ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Too Many Cooks

Dickey’s Barbecue to open Friday

Texas-style pit barbecue is coming to Spokane starting Friday.

The first area Dickey's Barbecue franchise is scheduled to open at 11 a.m. on Jan. 18 at 12628 N. Division St., according to company spokeswoman Kate Morganelli. The franchise is owned by Dawn Carr and Walt Buyea. The location was formerly home to Camino Real.

The first 100 customers will get a free Pulled Pork Big Barbecue Sandwich.

Dickey's Barbecue Restaurants has more than 270 locations in the United States, with four restaurants on Washington’s west side (with one more coming soon in Issaquah, Wash.) and three in Idaho. Dickey's Barbecue Pit opened in 1941 in Dallas, Texas by Travis Dickey. According to the company's website, space on the restaurant’s sign was rented to help pay for start-up costs and the menu included only beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, beer, bottled milk and sodas.

In 1967, brothers Roland and T.D. Dickey, Jr. took over the business from their father and expanded the signature hickory-smoked meats throughout the Dallas and Fort Worth area, and then north Texas. They began franchising in 1994. A third generation, Roland Dickey, Jr. took over the family business, becoming president in 2006.

Dickey’s provides extensive support for franchise operators, beginning with a three-week “Barbecue U,” where owner/operators learn to run the restaurants from open until close.

Dickey’s is known for a family-friendly atmosphere and its beef brisket, pulled pork, ham, polish sausage, turkey breast and chicken, served along with sides such as jalapeno beans and macaroni and cheese. Meats are smoked at each restaurant, just as it was done in the original Dickey’s in 1941. Rolls are served with every meal, along with complimentary ice cream and dill pickles. The first menu change in 50 years was a spicy cheddar sausage, which was recently added after rave reviews from customers.

The Spokane restaurant will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Reach the store by calling (509) 465-9999.

The menu and other restaurant details can be found online at www.dickey’s.com.

Spokane Santorini’s sold, closed

The Santorini's Greek Cuisine in downtown Spokane is closed.

Reached by phone, owner Sally Tsakarestos would only say that they sold the restaurant, 112 N. Howard St. She would not reveal who purchased it, but said the new owners will not run it as a Greek restaurant. She said the new owners will make an announcement about their plans soon.

Pete and Sally Tsakarestos opened Santorini's in 2008. They are not opening another Greek restaurant anytime soon, Sally Tsakarestos said.

Santorini's in Coeur d'Alene, 4055 N. Government Way, is owned by Tsakarestos' in laws and it is not affected by the sale of the Spokane restaurant.

I'll post an update on the new restaurant planned for that location as soon as I get more information.

Sante reopening for dinner

Sante Restaurant & Charcuterie, 404 W. Main Ave., will reopen for dinner tonight after a break-in overnight.

The restaurant closed Friday at breakfast and lunch while workers cleaned up broken glass. Thieves smashed the glass and grabbed the cash register, according to owner and chef Jeremy Hansen.

The restaurant lost a small amount of cash that was in the register, but thieves did not haul off a prosciutto or any wine.

Sante is keeping the restaurant's Facebook page updated.

Spokane Cookies

My colleague and Slice writer Paul Turner shared some mail he received from a reader.

The reader said she is a “thrift store cookbook seeker” and found a recipe for Spokane Cookies in a book that she picked up on a trip with her daughter.

She copied and sent the page from a church cookbook compiled by the Woman's Society of Christian Service at the Ninth Street Methodist Church in Three Rivers, Mich.

“I wonder how many cooks in Spokane will be baking 'Spokane Cookies' for their friends,” she wrote in her note, which landed on my desk before the holidays.

I haven't come across a similar recipe searching the Dorothy Dean archive over the years. A quick web search didn't turn up any similar “Spokane Cookies.”

It makes me wonder if it was a recipe shared between friends and family, or if it is a reference to something other than this area.

Have you ever come across Spokane Cookies? What would you consider a Spokane cookie?

Barrel-aged gifts galore

If you haven't already wrapped up your gift giving for the season, here's a great last-minute idea.

Dry Fly Distillery recently began releasing some more specialty offerings in the new Dry Fly Creel Collection. Among the goodies are a barrel-reserve gin (that was bottled for the first time today), a port-finished wheat whiskey and a triticale whiskey.

The gin is a blend of Dry Fly gin that was barrel aged in the distillery's used wheat whiskey barrels. It gives the gin nice vanilla notes and lovely smoothness. The 375-milliliter bottles sell for $24.95.

The Port Barrel Finished Wheat Whiskey is the Dry Fly signature wheat whiskey that has been aged in Townshend Winery's barrels that have been used for huckleberry port.

