Category Archives: Food events

Seattle Chocolate Salon 2013

This is a post by Marisa Ingram. Marisa is a food Lover and a baking addict with a case of travel wanderlust (more about Marisa below).

Restless_Chocolates (2)
photo of Restless Chocolates.

It’s the rare visit to the grocery store that I don’t get waylaid in the chocolate aisle. With the large assortment available these days – including many local, artisanal varieties – it is difficult to pick just one. If only there was a way to taste each tempting new variety. Enter the Seattle Chocolate Salon. Returning for its sixth year, the Chocolate Salon allows you to do just that – taste away to your heart’s content. It’s like walking down the chocolate aisle and taking a nibble of each variety that catches your fancy, with the added bonus of chatting with the chocolatiers and learning about their sourcing, philosophy, and inspirations.

While sampling the myriad chocolates there were a few that stood out to me. When I first arrived I asked a woman standing next to me, who had been to every table, which was her favorite. She pointed immediately to Restless Chocolates . I headed over there and was surprised to learn that they are a brand new company, and in fact, today marked their debut. I sampled several chocolates and was impressed with their smooth and creamy milk chocolate Peanut Butter Cream variety. I spoke with the owner and learned that they are hoping to sell in farmer’s markets around Seattle this summer.

Another favorite was Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolate Co. . At first I wasn’t sure about the flavors on offer. But once I tasted them I changed my mind – very quickly. I was impressed with these chocolates for two reasons. First, this was incredibly creamy, melt in your mouth chocolate. Secondly, unusual sounding flavors, such as Basil, were a revelation. Related to mint, a common partner to chocolate, basil surprisingly made an even smoother marriage with chocolate. And I learned that they extract these delicious flavors through simmering in heavy cream. Another favorite here was the Earl Gray variety – it tasted startlingly like a nice cup of Earl Gray tea but in the most perfect, chocolaty way.

The very last chocolate that I tasted was from Massachusetts chocolatier, Taza Chocolate. This one caught my attention due to its deliberately grittier texture. Inspired by traditional Mexican style chocolate which is stone ground, this chocolate’s unusual texture really added another sensory layer to my chocolate eating experience. I liked it enough that I would make a point of seeking out stone ground chocolate in the future. After sampling several varieties I was wowed by their 87% dark. As I was tasting this one it immediately reminded me of something I couldn’t quite place. I finally realized it had the flavor of a rich, dense, flourless chocolate cake – and it ended up being the one chocolate bar that I purchased to bring home. This was a feat indeed, when considering the multitude of options!

About Marisa:
Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.

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Margarita Mixes, Acrobats and More

This is a guest post by Marisa Ingram.

Crowd Shot (2)

Cinco de Mayo is almost here. To celebrate I attended a party hosted by Demitri’s to launch their new Margarita Mixes. Hosted at newish (and fun) Capitol Hill event space Fred Wildlife Refuge, this was a lively party made all the more festive by 7 piece Latin band the SuperSones . Acting as the perfect accompaniment to Margaritas, Mexican food was prepared by Executive Chef, Jaime Mendez of Los Agaves Wandering around the party I felt almost like I was at a circus gone crazy! Not only was there a performance by the mind-boggling aerialist Sally Pepper adding another layer of excitement, but there was also a photo booth and 2 miniature donkeys were hanging out upstairs!


About Marisa:
Marisa has been an indispensable part of the Foodportunity team for the last two years.
She has a lifelong passion for home baking and a growing interest in all things fresh, local, organic, and seasonal. Though a native Washingtonian, a love for history took her to Charleston, SC where she obtained her degree in English from the College of Charleston. She works in human resources by day, but would love to give it all up for a life of travel.

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Feast Portland is coming this September and a Giveaway!

I have Portland on the brain right now as I am heading there this weekend for the International Food Bloggers Conference. I can’t wait! I will be speaking at the conference on the subject of building community online and offline. I really love IFBC because it is an intimate conference with awesome food and a great opportunity to connect with people.

Portland is the ultimate getaway for me ; only a 3 and a half hour train ride where I get to relax and read or sleep and everything is walkable with creative restaurants everywhere. If you are not going yet, you should try to snag a ticket because this will be a conference that you will want to attend.

