events

Holiday Gift Ideas

The holidays are right around the corner and I have a few d’lish ideas for your favorite foodie – a local themed basket filled with handcrafted Pacific Northwest goodies!

First off, a Sweet Basket: local chocolate bars (I love Fran’s Chocolate Gold Bars), neighborhood honey like 5130 Honey , salted caramel (Theo’s Chocolates’ caramel collection are wonderful), and unique preserves (we will have lots like Apricot & Rose Geranium and Clementine Ginger Marmalade at our Holiday Extravaganza), and cute little spoons to serve them up with.

Next, a Savory Basket: local cheeses, cool pickles, herbed flat bread and crackers (Essential Baking Company has a great selection!), and dried fruits, with fun cheese identification markers for your fromage.

For a Boozy Basket: package a bottle of local spirit like one of our Washington herbaceous gins or white whiskeys to age yourself (like this one from Woodinville Whiskey Co.), tuck in a couple of cool cocktail glasses, a bottle of unique local bitters and your favorite cocktail book – maybe even my Sips and Apps (75% off special deal on ebook versions!)

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And don’t forget!  This Saturday, December 14th is my Holiday Extravaganza & Open House at my Food Studios in Ballard from 11AM to 7Pm. Stop by and stock up on great holiday gifts and have a sip and nibble of something d’lish! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 12th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Cocktails, events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Newsletter

My Holiday Extravaganza and “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cakes!

That’s right mark your calendars for:
Saturday December 14th – 11AM – 7 PM
at the Food Studios in Ballard

And come join us for a tasty Open House. We will be serving up lots of tasty sips and apps and I will be signing copies of my books Sips & Apps and my most recent D’Lish Deviled Eggs – yes, there will be lots of samples!

We will be selling all kinds of tasty treats, including our ever popular “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark (also available for purchase online), Dish D’Lish® specialty products, Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen® bar goods, and all the tasty treats we have been putting up and baking like busy holiday elves!

Fruitcake

“Over 21″ Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark
(Check our YouTube video on how we make it!)

Stop by for a chat and load up on some holiday cheer! I hope to see you there!

The New Liquid Kitchen Website is Live!

I am very excited to announce that we just launched a brand new website for the beverage arm of my business Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®! Come check out and see we’re up to, meet my team members; watch an episode of my Cocktail Show and check out the recipe section for lots of great cocktail inspiration. Visit often for great cocktail and spirit news.

Snowdrift_Lo
Like this post on why I’m obsessed with Flash Blending – a technique used in my fave holiday cocktail, Snow Drift

Sips & Apps – D’Lish eBook Deal!!

It’s the holidays and Chronicle Books is celebrating with a special online deal! My Sips & Apps is one of their best nine holiday ebooks picked for their special “Tis the Season Sale.” For the entire month of December, ebook versions of Sips & Apps (available on Kindle, iBookstore, NOOK, Google play, and Kobo) are 75% off – $2.99!

Sips & Apps cover

Tasty Travels – Fundraiser – Events

Since my last Newsletter, the team and I have been non-stop from fundraisers to conferences and exciting new client projects. Here is a fun overview of our adventures:

Adventure Race for Parkinson’s
Heather, Erwin and Jason dressed up in their superhero onesies for the first ever scavenger hunt/race for Parkinson’s. That day was filled with lots of “call-ins” and computer searching!

Onesie
Go Team Onesie!
The KCFS crew all dressed up for the 1st annual Adventure Race for Parkinson’s!

Fabulous Fungi
Wild mushroom hunting has to be one of my most favorite things to do. I became a member of the Puget Sound Micological Society over 20 years ago at the urging of dear friend and mycophagist Patrice Benson and have been hooked ever since. Patrice organized the cooking demo station at the annual show for years, and in her memory, I have been volunteering to cook up wild mushroom demos ever since.

This year the society celebrated its 50th anniversary. I’m always asking foodie friends to join and so this year my longtime friend and salon owner/hairstylist glitterati Marco joined me; he is a great cook! We had a great day of sharing mushroom dishes with the crowd!

