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Friday, August 7, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Running Tab: Culinary creativity – music, themed events can add excitement to the menu

UPDATED: Wed., June 10, 2020

When you meet and get to know me, I would like to think that your overall impression is a journalist who is upbeat, positive and optimistic. I like to surround myself with people who have similar attributes, as well as possess a curiosity about life and are creative and always look for new adventures and experiences.

One of my favorite words, for years now, is “inventive” – especially when it comes to the culinary world, but really in any arts and entertainment field, from music and nightlife to art and the performing arts.

It could be a twist on a classic recipe or cocktail, using an ingredient you would not think would work or reimaging an event that has been successful for years and tried-and-true. Being inventive keeps life exciting, and who couldn’t use a little excitement and inventiveness right now?

509 Dine Catering & Events

I met Ken Dupree during the Birds and Bubbly dinner he hosted in August at Yards Bruncheon in Kendall Yards. Dupree was part of the Yards Bruncheon and the Wandering Table team at the time, and he led a wonderful evening of fried chicken and other menu items paired with champagnes selected by Tyler Stevenson.

Dupree hinted at a new project he was working on with his wife, and when I saw him again at the next month’s themed dinner at Yards Bruncheon – a global menu with cocktail pairings – he was ready to take a leap of faith.

Fast forward a few months later, and Dupree launched 509 Dine Catering & Events as the events director. His focus is to offer a culinary adventure about once a month with a different food palette at varying locations. The first 509 Dine event I attended was “Millwood Brewing Co. and 509 Dine Present Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday” at the cool and casual brewery in Millwood.

Being in a brewery, multiple beers were offered to complement the menu that included Cajun butter popcorn, crab cakes with Cajun remoulade, Southern hush puppies, Cajun red beans and rice with braised ham hock, Mardi Gras cole slaw, a Louisiana fried catfish po’ boy, shrimp etouffee and Jocelyn’s King Cake. Anyone else hungry now?

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Dupree and 509 Dine have remained busy, starting with partnering with Humble Abode Brewery and offering a Thursday takeout and pickup menu in early May. Featured menu items have included smoked brisket beef stroganoff with house-made noodles, smoked bourbon glazed baby back ribs, jalapeno corn beer bread and mini apple pies.

In recent weeks, 509 Dine’s takeout menu has included ziti in creamy marinara topped with grilled chicken breast, a Caesar salad and rosemary rolls and teriyaki chicken kabobs, red peppers, pineapple and red onion over rice and Grandma’s orange cookies. This Thursday’s takeout menu features paella and Jocelyn’s Famous Strawberry-Rhubarb Empanada.

“We’re excited to create all our favorite dishes with Northwest fresh ingredients,” Dupree said Monday morning. “We love the opportunity to feed our friends, family and community with dishes from the heart.”

Place your order by calling or texting (509) 220-1681 or email 509dine@gmail.com. Again, anyone else hungry now? I so look forward to the next dine-in 509 Dine event.

Barrister Winery

I met Barrister Winery co-owner and winemaker Greg Lipsker at a luncheon at Beverly’s during the Coeur d’Alene Resort Food & Wine Festival on Feb. 15 (his Barrister Winery in downtown Spokane reopened last week), and a few weeks later, I attended Barrister Winey’s food, wine and music pairing dinner featuring Grammy winner Zuill Bailey.

“It feels so good to be back. The support we have received from our Wine Club and the Spokane community has been overwhelming,” Lipsker said Monday morning. “Ladies brought cupcakes for our staff to keep their spirits up. Another lady brought in home-sewn masks, and one of our employee’s 84-year-old grandmother made 30 home-sewn masks to help keep our staff safe.

“It is the personal interaction with our guests that fuels our passion. We are excited to be able to reopen and offer the Barrister experience to our guests. Seating is available inside or in the urban garden in our courtyard.”

I have attended my fair share of dinners where food has been paired with wine, cocktails and beer, but never with music, as well, and it was exquisite – a beautiful evening of very fine cuisine, vino and music by the extraordinarily talented and charming Bailey.

What is next for Barrister Winery? “We are now offering free wine delivery to the greater Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area,” Lipsker said. “ ‘Wednesday at the Winery’ also is back. We have live music from 6-9 p.m. each Wednesday throughout the summer. Guests are welcome, in fact encouraged, to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy while they listen to music.”

On June 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. both days, Bailey, the artistic director of Northwest Bachfest, will perform a virtual concert at Barrister Winery. Boxed dinners from Fery’s Catering also will be available for order. Reservations are required, and guests can reserve a table by calling (509) 465-3591.

As the food and beverage industry begins to reopen, I look forward to the next creative culinary adventure and experience in Spokane and the surrounding area.

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