Each year Château St. Michelle teams up with winemakers, select sponsors, and some of Seattle’s best chefs to host the Auction of Washington Wines event to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital uncompensated care and Washington State University for viticulture and enology (wine) research. It’s a 3 day food & wine lover’s journey featuring a host of wineries pouring their jubilations, generously laced with gourmet food. This year the event raised $1.8 million to help support these two institutions.

I love wine…but this article is about the food. The culinary highlights began with Thursday’s picnic when the 7 chefs from Tulalip Resort showed up with their crew of 20+ cooks and support staff to set up 19 different food stations including a pit-roasted 100 pound pig.

For the past five years, Tulalip Resort has been the only culinary presence at the Thursday Auction of Washington Wines Picnic event because they have chosen to become the primary food sponsor for the picnic. Tulalip has made it their mission to become recognized as a culinary destination in Washington State. As a result, they both hire the talent and pay for the product to achieve this goal. For instance, for this event the chefs purchased Maine lobster tail and Wagyu Beef Tenderloin to give away to 1200 people…who else does that?!?

The gastronomical talent of these chefs continues to impress me. These chefs have a reputation for always bringing culinary magic to the table when they go to food shows. They make everything from scratch, taking the time to add the extra touch of love it requires to balance flavor and texture. They are my colleagues (my culinary brothers and sisters)…they both inspire and challenge me to excel at my craft, and it makes me proud to be counted as one of their peers.

So, what was my dish and how did I come up with it? My restaurant is called Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill, so I felt compelled to do something with Salmon!

Last year I came across a pastrami salmon recipe and tried it… it sucked! But I became intrigued by the idea and committed myself to creating a version which I liked. So after two more “spit it out!” experiences, I arrived at a final recipe:
Pastrami Sockeye Lox with a Watermelon chaser, citrus peel, micro greens, and Taro Root chip (for crunch). It was spicy in the sense of bold flavors, and the watermelon acted as a sort of palate cleanser to finish the dish.

The recipe takes the classic elements of a pastrami recipe and incorporates those seasonings and spices into my lox salmon recipe. Let the salmon cure for 24 hours, then remove the seasonings. Next, apply a simple syrup infused with the pastrami seasonings. Finally, re-apply a fresh layer of pastrami seasonings on the salmon. Slice thinly and serve!

The reaction from people was fun to watch. “Pastrami Salmon?” “Watermelon with Salmon?” Many would approach, hear my spiel about the dish, take one and walk away so that I wouldn’t see if they disliked it, and then return with a smile on their face for another. Others came up saying, “I was told that I had to come try this!”

Lobster Roll
Lobster Tempura, Spring Mix, Mango, Avocado,
Strawberry, Wasabi Mayonnaise Sauce
Pastrami Sockeye Salmon
with a Watermelon chaser, Citrus Peel,
Taro Chip and Beet micro greens

Chef David Buchanan
Braised Beef Wonton Cup
Fried Wonton cup, Hoisin Braised Wagyu Beef Short Rib,
Pickled Ginger Aioli, Shiitake Mushroom Slaw
Chef Gerry Schultz
Ile de France Brie Tart
with Spiced Pear Jam
Chef JP (John Ponticelli)
Chicken Lorraine
Spinach, Smoked Bacon, Sun-Dried Tomato,
Garlic Herb Cheese, Fig Jam

Chef JP (John Ponticelli)
Lobster Bisque Shooter
Chilled Lobster Tail Sidecar,
Chervil Crème Fraîche, Tobiko

Chef Brent Clarkson
Around the World Cheese Table
Aged Provolone, Cheddar Wasabi, English Sage Derby, Toscano Salame and Panache of Olives (Castelvetrano, Green Argentine, Gorgonzola Stuffed) Fresh Baguettes, Grissini, and Pesto Crostini
Chef JP (John Ponticelli)
Cheese Table
Cheese Table
Johnny Cake Flatbread Topped with Pulled Pork
with choice of sauces: Salted Caramel BBQ Sauce, Black Berry BBQ Sauce, White BBQ Sauce, Spicy BBQ Sauce
Chef John Jadamec
Rosemary Pecorino Chard with Smoked Lamb Carpaccio
San Danielle Prosciutto, Medjool Date-Balsamic Jam,
Chèvre, Seasonal Micro Greens

Chef Perry Mascitti
Muscovy Duck Confit Sliders
Orange and Maple Duck Confit, Watercress,
Crispy Fried Leeks on a Rosemary Brioche Bun

Chef Brent Clarkson
Mini Cobb Salad
Oregon Bleu Cheese, Pork Belly, Tomatoes,
Avocado Hard Boiled Eggs, Romaine

Chef Gerry Schultz
Pastrami Sockeye Salmon
with a Watermelon chaser, Citrus Peel,
Taro Chip and Beet micro greens

Chef David Buchanan
Blackfish Crew
Manager Kurt Gandee (front) and
cook extraordinaire Chris L. (back)
Hard at work!
Papaya Shrimp Salad
Shaved Papaya, Grilled Prawn, Mint, Basil, Peanuts,
Sesame Rice Cracker, Lime Fish Sauce
Pulled Pork Nachos
Shredded Corn Chips, Black Olives, Onions,
Pepper Jack Cheese

Chef John Jadamec
Smoked Salmon Salad Niçoise
Haricots Verts, Smoked King Salmon, Tomatoes,
Hardboiled Quail Eggs, Potatoes, Olives, Endive

Chef Gerry Schultz
Scallop Ceviche Salad
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Chef JP (John Ponticelli)
Manning the Pig!
Wines being poured at the 2014 Chateau Ste. Michelle Auction of WA Wines Picnic
Wagyu Beef Tenderloin Slider
Pan Seared Bacon Jam,
Demi-Glace, Tomato Pesto

Chef Brent Clarkson
Roasting the Pig
Christmas in August
Assorted Christmas cookies
Pistachio and Raspberry Yule Logs
Mini Sticky Toffee Pudding Cakes
Coconut Cream ?Pies?
Chef Nikol Nakamura

Chef Nikol Nakamura


Interviews with the Chefs

Chef David Buchanan (yours truly!)

by Seen LIVE with Team Photogenic.


Chef Brent Clarkson

by Seen LIVE with Team Photogenic.


Chef Nikol Nakamura

by Seen LIVE with Team Photogenic.


Chef Gerry Schultz

by Seen LIVE with Team Photogenic.


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