This year’s weather was so perfect for mushrooms: rain, sun, rain sun… It was the most wild mushrooms that I have ever seen at the show – nature certainly cooperated this year! If you like foraging and fungi then check with your local wild mushrooms clubs to learn more and join in the fun! Spring morels will be here in no time!

Marco & mushrooms
Marco & I and a bounty of Lion’s Mane mushrooms!!

Shaking it up with Sunkist
Meanwhile KCFS team members Heather and Jason headed down to New Orleans for the annual PMA Fresh Summit Conference with Sunkist! They shook up refreshing Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizzes (fresh grapefruit juice and honey ginger syrup then topped with soda water) at the Sunkist Booth.

Sunkist
HJ & JA shaking
grapefruit ginger fizz
Heather and Jason serving a fresh Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz!

Serious Sippin’ at Portland Cocktail Week
While they were in New Orleans, I was off to Portland Cocktail Week to be on the “How to be a Consultant” panel. This industry only event had bartenders coming from all over the US to participate in a week of classes and seminars… of course followed by lots of great parties.

Pernod
Karlyn Monroe and the Pernod Ricard team stop to pose for a fun photo at the industry party.
My favorite drink of the night was a Pernod & Hot Chocolate with Homemade Marshmallows!

Dame Good Fundraiser
After a little breather, I was off to emcee the annual auction for the Les Dames d’Escoffier – Seattle Chapter. This women-only international organization supports women in the food & beverage industry. The theme for this year’s auction was “There is Nothing Like a Dame” and featured my South Seas Sparkling Punch as the signature cocktail! The Seattle Chapter event raisee over $140,000 for culinary scholarships for women!

LK team shaking
The Liquid Kitchen team synchronized shaking at the Dames Fundraiser!
Erwin – Jason – Keith

(Photo courtesy of Katherine Kehrli.)

South Seas
The Evening’s Cocktail: South Seas Sparkling Punch

Shaking and Cooking it up in the Media

Food & Wine
My Citrus Scandi featured in Food & Wine Magazine

Cocktails in NY with Martin Miller’s
In November, I headed to New York for a special media tour and paring dinner with Martin Miller’s Gin. The dinner was at the famed 11 Madison Park restaurant. I created 5 cocktails and worked with Chef Brian Lockwood on the dinner pairings, bar manager Leo Robitschek executed the drinks with his bartenders. The food was amazing and our cocktail pairing collaboration was a hit! Food, cocktails, service … It’s not often I say FLAWLESS! The guest list was pretty spectacular – CNN, Martha Stewart Living, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, and the list goes on – very exciting!

The whole theme on my Martin Miller’s holiday cocktails was: don’t get stuck behind the bar. Go enjoy your party and make party imbibing by pre-batching your cocktails hours (if not days before)! Check out some of the recipes in the Examiner, Chicagoist, and the UK’s Ideal Magazine!

Ruby Spiced
My Ruby Spiced Martini

Holiday Sips & Apps in the Seattle Times
For those of you that remember my column Dishing with Kathy Casey in the Seattle Times – it was great to do a special feature all about easy holiday entertaining. I include some do-ahead cocktails as well as delicious appetizers like Sticky Pomegranate Chicken Wings; Siracha Deviled Eggs with Crunchy Cucumber and Shrimp; and Warm Crab Dip with Mushroom and Brie served with Sea Salt and Thyme Crostini. All modern twists on favorites, with lots of do-ahead components so you’re not stuck in the kitchen at your holiday party!

Sticky Sriracha
Need a Holiday Party Appetizer – I’ve got you covered!

Cuisinart Dip2
Mushrooms sautéing up for Warm Crab Dip in my favorite Cuisinart Pan!

It’s All Things Peppermint at Dish D’Lish

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday air travel, make sure to stay recharged and stop by Dish D’Lish at the Sea-Tac Airport. Whether you’re traveling by yourself or meeting someone, we have a café pre- and post-security. And for some holiday cheer we are featuring Peppermint Crush Cupcake, Frosty Peppermint Latte and Candy Cane Cocoa – all topped with Hammond’s handmade candy canes.

