Meaty pictures to make up for a brief absence…

To make up for having spent some time away from WordPress (reading and writing), I am going to woo you with some fabulous food porn from my recent business trip to Seattle. Luckily for me, my business is meat and so my five days up north involved a lot foie gras, salami, wine and a bit of tequila…followed by more wine. It was quite the trip…

I’ll get a bit more in-depth later, but here are some tasty teasers for you:

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Eating well in the Emerald City

Party favor: Pumpkin & Bourbon Chocolate Bar

Party favor: Pumpkin & Bourbon Chocolate Bar, Canlis Restaurant

My husband and I had big plans for Nov. 18th. We had heard about a pretty amazing dinner involving some big names in the culinary world. René Redzepi (of Noma fame) was headed to the Pacific Northwest to do a dinner with local talents Matt Dillon and Blaine Wetzel.

Sadly we called an hour after the ticket sales opened to find the dinner had long since sold out. And, to add insult to injury, the wait list was twice as long as the number of reserved seats. *Sigh*

To make ourselves feel better we decided to go up to Seattle anyways. I cashed in my last vacation day and we spent 36 blissful hours in the big city to the north.

Our first stop was in West Seattle to meet up with one of my friends and his girlfriend. We hit up Ma’ono Fried Chicken and Whisky and indulged in their brunch claim-to-fame: endless mimosas for $12. Since I wasn’t the one driving, let me tell you — I got my money’s worth! Also the fried chicken was amazing. Seriously.

Fried chicken, biscuits and endless mimosas at Ma'ono

Fried chicken, biscuits and sausage gravy at Ma’ono

The next day we set out for one of the newest darlings of the Seattle food scene: The Whale Wins, run by Chef Renee Erickson. The vibe of the restaurant was an interesting juxtaposition — minimal but somehow still homey and warm with a touch of feminine charm. If I lived in the city, it would probably be one of my favorite spots to go. The service was great and the food was fantastic.

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Feasting in the Forest

Nothing like a delicious meal in the most beautiful of settings!

View from Skamania Lodge

View from Skamania Lodge

Back in June my husband was asked to partake in a dinner series at Skamania Lodge, a luxurious hotel in the Columbia Gorge about an hour outside of Portland. When we heard that a room was included for the evening, he we accepted immediately. I am not in the habit of turning down a complimentary night away from home!

The event, called Feast in the Forest, brought two chefs out from Portland each month, from June to September, to do a sit-down, multi-coursed dinner. After the four dinners had taken place, a final dinner was planned where each guest chef would return to the lodge to cook a dish for the Grand Feast.

My husband’s first dinner was in July and he prepared this dish as his contribution:

Wild Boar Trio: homemade sausage, braised belly and rack

Wild boar sausage, braised boar belly and rack, with whipped cornbread and pickled cherries.

It was a wonderful meal and the view only got better as the night progressed:

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Do the Puyallup! Fall at the Washington State Fair…

Growing up in Alaska, I missed the memo about the Puyallup Fair (renamed this year to the Washington State Fair). This was the fair my mom’s family has gone to for years. My grandma even remembers when the famous raspberry jam-filled scones were only a nickle a piece.  My older cousin, who grew up in Tacoma, went every year without fail until he moved to Texas to get married.

I, on the other hand, was completely unaware of the fair tradition until I moved to Portland after college. My first experience was a bit ambivalent — I knew I would enjoy it but I had no idea what awaited me. One bite of a slightly greasy fair burger smothered in grilled onions and I was hooked. Now I can’t imagine a September without a trip to Puyallup and a bag full of hot scones for the car ride home.

And yet another reason to love pork…as if you needed one!

As promised, a few mouth-watering tidbits from Cochon 555, undoubtedly the porkiest culinary event in the country:

Pig in the Sky: Cochon 555 in Seattle, WA 2013

Pig in the Sky: Cochon 555 in Seattle, WA 2013

Cochon 555 is essentially a competition that features different chefs from the same city all cooking a different heritage breed of pig. Beyond that it’s a celebration for chefs and food fanatics across the nation to eat as much pork as possible in one afternoon.

This year’s PNW bout was held on St. Patrick’s Day at the beautiful Cedarbrook Lodge just outside of Seattle. Each chef put out several pork-filled courses to be first scored by a panel of judges and then enjoyed by the masses. The highest-scoring chef will go on to compete in Aspen for the title of “King or Queen of Porc.”

As a very lucky attendee, I suffered the hardship of walking around, gorging on pork in various forms, sweet and savory.

Here’s a few of my favorite swine-filled sweets:

Chef John Sundstrom of Lark wowed the crowd with his chicharone nutter butters.

Chef John Sundstrom of Lark wowed the crowd with his chicharone nutter butters. This was one of my all-time favorite bites.

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Things That Make Me Happy: Seattle Sights and Bites

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One of the reasons I love my job as a meat distributor so much is the edible perks. I not only get to go to fun culinary events, like the one my company hosts every year, but I also get to make “sales calls” to visit my customers. And those calls usually always revolve around eating. Hey, since they buy meat from me, the least I can do is show my appreciation and eat some of it!

Last weekend, my husband and I planned an eating pilgrimage to Seattle that came to a pinnacle at Cochon 555. And since we were already planning the road trip, we decided to spend the day before the event eating our way through the city. There will be plenty more pictures to come but here’s a quick preview!

The Aunt Annie's Biscuit Sandwich at The Wandering Goose

The Aunt Annie’s Biscuit Sandwich at The Wandering Goose: Fried chicken, bread & butter pickles, mustard and honey, all on a buttermilk biscuit!

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