Thursday, March 10, 2011

Seattle Food & Wine Experience - Seattle Center Exhibition Hall - Seattle, WA

Oh I look back with such joy on this year’s Seattle Food & Wine Experience (SFWE). What an experience it was! One thing I noticed immediately during my first re-con swing (yes, the best plan of attack is to first know WHAT you’re attacking) through the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall was the food. Because I attended this event in 2010, I had something to compare this year’s event to. There were definitely more restaurants in attendance at this year’s SFWE, and that was just fine by me!

Our first stop upon arrival was to the Foster Farms booth. I remembered from last year that this was always the longest line and I missed out on obtaining one of Kathy Casey’s (@KathyCaseyChef) cookbooks at the 2010 event. Not this year. We parked ourselves in the very short line (we were there right at the start!) and waited excitedly to get the cookbook that I had heard so many wonderful thing about. What I really enjoyed about getting this book was having the opportunity to meet Kathy Casey herself. We chatted briefly as she signed my cookbook and she was such a sweetheart! I really hope that I have the opportunity to visit her cooking studio in the near future, what a treat that would be! As part of the visit to the Foster Farms booth, we were able to try Kathy’s chicken-bacon cupcakes with Tobasco infused cream cheese (not gonna lie, I came back for seconds later on.. sssh!).

Some other food highlights from the event included:

-Ruth’s Chris (@RCSHSeattle) mini-beef tarts. Whatever combination of meat and pastry that was was simply devine! Picked up some info on their fantastic happy hour as well, hope to stop in soon!

-The Taste of Tulalip (@TulalipResort) lounge had several options to choose from. Loved the bacon salt chocolate lollipops, how creative!

-Salty’s little lobster stuffed pastries were awesome. I’m pretty sure that was one of my first and last food bites of the entire event!

-My favorite bite of ALL was the Korean BBQ Pulled Pork Slider from Issaquah & Redmond’s Coho Café (@thecohocafe). I’m pretty sure we stood there and waited as they prepared them and watched as each plate that was placed on the table was immediately plucked away by eager tasters. This was simply delicious and I probably could have had about five of them…

Because I have been attending a lot of wine events in recent months, especially those involving mostly Washington wines, I took a different approach at SFWE. I really made an effort to try some new non-WA wines, which was easy at this event that featured wines from Oregon, California, Idaho and several countries in addition to the home team (Washington). Don’t get me wrong, I visited several Washington favorites as well, but mostly to say hi to their loyal winemakers and try a few “under the table” stashes they brought along for special guests. Of my variety of tastes at SFWE this year, a few that stood out included:

-Anam Cara Cellars (@ACCQueen) 2007 Pinot Noir. My friend Clive (@clivity) had been raving about Anam Cara for quite awhile, so I was happy to finally have the opportunity to try this Oregon winery. Great big Pinot, and it reminded me that I need to get myself down to OR wine country stat.

-The Joel Gott Wines 2008 Zinfandel. While we missed out on the free straw hats that they were giving away at this table, we were able to stop by later on for some pretty tasty California wines.

-Bergstrom Wines 2008 Cumberland Reserve Pinot Noir. I took a bit of a Pinot Noir journey today, mostly because my focus on non-WA wines had me tasting through several well-known OR Pinots. This was another great find.

-Australia. Just in general. One table at the event had several Aussie wines, and I had the opportunity to solidify why Australia is on the top of my list of places that I REALLY want to vacation in the next few years.

Well I can say that I definitely did not go hungry at this year’s SFWE. Nor did I go thirsty. Overall, it was a fantastic event and one that I now look forward to every year!

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