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A&E >  Food

Sapphire Lounge turns to Santé’s Hansen

Chef Jeremy Hansen, owner and chef at Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, confirms he’ll be the culinary talent in the kitchen at the new Sapphire Lounge in the revamped Hotel Ruby in downtown Spokane.

Hansen says he’s planning “small bites of modern gastronomy” along with “scratch drinks” made fresh daily from organic local fruits.

He hopes to bring the same philosophy to Sapphire Lounge that he serves up at Santé: European-inspired, seasonal, from-scratch cuisine made with mostly local, organic ingredients.

Hotel Ruby, 901 W. First Ave., is a former Rodeway Inn. It was built in 1961 as the Town Centre Motor Inn. Over the past year, the new owners, GVD Commercial Properties Inc., have turned it into a boutique hotel.

The scarlet walls outside are emblazoned with 30-foot-tall reproductions of local artist Ric Gendron’s portraits of music legends Hank Williams, T-Bone Walker, John Lennon and John Coltrane. The removable panels will be replaced next year with another artist’s work.

The Sapphire Lounge is set to open in May.

Bittman to speak in Leavenworth

New York Times food writer and author Mark Bittman will speak April 8 at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort in Leavenworth, Wash.

Bittman is the author of more than 10 books, former author of “The Minimalist” column for the New York Times and host of the PBS series “Bittman Takes on America’s Chefs.” He recently began writing an opinion column on food for the Times.

At Sleeping Lady, Bittman will talk about his new book, “Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating,” in which he explores the connection between diet, health and the environment.

He urges Americans to eat a “less-meatarian” diet to help them lose weight, slow global warming, reduce environmental damage and help stop cruel farm practices.

Sleeping Lady is offering a special overnight package featuring tickets to Bittman’s lecture along with a gourmet dinner and breakfast. Rates start at $318 (based on double occupancy).

Tickets to the 7 p.m. lecture are available for $25 per adult, $15 for students. Bittman will also host a VIP dinner. Contact the hotel for more information and the cost of the VIP dinner.

For reservations and more information, go to or call (800) 574-2123. For more information on Bittman, visit

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