Cascasia Culinary Arts, Kathy Betz, and an All-French Evening

FOOD, SERIOUS FOOD If culinary terrorists want to blow the whipped cream right off the Northwest's cup of cocoa, they need only target the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts any time on Sunday, May 3. Chef Corey Schreiber of Portland's lauded-to-the-skies Wildwood will by laying down the law in a keynote address; Seattle Magazine's Cynthia Nims will be interviewing Rover's master-chef Thierry Rautureau; Portland wine maven Lisa Shara Hall will be sharing a panel with Lumière chef Rob Feenie of Vancouver, B.C., SeaStar's John Howie, and Braiden Rex-Johnson, author of the Pike Place Market Cookbook; plus additional luminaries too numerous to mention will be there. They, plus members of the general public, will attend the first Cascadia Culinary Arts Conference, brainchild of Los Angeles promoter, radio personality, and Whidbey resident Michael Gallelli. Admission of $75 (which includes lunch and refreshments) will get you in there, too. Check out the full bill at, or drop an e-mail to PLATINUM PALATES You can't help wondering sometimes if professional wine tasters are really as sensitive as they're cracked up to be. But if consistency counts, some of the pros who took part in the recent Pacific Coast Oyster Wine taste-offs clearly have their acts together. Of the 38 tasters invited to cite their personal top 10, nobody's choices matched all or nine of the finalists (determined by averaging their votes), but five ended up with eight of the finalists on their lists: one New York-based wine writer, another in San Francisco, and no fewer than three right here in the former Jet City: Olympic Hotel sommelier David Bailey, Northwest Enological Society judging committee chair Gerald Warren, and P-I wine writer Richard Kinssies. OIL UP! We may not grow olives in these here parts, but by golly, we got our own olive oil supplier! Kathy Betz of Betz Family Winery fame just took delivery of the 2002 vintage of oil from the premium Tuscan producer Casa Brina. A Betz exclusive in this area, the first-pressing extra-virgin oil is first-rate for dressing salads, pasta, and dippingfor pretty much any purpose, in fact, but at $25 or more for a 750-milliliter bottle, a little too precious for use when its delicate flavor and aroma will be masked by stronger tastes. Now available at DeLaurenti, the Queen Anne and Admiral Thriftways, Larry's Markets, Whole Foods, Borrachini's Bakery, Leschi Market, and Capri in Bellevue. ALLONS, ENFANTS Fed up with "freedom fries"? So's Brad Inserra so much so that he's decided to throw a special all-French evening at 6 p.m. May 4 at his Swingside Italian restaurant, 4212 Fremont Ave. N. A $75 ducat to "Cab Calloway's Cabernet Cabaret" gets you antipasti with champagne, lobster bisque, roast spring lamb, Roquefort salad, and crème brûlée, all accompanied by suitable French wines and the vocal stylings of the cabaret quartet Rouge. For information, call 206-633-4057. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

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