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Marc Olson

society donor
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    Seattle, WA
  1. Mistral creates a great tasting menu. After several run-ins with Scott, I can't recommend Lampreia. The Herbfarm is a different experience, but it's 'communal dining' done on a scale not seen in many restaurants (disclaimer: I am an investor). Lark is fabulous if you like the small plates meme. The Harvest Vine is also great, and does the 'plates' in the Spanish style, which some would say is where it all began.
  2. The Herbfarm in Woodinville, WA does this.
  3. I celebrate our 11-year old twin boys cooking their own breakfast and eating off the menu in restaurants. They love to go out to eat, and have even made it through the Herbfarm marathon. Interesting article in the NYT about kids and restaurants: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/dining/3...f872362&ei=5070
  4. The options in Mallvue are somewhat limited. Try Daniel's Broiler or Ruth's Chris for a straight-ahead steakhouse/bar experience.
  5. Buying and tasting based on ratings has become an increasing trend. I used to belong to several tasting groups where the focus was more on what someone else said about the wine and how great it is/was than the experience we were having with that wine in the glass. Like food, everyone has a different palate. When people ask how to learn about wine I encourage them to try lots of regions/styles/producers to see what speaks to them. Unfortunately the rating system has made people afraid to have their own opinion about what they like.
  6. I ordered sushi grade scallops from Catalina Offshore Products in California last week. They were amazing, I would order again in a heartbeat. http://www.catalinaop.com/Scallops_Hotategai_s/61.htm
  7. Marc Olson


    No source for Conch, how about abalone? http://www.catalinaop.com/Abalone_s/42.htm
  8. I used to upend the whole onion and pre-dice by cutting off the root end but leaving the stem end intact; do the vertical and horizontal by cutting from the root towards the stem and then rotating, and then 'slice' off the dice. Now I halve, take out the root and then slice 'radially' ala Shalmanese and then cut. Once sauteed you can't tell, goes way faster.
  9. I'm of the school that believes: 1) breakfast is important 2) protein is important 3) leftovers rock. Our kids (twin boys, age 11) haven't experienced 'packaged cereal'. If we aren't up to make breakfast, they make their own, ranging from eggs over easy to turkey scrambles. When I bring home Chinese take-out, it's the next morning's favorite breakfast. I just don't get high carb breakfasts.
  10. Sounds like a fun test. In one of my regular tasting groups we've done this by purposely putting the same wine in the lineup from two different people. Sometimes the same wint from two bottles will show differently, but this idea should eliminate that.
  11. This is why it's often best to taste a wine blind--know what it is (and what you 'should' expect) can result in conformity. Assigning ratings to wines (in a tasting group situation) has always seemed to be to be somewhat of a folly. IF you can taste thousands of wines a year MAYBE you can come up with a scale. For most people I think it's way more important to develop a sense of preference (just like with food), the ability to say 'I don't like this' without being intimidated, and the freedom to explore. As you learn about grapes and regional style, then it's interesting (for some) to 'test' that knowlege by trying to discern (from what you know) the basic framework for a wine you've never tried before.
  12. Skin the duck breast and cook the skin (cure it a bit in salt and then render the fat). The two parts can be reunited on the plate--crispy skin and tender duck.
  13. The best champagne is a fine wine with bubbles. Having a glass that will allow the aroma to develop and be retained can make a big difference. Our favorite champagne glass is the Riedel Sommelier Vintage Champagne, similar to #2 above but slightly narrower in the body:
  14. Like slkinsey, my uses of the tools are more mundane than gourmet. I have a minipak torre sealer and a couple of water bath options. On a regular basis I cook lunchmeat for the kids (either Tri-tip roasts or chicken breasts seasoned). I do a batch, cool them in a water bath and then freeze them. We also use this for ski lunches that we bring to the slopes. Hard to go back to deli counter lunchmeat after this. My favorite use for cooking of this technique is for duck confit, where I first brine the legs in a bag, then rinse and re-package (four to a bag) with a dollop of duck fat from the fridge. I cook for 12-24 hours at 180F and then chill and refrigerate. No muss/fuss with the leftover oil, bags are portioned for reheating and crisping, etc.
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