Monday, November 26, 2012

Victrola Cafe

After the first weeks of my recent relocation to Seattle, I felt that I have to pay my tribute to the local coffee scene. Seattle has been known for its coffee culture since the first Starbucks opened its doors in the 70s. A few days of online research for the best Seattle coffee shops and a long list was created. Then it was time to start exploring.

My first stop was the Victrola Cafe in Capitol Hill. The store wasn't particularly busy last Saturday evening. The lighting was minimal but the Joe's aromas plenty. I decided on a "regular" cappuccino of the 8-oz size.  The beans, a blend of Brazilian, Colombian and Guatemalan origin were  rich, chocolate-y and with a full body. A balanced flavor and taste, this cup of coffee was a pure pleasure. Victrola roasts its own beans and, according to the website which thoroughly describes the roasting process, never use beans after the "second crack". If you are not familiar with the coffee jargon, check here for some self-education.

They also sell their roasted beans in the shop. Although it will be difficult to decide between the Triborough Espresso, Kenya Kamuchuni or Sumatra Lintong Peaberry and many other single origin or blended beans, I can reassure you that the quality will be unique. Click here to view the choices.

Seattle residents or caffeine addicted travelers can visit the Capitol Hill cafe for free tasting and cupping each Wednesday at 11am. See you then!

Victrola Cafe and Roastery
310 E Pike Street
Seattle, WA 

Monday, November 19, 2012

20 something The New Vintage - What you missed!

I attended hundreds of wine tastings in my recent, food and wine writer's life. They all seem to be quasi the same: exhibitors standing at various tables with a few bottles of wine each, wine glasses, the “spit bucket”, notebooks to make notes and plates with crackers or slices of bread. But the 20something event organized by the Washington State Wine Commission and the Seattle’s Convention and VisitorsBureau was different and against the mainstream. See what you missed from last Saturday’s event for the younger crowds:

- Tasting wine in a new shape and form. No tables with tablecloths, bottles next to the other and standing marketing execs from the winery. In a complete new setting, those who poured the wines, were standing or walking around with a bottle and a badge. They explained a little about the product and handed out access code cards for those who liked it for special offers and more information

    - The Washington Beef Commission and the three color blind tasting trays: blue, yellow or green? Each had a different type of beef….

    - Cheese from Mt. Townsend Creamery in a well-decorated table that took them two hours to make! The beet chips were also outstanding matching with the Red Alder, Seastack and New Moon cheeses

    -  Comfort foods from with Hook & Plow Turkey “Martini” Pop and the  Black Pepper Gougeres Aged Gouda from RN74 

      - Bordeaux blends, Syrah, Pinot and even Mourvèdre were some of the amazing wines offered

     - The 20something Turkish latte from Fonté Espresso Bar – nothing like Turkish coffee but a pleasant latte

      - Good looking men and women mostly in the 30s with big smiles and in a good mood for more wine and food

    - Maybe you missed that you are no longer 29 -you can still attend this event next year!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Top foods and wines of the Taste of Tulalip

I believe that you won't disagree with my personal visual selections after a day at the Taste of Tulalip....

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Affordable Art Fair Seattle

G Gibson Gallery Julie Blackmon Fire

The Seattle Affordable Art Fair opens on November 8th. For four days, Seattlites and out-of-towners can participate in this inspiring, fun and artistic event. A unique space – the Seattle Center –will become the home of 50 galleries exhibiting original paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs at prices starting from $100 a piece. The Affordable Art Fair is an international Fair that takes place annually from Los Angeles to London to Hong Kong and Brussels. Jennifer Jacobs, the director of the Affordable Art Fair Seattle, reveals more about this unique Fair as an insider, provides insight for young artists and describes one of her busy days!

FF: What is the Affordable Arts Fair and how did you come up with this concept?
JJ: I’ve lived in the NW for almost 20 years, and have found it puzzling that it has been so long since Seattle has had a great art fair!

The story of the Affordable Art Fair is best seen on our website here. I have been a part of building the Seattle launch of the Affordable Art Fair, which started well over a year ago in research and planning; for us, Seattle seemed a natural destination – the region has long been known as a place of creativity and innovation, with a fantastic artistic community.

FF: What type of art is exhibited in this Fair?
JJ: You’ll find a little something for everyone. It’s our job to make sure a variety of aesthetic traditions, viewpoints and geographies are represented, all of the highest quality. Works are priced from $100-$10,000 – with 50% of works at $5,000 and below.

FF: How many artists take place?
JJ: We have approximately 50 galleries featuring hundreds of artists – each applicant is required to show at least three artists in their booth.
Patricia Cameron Milan Heger Million Dollar Man

FF: Is there a particular gallery or artist you would like to single out for this year Fair? A must-visit?

JJ: In addition to the fantastic galleries on show, I would make sure not to miss our artistic programs and demonstrations. As a print lover, I’m particularly excited about the 4 day demonstration with Sidereal Press, featuring some of Seattle’s best-known artists. (Full description and schedule here). I would also recommend checking out our schedule of tours led by art experts – a great way to see the fair and learn more about collecting art.

FF: On a personal level, are you an artist?

JJ: I’m not an artist, but am lucky to have many in my life. I have been fortunate enough to have been working in the arts for almost 2 decades!

FF: Tell us about a typical day in the life of the AAF Seattle Director

JJ: It starts early, catching up on email and skyping with colleagues in Europe and the East Coast. I spend the rest of my day on the phone, talking to galleries about the Fair, and flushing out different aspects of local programming and outreach. When I’m lucky, these visits are done in person, giving me a great excuse to get out and see the different exhibitions on view…sometimes it stretches into evening openings and events. It’s a great life!
FF:  If you could decorate your work area any way you liked, what theme would it have and why?

JJ: Looking around right now, my work area has a number of framed prints and photographs, all with black frames and white matts. It’s a great contrast against my white desk. I’m a minimalist at heart, and love to surround myself with colorful art as the focus for neutral furnishings.
FF: What advice and tips would you give to young artists?

JJ: Most of the artists I know thrive by experimenting; researching different concepts, techniques and influences. But most importantly, get out and see as much art as possible, visit galleries and museums, attend lectures, and talk to other artists.
FF: How many visitors do you expect at this year's Fair? Tell us why Seattle-based residents and out-of-towners should visit this year's Fair.

JJ: We anticipate about 9,000 people at this first year’s Fair. I hope both Seattlites and out-of-towners come and see what we’re all about. Art Fairs are a fantastic way to see what is relevant and current in the art world, a chance to see work by local, national and international artists. Perhaps you’ll find something you fall in love with and take home. Most of all, I hope you’ll come and have fun!
Ochi Gallery Erin Rachel Hudak Campfire