Peppermint Crush
Peppermint Crush Cupcakes

For an in-flight treat or a little something to take home grab a signature candy cane or Candy Cane Crunch Chocolate bar. Yum! And be sure to check out all our other new menu items, including lots of gluten free options.

Traveling and need to pick up a great gift? Sea-Tac Airport is full of fun places to shop; check out this special on New Day Northwest for ideas!

Happy Holidays and a Joyful New Year!

I am grateful for such a wonderful year with amazing clients, wonderful co-workers and friends and family.

Wishing you a joyful holiday season with friends and family. I look forward to sharing lots of delicious new projects and travels with you in the New Year! –Kathy

Snowman

Don’t forget to join me on my blog Dishing with Kathy Casey and weekends on KOMO News Radio for all things d’lish, including recipes, tips, and fun events.

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Kathy Casey Holiday Extravaganza & Open House

Have a favorite foodie or cocktail enthusiast on your holiday shopping list? Well I’ve got you covered! I’m opening the doors to my Food Studios in Ballard for the Holiday Extravaganza & Open House next Saturday, December 14th from 11 AM to 7PM.

There’ll be lots of tasty treats to help you stuff your favorite foodie’s and cocktail enthusiast’s stocking, including Housemade Preserves like Savory Tomato & Basil Jam that are great to serve with sexy cheeses, Liquid Kitchen Honey from our hives, Dish D’lish Seasonings, our Signature Boozy Cheese Balls made with Hennessy, Spiced Hot Buttered Rum Mix and lots of housemade goodies like Poppin’ Peppermint Chocolate Bark, Bacon Brittle and Gingerbread Stars.

The Holiday Extravaganza isn’t complete without our “Over 21” Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark. These fruitcakes are chock full of Maker’s Mark soaked dried fruits as well as loads of nuts with a little spiced batter to bind it all! Baked then brushed hot out of the oven with a bourbon- brown sugar syrup. So get there early as these fly out the door faster than Santa’s reindeer!

Fruitcake
Watch our YouTube video to see the mayhem in making this d’lish fruitcake!

I’ll also be signing my newest cookbook D’Lish Deviled Eggs, a perfect holiday hostess gift! And of course we’ll be serving up tasty samples for you to try throughout the day.

So mark your calendars and join us:

Holiday Extravaganza & Open House
Saturday, December 14th from 11AM – 7PM
5130 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

Hope to see you there! –Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 6th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Books to Cook, Cocktails, events, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Recent Posts

D’lish Holiday Entertaining on New Day Northwest

On New Day Northwest, I shared my holiday entertaining tips and recipes with the always faboo host Margaret Larson. This holiday season make your menu and party planning easier, by doing as much as you can ahead of time! Keep your festive cheer intact with these d’lish appetizers and cocktail recipes.

My DIY Spiced Red Vermouth is an easy infusion to make and the longer you let it set, the more the flavors marry. It’s versatile and works well in a Manhattan or Negroni cocktail. In my Ruby Spiced Martini, the infused vermouth plays well with the gin, pomegranate liqueur, and bitters.

And what’s a party without deviled eggs? My Sriracha Deviled Eggs incorporates the spicy kick and color of Sriracha for the filling, while the cucumber and shrimp toppers balance it out with a fresh note (for a vegetarian version, leave out the shrimp). These eggs will be first to fly off the table!

Dips are always a great party staple and my White Bean Dip with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade will be an instant hit. This dip highlights Mediterranean flavors and is on the healthier side. I love serving this with artisan crackers and flat breads.

Don’t forget to stock up fun foodie finds at my Holiday Extravaganza & Open House, on Saturday, December 14th from 11:00am – 7:00pm! There’ll be plenty of samples to try and goodies to buy for all your fave food lovers and cocktail enthusiasts, including my “Jingle Bell” Cheese Balls, Dish D’Lish® Cocktailor, Liquid Kitchen Golden Era Bitters, and more. We’ll also be selling my ever popular “Over 21″ Real Fruit Cakes made with Maker’s Mark - the perfect stocking stuffer!

