boots Bakery & Lounge, 24 W. Main Ave., is hosting the last stop on the crawl and they serve cocktails. There will be a DJ, too. You'll get to hit Coeur Coffeehouse, 701 N. Monroe St.; Luxe Coffee House, 1017 W. First Ave.; and Atticus Coffee and Gifts, 222 N. Howard St.
If that is not enough, here's one last thing to consider:
7) You could drop some serious coin on rare coffee.
Coeur Coffeehouse owner Mike Garrison says they received a shipment of some of the rarest coffee on the planet. Stumptown's Guatemala Finca el Injerto, Gesha varietal costs about $125 for a 12-ounce bag.
Coeur will be serving it for $10 per cup or $25 per Chemex for those who want to check it out. There are details - including an heavenly description of the flavor of the coffee - here.
Last weekend, my husband John and I were out on South Perry Street running down photos of food trucks and their owners.
We met Tom Pinyo at the Thai Lunch Box and had his deliciously tame mussamun curry and chicken satay with peanut sauce for dinner. Then, we were on the prowl for dessert. Our first instinct was to head to South Perry Pizza and sit at the bar with a glass of wine, while we ordered ice cream for the kiddo. But the place was packed. Ditto for Casper Fry.
That's when I remembered seeing the signs at The Shop, 924 S. Perry St., earlier in the week saying beer and wine would be coming soon.
It was perfect. We ordered Brain Freeze ice cream for our son, while we each picked out a glass of red wine. (They also have a small selection of microbrews on tap.) We all sat at a high table and watched the activity in the neighborhood while we savored our wine. John and I also split an espresso affogato (a scoop of vanilla ice cream drowned in a shot of espresso).
The Shop had to build a little corral of sorts outside to appease the Liquor Control Board but there was still a nice warm vibe. It was quiet that night, but that's all about to change, too. Correspondent Isamu Jordan recently wrote about plans to return live music to the venue.
Chefs Collaborative, a national network of chefs committed to sustainable food practices, honored Rick and Lora Lea Misterly of Quillisascut Farm in Rice, Wash. this week.
The collaborative recognized the Misterlys efforts as a “foodshed champion” during the fourth annual Chefs Collaborative Sustainable Food Summit this week in Seattle. (Thanks to former S-R staffer Leslie Kelly for this shot of the Misterlys at the conference.)
The award recognizes a food producer in the Pacific Northwest committed to working with chefs who believe, “good food begins with unpolluted air, land, and water, environmentally sustainable farming and fishing, and humane animal husbandry.”
In addition to making farmstead cheeses at Quillisascut, the Misterlys invite chefs, writers, students and food lovers to come to their farm to learn about sustainable food and growing practices and the heart of farm-to-table.
I do mean heart. Visiting Quillisascut for a workshop has been transformational for some chefs and students.
Kären Jurgensen, chef/instructor at the Seattle Culinary Academy in Seattle, works with Quillisascut Farm and her recipes are featured in Shannon Borg's book about the farm school, “Chefs on the Farm.”
Jurgensen was also honored this week by Chef's Collaborative for her work as a model and mentor to the culinary community by purchasing seasonal, sustainable ingredients and turning them in to delicious dishes.
“The work of the winners reflect the best of this region's and this country's efforts to build a more sustainable food system,” said chef Michael Leviton of Lumiere and Area Four restaurants in the Boston area and chair of the Chefs Collaborative board in a news release.
Here's the complete list of the 2012 Sustainability Award winners from the news release:
Founder and Manager Niman Ranch Pork Company, Thornton, Iowa
This award recognizes a visionary working in the greater food community who has been a catalyst for positive change within the food system through efforts that go beyond the kitchen.
Lora Lea and Rick Misterly
Owners, Quillisascut Farm, Rice, Wash.
This award recognizes a food producer (farmer, fisher, artisanal producer)in the Pacific Northwest committed to working with chefs and who exemplifies the following principle: Good food begins with unpolluted air, land, and water, environmentally sustainable farming and fishing, and humane animal husbandry.
Chef/Instructor, Seattle Culinary Academy, Seattle, Wash.
This award recognizes a chef who has been both a great mentor and is a model to the culinary community through his/her purchases of seasonal, sustainable ingredients and the transformation of these ingredients into delicious food.
In addition, chefs John Ash, Tom Douglas, and Jimmy Schmidt were inducted into the Pioneers Table - the Chefs Collaborative equivalent of the hall of fame.
For more information, visit chefscollaborative.org or follow them on twitter @chefscollab.
Beignets is closing.
The new downtown restaurant and creperie didn't make it three months. Owner Judie Sowards opened the restaurant with her son Ryan in mid-July. It is at 121 N. Wall St.
They said the business was done in by a group of people loitering across the street from the restaurant. The group - sometimes more than 100 people strong - are obnoxious, block the sidewalk, beg and are just a general nuisance.
“They have been right across the street from me and literally for the last month they have been chanting, making horrible gestures and noises and just hurting the business horribly,” Sowards said. “We’ve had so many customers say that if this continues they weren’t going to be back and they meant it. Our business has gone down 75 percent.”
Sowards said she had to take out a loan two weeks ago to make payroll because business dropped so dramatically in the past three weeks.
She said they tried working with police and the city to chase off the group, but it was too little, too late. Other businesses on the block are struggling for the same reason, Sowards said. The group used to hang out near the STA bus plaza in the smoking area, but were displaced by the construction and new non-smoking policy there.
“Those kids need a place too and I understand that. We are not against the kids we are against them wrecking our quiet atmosphere that our customers had wanted to have… We were trying to hold out until the weather got colder.”
Police and security officers increased patrols recently, so the group was not quite as loud, Sowards said. “But their presence and their gestures are not pleasant. People don’t want to walk through them. They beg. They were coming by to my tables asking for food and drink and that is just not right.”
Sowards said they just couldn't wait any longer. “We ran out of money… I had plenty of money in reserve and we’ve had to spend it because literally in the last three weeks (business) has gone down to less than a third of what we were getting.”
“We are now having to let 34 kids go to unemployment that want to work because of the 106 kids across the street that don’t want to work and that is really sad. My kids wanted a job and I have to let them know now because I can’t afford to pay them.”
Beignets will be open today from 11 a.m. to close and tomorrow from 11 a.m. to close so they can sell out the food in their coolers and freezers.
Look for a more in-depth story on the problems with the group hanging out by Beignets and along Wall Street in tomorrow's newspaper.