Photo credit: Jackie Donnely Baisa

Anytime I hear the name Portland, my eyes light up so imagine how exciting to see information about Feast, the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting on September 20-23. This is a huge event bringing together famous chefs from all over the world. The line up includes food celebrities, writers and chefs like Mark Bittman from the New York Times, April Bloomfield from the Spotted Pig, Andrew Knowlton of Bon Appetit and many more. The event is about getting these culinary talents together, from PDX to New York City, everybody will be mingling and cooking together. There are private dinners, educational panels, tastings and so much to do. The event is sponsored by Bon Appetit Magazine, This is going to be rocking event and your opportunity to taste from Portland’s best restaurants as well as food from some of the top chefs across America. Get tickets here

Giveaway: You have the chance to win an exclusive tasting package worth $350 for this event. The package includes: Two tickets to the Sandwich Invitational, Two Tickets to the Coffee That Rocks panel with Andrew Knowlton and Two Tickets to the Friday Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting. Descriptions below. Just leave a comment to be entered to win. Share my blog and this contest on Facebook and receive 3 entries (comment back to let me know). Share on twitter for an extra entry. (I just added this one to give you more opportunities) The winner will be chosen on Monday September 3. The winner is Jasmine Campbell. Thanks for entering.

Portland Monthly Sandwich Invitational
Presented by Widmer Brothers Brewing
Location: Director Park
Date: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Time: 5:30pm-8:30pm
Price: $95
Experience the creative spirit of America’s most innovative culinary talent through their chef’d-up interpretations of sandwiches brought to a whole new level at Feast Portland’s kick-off flagship tasting event. From po’ boy to banh mi, savor the best sandwiches you’ve ever tried paired with craft beers made by Portland’s landmark Widmer Brothers Brewery under the stars at Downtown Portland’s chic Director Park. Though the definition of sandwich – and even what counts as bread – is up for creative interpretation, the end result will be pure magic.
The Lineup:
Adam Berger, 24th& Meatballs (PDX)
Ben Bettinger, Imperial (PDX)
Ned and Jodi Elliott, Foreign & Domestic (Austin)
Aaron Franklin, Franklin BBQ (Austin)
Jason French, Ned Ludd (PDX)
Duff Goldman, Charm City Cakes (Baltimore/LA)
Ken Gordon, Kenny & Zukes (PDX)
Tommy Habetz & Nick Wood, Bunk Sandwiches (PDX)
Jenn Louis, Lincoln (PDX)
Molly Moon Neitzel, Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream (SEA)
Rodney Muirhead, Podnah’s Pit BBQ (PDX)
Naomi Pomeroy, Beast (PDX)
Sarah Schafer, Irving Street Kitchen (PDX)
Ethan Stowell, Tavolata, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Ballard Pizza Company (SEA)
Cheryl Wakerhouser, Pix Patisserie (PDX)

Coffee That Rocks
Location: Director Park: Drinks Pavilion
Date: Friday, September 21, 2012
Time: 10:00am- 11:00am
Price: $45
Bon Appétit Restaurant and Drinks Editor Andrew Knowlton and Portland coffee experts give the lowdown on choosing the right equipment and showcasing fun ways to prepare coffee at home. Learn the pour over, Aeropress, siphon brewing, and a culinary coffee trick or two to make the most of your morning ritual.
Andrew Knowlton, Bon Appétit (NYC)

Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting: Friday
Location: Pioneer Courthouse Square
Date: Friday, September 21, 2012
Time: 2:00pm-5:00pm
Price: $60/day or $100/both days
Portland’s so-called living room transforms into the city’s dining room for two days as dozens of the region’s most celebrated wineries, breweries, vendors and artisans take over the award-winning Pioneer Courthouse Square for Feast Portland’s premiere daytime event. Experience the scene, meet the chefs and winemakers you’ve read about, and enjoy cooking demonstrations from celebrated chefs like Chris Cosentino, April Bloomfield, and Naomi Pomeroy at the KitchenAid Main Demo Stage.
KitchenAid Main Demo Stage Schedule
Chris Cosentino, Incanto, Boccalone (SF)
Friday at 2:30pm-3:30pm
Amanda Freitag,Food Network, Cooking Channel (NYC)
Friday 3:45pm-4:45pm

Correction: The date of the giveaway has been updated.


