Tuesday, September 29, 2009

FoodSnap, Lou Manna and More

Sometimes life just swirls by you. It happens when you wait for something for so long and then it just comes and goes. It passes by so quickly that it kind of tiptoes past you and you don't realize it's gone until it's way too far ahead.

Lou Manna left Seattle on Sunday, I took a cruise to Victoria, relaxed for a week, spent hours in the Jacuzzi, grazed on healthy vegetables and unlimited protein (my idea of foodie heaven) and just jumped back into the working/mom/wife/foodie/ life.


FoodSnap came and went. FoodSnap was an event that I put together with Foodista.com.

Here is the picture of us above (myself in the turquoise shirt, Lou in black and the entire Foodista family).

 I had a great time learning from Lou and tasting all the food and displays. We had some amazing people help out . Lara Ferroni along with a long list of talented photographers and stylists.

Chef Wayne of Andaluca provided lunch. Some really interesting local companies provided samples and sets to be photographed. There is a whole contest around it on Flickr. If you go to Flickr and search groups for Foodsnap. There is a list of companies and photos that people uploaded. Check out the pics and tell me what you think.

 I would like to thank Siiri Sampson and Mari Osana (Bitter Buiscuit on twitter) for assisting me and helping me out with my event. I feel truly blessed to have met such great people.

Thank you Elise from Simply Recipes for flying in to Seattle. If for some reason, you don't know her website, check it out. Elise has been featured in Time Magazine, Redbook and basically anywhere else where top websites are mentioned.

Thank you to all the bloggers, companies and foodies who attended the event.

The next day we had lunch at Rover's, in which we had a special 2 hour restaurant photography session.
The food at Rover's is a masterpiece.

We then went to watch Lou photograph at Olivar and snacked on tapas with Chef Philippe. I am addicted to the albondigas. If you haven't been there, you have to try the place.

Then we continued to Andaluca which is located in the Mayflower Park Hotel where Lou was staying. Chef Wayne cooked up the entire menu so Lou could photograph it. I did my job as a taster and tasted the entire menu. I love Wayne's food and his personal touch.

The next day Lou taught a class at the Pike Place Market and then later joined me and some friends for some shmoozing at the Urban Picnic, another great event by Chef's Collaborative. The event had a nice list of restaurants and local celebrity Robin Leventhal from Top Chef was cooking.  Urban Picnic was a wonderful way to end Lou's trip to Seattle, with lots of nice people, live music and a relaxed warm Seattle foodie atmosphere.

Lou really had a great time in Seattle and got to meet many from Seattle's food community, he dined at all the restaurants above as well as the incredible Canlis and left Seattle with a whole network of Seattle foodie friends.

Lou we miss you, come back! We need your New York charm and flavor!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Flavor Bible Event, A Sweet Flavorful Memory

The other day I was telling a friend that one of the my favorite Seattle Food Blogger Events was when I got to meet Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg.  In case you don't know, I have been organizing and planning the Seattle Food Blogger Events for the last few years. Sometimes we meet with cookbook authors, sometimes we have potlucks and sometimes we just get together for a party.

I really liked meeting Karen and Andrew, it felt so comfortable and natural to grill them with questions. They, instead of waiting for us to ask questions, they wanted to ask us first.  They really cared about us.
What are your blogs about? How long have you been writing?
They asked in the most sincere way possible. Sometimes when I think back to an important moment in my blog life (a year of blogging is like 10 in real life) blog years are like dog years, I remember how inspired I felt at this morning coffee meet up.

What happens when you start to blog?
Your brain learns to work really hard to turn moments into posts and you never have a free minute again. Every minute is muse for inspiration.

Meeting them was when I decided to push harder (I was 8 months pregnant but I wasn't ready to push just yet).  I absorbed inspiration that would give me a little insight on where I wanted to go in life. I can go on with this story forever. I will just say that one year has passed and they are celebrating "The Flavor Bible" 1 year anniversary! 

I will leave you with the post I wrote back then. One year ago,

Saturday some of Seattle food bloggers got together to meet up with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, the award winning authors of "Culinary Artistry", "What to Drink with What You Eat" and the " The Flavor Bible".

The bloggers were Ronald of Cornichon, Michael of Herbivoracious, Mark of Plate Lunch, Jake of Daily Munch (which I write for too) and Traca of Seattle Tall Poppy.

We met at the Muse Coffee Company, which is wonderful little cafe located in Queen Anne. The kind of place where you can work on your computer (free wifi), grab a coffee and admire the art on the walls. The name really suits the place because you can't leave that place without finding your muse.

"The Flavor Bible" is nothing less than a must-have in every creative cook's household.

No, it's not a recipe book, it's a reference book that gives you lists of which foods harmonize well together.

How does it work?

You look up the ingredient that you want to use and then read down the list of foods that pair well with this ingredient. For example: Pineapple has many ingredients on the list such as bananas, brandy, avocado (surprising), black pepper and so many more. There is also a list of flavor affinities...pineapple+ avocado+ watercress, pineapple+ coconut+ honey+ ginger and other combinations that just give you an oomph of motivation.

