As a member of the press, I was able to get into the show early to examine the layout, talk to vendors and watch the amount of effort it takes to pull a show like this off.
I was impressed with the layout of the show. There were 5-6 stages set up within the space, the aisles were roomy yet there were little seating areas throughout where people could enjoy wine and nibbles. There were lots of local food vendors and establishments represented as well. I learned about quite a few local food sources that I was unaware of before. My favorites were locally canned salmon which was caught on a line by fishermen in Washington, a woman who was selling natural dog chews made from naturally shed local elk antlers, as well as all of the small businesses who were out there working hard for their living.
Pasco Specialty Kitchen which is a business that has an industrial kitchen it rents to small food businesses to help them get started.
Once the show officially opened, I was caught up in the excitement of the cooking demonstrations. The first I attended was Chef vs. Chef, a local take on The Iron Chef featuring local chefs. It was incredibly charming. Of the first two chefs, one was the head chef from a local retirement community and the other was a chef of a local restaurant. Being first up, they were a little flustered, but incredibly professional and polite to their sous chefs and each other. I was tickled that the first two front rows were taken up by the chef's family members cheering them on. I was so enthralled by the Chef vs. Chef competition that I watched two of them throughout the day. Here are some of the chef's finished dishes after 40 minutes.
After Chef vs. Chef, it was getting to be about lunch time. Savor the Flavor is all about trying out dishes from different restaurants. You buy tickets for a dollar each and then use the tickets to purchase little sample dishes from attending restaurants.
This was a mini beef sandwich with coleslaw from Jacksons, a local sports bar
12 cheese Macaroni and Cheese from Cheese Louise, a local cheesemonger
Thai spring rolls. One of my favorite nibbles of the day!
After my nibbles for lunch, I was starting to wear out so I headed over to the "celebrity" chef stage to watch the demos over there. The first was a chef from a local country club. There were only about 25 people watching his show so there was lots of opportunity to ask the chef questions. He was extremely personable and promised to e-mail me his recipes. I can't wait to try making his hazelnut chocolate truffle tart with spiced cranberries.
In addition to his chocolate truffle tart, he made short ribs with mushroom risotto
A sample of the lobster mushroom he used in his risotto. It had a bright red outside!
The last "celebrity" chef show I attended for the day was a local chef who owns a Thai restaurant called Emerald of Siam. She has published two cookbooks now which she sells at her restaurant. I bought one of them yesterday because it had the recipe for tom yum (lemongrass with shrimp) soup which she demoed.
This was my favorite nibble of the day! With my sore throat, it felt so nourishing.
Savor the Flavor was a wonderful experience and a wonderful way to discover local food sources and restaurants who are using thoughtful, loving, local and sustainable practices toward food and food production. My only complaint about the show was the inclusion of non-food vendors such as a local hair salon, as well as vendors selling bags, make-up and home fragrances. These really detracted from an otherwise fabulous event.