Thursday, April 29, 2010

Taste of the Nation 2010

It was that time again - stuff your face silly in order to raise money for hungry kids. As odd as it sounds, it is a great event. 100% of the proceeds (General Admission ticket is $75) is given to charities. All the restaurants and wineries donate their food and wine, as well as gift certificates for a spin the wheel game. I volunteered again because it is a pretty good gig. This year I was the "line nazi" or as they called it - directional staff. Basically I made sure people did not enter the event until their time - the more you pay, the earlier you get in. After the VIPs got in, I took a quick break to sample some of the fare before the rest of the crowd got in. Best idea ever since some of the restaurants were only there for the early high floutin' crowd, plus a lot of the other vendors ran out of the best stuff early. Once I stuffed myself in record time, I was back on the job and letting my stomach come to terms to what just happened. This time I was trying to keep the General Admission crowd in order while also fitting as many people under the tents and out of the rain. Needless to say, if I did not take over, half of the people would have been soaked before they even got in. After a job well done and some more room in my stomach - I was flying free and caught up with my TOTN partners in crime. This time around they did not have to work since Jen scored a much coveted media pass for her food blog - Under The Table with Jen.

Let me start off with my most favorite bite of the night - Screen Door's Maple Bacon Profiterole (pre-caramel gooey topping).

My next favorite was a simple but truly amazing raclette from Steve's Cheese Bar. The wedge of cheese was slowly warmed to a gooey perfection, spread on fresh baguette slices and topped with salami and pickle. Actually the salami was made by Michelle's brother, Elias of Olympic Provision.

Other favorites not pictured included Wildwood's refreshing grated radish and sea salt mascarpone crostini, Bamboo Sushi's albacore sushi (raw and soy marinated), Chop Butchery and Charcuterie's duck proscuitto, Laurelhurst Market's steak tartare, and to top the night off a cappuccino from Cafe Umbria and salted caramel ice cream from Lovely's Fifty Fifty.

Between bouts of eating debauchery, Michelle, Jen and I found the best seats in the house -in Luxe Authohaus' Land Rover sitting on display.

One of our visitors was Richard, a christmas tree grower and exporter (originally from Ireland). He couldn't pass up the chance to join us in our fine ride. Plus the car was situated directly in front of one of the cocktail stations.

After a night of fitful sleep and crazy dreams (thank you spicy bay scallops), the party still wasn't over. I had yet to enjoy my take home rhubarb goodie from Baker & Spice.

Phew - now I can eat salad the rest of the week.

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