This year at the Taste of Tulalip’s Grand Taste enthusiastic revelers were offered a more extensive selection of excellent food and wine than ever before. With over 20 culinary delicacies to nosh on and over 120 wines to swirl & savor it was indeed an all day indulgence type of outing.
2013 marked the 5-year anniversary of the popular event, and to accommodate more people, food and wine we saw a redesigned layout of the event which expanded into additional areas of the Tulalip special function rooms. This expansion gave the feeling of a much less crowded look and atmosphere.Even with more attendees, the crowd “felt” smaller, and the lines for both food and wine were very short or non-existent.
Since I was already sore from Friday’s event, and the week of prep leading up to this point, I started my day with the typical chef’s breakfast supplement of a triple hit of ibuprofen…repeat for lunch and dinner.
For events such as this, a detailed mise en place list is the lifeblood of success. Without it one small thing is going to be overlooked which could then kill the entire day, causing you to pull your hair out while you scramble to recover from a small but essential oversight in the day’s necessities. A good list includes not only the food items and garnishes, but also the towels, utensils, equipment, sanitation buckets, plate design, and whatever else you plan to use that day.
Going through my list early in the day and double-checking it I noticed that my butane burners were not at the table. Come to find out two different departments expected the other one to get them for me. It was settled by sending someone to the store to buy additional ones for my station…a fatal oversight caught and averted before it became a problem. Tell that bastard Murphy’s Law to piss off!
The Food at the Taste of Tulalip 2013 Grand Taste
We served about 1800 pieces of each item this day and each creation was conceptualized and hand crafted by the designated Chef and his/her crew. Unfortunately my good camera died the week of the Taste so I had to use my iPhone for the pics…but at least you can get a good idea of the food served.
Rock & Roll Challenge
The Rock & Roll Challenge is a fun “iron chef” style cook-off. Three display kitchens (provided by Viking Range) under one tent, three teams of 2 chefs each, the exuberent Carla Hall as MC, jammin rock & roll, and an identical mystery basket for each team! This year’s chef teams were comprised of 4 local chefs and 2 Tulalip chefs. When they opened their mystery baskets they found foie gras, live geoduck, and Chito’s! They then had 10 minutes to work out a menu and battle plan, 30 minutes to produce samples for the judges including Chef Kristen Kish, and then an extended period of time to prepare their dish for the spectators. And the winner was Chef John Jamamec.
The Wineries to Sample
With so many wines to sample many guests opted to stay at the hotel this year, making their travel from beverage to room convenient, safe, and arrest free! Because Tulalip is located in Washington State the majority of wineries featured are from here…part of Tulalip’s commitment to local products and business. Many of the wineries offered second pouts, however I heard that some of the French wines being poured had a dealer cost of $400 – $600 per bottle, so there was a one pour limit on these high-end wines.
Kevin White Winery
L’ Ecole 41
Mark Ryan Winery
Northwest Totem Cellars
Pepper Bridge Winery
Ross Andrew Winery
Seven Hills Vineyards
Sleight of Hand Cellars
Woodinville Wine Cellars
This year’s special guest line-up and agenda
Chef Kristen Kish – winner of season 10 Top Chef Seattle.
Chef Carla Hall – Top Chef contestant in seasons five & eight, and co-host of her the TV show The Chew.
Chef Lois Ellen Frank – culinary historian, anthropologist, award winning author and photographer.
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