Filed under Food events, Seattle Tips

Chipotle Parties at West Seattle Farmers Market Sunday August 19

I am a huge fan of Chipotle for many reasons. I love that the food is healthy, kid-friendly and most of all nut free. My son has a tree nut allergy and we eat there all the time because we feel safe. Not to mention, they strive at making food with intergrity and I don’t think I have ever seen a dessert on the menu which means less temptation at a weeknight dinner.

On Sunday, August 19, Chipotle will partner with the West Seattle Farmers Market for one of four stops on its West Coast Farmers’ Market Tour.

The event will include:

· Fresh Tomato Salsa demo using products sourced from the farmers’ market

· Info booth featuring buy one-get one-free cards as well as Chipotle Burrito Bucks good for one free burrito

· Live music from singer/songwriter and former professional surfer Timmy Curran

A musician, retired professional surfer and a spokesperson for the Surfrider Foundation. During his successful surfing career, he was one of the best surfers on the World Championship Tour. It wasn’t until he was in his late twenties did he fully realize the gifts of song writing and vocal talent. Today, Timmy has been touring for 5 years, and has released three full-length albums

Last week Chipotle announced that 2012 will mark the second year in a row the company has committed to serving at least 10 million pounds of local produce. In Chipotle’s case, locally-grown means that the produce originates no further than 350 miles from the restaurant in which it is ultimately served.

In 2011, this goal translated to more than 320,000 lbs of Northwest produce – bell peppers, jalapeños, red onions, and oregano – served at Chipotle restaurants in Washington and Oregon. Most notably, Chipotle served up 25,800 lbs of bell peppers from Fewel Farms in Prosser – or 96% of the total bell peppers served at Chipotle locations in the Northwest.

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Mobile Food Fight for Hunger This Weekend

It used to be that you could get only a few items from a food truck but now you can get everything from ice cream to bacon jam.
Food Trucks are everywhere but first you need to figure out the ones you love so you can track down their schedules.
Now is your chance.

World Concern is hosting a food truck rally in Seattle on Aug. 19 with 10 Seattle food trucks.

They will be helping raise money to fight global hunger. They are calling it the Mobile Food Fight for Hunger, and it’s your chance to try the different trucks and fight world hunger.

What is the name of your favorite food truck?

photo credit: Jackie Donnelly Baisa


Filed under Food events

Summer in Seattle, Food and Wine Events and Bastille Day

Time to get your calendars out. Summer in Seattle is jam-packed with things to do and there is something for everyone.
For a guide with all the places to eat in Seattle, check out my book ” The Food Lovers’s Guide to Seattle” So much to do, so little time.

What kind of lover are you?

For the farm-to-table food lover…
There is Outstanding in the Field.

For the tea lover…
Starbucks is opening a retail tea store in Seattle this fall.

For the Pike Place Market lover…
Sunset Supper is the place to be on August 17th.

For the bonfire lover…
Tom Douglas serves food around the fire. These casual gatherings held in Victor Steinbruek park bring together locals and tourists to eat grilled salmon grilled by Tom himself for $15 a plate. All proceeds go to Seattle Parks Department in an effort to help make this city’s parks remain beautiful and used by the community. There will be 4 dinners total, and the first one started on June 30th, from 5-7 pm. For more information, visit

For the seafood lover…
If you haven’t been to Boka lately, then you definitely should go. Chef Peter Birk, formerly at Ray’s Boathouse is the new Chef at the restaurant and his food is top notch with a focus on fresh seasonal seafood. For a great deal, catch the happy hour daily from 2:30 – 6:00 pm & 9:30 pm

For the bacon, poutine and comfort food lover, don’t miss Skillet’s book launch. There will be awesome food and bacon jam!

For the cupcake lover…

Cupcake Royale just opened a new shop on Pine with Bakeshop-
inspired ice cream.

For the romance lover… Don’t miss the chance to party like the French. Celebrate Bastille Day in Seattle.

Every year there is a street party in the alley behind Cafe Campagne.The festivities include burlesque dancers, lots of wine, street food and an oyster-shucking station. You can also catch a beautiful view with some French music at Maximilien or squeeze into Le Pichet for live music and celebrations. I know from years of experience that the best way to party like the French is to make it to all three.