And for the techie, my Sips & Apps has been chosen as one of Chronicle Book’s best nine holiday ebooks for their special “Tis the Season Sale.” For the entire month of December, ebook versions of Sips & Apps (available on Kindle, iBookstore, NOOK, Google play, and Kobo) are marked 75% off – $2.99. Now that’s a bargain!

Sips & Apps cover

For more great cocktail and appetizer recipes, make sure to check out my recipes featured in the Seattle Times, including my Sticky Pomegranate Chicken Wings, Festive Sparkling Rum Punch, and more. Happy Holidays! -Kathy

Ruby Spiced Martini
Photo by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen.

Ruby Spiced Martini
A sassy holiday gin-play on the Manhattan crafted with Martin Miller’s Gin, pomegranate liqueur, an easy to make spiced sweet vermouth, and a dash of bitters. For some fun bling, dust the cocktail with Liquid Kitchen Edible Gold. For more great cocktail recipes visit www.liquidkitchen.com

Makes 1 cocktail.

2 ounces (1/4 cup) Martin Miller’s Gin
1/2 ounce PAMA pomegranate liqueur
1/2 ounce (2 Tbsp.) Spiced Vermouth (recipe follows)
1 dash Liquid Kitchen or your favorite bitters
Garnish: orange disc squeeze, an Amarena cherry on a clear pick, Liquid Kitchen Edible Gold

Measure the gin, liqueur and Spiced Vermouth into a mixing glass. Fill three-quarters full with ice and add bitters. Stir with a bar spoon until well chilled. Serve strained up in a chilled martini glass. Squeeze an
orange disc over the drink and discard. Garnish with an Amarena cherry on a pick and Liquid Kitchen gold flakes.

Spiced Vermouth
The longer you let this sit, the more the flavors marry. This is also delicious in a Martin Miller’s Gin Negroni or Martinez cocktail. For a video on how to make this, visit www.LiquidKitchen.tv.

Makes 16 ounces.

2 cups sweet, red vermouth
1/4 cup spiced rum
6 strips orange peel
8 pieces clove
4 pieces allspice
2 slices fresh ginger
1/3 cup fresh OR frozen cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a pretty bottle. Let infuse at least 24 hours. Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Store refrigerated for up to one month.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Liquid Kitchen®

Sriracha Deviled Eggs
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios.

Sriracha Deviled Eggs Crunchy Cucumber and Shrimp
Sriracha adds a spicy kick and a beautiful color to these festive eggs. The shrimp and cucumber topping adds a fresh note and fun texture. Be sure to use eggs that are at least 10 days old or the shells will not peel off easily. For more D’Lish Deviled Egg recipes visit www.dlishdeviledeggs.com or check out Kathy’s new D’Lish Deviled Eggs Cookbook.

Makes 24

1 dozen hard-cooked eggs (procedure follows)

Filling
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Sriracha hot sauce
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
2 tablespoons finely minced celery
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Topping
2 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup chopped cooked shrimp, well drained
2 tablespoons finely minced English cucumber
1 tablespoon finely minced red pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Garnish: extra Sriracha sauce and cilantro leaves (if desired)

Halve the eggs lengthwise and transfer the yolks to a mixing bowl. Set the egg white halves on a platter, cover, and refrigerate.

With a fork, mash the yolks to a smooth consistency. Add the mayonnaise and Sriracha, and mix until smooth. (You can also do this in a mixing bowl with a whip attachment.) Stir in the green onion and celery.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain or large star tip, then pipe the mixture evenly into the egg white halves. Or fill the eggs with a spoon, dividing the filling evenly.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir the vinegar and sugar together until dissolved. Add the shrimp, cucumber, pepper and cilantro, and toss until well coated. Top each egg half with about 1 heaping teaspoon of the mixture. For extra flavor and spice top each egg with a dot of Sriracha and garnish with a tiny cilantro leaf if desired. Serve immediately.

