Cooking it Up with Carla Hall

Carla Hall is best known as co-host of ABC’s popular, Emmy Award–winning lifestyle series The Chew. And on Nov. 2 she will bring her love for cooking to the Saint Martin’s Gala in the university’s Marcus Pavilion.

Hall won over audiences when she competed on Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef: All Stars and shared her philosophy of always cooking with love. She believes food connects us all. She strives to communicate this through her work, her cooking, and in her daily interactions with others.

Born in Nashville, Tenn., Hall grew up surrounded by soul food. When the time came for her to select her career path, she first opted for a business route. She graduated from Howard University and worked as an accountant for two years. Then she switched gears to work as a runway model. It was during that time, as she traveled (and ate) her way through Europe for a few years, she realized that her deep-rooted passion for food could be her career path. Today she is a trained chef who has worked in restaurant kitchens in and around Washington, D.C.

On the literary front, Hall has combined her love of food, people and culture to write several cookbooks. Her latest cookbook, Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration, will be published on Oct. 23. Her two other cookbooks are Carla’s Comfort Food: Favorite Dishes from Around the World and Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You.

The author says that one of the most positive aspects of her cookbooks has been having a voice for African American cooking and discovering the South. “It’s been an inspiration to check out your past and explore what culture looks like on a plate,” she says. Hall is active with a number of charitable organizations that reflect her passion for causes close to her heart. These include Helen Keller International, an organization that works to improve the lives of those with blindness and to prevent the causes and consequences of blindness. She is also the culinary ambassador for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

“Giving back has always been important,” says Hall. The TV shows and notoriety have offered a platform for me to be intentional and authentic about giving back and setting an example for others.” Carla will be doing that at the Saint Martin University’s Gala in November. The black-tie gourmet evening includes an exquisite five course dinner, cooking demos and a live auction benefiting Saint Martin’s student scholarships.

LEAH GROUT

For Additional Information

stmartin.edu/gala

Creating Jewelry That’s Unique and Personal

Some jewelry pieces evoke warm memories, have an important story, or once belonged to a loved one. These pieces are cherished as a family treasure that is passed on through generations. That’s the life jewelry should have, says Phyllis Harrison. She’s the co-owner of LeRoy Jewelers and The Art Stop with her husband, Steph Farber. “We believe jewelry should be deeply personal and be made to last lifetimes,” Harrison says.

That philosophy is at the heart of each piece of custom jewelry created at LeRoy Jewelers in downtown Tacoma. Harrison spends time learning not only about what the customer might want, but also why. She shares an example:

“A groom wanted a simple white gold wedding band, but also somehow wanted to use a yellow gold ring that was his grandmother’s. The groom’s grandmother had raised him and was a significant figure in his life.”

Harrison and Farber proposed casting a new ring around the old ring. The finished piece, from the outside, looked like a simple white gold man’s wedding band. On the inside his grandmother’s ring was clearly visible, including the engraving.

Another couple wanted matching wedding bands, but had differing ideas about what they liked. By learning more about them, Harrison found that the schwa (a vowel symbol that looks like an upside-down letter “e”) was meaningful to them. With the help of computer-aided design software and a 3D printer to create molds, Farber crafted matching rings that were beautiful and unique. These are characteristics that have described the workmanship at LeRoy Jewelers for more than 75 years.

“We can do just about whatever a client wants,” notes Harrison. That starts with finding the spark that sets the initial design concept in motion. Working within the client’s budget, the jewelers determine the best methods to achieve the desired outcome.

“We really pride ourselves on helping our clients tell their stories the way they want them to be told,” concludes Harrison.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For Additional Information

LeRoy Jewelers

940 Broadway, Tacoma

253.272.3377

ljewelers.com

Home Spotlight: Creating a Forever Home

This family home is tucked away ideally in the woods atop a hill in Orting. But the owners wanted a larger space for their growing family. “Our vision was to be in our ‘forever home’ and have a place large enough and set up for entertaining. It was also important to have lots of room for the kids and their friends. We wanted it to be cozy and inviting, and that’s exactly what was created,” the homeowners now say.

Work began on the remodel in April 2017, and the updates were completed in January 2019. The remodeled home now has a new entryway with a custom tile “mat.” On one side, a glass double barn door opens to an office. On the other is the new dining room. The ceilings soar to 20 feet as you walk into the great room with a stunning stone fireplace. The grand space easily accommodates a reading nook and component cabinets.

