Taste-of-Tulalip-Plate-2013.jpgTaste of Tulalip Commemorative Plate 2013

This year marked the 5th annual Taste of Tulalip, an event which is being hailed as the “Aspen Food & Wine show of the Pacific Northwest”. It has been awarded the Washington Wine Restaurant Award for “Best Event Featuring Washington Wine” by the Washington Wine Commission, and each year the event endeavors to be better than the previous year.

The Taste of Tulalip is a celebration of signature food, wine and tradition featuring unique, upscale tastes crafted by the eight chefs (yes, 8 chefs!) hired to oversee the property’s food venues. The Tulalip chefs (full disclosure…I am one of them) go above and beyond to serve unique, flavorful bites which leave you aching for more! We are not talking about the Bruschetta and soup you see served at a lot of food shows. This year the selections included elk tenderloin, seared pork belly, red sear Ahi sashimi, and Diver Scallops to name a few. The event is geared towards culinary and wine aficionados, but it is also a great place for newbies to try cuisine and wine which they have not been exposed to before. And the atmosphere is friendly and casual…not snobbish or elitist.

This year’s special guest line-up included

TOT-Wine-Bottle-art.jpgChef Kristen Kish – winner of season 10 Top Chef Seattle.

Chef Carla HallTop Chef contestant in seasons five & eight, and co-host of her the TV show The Chew.

Chef Lois Ellen Frankculinary historian, anthropologist, award winning author and photographer.

Each year a new wine bottle and charger plate are creatively designed by a tribal artist. This year’s artist was Jason Gobin. Pictured on the left is the magnum bottle, but 750 ml bottles are also designed. The wine is available for sale, but the chargers are only available if you attend the Celebration Dinner and are given as a gift to all attendees.

For the chefs, this event means prepping a plated course for 400 people on Friday, amuse bouche for 2000 on Saturday, and for me, a special Native American Brunch for 75 on Sunday. Below we are making the pine spheres, using molecular gastronomy techniques, for my Friday night dish Huckleberry Sockeye Lox Tartare with Pine Sphere. I took fresh new spruce pine shoots, cut the needles off and discarded the stems (which contain sap and a resin flavor). I then added water to the needles and pureed the heck out of them (love the Vitamix blender!). Strained through a chinois. Added the pulp back to the blender with more water, and repeated the process 2 more times. Then I added a little simple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. This made my pine sauce. (note: I had to do this in June when the pine shoots were fresh and young, then I froze the sauce).


Friday kicked off the 3 day culinary marathon with the Celebration Dinner, a 7-course indulgence featuring dishes which explored traditional tribal ingredients worked into modern interpretations and specifically paired with some fantastic wines.

For the chefs, this is the culmination of multiple tastings to get the food & wine pairing right, and hellacious hours prepping & planning every detail to try to make this dinner service go as smoothly as possible. For a typical plated banquet function like this, the entrees are pre-plated and held in a hot box a short time before service. But not this event. We want this to be as close to restaurant service as possible, hot from the stove to your table! Our mandate is to plate 400 covers (plates) in 15 minutes right into the waiting hands of the waitstaff. 400 covers in 15 minutes ala minute service!


To accomplish this we set-up 5 plating lines (so each line only had to plate 80 covers). Each line had 6 – 8 people on it and each person did only one thing, which means about 40 people helping to plate! (We are very fortunate to have a good relationship with Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute…they provide us with some willing students each year for this event who are essential to making this a success. It’s a great experience for the students…and it provides us with the skilled hands we need to pull this off). So using my plate as an example, one person did each of the following steps then passed the plate down the line:

  • Place the plate on the line
  • Add sauce
  • Use a spoon to make the “swoosh” for the sauce design
  • Add cedar sprig garnish (I know, it’s not edible; “don’t put something non-edible on the plate”, blah, blah, blah!)
  • Add dehydrated yellow beet crisp
  • Remove cover from pre-set salmon tartare
  • Add molecular gastronomy Pine Sphere
  • Wipe edges and pass plate to serving table

Chefs understand that creating this ?assembly line? makes the process go very quickly, and since my dish was not hot I had the luxury of being able to take 20 minutes to plate it and let it sit at room temp for a few minutes, giving me the time to fine tune presentations.

