events

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  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Conferences, Recent Posts, Tasty Travels, events

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  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, events

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  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, events

Seattle Gin Society March Event

Northwest Distillers are gathering on March 21st at Liberty Bar on Capitol Hill to sample some micro batch gins. Three unique, new gins will be sampled and compared to a famous British Gin. Perfect for the gin lover! For more info, check out their site.

ginsociety

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 19th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Restaurants, Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, events

It’s Razor Clammin’ Time Again!

Every year I look forward to the last weekend in March. Why? Because it’s the Annual Razor Clam Festival!

Taking place in Ocean Shores (Washington), this fun event is going to be bigger than ever this year. They’ve even added an extra day, and a new seafood cooking competition!

The festival runs from 9am to 6pm on Saturday, March 23 and 9am to 4pm on Sunday, March 24 at the Ocean Shores Convention Center.  It is an event for the whole family; with live music, craft vendors, cooking competitions and demonstrations, gift giveaways, and so much more. Kids 12 and under get in free.  Adults are $3.00 for each day or $5.00 for both days. There will be lots of great food and chowder samples of course!  Don’t forget to stop at the various Bloody Mary and beer booths to wash down all that great chow.


The KCFS Crew doing the “Official” Razor Clam Dance!

But the true headliner event is the Clam Chowder Cook-Offs for both the pro and amateur chefs. Each year the festival has an array of contestants enter the Amateur Chowder Cook Off and compete for the best of the best on the Northwest Coast. (My chef team will be judging again this year!) The First Place Winner gets bragging rights for a whole year and will be one of the judges for the Professional Clam Chowder Cook Off at the Festival in 2014. How cool is that!

If you like to forage for your own clams, make sure to check out the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife for more info on this year’s dig…and don’t forget your clam license and essentials.

Once you’ve reached your razor clam limits, check out this video that my friend Scott Surdyke and I made on how to clean them properly. And for a super tasty way of cooking this bi-valve, try our recipe for our Clam-tastic Razor Clam Fritters with my Rock-the-World Tartar Sauce below.

So pack up your clammin’ gear (including you razor clam license) and head down to Ocean Shores – it’s the clamtastic place to be! –Kathy

Scott & Kathy’s CLAMTASTIC Razor Clam Fritters
Makes 24 – 26 fritters

3 cups chopped/diced razor clams
3 cups Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix with buttermilk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1 Tbsp minced lemon zest
2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
Fresh-ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3/4 cup clam nectar (or reserved clam juice)
1/4 cup Northwest amber beer, flat
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup minced celery
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels
6 scallions/green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped orange or red bell pepper (about 1/2 pepper)
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Crisco shortening for frying
Lemon wedges for garnish/squeezing
Kathy Casey’s Ultimate Rock-the-World Tartar Sauce (recipe follows)

Drain the clams and save any juice for use in recipe.
In a large bowl combine the Krusteaz, corn meal, baking powder, lemon pepper, zest, salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic, clam nectar/juice, beer and eggs to combine.
Then fold in the celery, corn, green onions, bell pepper and drained clams.

Heat 2-inches of Crisco in a large cast iron skilled till hot – about 375 degrees. Scoop out fritters a few at time – I use a 1/4 cup measure – they should be kind of spread out and not too thick. Fry on first side till golden and then flip over. Continue frying till golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Cook fritters in batches being sure oil stays hot. Keep fritters warm in a 300 degree oven on a rack if needed – but they are best served right away – the fritter cook will just have to keep cooking! Serve with Rock the World Tartar Sauce and fresh lemons.

Recipe by Scott Surdyke and Kathy Casey

Kathy’s Rock-The-World Tartar Sauce
Makes 2 cups

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle or dill pickle relish
2 Tbsps drained capers, chopped
1 green onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 Tbsps chopped parsley
1/4 tsp celery seed
2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients.

Recipe adapted from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table, Chronicle Books

Posted by Kathy Casey on March 15th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, Tasty Travels, events, seafood

2013’s Seattle Food and Wine Experience

Seattle has always been on the cutting edge of culinary and drink trends – and we sure love to celebrate it! There’s almost always a festival or event going on. Take for example the Seattle Food and Wine Experience, which will be this Sunday (February 24th) at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall from 12pm – 5pm – it’s definitely one of my faves!

Held annually, this year’s event is going to be as exciting as ever. Its jam packed with tons of chefs, demos, expert speakers, and lots of wine to taste (featuring cellars from Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and more!). Don’t forget to make room for all the available gourmet bites as well as Pacific Northwest distilled spirits, coffees, and brews, too. Yum!