Madison Valley is throwing their first “Bastille Bash” on July 14, to celebrate Bastille Day with a lively, family-oriented street fair. The festivities will include French inspired food and wine tastings, sidewalk sales, kids activities, live French music and more. The event will take place along East Madison Street from 27th to 29th Avenues, with nearly 30 restaurants, bakeries, retailers and fitness studios participating. There will be food from Cafe Flora, Harvest Vine, Luc, Voila Bistro and so many more. Small plates will be available for $2-$6.
Event proceeds benefit the Children’s Response Center, a nonprofit that provides legal services and counseling to children of abuse and trauma in King County.

There is an all day celebration starting at Bastille Restaurant and Bar with drink specials and more.

Every year Seattle Center has a big event with everything French.

For the wine lover…
Mondavi Winemaker Dinner
Dine al fresco on Saturday, August 4th with the wine pioneering Mondavi’s as Marc and his family bring their legendary Napa bottling selection to Tulalip Resort Casino.

Picnic and Barrel Auction on Thursday, August 16, 2012 at 4:00pm, Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, Woodinville

Check out the Winemaker Dinner Series, or the 25th Anniversary Wine Gala on Saturday, August 18th.

What are you doing this summer?


Filed under Food events, Seattle Food Scene Tips, Seattle New Openings

Food Events, Restaurants and More Seattle in the Know

Summer, Summer. People in this city are beaming with happy smiles, new energy and the restaurant scene is running around like a chicken without a head. There is way too much to keep up with but I put together a short list of things you might want to check out.

1. Duke’s Slightly Slanted Happy Hour. All 6 locations are slanting things but I recently got to attend a media event on South Lake Union and let me tell you, this is a great place to sit and have a slanted time (okay I will stop using this word) on the patio while enjoying the warm weather. The menu includes items like Naked Wild Alaska Salmon Slider with Alaska Coho Salmon molasses bread with basil pesto and sliced tomato, Fresh Dungeness Crab Slider , NW Coast Dungeness Crab with fresh avocado and homemade chipotle aioli and Goat Cheese & Pesto Slider with Laura Chenel goat cheese with homemade pesto on a mini flour tortilla. For drinks they have a Bloody Bloody Mary , Housemade infused imported Pinnacle vodka with Demitri’s All-Natural Bloody Mary Seasoning garnished with two jumbo prawns and Katy’s Naughty Lemonade, Smirnoff Raspberry with fresh squeezed Lemonade, Sierra Mist and Cranberry juice.

2. This Thursday!
Macy’s Great American Chef’s Tour, Kick off by Tom Douglas
“Macy’s Great American Chefs Tour” is embarking on a cross-country road trip, pairing the celebrity chefs of Macy’s Culinary Council with live cooking demonstrations, food tastings and a celebration of local culinary talent. MCC chef Tom Douglas kicks off the more than 15-city tour at Macy’s Downtown Seattle on Thursday, May 31. There are some amazing chefs involved and it is only $10.

3. Cafe Flora’s 20th Anniversary.

4. Evo Kitchen Tapas and Cabaret recently opened on East Olive Way. Check the calendar for details.

5. Corks and Canvas event at Pan Pacific Hotel. I am always looking for fun things to do with my girlfriends and though eating is always first on our list it is always refreshing to add another element to the evening. The Pan Pacific Hotel has these Corks & Canvas events where there are blank canvases for you to paint and an instructor or two to guide you while you paint your version of The Space Needle view. It is such an interesting concept paired with cocktails and Chef John Howie’s fabulous food.

Crumble & Flake bakery is the bakery that everyone is talking about lately. Oh and Autumn from Get Your Hotcakes opened a Molten Chocolate Cakery. Trust me that girl knows what she is doing.

And Foodportunity tickets are on sale now at the early bird price.

What did you do on the long weekend? What do you like to do in Seattle?

If you don’t have my book yet, now is a good time to map out your summer eating schedule. The Food Lovers’ Guide to Seattle is the guide to the best bakeries, restaurants and specialty shops in Seattle. Send me any questions by email about Seattle food too. I am happy to help.


Filed under Food events, Foodportunity, Restaurants, Seattle Food Scene Tips, Seattle Tips, Unique Food Experiences