When Nouvelle Was New

Thirty years ago in Seattle Weekly.

In its 22nd issue (Aug. 25, 1976), Seattle Weekly continued to jump aboard trends that most people hadn't quite identified yet: Singer-songwriter-man-about-town Phil Shallat, silk-scarved and holding a brandy snifter as big as his head, smirked on our cover as embodiment of the Great Gourmet Explosion. Inside, an antipasto platter of anonymous articlettes touched on topics like gourmet cooking at home, how to get the upper hand at a trendy restaurant, and the ins and outs of fashionable foods (out: garlic powder; in: Szechuan pepper)—even the looming shadow of vegetarianism. The paper's advice and hot picks are remarkably un-dated: Then as now, the heavy-duty KitchenAid mixer was symbolic of serious culinary ambition, and walnut oil was recommended over Mazola for salads.

Despite our lighthearted cover subject, investigative news wasn't slighted. Bill Cushing took on the city's housing rehab program, pointing out that a year's work had fixed up just 14 units of 32,000 units identified as "deteriorated." Then–City Council member John Miller penned a sentimental ode to the departure of the city's minor league baseball team, the Rainiers, and the impending loss of Sick's Stadium. And Michael Galvin dropped by Fort Lewis to see how America's brand-new all-volunteer Army was shaping up. (His conclusion: too soon to say.)


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