Tons of exhibitors will be selling their wares, so keep your eyes out for any gifts you may need to buy, or even take something home for yourself! Make sure to buy  your tickets soon.

So raise a glass and toast to the Seattle Food and Wine event! -Kathy

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 21st, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, KOMO Radio, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, events

Speed Rack Comes to Seattle!

Speed Rack comes to Seattle! So mark your calendars for Sunday, February 10th from 3:00pm – 7:00pm at Century Ballroom and make sure to buy your tickets soon!

Founded by Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix, this national cocktail competition/fundraiser features top regional female bartenders in a head-to-head round robin style timed and judged challenge. Winner of the upcoming Seattle event will then get the opportunity to compete in the finals and where the winner will be crowned Miss Speed Rack USA! All the proceeds raised will go to breast cancer research, prevention and education.

I’m looking forward to judging the Seattle event and seeing all our top Washington shakers shine! Make sure to buy your tickets in advanced and visit www.speed-rack.com for more info.

Speed_Rack_Logo

Posted by Kathy Casey on February 5th, 2013  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, events

Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Newsletter

So long 2012…and a big hello to 2013!

This year has flown by so quickly! It’s been a whirlwind of a year with lots of d’lish experiences, client trips and new friends. I’m looking forward to the New Year and know it’s going to be great! In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of what I’ve been up to since my last Newsletter.

KC Logo

Tasty Travels – I LOVE the Philippines!

Maraming salamat po, Philippines! (A very formal way of saying “thank you” in Tagalog)
I recently got back from opening the new Fairmont and Raffles hotels in Makati, Philippines with my Liquid Kitchen associate Dänny Ronen. What a great trip! Lots and lots of hard work but it all pays off to see these amazing hotels open with such a bang. I can’t even describe how amazing the crew was from the fabulous management team to the enthusiastic bar staff.

We trained over 35 people and did the menus for 7 different venues, created d’lish drinks such as the Panutsa Old Fashioned, made with housemade syrup that we crafted from local sugar—dark, rich and formed into coconut halves. Another great favorite was the Pineda Mojito, inspired from Journey’s Arnel Pineda and made with local mandarin, Thai basil, fresh mint and rum. The bars all opened with a bang and were really busy. The Pacquiao Punch is of course very popular, honoring the famous Filipino boxer and using the delicious local Don Papa Makati Rum then topped off at the table with a grating of locally-grown cinnamon sticks. They are HUGE!

Cocktails
The Pineda Mojito and the Pacquiao Punch… I told you the cinnamon sticks were huge!

Anna, KC, Joern
A quick photo during my meeting with the amazing Food & Beverage team:
Anna Derygo & Joern Schwaiger of Fairmont Makati – Raffles!

Fresh Display
The Fresh Bar Display at the Fairmont Lounge

Giant Lemongrass
The lemongrass was pretty big and very flavorful;
big enough for Dänny to hide and peek through!

Eager Students
Our eager students at the Raffles Long Bar

Between developing all the beverage menus and setting up the bars for both hotels, we tried to squeeze in some fun… from $8 massages (Yes! Spa junkies take note … and they were open till 4 AM!!) to the most amazing shopping ever at the big market, to attending Savoroso Inc.’s (local Monin Importers) family party—we had a blast! The Filipino people are so hospitable and love to party as well as make new friends!

We even had enough time for a quick stop at the mall for an old fashioned shave and haircut for Dänny while I was off to cruise around and check out the local sips and nibbles. My fave was Happy Lemon—a little drink
kiosk that is found in most of the local malls. They had the weirdest things on
the menu, so of course I had to order the strangest thing I saw…

Happy Lemon
…Green Tea topped with “Cheese” and Rock Salt and then sprinkled with Matcha powder!
It was really good – I swear!!

Then it was back to work. During my stay, I met some great chefs like the BBQ Chef at the Fairmont. Check out his amazing pre- and post- work:

BBQ
The BBQ Chef (before and after): a master at suckling pig and crispy duck!

We did squeeze in some visits to local bars too! Here are our new local friends Tina and Brady with us at the Ice Bar. Yes, we had a couple of shots while wearing our parkas in the ice room.

Ice Bar
Me, Tina, Brady and Dänny doing ice shots in our fur coats… while it was 85 degrees outside… (with 100% humidity) so, the chill felt great!