Triticale is a hybrid of wheat and rye grains. The Dry Fly team tasted seven different kinds of triticale before they settled on the grain they are using in the Straight Triticale Whiskey.

These early offerings won't be around long, so if you have a few minutes this weekend stop in to the Dry Fly headquarters: 1003 E. Trent Ave., No. 200. Call (509) 489-2112.

Perry Street loses its cafe

The Perry Street Cafe is closed.

Owners Debbie and Geoff White said the breakfast and lunch restaurant served its last meals on Sunday.

The phone number for the cafe now rings at the Perry Street Cafe in Cheney, 24 W. 1st St.  “It is very said. We're going to miss it,” Debbie White said.

The couple opened the Perry Street Cafe, 1002 S. Perry St., just after they were married in 2006.

Celebrate with Twelve String Brewing Co.

Terry and Sue Hackler are celebrating the first anniversary of Twelve String Brewing Co. starting today with the release of Anniversary Ale Volume 1.

The beer is a double IPA style with 9 percent alcohol by volume and 100 international bitterness units, said brewer Terry Hackler in a news release. It packs a huge amount of hop flavor and aroma, he said.

The beer in being released for the first time today at the Twelve String Brewing Co. taproom in Spokane Valley, 11616 E. Montgomery Dr., Suite 26. Pints Alehouse in north Spokane will host a release party on Wednesday and The Hop Shop on Spokane's South HIl hold one on Thursday. Along with the Anniversary Ale Volume 1, the shops will also feature the first release of a cask conditioned 12 Strings of Winter Ale and a limited edition barrel aged Blackberry Stout.

The Twelve String Brewing Co. taproom is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 3-10 p.m.; Friday, 3-11 p.m. and Saturday noon to 11 p.m.

Holiday gifts from the kitchen

If you need me this weekend, I’ll be in the kitchen making my holiday cookies and gifts.

There’s still time to join me and whip together some treats for others before the season slips away. I'm fussing over ideas for the Meyer lemons I found this weekend at Costco. I was thinking of lemon curd, but I'm cranky about the recipes I've found because they call for bottled lemon juice to ensure they are canned safely. I may end up with a freezer curd instead. I'll report back on what I make.

Here are some of the recipes I’ve made in the past that were well received:

Orange-Cardamom Marmalade

From “Gifts Cooks Love,” by Diane Morgan (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010)

2 1/2 pounds (6 to 8 medium) oranges (such as Valencia or Cara Cara)

3/4 pound (2 large) lemons

6 cups cold water

20 green cardamom pods, crushed

8 cups granulated sugar

Prepare the fruit 12 to 24 hours before you plan to cook and preserve the marmalade. Wash and pat dry all the fruit. Trim and discard the stem ends. Cut the oranges and lemons into quarters and poke out all the seeds with the tip of a paring knife. Reserve the seeds in a small covered container. Using a sharp chef’s knife or mandoline, cut all the citrus, including the rinds, into 1/16-inch-thick slices. Put the sliced fruit in a large pot, including any juices left on the cutting board. Add the 6 cups of water. Gently press down on the fruit to make sure it is submerged. Cover the pot and set aside at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours. (This softens the rinds and releases the pectin.)

The next day, bring the pot of sliced fruit and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat so the mixture boils steadily without splattering, and cook for 30 minutes. Wrap the crushed cardamom pods and the reserved lemon and orange seeds in a cheesecloth bag tied securely with kitchen twine.

While the fruit is cooking, prepare the preserving jars and bring water to a boil in a water bath canner. Sterilize the jars and lids.

Add the sugar to the fruit mixture and stir until dissolved. Add the cheesecloth bag of cardamom and seeds. Continue to cook the marmalade at a steady boil until it reaches the gel stage (see note) or reaches 220 degrees F on a candy thermometer, 30 to 40 minutes longer.

Remove the cheesecloth bag from the marmalade, pressing any liquids back into the pan.

Remove the marmalade from the heat. Using a wide-mouth funnel and filling one jar at a time, ladle the marmalade into hot, sterilized jars, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles by running a long wooden utensil, such as a chopstick or wooden skewer, between the jar and the marmalade. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to the manufacturer’s directions. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, and then turn off the heat. Wait 5 minutes, and then lift the canning rack and, using a canning jar lifter, transfer the jars to a towel-lined, sturdy rimmed baking sheet and let them rest. Check the seals, wipe the jars, and label.

