Les Dames Online Culinary, Wine, and Travel Auction!

November 25, 2013

Victoria British Columbia Horse and Buggy Christmas Holiday photo

With holiday gift-giving much on everyone’s minds right now, may I suggest an easy way to get some incredible experiences for those you love by going to the Charity Buzz website and choosing an auction item or two?

By following this Charity Buzz website link, you’ll discover 13 unique and phenomenal auction packages, live now through December 10!

The packages were put together by Chapters of Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI), a worldwide philanthropic society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality.

Beginning in late October, I started my one-year term as Second Vice President of LDEI, so this organization is very near and dear to my heart.

So please take a moment to have a peek at the fantastic auction items for sale.

Packages include Four Tickets to the International Pinot Noir Celebration and a $100 Gift Certificate to the Joel Palmer House in the Willamette Valley (donated by my very own Seattle Chapter); a Three-Day Napa Wine Experience for Four at Cakebread Cellars (San Francisco Chapter), and Lunch with Carla Hall and Four VIP Tickets to “The Chew” in New York City (Washington, D.C. Chapter).

So please go to Charity Buzz and start bidding today!!!

Dames Auction Offers Up Dessert “Dash,” Signature Cocktails, Amazing Cuisine, and More!

October 28, 2013

Les Dames, Seattle Chapter 2010 Italian Ceramics Fundraiser

Readers of my Northwest Notes blog and the Northwest Wining and Dining website love great food, wine, cocktails, and travel–in short–the storied “good life!”

And one sure way to enjoy an evening of the “good life” is to attend the upcoming Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter’s  biennial fundraiser entitled, “There is Nothing Like a Dame.”

I’ve been a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter (LDES) since 2004, serving in many positions including President, Vice President, Secretary, and International Liaison, my current role.

Our chapter’s 70 members include such food- and wine-industry luminaries as Renee Erickson (Boat Street Café, The Whale Wins, The Oyster and the Carpenter, Barnacle, the Narwhal oyster truck, and Boat Street Pickles), Fran Bigelow (Fran’s Chocolates), and Kay Simon (Chinook Wines).

In 2012, I stepped onto the International Board, serving as Chapter Board Liaison. Later on this month, I will become the organization’s Second Vice President!

So you can bet that LDES’s auction/fundraiser is an event for a cause VERY near and dear to my heart.

This year, the popular, 200-seat auction will take place on Tuesday, November 12, 2013, at the Women’s University Club (Sixth Avenue and Spring Street) in downtown Seattle. Doors open at 5:00 for the silent auction; dinner starts at 7 p.m.

“There is Nothing Like a Dame” will feature our chapter’s signature Dessert Dash, when guests bid on their favorite desserts created by LDES members, and then race to claim them. This year’s 20 offerings include Flower-Power Cake (Dame Sue McCown), Dark-Chocolate “Royal” Ruffle Cake (Dame Lisa Dupar), and New York Bye and Bye Cheesecake (Dame Rose Ann Finkel).

Dame Kathy Casey of Kathy Casey Food Studios—Liquid Kitchen fame will once again serve as Master of Ceremonies. And, for the fifth time in a row, Kathy has designed a special cocktail in keeping with the theme of the event—South Seas Sparkling Punch.

The menu also tempts, with Sushi Rolls provided by Dame Thoa Nguyen of Chinoise Café; Salumi Artisan-Cured Meats courtesy of Dame Gina Batali; Salade Verte with Mustard & Hazelnut Vinaigrette provided by Dame Joanne Herron of Le Pichet and Café Presse; and Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks with Celeriac Crema & Pomegranate from Dame Holly Smith of Café Juanita. Dames Leslie Mackie, founder/co-owner of Macrina Bakery & Café, and Kristi Drake, co-owner of Le Panier Boulangerie Francaise, will supply the evening’s artisan rustic breads.

Auction items include an overnight stay at the five-star Four Seasons Hotel Seattle and dinner for two at ART Restaurant & Lounge; dinner and wine for six people at ARAGONA restaurant, the latest creation by über Seattle chef Jason Stratton; and Willis Hall wine tasting in your home for 10 lucky people!

John bell willis hall photo northwest wining and dining website link

Speaking of Willis Hall and its super-talented founder/owner/winemaker John Bell (above), Spencer and I purchased a similar auction package at an American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) event and enjoyed a tasting with John and two other couples last month during my birthday weekend.

John bell willis hall winemaker group photo northwest wining and dining website

The photo above shows John “holding court,” as he likes to call it, explaining his philosophy of making “Old-World wines with New-World grapes.”

