Soup Smack Down

They say that a little friendly competition is good for you every now and then. The TASTE staff found out this week that a little friendly competition can be pretty tasty too.

On Tuesday, April 1st, TASTE hosted the 3rd Annual Employee Recipe Contest. Each year as part of the Be-A-Star program, TASTE staff is challenged to submit an original recipe that is sustainable and creative.

The Be-A-Star program is a recognition platform designed by our parent company Bon Appetit Management to highlight and celebrate our talented employees and their contributions through recipes and community involvement.

This year’s challenge was a soup smack down. The TASTE staff was invited to submit a soup recipe that incorporated at least one seasonal ingredient. The top five participants were then asked to prepare these delicious recipes for the special judges, TASTE Restaurant Executive Chef Craig Hetherington and TASTE Events Executive Chef Paul Rosquita, who critiqued both taste and presentation of each soup.

The judges

The Contestants:

Taylor Johnson – Restaurant Sous Chef – Carrot Cumin Soup
Ellis Faglade – Catering Cook – Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Anna Burkett  – Director of Events – Pear & Gorgonzola Soup
Jasmin Kwan  – Catering Server – Beetroot Curry
Alex Neuse – Restaurant Lead Cook – Chilled Pea Vine Soup

Taylor  Ellis  Anna

 Jasmin   Alex

It was a tough decision for our judges, however after many exclamations of  “wow… that was good… smooth… yum… I could eat a whole pot of that…,” they picked their winner.

And the winner was Taylor Johnson with his Carrot Cumin Soup!

Soup and wine  Taylor2

Taylor’s winning soup will be featured on the TASTE Restaurant menu for the month of May. In addition to bragging rights, he also won an Amazon gift certificate and $50 cash.

Good job, Ellis, Anna, Jasmin and Alex! Congratulations, Taylor! We’re very proud of you all.

~ Joice B.

 

New Artwork at TASTE

Using simple repeated brush strokes and a limited palette, Gail Howard’s meditative abstract paintings evoke the essence of natural elements such as fall leaves, fresh spring grass, or a tropical beach.

“I am interested in the process of making art as much, if not more, than the finished paintings.  For me making art is a form of meditation…I think I might finally be learning the truth: perfection isn’t possible.” – Gail Howard

On view in TASTE Restaurant: February 13 – May 12, 2014

For more information: http://www.gailhowardart.com/

The TASTE Bar staff were inspired by the simple, single lines of the paintings and created a simple, yet delicious cocktail.

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One Liner

2 ounces of Cooperworks Gin

1/4 ounce BroVo Amaro 16

1/4 ounce Lustau East India Sherry

1 egg white

1 ounce fresh lemon juice

1 ounce simple syrup

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with the spring from a julep strainer.

Shake for 30-45 seconds. Remove spring. Add ice cubes, roll, and strain into a cocktail glass.

~ Joice B.

Super Star!

Kristin

Last month, the Hard Rock Café Orlando rolled out the red carpet for the Compass Night of Stars, a prestigious event that recognizes the outstanding achievements of the Compass Group’s Be-A-Star participants. 87 winners out of 220,000 employees from across the country were invited to attend the recognition celebration. The Compass Group is a family of food and hospitality companies.  Bon Appetit Management Company, TASTE’s parent company who is owned by the Compass Group, was represented by our General Manager, Kristin White.

be a star 5

The annual Be-A-Star program is divided into three ‘Star’ segments, aligning with the first three quarters of the year. Managers from each of the Compass Group sectors, in our case, Bon Appetit, were tasked with giving their staff members opportunities to be recognized for outstanding job performance. The program not only incorporates a variety of ways for managers to recognize their teams, but it also provides ways for staff members to recognize each other.

Four options are given with each ‘Star’ and managers need to complete 2 activities by the deadline to receive credit and allowed to move on to the next star. Examples of star achievements include: rolling the program out to staff, recognizing an outstanding employee each quarter, participating in local community events, such as food drives and fundraisers, host a recipe contest for employees (cook off & recipe featured on TASTE menu), diversity and inclusion training as a teambuilding activity and a fiscal achievement.

Kristin excitedly stepped up to the challenge. She envisioned all the benefits associated with participation – more community involvement for TASTE, building a stronger connection with Bon Appetit and most importantly, more opportunities to let the TASTE staff’s accomplishments shine in a way that made everyone proud to be part of the team.

According to Kristin, “I didn’t think we would actually be considered.” But not only was TASTE considered, but on behalf of Bon Appetit, she was awarded with the Pacific Northwest Region Account of the Year!

