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Posts tagged: chef

Chef David Blaine bringing Central Food to Kendall Yards

Here's the reason outspoken local chef David Blaine has been mum on speculation about the first restaurant planned for Kendall Yards: He's behind it.

Blaine told my colleague Tom Sowa he's opening the new restaurant in the Cedar Street Park Building south of the State Court of Appeals. He'll call it Central Food.

Blaine told The Spokesman-Review he wanted to avoid labels such as “bistro” or “cafe.” He said the guiding principle will be seasonal ingredients.

It will be the first time Blaine has owned a restaurant. He has been the head chef at Latah Bistro for the last seven years and has worked more than 20 years at restaurants in the Spokane area.

His passion has been increasing the use of produce from local farmers and food from local ranchers, a sensibility that is sure to follow him to the new restaurant.

Here's the story for more details.

Trusting your gut

In journalism school, you learn quickly how dangerous it is to say someone is the “first” person to do anything.

The moment you think about putting something like that in print, those who have gone before emerge quickly. That's why I was skeptical that Adam Hegsted was going to be the first chef from this area to cook at the James Beard House in New York City. And despite being told that a couple of times during my reporting for the story in today's Food section, I was hesitant to write it.

I also didn't want to overlook an important detail.

So, I sent an email to the James Beard Foundation inqiring. The response:

“Thank you for checking in. I have checked our records, and chef Adam is indeed the first chef from the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area to cook at the Beard House. He will also be the first chef from the state of Idaho to be featured here.”

Turns out, that's not true at all.

At least two other area chefs have been honored by the James Beard House.

Executive chef Rod Jessick, of the Coeur d'Alene Resort, cooked there in 1999 and received another invitation in 2003 or 2004.

Also, chef Brian Hutchins, who works at Stix in Spokane, cooked at the James Beard House in 2003.

Several other Idaho chefs were part of the events. Here's a partial list of those chefs. I'm still trying to track down the information: Keith Otter, Ketchum, Idaho; Scott Wamsley, Sun Valley Lodge; Barbara Barry, Ketchum, Idaho; Joyce Doughty and Kenny Rudolph, Ketchum, Idaho.

Today, when I forwarded messages from both Rod Jessick and Brian Hutchins to the James Beard Foundation, they wrote back: “Our apologies for the misinformation here. Our in-house archives are unfortunately not as accurate as they should be, and we are in the process of addressing this issue. Chef Jessick was indeed correct about the Idaho-based chefs he mentioned who have cooked at the Beard House. We were able to track down the event links to provide you with more information…”

“In addition to these events, we also hosted a “Taste of Idaho” dinner on 2/3/1998 with chefs Barbara Barry, Joyce Doughty, Keith Otter, and Scott Wamsley, however, this predates our electronic archives.”

The chefs who called and wrote were incredibly gracious about the mistake, but I still feel terrible for making it. I would hate for the oversight to minimize the work that it takes to get to the James Beard House.

Rod Jessick said in a email message: “It is a great honor to participate and a lot of work… I look back fondly on the memories of the event I participated in,” he said. “I intend to email Adam and wish him 'Good Cooking' at his event. Again, he is a very talented chef and will represent both the Coeur d’Alene Casino and the State of  Idaho well.”

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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.

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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."

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