John bell willis hall wines photo

John makes all sorts of wine (including dessert wines such as Razzmatazz, a luscious, not-too-sweet raspberry wine that pairs perfectly with dark chocolate) but he specializes in Merlot (his favorite grape and what he feels is Washington State’s best varietal).

Among our favorites that day (an entire mixed case of which made its way home with us!)? John’s 2002 Syrah, Willis Hall 2005 Merlot, and Willis Hall 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon.

The chance to buy unique auction lots such as tastings with winemakers; dinners prepared by LDES members; and travel opportunities, such as a romantic San Juan-Island getaway for two people on a private yacht, with lodging and dinner in Friday Harbor, make the LDES biennial auction a not-to-be-missed experience!

Monies raised through the Dessert Dash, Silent and Live Auctions, Raise-the-Baguette direct-donation of funds, and the Cork Pull will be used to fund scholarship endowments for women, Green Tables grants, community-outreach programs, and sustainable-agriculture projects. All of LDES’s efforts are based in Washington State. To date, the organization has raised $482,000 toward these efforts.

Tickets, which cost $125 per person, are available on the LDES website.


Fish Tales & Pike Ales Fundraiser Update

September 20, 2012

As mentioned in an earlier post, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter will host its annual fundraiser, Fish Tales & Pike Ales, on Thursday, September 27, from 5:30 to 8:30 at the Pike Pub in downtown Seattle.

And now is the time to PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS if you haven’t already done so!

Here are some of the latest details about the event, which promises to be both educational and fun (and how often can you say that after a big night out)?!?!

*Bubbles Bar (sparkling-wine bar) during the Reception, which will feature Taylor Shellfish oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon, snow crab claws, Salumi charcuterie, and an assortment of breads from Le Panier Very French Bakery.

*Seafood industry speakers include Karl Uri of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), Mark Tupper (Triad/Bruce Gore Seafood), and John Martin (Intersea Fisheries West).

*Attendees will “schooled” in how seafood is caught, flash-frozen at sea, then distributed to our tables.

*Dames chefs for the evening will represent the culinary side of things, with ideas on how best to prepare and serve Pacific cod, Dungeness crab, and sockeye salmon.

*Dames dishes include King Crab and Corn Chowder, Thai-Inspired Cod Lettuce Wraps, and Spicy Wild Salmon (stuffed with a Dungeness crab cake!).

*Beer pairings for the Reception and with each of three courses generously supplied by our host, Pike Brewing Company.

*Wine pairings include wines from such well-respected Washington-State wineries as Chinook Wines, McCrea Cellars, and Domaine Ste. Michelle.

*Two types of gelato from Gelatiamo, including Pike XXXXX Stout and a brand-new seasonal flavor created just for the event, topped by a specially designed cookie[box] fish-shaped cookie!

So PLEASE buy your tickets today. . .100% of proceeds will continue to fund Les Dames, Seattle’s culinary, beverage, and hospitality scholarships; community-outreach programs; sustainable-agriculture projects; and Green Tables grants.

And if you are unable to attend yourself, please consider buying a ticket (or three) for family members, friends, or colleagues.

Tickets to Fish Tales would also be a nice gift idea with the holidays fast approaching.

Fish Tales & Pike Ales Fundraiser

September 11, 2012

Please make your reservations for Fish Tales & Pike Ales, a progressive educational dinner presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter (LDES).

LDES is a group VERY near and dear to my heart; since joining the group in March 2004, I have served as International Liaison, Vice President/Program Chair, Secretary, and President. Starting in October, I will serve on the national board.

Fish Tales & Pike Ales will take place on Thursday, September 27, from 5:30 to 8:30, at the Pike Pub, 1415 First Avenue, in downtown Seattle.

Fish Tales & Pike Ales is designed to “school” both food-professional and consumer “a-fish-ionados” on the virtues of wild seafood, as well as the attributes and advantages of using frozen products. Event attendees will be divided into three groups “schooled” by professional fishers, cookbook authors, and other seafood-savvy experts.

The event’s major donor, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), will supply a diverse assortment of Alaskan-sourced seafood, with dishes prepared by LDES members. Pike Pub and Washington wineries will provide beverage pairings.

Tickets cost $75 per person and are available through PayPal on the LDES website.

A $500 raffle basket containing a Kindle Fire, a gift card for e-books, and other Dames-donated items will be another exciting part of the Fish Tales & Pike Ales fundraiser.

So please make your reservations now, and plan to attend Fish Tales & Pike Ales!