Hard-Cooked Eggs
1 dozen large chicken eggs

Place the eggs in a large nonreactive saucepan and add cold water to 1 inch above the eggs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Remove from the stove and run cool water over the eggs in the pan until they are cooled. When cool, carefully peel them under running water.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

White Bean Dip Layered with Green Olive and Lemon Tapenade
I love to make the tapenade with those brilliant green Castelvetrano olives available at olive bars. Serve with tasty artisan crackers from Essential Baking Company.

Makes 3 cups, or about 8 to 10 servings

Dip
1 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained well
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon very finely minced lemon zest
1 teaspoon very finely minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Tapenade
1 1/2 cups pitted manzanilla or other green olives, drained
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon very finely minced lemon zest
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or oil from sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped sundried tomatoes in oil, drained

Garnish: extra-virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary sprig

To make the dip: In a food processor, combine the drained beans, cheese, if using, and garlic, and process for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, rosemary and salt. With the motor running, add the oil through the feed tube in a slow stream. Process until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust if desired. Store the dip, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

To make the tapenade: In a food processor, combine the olives, garlic, lemon juice and zest, and oil, and pulse till the ingredients are thoroughly chopped, but still have some coarseness to them. Add the parsley and sundried tomatoes and pulse until just integrated. The tapenade can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week.

To serve: Put the dip in a pretty bowl, smooth out the surface, then layer the tapenade on top. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, and garnish with the rosemary.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy Casey on December 5th, 2013  |  Comments (1) |  Posted in appetizers, Cocktails, events, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, sides

Kathy Casey Holiday Extravaganza – Dec. 14th

It’s almost here! My Holiday Extravaganza & Open House is back this year and all set for Saturday, December 14th from 11:00 am – 7:00 pm! There’ll be goodies to buy and samples to try!

We’re opening the doors to my Food Studios once again for all your holiday foodie gift needs. We’ll have all sorts of things to nibble and sip on from tasty bites from my latest book D’Lish Deviled Eggs to samples of hot buttered rum and other delectable items.

There’ll be plenty of goods to grab to stuff your favorite foodies stocking from our own 5130 Honey to Dish D’Lish specialty products: seasoning salts, cocktail mixers and limited-edition preserves. For the bar enthusiast we’ll have our Liquid Kitchen Golden Era Bitters, and cocktail kits. As well as our house-made Jingle Bell “Cheese Balls” spiked with Hennessy Cognac.

The Holiday Extravaganza isn’t complete without our “Over 21” Real Fruit Cake made with Maker’s Mark. So get there early as these fly out the door faster than Santa’s reindeer!

Fruitcake
1 lb loaf of holiday goodness!

So make sure to mark your calendars:

Kathy Casey Food Studios Holiday Open House
Saturday December 14th 11:00 am – 7:00 pm

5130 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107

206-784-7840

I hope to see you soon for some holiday cheer! – Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on November 7th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in events, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts

Spirits Shine at Tales of the Cocktail

What do you get when you combine thousands of mixologists, spirit industry professionals, bar enthusiasts and a lot of libations together in New Orleans? Tales of the Cocktail, of course! Like a five day summer camp for the best and brightest in the spirits industry, Tales is THE highlight of the bartender circuit. Held annually in New Orleans, the week features seminars, parties, and cocktailing galore in this boozy 24-hour playground. It can be a liver workout – trust me!

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Guest Mixologists shaking up and showing off their creations at the Diageo USS World Class Happy Hour event: Tony Devencenzi, Beckaly Franks and Tim Cooper

The Competitive Spirit at Tales

Mixologists love to collaborate, but they also love to compete! And competitions abound at Tales, from this year’s challenge to create the best spin on the Rickey for the title of Official Cocktail of TOTC’13 to the Stoli Most Original Bartender competition and the Cocktails on Tap Contest sponsored by Drambuie.