The Savoroso team were amazing hosts on our days off; Mel & Sheila Macatulad and their daughter Danica made us feel like family. They invited us over to a family party (which they have every Sunday) and family members all made traditional Filipino foods from a ceviche-like dish made with white fish and coconut milk to lots of pork dishes, and one of my favorites: local ferns lightly sautéed with shrimp! Oh and did I mention the fresh guyabano juice? Yum! They made us feel right at home.

Family Foods
Local ferns with shrimp and fresh squeezed guyabano juice!

Dinner
Dinner with the Macatulad family and Anna from the Fairmont!

Then it was back to the US…
…to a bit more travel then to finish out the holidays back at home. Stay tuned for my next newsletter all about my delicious holiday trip to Portland!

Serious Sippin’ with the Liquid KitchenTM

During the holiday season and in the spirit of giving, my team and I love to give back to the community when we can. During my far-off travels, my team helped shake up a signature Liquid Kitchen cocktail for the annual Silver Bells Luncheon in November! Proceeds from this event went to help the Providence Senior and Community Services, supporting those in need through healthcare, housing and hospice. It was a fun event, which included a hip fashion show and great prizes!

If you are a cocktail enthusiast then make sure you try my winter-themed cocktails using PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur! The Blinker #3 is a rift on the Golden Era drink: rye whisky, fresh grapefruit juice and traditionally made with grenadine (originally made from pomegranate juice), but I made it with PAMA, a sophisticated full-flavored liqueur. Or how about a Sparkling PAMA’Rita, with a splash of bubbly—it’s a great cocktail for all kinds of celebrations.

My Sparkling PAMA’Rita!

Tasty Reads

Need some extra help with winter entertaining for 2013? Check out my drink recipes in the Kroger Family of Stores’ My Magazine Extras! It’s free to download and works great on most tablet devices (iPad, Android, Kindle Fire). It’s full of easy entertaining ideas, homemade gift tips and of course lots of cocktail recipes. You can also view the online version here.

Kroger
Here’s a sneak peak of my Manhattan
with Spiced & Spiked Cherries cocktail on the Kroger app!

For even more tips and recipes, check out my recent guest article in the Seattle Times. I shared my tips and recipes for do-ahead appetizers and desserts and also dished them up on a recent segment on New Day Northwest ! How about Lemon Grass Chicken Meatballs With Sassy Peanut Sauce for your next get together? Or treat yourself and your guests to Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Ale Caramel & Sea Salt? For more great ideas, make sure to grab a copy of my Sips & Apps – now available in a digital format!

Appetizer - Dessert
My Overnight Rosemary Ham & White Cheddar Strata Bites and
Warm Orange & Pistachio Bittersweet Chocolate Cakes ‘In A Jar’ With Orange Cream! YUM!

D’Lish Deviled Eggs – My New Cookbook will be on Shelves Soon!
I’m so excited about my new cookbook D’Lish Deviled Eggs due out in February 2013. This is my 10th cookbook, and it’s all about the time-honored classic appetizer and my d’lish takes on it. I have wanted to write this book for years and am thrilled to finally put my love of deviled eggs into print. Pre-orders can now be made on Amazon. With over 50 recipes, there is sure to be a favorite for everyone in this book!

D'Lish Deviled Eggs

Top Chef: Seattle!

This season’s episodes of Bravo’s Top Chef are well underway! We were lucky enough to have the Top Chef production team meet with us and scout my Food Studios… but alas their cast and crew are a lot bigger than my space could fit! So we were thrilled when the show producers invited John and I to be guests of the Canlis episode, where John had a fun cameo appearance! For the show premier episode at the EMP, my crew and I had a blast seeing the chef contestants earn their spots to Seattle and it’s been exciting over the weeks to watch farmer friends to chefs show up in the different episodes. I can’t wait to see who the winner will be!

Top Chef
Erwin, John, me, and Jess at the Top Chef: Seattle season premier event!

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If you love eating and drinking as well as fun dining hot spots and all things D’Lish, be sure to join me at Dishing with Kathy Casey on KOMO News Radio then check my companion blog with all the corresponding recipes and tips.

And if you live in or plan on visiting the Pacific Northwest, make sure to check out Sip Northwest Magazine (available at my Dish D’Lish airport locations).

I hope you enjoyed my quick recap of the last few months. Here’s wishing you all a wonderful new year filled with joy and delicious adventures! –Kathy

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Follow on Twitter @KathyCaseyChef. Blogging: Dishing with Kathy Casey.
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