All the information in the book was obtained by interviewing famous chefs (Andrew is a chef himself as well) and throughout the book there are tips from these chefs and interesting dishes that these chefs make. Since I got the book, I have been carrying it around the house and playing "guess that ingredient" with my husband. He says an ingredient, we look it up and we see who can guess more combinations.

Karen and Andrew were so honest, open and genuine. Leaving each of us with the motivation to keep writing, pushing and cooking. True proof that if you work hard enough, your dreams will come true. I apologize for the sappy ending but there really is no other way to put it.

Thanks Karen and Andrew!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saving the Last Two Chapters of A Homemade Life

A week ago, I admitted it on Twitter, I didn't want to read Molly from Orangette's book "A Homemade Life"  until I was really ready to relax and give it my full attention because I knew I would love it.  I was saving it for a day when I really wanted to read a good book. I was saving it for a rainy day.
Yesterday the rain started.

I have a little story for you about how things change and how people grow. 
You see when I first moved to Seattle, I was very lonely. Not for very long, but lonely.
I started my blog and read blogs and back then (almost 3 years ago) there weren't that many blogs. Of course I fell in love with Molly's blog, like every other person in this world. Her wedding was around the same time that mine was. I felt connected to her. That's what blogs do. They make you feel like you know the person.
This is what I wrote her:  (found this in my gmail)
Hi Molly,

I really enjoy your blog. I especially enjoy your writing style. I realized by your posts that you probably live in Seattle. I am from Seattle and am always looking for fellow foodies to munch with. I have two blogs. One of them is in the Seattle PI http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/franticfoodie/ and one is my own personal one http://savvysavorer.blogspot.com/ . Anyway I was thinking we should have a food blog meeting for some food bloggers in Seattle.
What do you think?

I didn't get an answer.  I was upset so I stopped reading her blog. Sometimes I used to sneak a peak but that was it.
Now it makes me laugh because since then I have put together a Seattle Food Blogger Event almost every month.
I know more than a hundred bloggers and many, many people in Seattle.
The thing is that Molly is really sweet, probably one of the sweetest people around. I only met her a couple times but every time she had this big smile and just a genuine attitude.  I told her this story the last time I saw her and she apologized and she said she tries to answer most emails but she doesn't always get around to it. She probably missed this email with the hundreds of emails, she gets or she was just too busy to write back, or maybe she thought it was creepy to get an email like this.

I thought I would share this, actually I was debating if I should... But the moral of this story is a) a blog is only a fragment of someone's life, although you may feel like you know them, you know only a glimpse of them and you shouldn't expect to think you know them b) If your lonely, do something about it c) life is busy, sometimes people don't get back to you, even the sweetest, most genuine people don't respond.

Now back to the book. I was right. I got it yesterday and I almost finished the book. I have two chapters left. I am saving them. Saving them like when you save a cookie for when you really want it. I usually skip through books to get to recipes. In this book, I skipped the recipes to get to the stories. Not that the recipes aren't amazing, but I really didn't want to go into the kitchen, I wanted to relax for the first time in 9 months since my son was born.

I can just say that the book will blow you away, it will remind you to enjoy life, to enjoy what you eat, you will laugh, you may cry but most of all you will be inspired, to cook, write or just live life to the fullest.

Molly just opened a new pizza restaurant with her husband Brandon called Delancey. I haven't been yet but heard that the place is really great.

Update: A friend  read this post and said that people might not get it. What I really meant to say is that, it's not always about you. Some people are busy and overwhelmed in life and you can't get back to every email. I sometimes miss an email. Especially when I really want to answer. I tag it because I want to think about my answer a little more and then don't get around to it. Now I am not saying I get tons of emails from readers but I do have a lot on my plate, with a business and a small baby at home.  And sometimes people ask me to go for coffee and many times, I just can't. When you work at home, people think you can go out for coffee anytime of the day but it's not really like that. You still need to be working when other people are working. You need to make phone calls when other people can answer. Life is busy.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Urban Picnic on September 20th 1-4 pm

What's a better way to spend a Sunday then at a picnic on a rooftop with Seattle chefs and food people?

Urban Picnic is presented in partnership with Slow Food Seattle, Seattle CityClub and Caffe Vita.

Food, wine, beer, live music and more.


$89 for Chefs Collaborative and Slow Food members

$99 general

Free for kids under 10!

Tickets available at:


Sunday means free street parking but the buses are easy too. And don’t forget Light Rail!

Be Green! Please bring your own plates, utensils and napkins. Glassware provided. Entrance is up the stairs across from 5th Avenue Theater.

Participating restaurants include:



Oliver’s Twist

Elliott Bay Café

Art of the Table

TASTE Restaurant

Tilikum Place Café

Willows Inn (Riley Starks)

emmer&rye (Chef Seth Caswell)

Chef Kären Jurgensen, Quillisascut Farm

Gelato from Poco Carretto (Chef Holly Smith)

And special guest chef, Robin Leventhal of Top Chef Las Vegas - Season 6