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Jacob Greer’s Portland Rickey – official cocktail of Tales of the Cocktail 2013

Reading, Learning, Shopping….Boozy Style!
No trip to Tales is complete without a stop at the TOTC Bookstore by Octavia Books. It is the definitive place to go for spirited books. All the new boozy tomes are there, from Molly Wellman’s Handcrafted Cocktails to bar pal Matt Seiter’s The Dive Bar of Cocktail Bars which was a top 10 nominee for Tales’ Spirited Awards best new book. And this year they also incorporated a Bitters Market featuring a huge array of bitters — it’s hard to control yourself in there! So many great new books and bitters… HIDE my credit card!!!

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Molly with her new book, Handcrafted Cocktails!

And speaking of shops, Cocktail Kingdom transformed the Hotel Monteleone’s gift shop into a Pop-Up! Sparkly cut-glass yari cocktail mixing pitchers, gold stirring spoons, ice ball molding machines, sexy jiggers… if you have never shopped their site check it out – it’s my go-to for unique barware and cool cocktail products.

There were a lot of great panels and seminars but my favorite was “Fun with Hydrocolloids”. Molecular mixology and its techniques can sometimes be a bit intimidating but this crash course on hydrocolloids and its many uses was enlightening! They presented on the different types and what their textures were like – it was great for attendees to experience and feel these in a comparison tasting.

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Sazerac in an “Edible” Absinthe Shot Glass

I enjoy making cocktail gelees for seminars and love to discuss how “eating” liquor is so much different than drinking it, so I was very intrigued by the panelists take on a Sazerac. The drink was presented in an edible absinthe-infused gelee shot glass! Fair warning – spirited gelees look innocent enough, but their boozy bite might sneak up on you!

Those that know me well know that I am a garnish freak… I’ll admit that I can sometimes to get carried away. From edible gold flakes to baby coconuts and fluffy fire sticks…..I just love a good garnish! Garnishes are the finishing touches on our cocktail experience, and Francesco LaFranconi and Charlotte Voisey led a seminar about that very subject.  “Hey, Good-Looking” went through the history and functionality of garnishes and how to really jazz up your cocktail.

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I love Edible Fire Sticks for Garnish

The Ladies were in the House!
The west coast has always led the country in the local and sustainable food movement, and it’s evident in our many restaurants and bars installing everything from full working gardens to beehives on their premises. The trend is sweeping across the country, and Amy Stewart -also known as the Drunken Botanist- and Susan Morrison captured the essence in their panel, “Successful Bar Gardens”. These two ladies brought their considerable know-how and sage advice about all things green and gave us a panel chock-full of ways to put your green thumb to work for you and your bar, and the benefits having fresh produce right at your fingertips. And if that has your interest peaked check out my blog that I did on Amy’s Book The Drunken Botanist.

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Amy Stewart’s The Drunken Botanist

Speaking of the ladies: women were definitely shaking things up this year! Bombay Sapphire Gin Most Imaginative Bartender All-Stars Competition was won by a woman for the first time in Tales history! Miami’s Cricket Nelson took gold with her “Sapphire East Love Game”, a delicious elixir crafted with Earl Grey tea, rosebud syrup and fresh Thai basil. Yum!

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Cricket Nelson serving up her winning “Sapphire East Love Game” cocktail.

And then there were the Tastings….
All day, every day, spread throughout the city, from rum and mezcal to vermouth and champagne. Having just come back from Peru and a tour of the Porton distillery, I had to visit the Pisco Pavilion for a taste of my travels! Can I just say that Pisco Sour is my favorite new drink!

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Inspired by Tales – A Passion Fruit Pisco Porton Sour with Edible Baby Orchid I made at the Recent Flavor Experience Conference with Monin

And then it was on to all the special events that take place – the USS Diageo World Class Happy Hour for a libatious trip around the Mediterranean with featured cocktails with some of my favorite mixologists. Next it was off to see Liquid Kitchen associate Danny Ronen at the Krug House Champagne Tasting where he welcomed guests with ice-cold glasses of bubbles – a bit of a welcome reprieve from all those cocktails!