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The Compass Night of Stars had all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood produced awards show and Kristin loved every minute of it, but says, “Being there with people who were so conscientious, committed and excited about who they worked for, was awe inspiring. It made me even more proud to be a part of the Bon Appetit team.”

be a star 6 be a star 8

We, the staff at TASTE couldn’t be more proud of you, Kristin! Thank you for your leadership, encouragement…and just being you! Super Star!

KristinBoGo

~ Joice B.

Chef Paul’s Great Pumpkin

This is the story of a little pumpkin seed…that grew and grew and grew.

Last March, TASTE Events, Executive Chef Paul Rosquita decided to try his hand at something he had never done before – grow a giant pumpkin and enter it into a weigh-off.  As he started tilling the ground in his Auburn in-laws garden, he had no idea of exactly what laid ahead for him over the next 7 months. Inspired by his good friend, Bret Brown, the current Idaho giant pumpkin state record holder  (1219 lbs), and fueled by a wager with another good friend, Daniel Roberts from the Gates Foundation, he set his eye on the Central Market Annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Shoreline on October 12, 2013.

Chef Paul had his work cut out for him right out of the gate. In order to grow a pumpkin of any size the soil had to be tested and amended. The land that would become his pumpkin patch had not been touched in 4 or 5 years, so in addition to the work of tilling, he quickly became familiar with terms such as, pH balance, kelp meal, mycorrhizal fungi (there are 2 types…and they are good guys!) taproot and genetics, just to name a few.

Untouched land After till

The soil was ready, but weather in the Seattle area in April can present a challenge in the planting and growth of delicate pumpkins. Chef Paul planted only 4 seeds in small pots,  the 1520 Sperry…that’s the name of the seeds he choose to grow and went to work on constructing hoop houses with heating lamps and burying heating cables 1-3 feet into the soil in the patch to keep the temperature perfect.

Seed Small pots Ground temp Hoop Houses

After spending 10-11 days in the pots, the big day arrived and on May 2nd, the seedlings were moved to the pumpkin patch. And that’s when things got crazy for Chef Paul. For the next 5 months, he would drive 20 minutes before work and after work to Auburn to water, prune, feed and nurture his ‘newborns.’

New in soil image (1) CameraAwesomePhoto July 1st…pollination day! Chef Paul knew that once this procedure was complete, he would move from having a hobby to practically another full-time job.

Blossom Baby pumpkin

Around 20 days after pollination, the pumpkins’ large leaves and vines quickly changed the appearance of the patch. On July 23rd, weighing in at an estimated 20 pounds,  it became clear which pumpkin will be the star and that’s when he started singing to the plants. When the growth of pumpkins ramps up, with care (and luck…and singing), they can grow 25-50 pounds a day. The larger they grew, the more time Chef Paul had to spend in the patch - they became more susceptible to disease and very attractive to critters, such as moles, rabbits, squirrels and deer.

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And the pumpkin continued to grow…and grow…August 2nd – 163 lbs…August 12th –371 lbs…    August 21st – 547 lbs! On September 2nd, when the pumpkin weighed in at a whopping and fragile(estimated) 726 lbs, Chef Paul started to worry a little that the pumpkin might not make it to the October 12th contest. Contest rule, among many: It had to be in healthy and undamaged condition, free of rot, holes and cracks through the cavity and soft spots when it made its appearance on the scale. So a new contest was found…one that was a little earlier – Rockridge Orchards Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in Enumclaw.

So early on the morning of September 29th, with a tractor and trailer, friends and family, Chef Paul began the tedious, nail-biting chore of loading up the great pumpkin for transportation. It took 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Tractor lift On truck

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With the load-up and transport to Enumclaw a success, the big moment finally arrived… Weighing in at 1019.5 lbs., Chef Paul’s great pumpkin took 7th place!

Wondering what became of the pumpkin after the contest? It was artistically carved and became a centerpiece at the Elysian Brewing Great Pumpkin Beer Festival, where several pumpkin beers were on tap and the brewer’s Great Pumpkin, a giant gourd was filled with beer for sampling until it was empty.

Paul with carved pumpkin Elysian close up

What is Chef Paul doing now that he has a lot more free time? Ha! He’s researching seeds and making plans for an even bigger pumpkin for next year.

Congratulations, Chef Paul! Great job! Great pumpkin!

- Joice B.

A Northwest Twist on Peruvian Cuisine

Forehead ornament with feline head and octopus tentacles ending in catfish heads, 100–800, Peruvian, Mochica, North Coast, possibly La Mina, gold, chrysocolla, shells, 11 1/4 x 16 5/16 x 1 3/4 in., Museo de la Nación, Lima. Photo: Daniel Giannoni.

