Hot Dish

CUSTER'S NEW STAND The best news in downtown dining in a long time: When Seattle Art Museum reopens its mezzanine cafe one week from now, the food will come courtesy of superchef Danielle Custer, who wowed local diners with some of the most imaginative and scrumptious eats the town's ever seen as opening chef at the Grand Hyatt's 727 Pine in summer 2001. Custer's maintained a low profile since, but expect her to make her mark as SAM food service expands to Capitol Hill's Asian Art Museum, the waterfront Olympic Sculpture Park, and, one day soon, a greatly expanded downtown operation.Custer takes her stand under the auspices of Bon Appetit Catering, which specializes in high-end food service operations (among its clients: L.A.'s Getty Center and the Monterey Aquarium) offering clients a cuisine based on local, fresh, handmade ingredients. COOKIN' WITH GAS "Wood-fired oven"—doesn't that take you back to a simpler, more gracious time? Unfortunately, it also takes you back to the days when wood resins and tars accumulating in stove flues burned down more than one building. In Seattle, both Sazerac and Tulio phased out their wood-fired ovens after flue fires. Now you can add Palomino to the list. The scare closed the restaurant in downtown's City Centre building, but didn't stop it from reopening the next day (Valentine's) and serving over a thousand meals—cooked with gas. EAT GREEN AND CLEAN Hurry and get your very own wallet-sized guide to environmentally friendly sustainable cuisine. If you're looking for restaurants supporting organic agriculture, there is a new countrywide list of restaurants that celebrate the art of eating well by insisting on fresh, local ingredients. Sponsored by Chefs Collaborative, an organization that supports environmentally sound food production and preparation, and produced with support from Stonyfield Farm and Odwalla, the first guide was released in 2002 and was so popular that they've updated it. Featured restaurants in our area include Canlis, Fandango, Flying Fish, and Kaspar in Seattle; Café Juanita in Kirkland; and the Herbfarm in Woodinville. The guide's free at or FISH WISH COME TRUE Just because you eat frozen dinners doesn't mean you don't care what goes in your body. EcoFish, an Oregon company, knows that even hurried diners are averse to the pesticides, antibiotics, and other contaminants found in farm-raised fish. They're producing eco-friendly frozen seafood entrées featuring wild, sustainably caught fish with sauces made from celebrity chefs' recipes. Meals like Nora Pouillon's Alaskan salmon with Asian ginger marinade or Stan Frankenthaler's Chinese bay scallops with Japanese glaze range from 4 to 11 ounces and cost $5.99 to $7.99 each. Those dollars support West Coast fishermen and small processors and promote environmentally friendly, sustainable fishing. Order yours at PUBLIC DISSERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT ABC. CBS. NBC. What do these television stations have in common? They all refuse to show PETA's new Mad Cow commercial that gives new meaning to the words "is it to die for?" However, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX news will air the plug for vegetarianism that features a sick cow, a bludgeoned pig, and a beakless chick. So the next time you turn on your barbecue, do yourself a favor and turn off your TV. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

comments powered by Disqus

Friends to Follow