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Me enjoying the Krug House champagne tasting party with famed mixologist Francesco Lafranconi
photo by Danny Ronen

Spirited Dinners…
…are always the highlight of Thursday night. And this year I attended the Beam Great Whisk(e)y Debate. Held at the Bourbon House Restaurant, this spirited showdown aimed to determine once and for all what America’s favorite whisky is! Fred Noe III, 7th generation Master Distiller for Jim Beam, squared off against Kieran Folliard (Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey Ambassador), Dan Tullio (Canadian Club Ambassador) and Simon Brooking (Laphroaig Single Malt Scotch Ambassador ) and engaged in a good-natured -but not without much teasing, elbowing and well-meaning jibes- debate. Everyone fought valiantly, but in the end, and in the spirit of good sportsmanship, the moderator called a draw. We were more than happy to continue debating amongst ourselves over courses of whisky, naturally!

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The lords of whisky at The Great Whisk(e)y Debate – Simon Brooking, Kieran Folliard, Fred Booker Noe III and Dan Tullio – Yes! There were pins to support your favorite whisk(e)y guy.

The Spirited Awards
The Spirited Awards are the capstone event, honoring the cocktail industry’s top dogs over the past year. This year’s theme was The Roaring 20’s by way of The Great Gatsby, which was the perfect way to honor all things libatious!  And I want to give a special congratulations shout out to Charles Joly beverage director of The Aviary in Chicago on his win as American Bartender of the Year. I recently visited Charles at The Aviary on a trip to Chicago and had some of the best cocktails of my life – and that is no small claim considering how many I’ve tasted in my time! A well-deserved win!

And then there is all the swag that has to find a place in my suitcase:
One of the coolest perks of attending Tales of the Cocktail is the mysterious curtained-off lagniappe room.  Presenters, media and VIP’s were given a special bottle cap to obtain entry into the swag room and an “all you can fill bag”, then let loose upon the mountains of swag! I stuffed my bag with all sorts of goodies – from bar tools to key chains, little bottles of amaro, swizzle sticks, a handy compact raincoat – I’m from Seattle, of course I needed that! – and tons more boozy mementos of my wonderful time at Tales.

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Tales Swag

Leaving Tales is always bittersweet – I love learning new things and seeing my cocktail friends from all over the world, but eventually you’re up to your eyeballs in drinks and the floor at the Hotel Monteleone starts to just get a bit too sticky… that means it’s time to head home! See you next year at Tales!

-Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on August 14th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in Cocktails, Conferences, events, Recent Posts, Tasty Travels

Premier Chef’s Dinner Benefit hosted by Rick Bayless!

The annual Premier Chef’s Dinner benefit is here again! This year it is being hosted by none other than the illustrious Rick Bayless, and will take place at Sodo Park by Herban Feast on Sunday, May 19th. In it’s 22nd year, the Premier Chef’s Dinner benefits Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and will feature an all-star cast of Seattle’s most-loved chefs including Greg Atkinson of Restaurant MarchéJosh Henderson and Brian O’Connor of Skillet; Phil Lehmann and Kim Mahar of RN74; Jason Stratton of Spinasse; Rachel Yang of Joule Restaurant; and many more. Make sure to get your tickets soon as this is a wonderful event with all proceeds supporting Fred Hutch.

For more information, visit www.fredhutch.org/chefs.

Fred Hutchinson

Posted by Kathy Casey on May 13th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in events, Foodie News, Lifestyle

Dishcrawl is headed to Kirkland

Dishcrawl heads to downtown Kirkland! On April 30th starting at 7:00pm, food lovers will have a chance of going on a tasting tour of 4 Kirkland restaurants, meet the chefs & owners and get to know other neighborhood food lovers! Tickets are on sale now, so make sure you buy yours today!

Posted by Kathy Casey on April 15th, 2013  |  Comments Off |  Posted in events, Foodie News, Lifestyle
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