Coming Up October 2: The New American Olive Oil Dinner

September 17, 2010

Extra-virgin martinis, a four-course menu, and a decadent dessert duo are just some of the highlights of The New American Olive Oil dinner that is coming to the Seattle Art Museum’s TASTE Restaurant on Saturday, October 2.

This very special evening commences with a reception during which guests will enjoy an olive-oil cocktail dubbed the Extra Virgin Martini. Created by TASTE mixologist Duncan Chase, it’s a clever combo of craft spirits and dehydrated olive-oil powder (to avoid oil slicks on top of the cocktail).

The dinner menu, a collaboration between Fran Gage, author of “The New American Olive Oil” (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009); Danielle Custer, director of TASTE Restaurant; and TASTE executive chef Craig Hetherington, is made up of recipes from Gage’s cookbook and Hetherington’s original creations. All feature a specific type of California extra virgin olive oil.

Sponsored by Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter in partnership with TASTE Restaurant and San Francisco Dame Fran Gage, The New American Olive Oil dinner takes place at TASTE Restaurant at the Seattle Art Museum on Saturday, October 2, starting at 6 p.m.

On the menu? Lamb and Bulgur-Wheat Meatballs, Foraged Chanterelles with Poached Farm Egg, Fresh Ricotta Gnocchi, and Fish Stew.

And let’s not forget dessert. TASTE executive pastry chef Lucy Damkoehler plans to pair Olive-Oil Ice Cream with Grape & Rosemary Focaccia and Beecher’s Honey Blank Slate cheese. Gage’s offering? Almost Flourless Chocolate Cake.

With olive oil generously donated by the California Olive Oil Producers and wines by Seattle Dame Susan Neel (McCrea Cellars Grenache and White Grenache), the evening promises to be both lively and educational.

Cut-off date for reservations is fast approaching. . .Monday, September 27. Reservations can be made by calling TASTE at 206.903.5291 or e-mailing

Schedule of events for The New American Olive Oil Workshop, Book Signing, and Dinner taking place on Saturday, October 2, 2010, includes:

3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., The New American Olive Oil Workshop: Dame Fran Gage presents a workshop and olive-oil tasting of California extra-virgin olive oils at SAM’s Alvord Boardroom, $45 per person.

4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., The New American Olive Oil Book Signing: Book Signing with Dame Fran Gage at TASTE. Free to attend; books for sale (for $29.95 plus tax) at TASTE.

6:00 p.m. to 8:30, The New American Olive Oil Four-Course Tasting and Dinner: The four-course California extra-virgin olive oil-themed dinner features Gage’s and Hetherington’s recipes and takes place at TASTE, $85 per person, tax and tip inclusive.

SAM is located at 1300 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. The entrance for SAM is on First Avenue and Union Street; entrance for TASTE Restaurant is on First Avenue between Union and University Streets.

Partial proceeds from each ticket sold will go to Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter to help provide educational opportunities for women in Washington State pursuing careers in the culinary arts, beverage, and hospitality industries; support community outreach programs; and promote sustainable-agriculture projects.

About Fran Gage: Fran Gage tastes olive oil for the California Olive Oil Council, for two University of California taste panels, and judges olive-oil competitions, including the prestigious Los Angeles International Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Competition. Her latest book, The New American Olive Oil (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2009, $29.95) includes profiles of artisan producers and 75 recipes.

About TASTE Restaurant: TASTE Restaurant nourishes its community of guests with great food made from the best local ingredients in an inviting atmosphere while minimizing the impact on our environment. To see menus and learn more about TASTE, visit the restaurant’s blog at or visit

About Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter: Les Dames d’Escoffier, Seattle Chapter, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization, is an invitational society of professional women of high achievement in the fields of food, beverages, and hospitality. Its mission is educational and philanthropic, and it provides and supports opportunities in these areas. During its 21-year history, the organization has disbursed in excess of $275,000.

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