Market to Table in Seattle
If you consider yourself a foodie, it’s hard not to fall in love with Seattle. The seafood, the produce, and the wines of the Northwest are all top notch. The hub of fresh Seattle fare is, of course, the legendary Pike Place Market.
Keep reading to see what was on the menu.
When I found out my mom and I would be traveling to Seattle this month, I knew we had to stay in a hotel as close to the market as possible, so we opted for the Four Seasons Seattle, literally just steps from the market. Within the hotel is the extraordinary Art Restaurant featuring the highest quality, market-driven ingredients to create the best of urban Northwest cuisine.
Throughout the summer, from June 1 – August 31, the hotel featured the “7 Days of Art” menus. It is a special dinner menu each night of the week highlighting the best of the ART restaurant.
Needless to say I was thrilled that we would arrive on a Wednesday just in time for a tour of the Pike Place Market with the chef! (He even waited until a little later in the afternoon for his market trip, so our flights could land and we could make our way to the hotel.) My mom and I were treated to private tour of the market where Chef Jelle showed us all his favorite booths and purveyors.
Our first stop was the Martin Family Orchards booth for some Washington Bing Cherries, of course! They are in season right now and absolutely beautiful. I could tell they were more even more plump, juicy, and flavorful than the ones I can get down in LA.
One discovery on our tour was new to me, sea beans. Chef said he likes to prepare them simply, almost like you would treat a haricot vert, but they don’t need much seasoning because they are naturally salty from the sea water. I couldn’t wait to try them for dinner that night! He also picked up a few wild and local porcini and morel mushrooms, and would find a way to incorporate them into our meal as well.
After our tour of the market, my mom and I cleaned up for dinner and we were ready to taste all the phenomenal produce we bought earlier in the afternoon. I am so glad we arrived on “Organic Wednesday!”
Chef Jelle asked if we had any food aversions or allergies and then proceeded to create an off the menu meal with the items we found at the market. Each course was paired with a Northwest regional wine from the Washington and Oregon areas.
The evening started with a gorgeous display of Iced Juan de Fuca Oysters served with a choice of apple fennel or grapefruit tarragon vinegars.
Next was the Dungeness Crab and Cucumber Roll.
Then he brought out a Porcini and Morel Mushroom Risotto with Spring Peas and Parmesan. Those mushrooms looked very familiar!
Next he did a take on one of the restaurant’s signature dishes. Chef served Copper River Salmon over Sea Beans with a side of Indian Spiced Mashed Potatoes. Normally the spice mixture is rubbed on the salmon itself, but he decided to play around a bit that night. If you want to try a taste of the Four Seasons at home, ART Restaurant provided the recipe to this signature dish.
4 filets (3 oz. each) Wild King Salmon
1/4 cup Grapeseed Oil
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp Peppercorn Mix
1/2 tsp Curry Powder
1 tsp Brown Sugar
Pinch Sea Salt
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Place dry spices on a baking sheet
Toast under broiler for approximately one minute
Allow to cool
Grind in a spice grinder
Coat top of salmon with ground spice mixture
Heat skillet with grapeseed oil add salmon spice side down
Sear for approximately 1 minute
Turn over and cook for 1 more minute
Remove from pan and keep warm
Right outside our window at the restaurant was the brand new Seattle Great Wheel. In fact, the day we were there they were still testing the ride and it hadn’t even opened yet! This newest addition to the Seattle pier would give locals and tourists a birds-eye view of the city and the waterfront.
In honor of this new addition to the Seattle waterfront, Chef Jelle created this epic dessert called the “Ferris Cool Spin.” My eyes nearly popped out of my head when it was brought to the table and heads turned throughout the restaurant just to get a glimpse of this masterpiece! An ice carved “wheel” mimicked the new ferris wheel outside the window with two sticks of handmade strawberry cotton candy were perched on top. Sticking with the carnival theme, there were Mini Elephant Ears stacked in front and an edible bowl filled with “Deep Fried Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream.”
Yep, it was just as fun to eat as it was to look at! Honestly, it was the best cotton candy I had ever tasted. Not the flavorless spun air I was used to from our county fair growing up.
I love it when a chef can share is passion and expertise with food all while maintaining a sense of humor and having fun along the way. Fine dining doesn’t have to be stuffy and formal, it can make you giggle and smile!
Our final sweet treat of the evening featured mini chocolate chip cookies and, of course, the Washington Cherries we picked up in the market that morning!
After dinner we watched the last minutes of the sun set over the Puget Sound from the hotel pool deck. Needless to say, it was a little slice of heaven. My mom and I loved the slight chill in the Seattle air knowing that it was over 100 degrees back in LA and Chicago!
We watched ferries pass while we were warmed by the outdoor fire pit. The next day we were ready to set sail on those same waters for our cruise to Alaska! Stay tuned tomorrow for stories from our adventure on the Celebrity Infinity!
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