The white window and door casings are a custom design, contrasting with the black metal window frames. The generous-size kitchen houses a 15-foot island for adequate seating. With a full-height tile backsplash and premium appliances, this kitchen checks off everything on the homeowners’ wish list.

The five-piece master bath features a freestanding tub surrounded by a vintage pattern and a fully custom-tiled walk-in shower with a bench and recessed space.

The second story now houses a bonus room, game room and fourth bathroom, making it a perfect place for a game night or sleepover. Bedrooms received new carpeting and the staircase was opened with railings for a more spacious feel.

In the end, these homeowners did not have an address change but almost everything else changed for them to realize their “forever home” vision.

LEAH GROUT

For Additional Information

American Dream Design Build

americandreamdesignbuild.com

Home Remodelers: Jim Burbridge & Scott Overby

Designers: Amy Moore & Michelle TallentImages by Leah Shimanskiy

FoxFire Salon and Spa Celebrates 35 Years

Tenacity and perseverance are two traits that have helped FoxFire Salon and Spa reach an impressive milestone—35 years in business. “It was never my intention to be a business owner,” said Karin Walker, founder and owner. “I just wanted to work with my friends doing great hair and having fun in a really nice environment.”

“I was 26 years old and needed $25,000 for the build-out of my first location,” Walker recalled. “I kept getting turned down because the bankers didn’t think I knew what I was doing, and they were right!” Young and fearless, the aspiring salon owner kept applying. Eventually she found the right lender, who by happenstance was also her client. Walker’s parents offered their home as collateral.

The founder’s vision of a high-end salon was the catalyst for FoxFire. The business opened on Feb. 14, 1984, in leased space at the intersection of Center and Orchard Streets in Tacoma. Walker credits her six original employees with playing a huge role in the salon’s overall success. Two still work with her in a staff that now numbers close to 30.

Though Walker describes her start as unintentional, she has kept a keen eye to the future. In 2001 she moved the business to its Fircrest location. She built this salon from the ground up. In 2009 she heard a rumor that a prime location in the Proctor District might soon be available. She contacted the building owner to say she was interested. Just a few months later, she opened this second location.

“It’s been quite the journey, but I’ve enjoyed it,” said Walker. “I’m a people person and have enjoyed working with my team.” She is also proud of the many awards the salons have earned over the years. Most memorable was being recognized in 2013 by Salon Today, the top business publication for owners of salons and spas. FoxFire made its list of the top 200 salons in the country.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For Additional Information

FoxFire Salon and Spa

1912 65th Ave W, Tacoma

2701 North Proctor St, Tacoma

253.565.7765

foxfiresalon.com

Body Condition Scoring for Dogs & Cats

Many dog and cat owners may not be familiar with body condition scoring. But Amanda Evans, manager at Mud Bay Pet Supply, uses it regularly to evaluate her own dog’s health. We talked to Evans about the concept and about evaluating your own dog or cat’s weight.

MB: As humans, we often use the scale to evaluate our weight. Why use the body condition score at Mud Bay?

AE: The body condition score is about the shape of your dog or cat. Healthy weight is about having a proportionate body. A Basset hound that weighs 60 pounds is going to look different from a Labrador that weighs the same. The body condition score is a more effective way to talk about weight.

Humans, too, consider height, and also body mass index. We look at where we’re carrying weight and if that weight is muscle or fat.

MB: Let’s say I want to evaluate my dog or cat’s body condition score. How do I figure out if she scores a healthy three?

AE: It all comes down to appearance and feel. Look at the top of the animal and look for a clear “waist” definition. An animal should have some curve when looking at the back. It should not have just a straight line from chest to hips. You also want to see an abdominal “tuck” from the side. The stomach should form a diagonal line from chest to the back legs and hips. Feel for the ribs. Dogs and cats have varying amounts of hair, but you should be able to feel the ribs as clearly as you can feel the bones in the back of your hand. If the ribs are really obvious, the animal is scored under a three. If you can barely feel the ribs, or can’t feel them at all, the animal is over a three.

MB: What if I don’t feel comfortable assessing body condition on my own?

