Every Sunday, like clockwork, I crave teriyaki. I think this phenomenon began when I was old enough to realize teriyaki restaurants are notoriously closed on Sundays and I would need to wait a solid 24 hours for an oversized portion of white rice paired with grilled meat drenched in a sweet and gingery teriyaki sauce. Last Sunday when I attended the Seattle Food and Wine Experience Grand Tasting, my clockwork teriyaki craving missed its first appointment in years.
The Seattle Wine and Food Experience took over the city with multiple events to celebrate the best food and wine our region has to offer. Following the Saturday soiree POP Bubbles and Seafood, the SWFE Grand Tasting was held to give attendees a final chance to explore the best foods from Washington paired with wines from Washington, Oregon and California.
After hearing from the Chateau St. Michelle Head Winemaker Bob Bertheau about a fabulous upcoming release (Owl Pundit…seriously – try it), we explored the flavors of the Yakima Valley, the Olympic Coast and everywhere in between in less than an hour.
Highlights including the Seattle Canning Company, who specialize in locally sourced canned sweet AND savory canned goods. They’ve been at it for about a year and continue to please palates across the Pacific Northwest.
Highly anticipated Gnocchi Bar did not disappoint with a sampling of a macaroni and cheese-eqsue gnocchi dish that was perfectly seasoned and had a just a ~hint~ of spice.
Ballard based Jonboy Caramels was a sweet surprise. Literally. Not only does this local confectioner make locally-sourced Pacific Northwest candy, but they make it with love and passion. Each batch is individually crafted and mixed BY HAND. Yes, in 2016, there’s a company that still cares enough to leave the hard work to actual humans.
Tim, yes ~the~ Tim, of Tim’s Chips was in attendance – signing autographs and celebrating 30 YEARS of making the best damn chips Seattle did ever taste.
Celebrity Cruises made us wish we were onboard one of their luxury ships with their signature “Starboard Cocktail.”
And Seattle’s very own Top Pot Doughnuts continued to do what they do best with an ACTUAL TOWER OF DOUGHNUTS.
I know what you’re thinking: how could anyone possibly select a favorite out of so many incredible flavors and bites from around the Pacific Northwest? How? Well, it was incredibly simple thanks to the fine folks at Los Hernandez Authentic Tamales. STOP. WHAT. YOU. ARE. DOING. RIGHT. NOW. Whether you think you have a favorite tamale or you’ve never tried one at all, the work of art known as Los Hernandez Authentic Tamales are life changing. Once you taste these, you can’t un-taste them – let alone forget about them. Yes, they’re in Union Gap, BUT don’t let that stop you! These bad boys can be ordered and shipped to your cozy, overpriced studio no matter what neighborhood you live in. And for you introverts, yes, this means you’ll actually have to pick up the phone and talk to a real human to order these by mail because the folks at Los Hernandez are so famous they don’t even have a website (but they do have Facebook). Think of it as the tamale version of the elusive Pink Door.
Alas, the Seattle Wine and Food Experience is over, but as a wise woman once said: Don’t cry because the meal is over, smile because it happened. Or something like that. Next year when you’re flipping through Seattle Magazine and see an advertisement for the SWFE, don’t roll your eyes and suggest the event to your grandma. And definitely don’t stay home and drink bad wine paired with teriyaki. Instead, go where you’ve you (maybe) never gone before. Go to the the Seattle Wine and Food Experience.
Jasmine Goodwin is a blogger at Seattle Socialites and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She enjoys seafood, wine and taking selfies with her dog.