Forehead ornament with feline head and octopus tentacles ending in catfish heads, 100–800, Peruvian, Mochica, North Coast, possibly La Mina, gold, chrysocolla, shells, 11 1/4 x 16 5/16 x 1 3/4 in., Museo de la Nación, Lima. Photo: Daniel Giannoni.

Inspired by the rich cultural history, paintings and sculptures featured in SAM’s upcoming exhibit, Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, the TASTE restaurant, catering and bar teams welcomed the opportunity to create exciting new menu items to celebrate Peruvian cuisine.

Staying true to the practice of using fresh and local ingredients, the restaurant and catering menus will offer more than 15 new entrees, desserts and cocktails and give our guests a good taste of Peru’s hearty cuisine…served with a northwest twist.

This special menu will be available from October 17, 2013 – January 5, 2014.

THE ART

Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon
October 17, 2013–January 5, 2014

SAM is honored to host a major exhibition of Peruvian art that includes rarely seen sculpture, metalwork, painting and textiles spanning 3,000 years. Visitors will be introduced to the rich heritage of ancient Peru, including superb works of the Mochica, Chimu and Inca cultures. Taking a novel approach to Peruvian art, the thematic organization reveals cross currents of ideas and artistry through time and the symbolic role that art plays in the construction of cultural identity.

Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon and accompanying catalogue bring together new research by well-known scholars in many fields. Select examples from SAM’s collection will also be on view.

–Chiyo Ishikawa, Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting and Sculpture; and Barbara Brotherton, Curator of Native American Art

THE FOOD

From Executive Chef Craig Hetherington | TASTE Restaurant

Inspired by the colors and seasonings of Peruvian cuisine, Chef Craig chose dishes from coastal and inland regions including seafood, steak and potatoes, all complimented  with our traditional hearty Northwest Autumn flavors.

Tuna Ceviche with warm potato chips

Butter poached gulf prawns | soft polenta, achiote, & butternut squash

Grilled steak & braised potatoes | lacinato kale, piquillo peppers & chimichurri

Roasted chanterelles red quinoa salad |  smoked curado, poached bing cherries, fried sage

From Executive Chef Paul Rosquita | TASTE Events

Chef Paul chose to focus on the simple, rustic and traditional ingredients for his inspired specialty menu.

Grilled corn & quinoa salad   | purple potato cup

Butifaras sandwich |  sliced onions, cured ham, chilies & lime

St. Jude Albacore Ceviche  |  sweet potato chip

From Pastry Chef Will Fausser | TASTE Restaurant & Events

Chef Will was excited to find inspiration outside of the TASTE Restaurant local ingredients list and extend his research into Latin America.

Alfajores Doughnuts |  spiced muscovado & chocolate dipping sauce duo

TASTE Restaurant Bar

Pisco is considered Peru’s national spirit and Bartender Terrance Burton brings to TASTE  the national cocktail – the Pisco Sour.

Piscanna Sour

2 ounces Peruvian Pisco

1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice

3/8 ounce Banane de Brazil

1 egg white

dash simple syrup

dash Azetec Chocolate Bitters

- Joice B.

Wanted: Experienced Line Cook

We are looking for a Full-Time Experienced Line Cook. Here are the details:

Minimum of three years of line experience. Background in grilling, sautéing, using a pizza oven and working in an open kitchen required.

Must is be able to work in a tight team atmosphere with a small crew that can average 200 covers for lunch and 100+ for dinner.

We use many small farms and ranches so understanding the local food system and incorporating that into our menus is important.

Schedule flexibility, working clean, communicating well and working weekends are a must.

The position is full time with opportunity for benefits and vacation.

We’re located in the Seattle Art Museum and offer a great atmosphere, ideal hours, and a fantastic team to work with.

Interested? Please email your resume to: tasterestaurant@tastesam.com **Required Food Handlers and Background Check.

-Joice B.

Jacob and A Little Peach

JacobPeach

He’s been at it again! TASTE Lead Bartender Duncan Chase felt inspired to create the perfect cocktail for SAM’s upcoming film series, “American Comedy Classics”. This fun and classic series will celebrate some of America’s best screen stars – Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard, John Barrymore, Miriam Hopkins, Irene Dunne, Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Judy Holliday and Cary Grant…just to name a few.

We invite you to stop by try this light, summery cocktail, “Jacob and A Little Peach” or mix it up at your next party.

The Recipe:

2 ounces of Jacob’s Ghost Whiskey

1/2 ounce Crème de Peche

1/2 ounce Cinzano Rosso

dash of Ginger simple syrup

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass over ice. Stir and strain in a cocktail glass.