Note: Here’s an easy way to check whether the marmalade is set. Put a small plate in the freezer. When the marmalade looks thickish and a bit gelled, put a small amount of the marmalade on the frozen plate and return it to the freezer. After a couple of minutes, run your finger or a spoon down the center and see if it stays separated and is a bit wrinkled. If so, it is done.

Storing: Store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Yield: 11 half-pint jars

Nutella Biscotti with Hazelnuts and Chocolate

From “The Art and Soul of Baking,” by Cindy Mushet (Andrews McMeel, 2008). These crisp, twice-baked Italian favorites are perfect for dunking in coffee, tea or hot chocolate. They’ll keep in an airtight container for two months.

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) granulated sugar

1/2 cup Nutella, room temperature

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups (13 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) chopped skinned toasted hazelnuts (see note)

5 ounces good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch chunks, or 1 cup (6 1/2 ounces) mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) superfine sugar, optional (see note)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position oven rack in the center.

For the dough: Place the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until smooth and slightly lightened in color, 2 to 3 minutes. You also can use a hand mixer in a medium bowl, although you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results.

Add Nutella and blend well. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (15 to 20 seconds) and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture all at once. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and blend slowly, just until there are no more patches of flour. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl.

Add the hazelnuts and chocolate chips and mix on low, just until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir gently a few times with the spatula to make sure the nuts and chips are evenly distributed and there are no patches of unincorporated flour or butter lurking near the bottom of the bowl.

To shape and bake the dough: Divide the dough in half. On a work surface lightly dusted with flour, gently squeeze and roll each piece to shape into logs about 13 inches long. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the logs on the sheet about 4 inches apart. Press down the logs, flattening them slightly until they are each about 2 inches across the top. Place a second baking sheet under the first (to prevent the bottoms of the logs from browning too quickly).

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the logs are firm to the touch and lightly golden brown. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the logs cool completely. (If you attempt to slice them while warm, the chocolate will smear and the cookies will look messy.)

Cut the logs and bake them a second time. Turn the oven down to 275 degrees and position two racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Carefully transfer the cookie logs to a cutting surface. Use a serrated knife to slice the logs on a slight diagonal into cookies 3/8-inch thick.

Line the second baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cookies, cut side down, on the parchment-lined sheets. (You’ll need both sheets to hold all the cookies).

Toast the cookies in the oven, switching the sheets between the rack and rotating each front to back halfway through, for 30 to 40 minutes, until dry and lightly tinged with color. Transfer to a cooling rack.

While the cookies are toasting, prepare the finishing sugar if you like. Whisk together the superfine sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. As soon as the cookies are out of the oven and off the rack, immediately roll them in the cinnamon sugar and return to the baking sheet to cool completely.

The cookies will keep in an airtight container for 2 months. If the cookies soften during storage, re-crisp them in a 300-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool and return to storage container.

Notes: To toast and skin hazelnuts, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for about 10 to 14 minutes. The skins will begin to split and come away from the nuts. Transfer the hot nuts to a clean kitchen towel and wrap them lightly inside it so the steam will help loosen the skins. After 3 to 4 minutes, rub hazelnuts vigorously inside the towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. Depending on the variety, you may be able to remove some of the skin, but sometimes very little rubs off. Don’t worry, the remaining skin will add flavor and color to your baking.

Superfine sugar is sometimes labeled “baker’s sugar.” To make your own, whirl granulated sugar in the food processor for about 60 seconds. You can substitute superfine sugar for granulated sugar on a 1 to 1 ratio one to one.

Yield: About 45 biscotti

Cranberry Turtle Bars

From “The Gourmet Cookie Book,” from the editors of Gourmet magazine. The recipe is also available at www.epicurious.com, along with dozens of other cookie and treat recipes. I chopped the cranberries when I made this recipe, but some reviewers suggested keeping the cranberries whole. I’m going to try that when I make these again.

For the base:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

For the topping:

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (not thawed; 6 3/4 oz), coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups pecans (12 ounces), toasted and cooled, then coarsely chopped

For the decoration:

2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), very finely chopped

Special equipment: a candy thermometer

To make the base: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a 15- by 10-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the 2 short sides. Butter all 4 sides (but not bottom).

Blend flour, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor, then add butter and pulse until mixture begins to form small (roughly pea-size) lumps. Sprinkle into baking pan, then press down firmly all over with a metal spatula to form an even layer. Bake in middle of oven until golden and firm to the touch, 15 to 17 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack.

To make the topping: Melt butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat and stir in sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until caramel registers 245 degrees F on thermometer, about 8 minutes. Carefully stir in cranberries, then boil until caramel returns to 245 degrees F. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, then stir in pecans until well coated. Working quickly, spread caramel topping over base, using a fork to distribute nuts and berries evenly. Cool completely.