One very cool thing about this year was that they had a camera set-up in the kitchen and would periodically show the guests the “heat in the kitchen” as we worked to slam the different courses out. They had multiple large screens to display this to the dining room while they enjoyed their food and wine. If I can find a recorded copy I?ll post it here.

2013 Event Schedule

The festivities typically spans two days, but this was a special year celebrating the 5th anniversary of the event and an extra day was added for the occasion.

Friday, November 8th
Celebration Dinner
with 400 attendees – 7 courses pared with superb wines
Reception 6:00 pm, Dinner 7:00 pm

Saturday, November 9th
VIP Beer Seminar – 11:30 am
Kristen Kish Cooking Demo – 12:30 pm
Magnum Party with 250 attendees – 1:30 to 4:30 pm
Grand Taste with 2,000 attendees – 2:30 to 6:30 pm
Rock -n- Roll Challenge – 4:00pm

Sunday November 10th
VIP Native American Brunch with Chef Lois Frank – 11:00 am

Taste of Tulalip Celebration Dinner Menu 2013

Click on the photos below for a larger image

Blackberry Marinated Elk Tenderloin, Chanterelle Mushroom Bisque
Fried Shallots, Blackberry garnish

DuBrul Vineyards ‘Cote Bonneville’ Rose of Cabernet Franc
‘Le Deux’ Freres Betz Family & Tulalip Resort Fifth Anniversary Collaboration Red, Cabernet Sauvignon & Syrah

– Chef Gerry Schultz


Caramelized Diver Scallop
Hazelnut Butter, Sweet Corn Puree, Mango Puree, Green Apple Butter, Asiago Cheese Twill

Hanzell Vineyards Chardonnay, Sonoma, California
– Chef Brent Clarkson


The Three Sisters
Sweet Corn Bisque, Sugar Pumpkin Bisque, Savory Fried Snow Peas

José Dhondt Champagne, France
– Chef John Jadamec


Timbale of Dungeness Crab Salad
Corn Relish, Asiago Cheese, Tarragon, Golden Pea Shoots, Baby Arugula, Red Endive, Roasted Squash, Spiral of Yucca, Asiago Dressing

Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett, Mosel, Germany
– Chef John Ponticelli


Huckleberry Sockeye Lox Tartar with Pine Sphere and Huckleberry Coulis

Domaine Serene “Jerusalem Hill Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, Oregon
– Chef David Buchanan


Blackberry-Cranberry Granita with Iced Orange Reduction

Brasserie Dubuisson Pêche Mel? Scaldis, Belgium
– Chef John Jadamec


Petitas-Chile Lamb With Prickly Pear Demi
Cedar Blue Corn Tamale With Cotija, Bacon And White Sage Sauce, Azafran Micro Greens Butternut Warm Salad With Orange Reduction

Betz Family Winery “Pére de Famille” Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, Washington
– Chef Perry Mascitti


Coffee Custard
Crushed Blackberries, Toasted Holmquist Hazelnuts, Honey-Chocolate Tuile

Charles Krug ?Lot XIII? Zinfandel Port, Napa, California
– Chef Nikol Nakamura



About the Wines:

Course – Reception

Betz Family Winery & Tulalip Resort 5th Anniversary Red
State or Country of Origin – Washington
AVA (American Viticultural Area) – Yakima Valley
Varietals – Cabernet & Syrah

Since its first vintage in 1997, Betz Family Winery has had a single-minded goal of crafting compelling wines with individual character that are approachable and age-worthy, and which showcase Washington as a distinguished wine region of the world.

By carving out specific vineyard blocks and being meticulous in the vineyard and cellar they are able to achieve the quality they aspire to, the result being highly-acclaimed wines that compete on the world stage.

Today, Betz Family Winery is headed by two families, committed to be true to their heritage, their family members and true to what Betz embodies: wines of dimension and pleasure that allow the character of Washington to shine through. This wine is a custom wine, and the first time Betz Family has ever partnered with a property to make a wine.