- Joice B.

Summer Fun at the Olympic Sculpture Park

Once again, we are thrilled to partner with Seattle Art Museum for Summer at SAM. Join us every Thursday evening at the Olympic Sculpture Park, starting July 11 through August 29 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm and experience some very special summer evenings that will be memorable and fun.

TASTE Café will be open and serving delicious seasonal salads, sandwiches, sweet bites, local wines (by the glass or bottle) and a special cocktail created new every week. Bring your own glass and receive 50 cents off your bill! Needless to say, we are very excited to showcase some of the best food trucks in Seattle! Enjoy yumminess from BUNS, Charlie’s Buns N’ Stuff, Grilled Cheese Experience, Hallava Falafel, Here & There Grill, I Want Curry Now, Jemil’s Big Easy, Maximus Minimus, Off the Rez, Raney Bros BBQ and Wise Guy Italian Street Food.

Opening night on July 11th  promises a grand start for the season with a special processional performance by New Orleans-style brass band, Tubaluba, marching up to Heather Hart’s summer installation, The Western Oracle: We Will Tear the Roof Off the Mother.  Participate in art tours, take in music by jazzy, electric, Afrobeats fusion band Comfort Food, and even join a mini yoga session!

Stay in touch!  Check back here and our Facebook page for info on the food truck schedule and other updates.

-Joice B.

Beauty Spun

BigLens

In celebration of Future Beauty, the Japanese fashion exhibit now on view at SAM, TASTE Lead Bartender Duncan went into designer mode and created a special cocktail. He calls this pretty little drink, “Beauty Spun”.

Served in a cocktail glass and garnished with cotton candy, Beauty Spun is both fashionable and interactive. To change the sweetness of the drink, just drop in some or all of the cotton candy.

Ingredients

2 oz        Barley Shochu

5/8 oz    Huckleberry Rosemary Syrup

¼ oz       Lime juice

¼ oz       Simple Syrup

Dash      Plum bitters

Small cloud – Spun Rosemary Cotton Candy

Prep

Combine ingredients in cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into glass.

Garnish with cotton candy cloud.

Cocktails Inspired by New Artists

Painting on recycled domestic textiles, Jane Richlovsky enters the old-fashioned futuristic geometry of mid-century modern houses and unpacks the persistent fantasy of the American Dream promised by their spare, uncomplicated lines.

Jo Moniz’s encaustic paintings at TASTE explore abstract aerial landscapes. There is movement in viewpoint from plan view to elevation and she introduces the illusion of horizon. The colors of the paintings in this show are meant to evoke the brightening of spring.

dejeuneurwebRichlovskyPlanar Shoals 3

TASTE and SAM Gallery are thrilled to present this new exhibit at TASTE Restaurant!

For this Artist Series, we asked TASTE Bartenders Inga Walker and Tiff Friday to create specialty cocktails, celebrating the Artist’s work. Here are their recipes:

TIFF’S “SUMMERTIME SOUR EDIBLE”

Whisky sour jelle (12 portions)

Ingredients:

1 cup Bulliet Rye

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup St. Clement Orange Creole Shrub

1/4 cup simple syrup

6 leaves gelatin

Line glass or metal rectangular dish with saran wrap. Bloom gelatin in ice water. Add the rest of ingredients in a saute pan and heat until steam tendrils begin (do not boil), remove from heat.  Add bloomed gelatin and stir.  Pour mixture into dish and chill in the fridge for 24hrs. Once chilled turn dish upside down onto a cutting board and remove saran. Cut into 12 portions and serve with a dollop of marshmallow fluff on top.

Fluff( 1 quart)Planar Shoals 3

Ingredients

1 cup sugar, divided

4 egg whites

Pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Combine 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan and simmer syrup without stirring until the thermometer reads 240°, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush.

Meanwhile, place egg whites, salt, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment. Whip on high until frothy. Slowly add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Whip until soft peaks form. Continue whipping until medium peaks form. Reduce speed to medium, then pour hot syrup into meringue in a slow, steady stream while whipping. Increase speed to high and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and whip until meringue is cool.

INGA’S  ”CROP CIRCLE”

It’s essentially a beefed up gin gimlet.

The recipe is as follows:

1 1/2 oz. Citadelle Gin

1 oz lime juice
1/2 oz. Green Chartreuse

dash simple syrup

dash Bar Keep Apple Bitters

about 4 torn sage leaves

Combine all ingredients over ice in a shaker, shake and strain into a cocktail glass

Garnish with a sage leaf.

-Joice B.