Cut and decorate bars: Lift bars in foil from pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 6 crosswise strips, then 6 lengthwise strips to form 36 bars.

Melt half of chocolate in top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from heat and add remaining chocolate, stirring until smooth. Transfer chocolate to a small heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Seal bag and snip off a tiny piece of one corner to form a small hole, then pipe chocolate decoratively over bars. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate sets, about 1 hour.

Note: Bars keep in an airtight container (use wax paper between layers) 1 week.

Yield: 36 bars

Holiday Wine Festival begins Friday

The Spokane Winery Association will host the annual Holiday Wine Fest starting Friday, Nov. 16.

Local wineries and winery tasting rooms will be open noon to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday for the event.

Here's a map to the wineries and tasting rooms: www.spokanewineries.net.

The Spokane Winery Association is also working with area restaurants on a corkage free program, enabling winery customers to purchase a bottle and enjoy it the same day at a participating Spokane restaurant without a corkage fee.

Details and restaurant listings may be found at www.spokanewineries.net.

Hill’s Restaurant serving up 31st Brewer’s Dinner

Iron Goat Brewing and vegetarian fare will be featured at the Sunday, Nov. 11 brewers dinner at Hill’s Restaurant and Lounge.

Dinner starts at 6 p.m. chef David Hill will prepare a four-course meal, matching each course to one of Iron Goat Brewing’s beers for the restaurant’s 31st brewers dinner. Iron Goat is based in Spokane. There is a seafood option for the main course.

The meal starts with Iron Goat Blonde Ale and grilled portabella sushi roll with ponzu, wasabi and pickled ginger. Iron Goat Scotch Ale will be paired with “almost-classic” French onion soup with roasted shallot and frizzled onions. The Impaler Imperial Stout IPA (8.5 ABV/72 IBU) will be served with the main course of either rosemary vegetable or shrimp and vegetable phyllo tart with couscous and sautéed spinach with garlic. Dessert features a stout and macadamia nut brownie with grilled pineapple kebob and the Goatmeal Stout (5.4/38)

Dinner is $39 and includes tax and tip. Call ahead for a reservation (509) 747-3946.

Free coffee and tiramisu tasting Saturday

Roast House Coffee and Downriver Grill will team up for a coffee and tiramisu pairing on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 10 a.m.

Roast House owner Deborah Di Bernardo will brew six different coffees from the Spokane microroastery to taste with chef Ryan Stoy’s tiramisu. Each coffee will bring out different flavors of the dessert, Di Bernardo said. The typically bright Latin American beans might add a to the dessert, while a coffee with natural chocolate notes could bring a new depth to the flavors, she said.

Roast House specializes in what they call “farm to cup” coffees and pay better than fair trade prices for organic, sustainable beans that are roasted in Spokane. They have poured thousands of cups of free coffee to get the word out about their small roastery.

Roast House is located at 423 E. Cleveland, Suite C. Reach them at (509) 995-6500.
  

Blaine’s Central Food now open

Over in Kendall Yards, amid a sea of new construction, David Blaine's new restaurant Central Food is beginning to open.

Central Food opened today, and will have limited hours this week as the staff tests menu items, learns the new computer system and generally work out the kinks, Blaine said. Through Friday, Central Food will be open for breakfast and lunch, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, the restaurant will be open for dinner service from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Next week, Blaine said, they'll work on offering all three meals.

Blaine, who was the head chef at Latah Bistro, told The Spokesman-Review this summer he thought the Kendall Yards  was the city's most exciting development, and he couldn't pass up the opportunity to open his first restaurant there.

The building, at 1335 W. Summit Parkway, is brand new. The restaurant sports that industrial vibe that's popular now. The walls are painted in gray and blue tones. The floor is concrete. There are gleaming metal pipes and vents above the open kitchen. But wooden table tops and accents help bring warmth to the space, and the large south-facing windows let in plenty of light and offer nice views of west donwtown, Browne's Addition and Peaceful Valley. The restaurant will seat 70 when it is fully open.

My colleague and I walked over for lunch today, and we ended up building our meals from the small plate offerings. She went vegetarian, with roasted Brussels sprouts, skillet potatoes and molé lentils. I was feeling British, and went with the Scotch eggs and the meat pie. It was all delicious. Best of all, we had prompt and attentive service - good news for a restaurant on its first day.

Three curry chocolate mini cupcakes came back to the office in a box, awaiting afternoon snack time.

Blaine said he expects to have the formal grand opening sometime around Black Friday, which is Nov. 23 this year. Stay tuned.