Tasting Notes – a classic wine crafted by Bob Betz, smoke, blackcurrant, blackberry, and a nice spice hint to this wine. The Syrah really makes this wine smooth on the finish and velvety on the palate.

Course – Reception

Winery – Dubrul Family Vineyards Cote Bonneville Rose
State or Country of Origin – Washington
AVA (American Viticultural Area) – Yakima Valley
Varietals – Cabernet Franc

Hugh and Kathy Shiels planted the steep rocky south-facing slopes of the DuBrul Vineyard in 1992. They grow six varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Riesling.

Hugh and Kathy Shiels founded Côte Bonneville in 2001 to create wines that best express their spectacular site each vintage year. By combining traditional winemaking techniques with cutting edge science, we craft estate-grown DuBrul Vineyard grapes into world class wines.

Tasting Notes – Offers up expressive notes of cherry blossom, spice box, cassis, and rhubarb. Medium to full-bodied and dry on the palate

Course – Amuse Caramelized Diver Scallop

Hanzell Vineyards Chardonnay
State or Country of Origin – California
AVA (American Viticultural Area) – Sonoma
Varietals – Chardonnay

Industrialist James D. Zellerbach acquired the 200 acre Hanzell estate on the Mayacamas slopes above the town of Sonoma in 1948, and in 1952 he planted 2 acres of Pinot Noir and 4 acres of Chardonnay on the site. The Ambassador’s ambition was to create a small vineyard and winery dedicated to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Zellerbachs created the first vintage in 1957 and named their winery Hanzell, a contraction of Mrs. Hana Zellerbach’s name.

Zellerbach hired Ralph Bradford Webb in 1956 to be his winemaker and Webb would be integral to the winemaking for the first two decades of Hanzell. Webb introduced four significant advances in enology that would subsequently be adopted by many other wineries, predicating consistency and quality for the entire industry -temperature-controlled fermentation, the use of French Oak barrels, the practice of “blanketing” young wines in tank with inert gas and the practice of induced malolactic fermentation.

Tasting Notes – Brilliant aromas of lemon oil, nectarine, lime zest, chamomile and wet stone combine with our signature floral scent reminiscent of honeysuckle and jasmine. Green apple, pear and nectarine expand out over the rich, viscous mid-­palate. The acidity comes forward as it carries the flavors on to a long, lemony finish.

Course – Salad

Joh. Jos. Prüm Riesling, Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett,Germany
State or Country of Origin – Germany
AVA (American Viticultural Area) – Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
Varietals – Riesling

For centuries the Prüm family has called the village of Wehlen home. The 33.5 acre estate consists of nearly 70% ungrafted vines. Holdings are in the best parts of the top Middle-Mosel sites: Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Graacher Himmelreich, Graacher Domprobst, Bernkasteler Lay, Bernkasteler Badstube, and Bernkasteler Bratenhöfchen. Average annual production is 13,000 cases. The harvest at J.J. Prüm is always extremely late, and the wines are very long-lived.

Tasting Notes – A racy style, with flinty notes to the fresh-cut apple and crunchy peach flavors, matched to a slightly viscous salinity. Lemon zest lingers on the well-structured finish, revealing hints of passion fruit.”

Course – Soup

Jose’ Dhondt Champagne
State or Country of Origin – France
AVA (American Viticultural Area) – Champagne
Varietals – Chardonnay

Descended from generations of vignerons living in and around in the village of Oger, José Dhondt bottled his own first cuvée in1974. His Blanc de Blancs is aristocratic, with a fresh style that is infused with a dollop of fresh cream. He still uses a traditional wooden press, aiming to emphasize grilled bread notes, weight and structure. The Chardonnay fruit demonstrates complexity on a lingering finish. A lovely wine with extensive length and depth.

