A Seattle Sunday

Life is just terrible. I'm typing to you from a houseboat on Lake Union in Seattle, Wash. There's a breeze blowing through the screen of the sliding door and I can hear alternating quacks of ducks and caw-caws of sea gulls. Occasionally, a seaplane whizzes by on its way to the San Juan Islands. On a clear day, I can see some of the Olympic Mountains in the distance.

Yesterday, four of us enjoyed brunch (which included a batch of blue corn blueberry pancakes) on the roof of the houseboat, so as to keep a watchful eye on the parade of sailboats out for a tour. It was a hot day for Seattle as temperatures reached the high 80s, so we jumped into the chilly lake for a quick invigorating dip.

Our lazy afternoon eased its way into "An Incredible Feast." For three hours, we ate our way through a community center parking lot, all for a good cause, of course. In its second year, "An Incredible Feast" showcases the good eats from Seattle chefs using local, seasonal ingredients. Hosted by the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance, a local group dedicated to this year's event featured around 20 chefs, each teamed up with a local farm to illustrate the farm-table connection.

The price of our upscale parking-lot grazing was not cheap -- 50 bucks -- but the proceeds will be used to fund a new farmer's market scheduled to open next year in the Seattle neighborhood of Phinney Ridge.

Nibbles highlights of the evening? La Medusa's rendition of an Arborio rice ball filled with goat cheese and served with grilled local peaches, an ultra-basil-y pistou with a quenelle of poached chicken from Campagne restaurant and the roasted organic suckling pig served with a kick-butt (no pun intended) vinegary sauce from Brasa that I could have sipped on all night by its lonesome. We drove home just as the sun was setting, casting peeks at Mt. Rainier for a perfect ending to a summer Sunday in Seattle.

Stayed tuned for more tales from "the Emerald City."

By Kim ODonnel |  August 21, 2006; 2:44 PM ET Farmers Markets , Travel
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I was at "The Incredible Feast." My favorite was the raw salmon topped with a scoop of Douglas Fir sorbet from Cascadia. It was amazing. I'm planning on a New Year's dinner with the Douglas Fir sorbet, recycled from my Christmas Tree.

Posted by: Kelly | August 22, 2006 1:34 PM

Wow, what a small world. I was not as enamored by the salmon/fir sorbet as you. I've had great food at Cascadia though; they offer a wonderful variety of tasting menus, all very reasonable, including one with a Pacific Northwest focus. Go if you can.

Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | August 22, 2006 3:00 PM

I agree with you about Cascadia - quite tasty and far more reasonably priced than it was originally. In reference to your latest post; if you like to eat at "joints" you should try Matt's in the Market while you are in Seattle. Also, there are two relatively new restaurants in the Ballard neighborhood that have gotten good notices: Oaxaca and Volterra, the later was represented at the thing on Sunday. The former is interesting because, when I moved to Seattle ten years ago, you couldn't get a decent taco. But in the past ten years the demographics of Seattle have shifted dramatically. Now there is a terrific Mexican "joint" in the heart of an old Scandinanvian neighborhood that is still home to various Swedish and Norwegian festivals and centers.

Posted by: Kelly | August 22, 2006 4:31 PM

Kim welcome to Seattle. My wife and I were
at the Indredible Feast too. Loved the concept of pairing restaurants with farmers and having the opportunity chat with both. Hats off to Tamara Murphy at Brasa and Chris Curtis from the farmer's market assn. for their vision and effort.
We had some of the same favorites. Mine were the Rama Farms Red Haven peaches by by Medusa and the succulent roast pork and chili sauce by Brasa. I never undetstood what the point of quenelles was. I didn't care for that marinated salmon dish. The salmon itself was beautifully done but would have presented better cut thinly on a bias instead of thick cut fleshy chunks. I found the fir "sorbet" to be more of a syrup, sweet, runny and off-putting with the fish.

I probably shouldn't mention my favorite favorite, a tomato marguerita served under the table by a chef freind.

Posted by: Jon | August 24, 2006 12:22 PM

Do events such as this happen anywhere else, like on the East Coast?

I am very interested in the locally grown concept.

Thanks I loved the article and its subject.

Posted by: Eastcoast girl | August 24, 2006 5:39 PM

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