Don’t miss SpoCup, rare Stumptown coffee

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.

Wine, beer on tap at The Shop

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.

Misterlys honored by Chefs Collaborative

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:

Pathfinder

Paul Willis

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.

Foodshed Champion

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. 

Sustainer

Kären Jurgensen

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 closing

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.

Get yourself to the Greek

The 77th annual Greek Festival is underway at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1703 N. Washington St.

Lunch started at 11 a.m. and is served until 2 p.m. today and tomorrow. It's a beautiful day for souvlakia from the outdoor tent. There are Greek salads and vegetarian options.

Dinner is served tonight, Friday and Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets for dinner are $15 at the door. Did I mention the incredible honey-drenched desserts? Coffee? Cheeses? Appetizers?

Get a taste of Greek culture and take the time to tour the beautiful church while you're there.

There are more details on the festival website.

Go now.

Washington produce featured on school salad bar

The kids at Grant Elementary School in the Perry neighborhood got a taste of fresh Washington fruits and vegetables on the salad bar on Wednesday.

The Washington Department of Agriculture and the Washington State Nutrition Assoication teamed up for “Taste Washington Day” at school districts across the state.

At Grant, waves of kids came through the lunch line were able to choose from apples, peaches and pluots grown near Othello and carrots grown in Cheney. Older students helped the younger kids pick out produce and encouraged them to try something new.

Brian Estes, Eastern Washington coordinator for Fresh Food in Schools, said they hope the exposure will help kids discover new flavors they love and in turn encourage their families to buy them.

Doug Wordell, Director of Nutrition Services for Spokane's School District 81, said a new mandate from the USDA means children must choose a fruit or vegetable with their lunches. He said they expected to increase spending on fresh fruits and vegetables by about $250,000 this year to meet that new rule, but now estimates the increase at about $500,000 because kids have been eating more healthy produce.

There is some waste, Wordell said, but getting more fresh fruits and vegetables onto kids' lunch trays is good news. They'll be working on ways to reduce waste soon.

Wordell said the district always buys some Washington grown produce, but Wednesday's fruit and vegetables were all from the state. It helps to highlight the farm-to-table connection and the importance of helping local farmers by buying their produce, Estes said.

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart stopped by to see the efforts as did councilman Jon Snyder.

Coeur Coffeehouse hosts latte throwdown

Mike Garrison first noticed the art deco building with the corner door on a drive to Spokane Art Supply.

He didn’t have plans for a business, but the space somehow convinced him that he needed to open Coeur Coffeehouse. Garrison, who grew up in Coeur d’Alene, settled on plans to sell coffee from Portland’s Stumptown Coffee Roasters while remodeling and repairs were finished at 701 N. Monroe St.

Garrison wanted the most ethically sourced coffee he could find and liked Stumptown’s commitment to forging relationships with coffee growers and paying higher than fair-trade prices.

Coeur Coffeehouse uses local milk from Spokane’s Family Farm and baristas make syrups from scratch. In addition to espresso, Coeur Coffeehouse offers popular slow-brewing methods, including Chemex and Aeropress. Stumptown Coffee is sold by the pound.

Garrison and the Coeur Coffeehouse crew will host the latest round of the latte art and brewing competition for local baristas Thursday. Thursday Night Throwdown: Inland Northwest starts at 7 p.m. Local baristas are invited and must register by 6 p.m. Coffee lovers can come taste the results of the battle.

Coeur Coffeehouse is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

No-Li vs. Ninkasi

It’s Cougars vs. Ducks at Saturday’s game in Seattle, but the real winners will be hop heads.

During Saturday’s match-up between Washington State University and the University of Oregon at CenturyLink Field, Spokane’s No-Li Brewhouse will take on Eugene’s Ninkasi Brewing Co. in the first Hop Cup. The first brewery to kick two kegs wins the Hop Cup trophy. No-Li will be serving Born & Raised IPA, while Ninkasi pours Total Domination IPA.

For more information, go to www.nolibrewhouse.com.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

We never really believed that old cliché anyway. We're collaborating to share our cooking inspirations, favorite recipes, restaurant finds and other musings from the local food world and beyond.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Too Many Cooks.

Contributors

Adriana Janovich writes for and edits the Wednesday food section.

Carolyn Lamberson Features Editor for The Spokesman-Review. She's a foodie who has no time to cook. Still, a girl can dream ...

Ruth Reynolds is a copy editor at the SR. "I would bake and cook more than I do if I didn't have to keep cleaning off my kitchen counters. My favorite kitchen appliance is my rice cooker. No. My immersion blender."

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here