Tasting Notes – The NV Brut Blanc de Blancs flows with the essence of lemon, white flowers, almonds and pears. It is a bright, focused wine backed up with considerable plushness and generosity

Course – Sockeye Huckleberry Lox Tartare

Domaine Serene ‘Jerusalem’ VIneyard
State or Country of Origin – Oregon
AVA (American Viticultural Area) – Eola-Amity Hills
Varietals – Pinot Noir

Ken and Grace Evenstad founded Domaine Serene Vineyards and Winery in 1989 when they purchased 42 acres of just-logged land in the Dundee Hills of Oregon to plant, grow and produce ultra-premium Pinot Noir. They have been involved in every aspect of growing, producing and marketing Domaine Serene wines. Ken and Grace own 462 acres of land in Yamhill County in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, 150 acres of land is planted to vine. In addition to Pinot Noir, which is about 95% of the wine produced, they also make a little Chardonnay and Syrah. Their wines have won many accolades and awards, including over 80 wines scoring 90 points or higher by Wine Spectator

Tasting Notes – Jerusalem Hill is their lowest elevation vineyard and their only Estate located in the Eola-Amity Hills AVA. The vineyard is planted to Dijon, Pommard and Wädenswil clones of Pinot Noir on sedimentary soils in the Woodburn series . Pinot Noir made from the Jerusalem Hill vineyard has aromas that are rich with dark fruits, dried cherries, wild game and spice. In the mouth, the wine is powerful and brawny, mouth coating on the mid-palate and has lingering tannins on the finish.

Course – Intermezzo

Brasserie Dubuisson Peche Mel Scaldis
State or Country of Origin – Belgium
Area – Leuze-Pipaix Eola-Amity Hills
Style – Fruit/Vegetable Beer

Dubuisson been brewing continuously since 1769—before Belgium was a country and longer than the Trappist breweries. Dubuisson is a shining example of the civic brewer and proud protector of the tradition. Both Peche Mel and Scaldis earned Gold medals in World Beer Championships this past year. Prestige has maintained perfect 100s on RateBeer.

Dubuisson is in the hamlet of Pipaix, just outside Tournai and in the heart of French-speaking Wallonia. The province where Scaldis is brewed is called Hainaut. The word means “land of groves” and indeed it is the richest agricultural province in Belgium.

A generic form of flavored beer, some breweries actually use real fruit or veggies, though most use an extract, syrup or processed flavor to give the effect of a particular fruit or vegetable. Usually ales, but with not much ale character to them and commonly unbalanced. Malt flavor is typically hidden with a low hop bitterness to allow the fruit or vegetable to dominate.

Course – Lamb w/ Prickly Pear Demi

Betz Family Winery ‘Pere de Famille’
State or Country of Origin – Washington
AVA (American Viticultural Area) – Columbia Valley
Varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot

Since its first vintange in 1997, Betz Family Winery has had a single-minded goal of crafting compelling wines with individual character that are approachable and age-worthy, and wich showcase Washington as a distinguished wine region of the world.

By carving out specific vineyard blocks and being meticulous in the vineyard and cellar they are able to achieve the quality they aspire to, the result being highly-acclaimed wines that compete on the world stage. Today, Betz Family Winery is headed by two families, committed to be true to their heritage, their family members and true to what Betz embodies: wines of dimension and pleasure that allow the character of Washington to shine through.

Tasting Notes – A densely saturated vibrant black/red color leads to a nose of pure black currants, at once inky yet penetrating. Studded with notes of dried thyme, anise and pipe tobacco, the aroma emerges as pure Cabernet. The entry is plump, supple and refined, enriched by blending with small amounts of Petite Verdot and Merlot.

Course – Dessert

Charles Krug Lot XIII Zinfandel Port, Napa California
State or Country of Origin – California
AVA (American Viticultural Area) – Napa Valley
Varietals – Zinfandel

The Charles Krug Winery was established in 1861 as the first winery in the Napa Valley by Prussian-born visionary and revolutionary Charles Krug. Today the winery focuses on handcrafted Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux varieties grown within with Napa Valley appellations and sub-appellations. The winery remains under the stewardship of the Peter Mondavi Sr Family, who purchased the historic winery in 1943. Peter Mondavi Sr remains at the helm of the winery, with day-to-day operations handled by his two sons Marc and Peter Jr.

Tasting Notes – Crafted in the spirit of the Solera style, fifteen vintages create a seductive history of our Port in one glass. A savory composition of berry preserves, toffee, and spicy oak aromatics, this elegant and weighty Port lingers on the palate, slowly drifting to a chewy, yet supple finish.

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