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Fresh Sheet: New food festival celebrates best of Pacific Northwest

Jeremy Hansen, chef and owner of Santé Restaurant and Charcuterie, is planning a five-day food festival in the spring.

According to the event’s website, the idea is to bring together some of the Pacific Northwest’s “most creative” chefs and food lovers to celebrate food and drink. Festivities are slated for March 30 to April 3 in the old Washington Cracker Co. building in downtown Spokane.

Ten of the region’s “top chefs” will collaborate for five meals. So far, the chefs aren’t identified.

Afternoon weekday sessions at Chefs Week Pacific Northwest are free and feature food trucks, chef demonstrations and music. Weeknight sessions cost $70 and include a six-course tasting menu. For another $30, guests can add wine pairings.

Saturday’s afternoon session costs $15. The evening session, with an eight-course tasting menu, is $150. Sunday, there’s a $40, all-you-can-eat brunch followed by closing ceremonies and awards.

Hansen was a semifinalist in the Best Chef Northwest category in the 2015 James Beard Foundation Awards. He has also cooked at the famed James Beard House in New York City, first in summer 2013 and again in 2015.

His restaurant was a finalist in the 2014 Good Food Awards. It’s also a finalist in this year’s Good Food Awards; winners will be announced later this month.

Hansen and his wife, Kate, also own Common Crumb Artisan Bakery. They’re planning to open another restaurant called Inland Pacific Kitchen in the Washington Cracker Co. building.

Meantime, a schedule of events for the food fest can be found online at For more information, email

A little romance

My most romantic meal was more of a snack. But the setting – a bridge over the Seine River in Paris at sunset in summer – made it especially memorable.

We shared a bottle of Champagne, Veuve Clicquot, which earned us a double-take and a “Chouette!” – French for “cool” – from a guy riding by on a bicycle. We drank it out of small glass jars we had found on a shelf in a studio apartment in Montmarte. A strawberry tart from a Left Bank pâtissierie – we had arrived just as it was about to close and the pâtissier was removing pastries from the case – rounded out the “meal.”

Maybe yours was more about the entrées. Whether it was a multi-course meal at a beloved Spokane restaurant or a bottle of wine on a bench with an exceptional view, The Spokesman-Review Food section is looking for readers to share their most romantic meals, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Stories should be no more than 250 words and submitted by Jan. 27 to one of the addresses listed below.

Do you have fresh food news? Write to: Fresh Sheet, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call (509) 459-5446 or send an email to

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