AE: Take your animal to someone in animal health care that you feel comfortable talking to, whether in a store or at an animal hospital. Don’t be ashamed if your dog or cat gets a bit over a three or is a bit under. It is easy enough to fix. At Mud Bay, we care about weight because a healthy weight can dramatically increase an animal’s lifespan and its quality of life.

COURTESY OF MUD BAY

For Additional Information

blog.mudbay.com/quick-tips-for-figuring-out-your-dog-or-catsbody- condition-score

Linnea’s Unique Boutique Continues to Grow

Linnea Grantham dreamed of one day following in her father’s footsteps. “My father owned a European gift shop just outside of Boston and my sisters and I practically grew up in the shop,” recalls Grantham. “I always wanted to have a gift shop of my own one day.”

Grantham’s opportunity came knocking in the fall of 2015. Capital Medical Center in Olympia was looking for a vendor to establish an independently owned gift shop at the hospital. Grantham, who also owns a successful promotional products company with her husband, enthusiastically answered. “It was one of the scariest and most exciting decisions I’ve made because it had always just been a dream,” she says. “But I knew I had to try.”

Linnea’s Unique Boutique, opened in December 2015, quickly garnered rave reviews from hospital staff and the general public. The shop’s 300-square-foot space is filled wall-to-wall with fun and eclectic gifts, a little sarcastic humor and plush animals. “I only stock things that I would personally buy,” the owner explains. “I love everything in here.”

About a year after opening, the shop’s popularity got the attention of Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue. Grantham was invited to open a second shop. “I’ve always said that Linnea’s is not your typical ‘hospital gift shop,’ but a gift shop that happens to be in a hospital.”

The Overlake space is more than twice the size of the Olympia location. Their distance apart of nearly 70 miles, with a lot of freeway traffic, makes running the two locations geographically challenging. But, says Grantham, “I have a wonderful, supportive staff at both shops, who I can’t say enough good about. They make it all possible.”

In April, Linnea’s opens in a third location, the Lacey/Hawks Prairie area. Customers will be delighted at the new shop, says Grantham. They will find items that are offered only in the Lacey shop.

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For Additional Information

Linnea’s Unique Boutique

3900 Capital Mall Dr SW, Olympia
facebook.com/LinneasDreamOlympia

1035 116th Ave NE, Bellevue
facebook.com/LinneasDreamBellevue

6715 Martin Way E, Lacey
facebook.com/LinneasDreamLacey

Buckle Up for the Great Race

This is the first time the Great Race, the world’s premiere old-car rally, will take place entirely on the West Coast. It will start in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, June 22, and finish in Tacoma on Sunday, June 30. The 2,300-mile adventure will bring 120 of the world’s finest antique automobiles to 18 cities in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Teams and cars from Japan, England, Australia, Canada and every corner of the United States will converge with vintage automobiles dating back as far as 1916. Cars built in 1974 and earlier are eligible. Most entries will have been manufactured before World War II. “We are pleased to be working with our friends at America’s Car Museum to host the finish of the 2019 Great Race,” says race director Jeff Stumb. The race has started and ended in Tacoma before, he says, “but this will be the first time we have the honor of holding the race in conjunction with America’s Car Museum.”

The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae. It takes its name from the 1965 movie The Great Race. The comedy is based on the real-life 1908 automobile race from New York to Paris. The “race” is actually a time/speed/distance rally. The vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, are given precise instructions each day for every move down to the second. They are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second either early or late. The lowest score wins.

If all goes according to plan, cars start and finish one minute apart. Organizers say the biggest challenge for the teams, other than staying on time and following instructions, is getting an old car to the finish line each day. Each stop on the Great Race is free to the public. Spectators may visit with participants and view the cars. Kids may even climb in some cars for a firsthand look.

“When the Great Race pulls into a city it becomes an instant festival,” Stumb says. “Last year we had five overnight stops with more than 10,000 spectators on our way to having 250,000 people see the Great Race during the event.” Luckily this year the event will end with the Shine Time Car Show at America’s Car Museum.

The Shine Time Car Show is free fun for the whole family. There’ll be hundreds of collector cars, plus food trucks. The Great Race will finish at America’s Car Museum on June 30 between 1:30 and 3:30pm.

LEAH GROUT

For Additional Information

greatrace.com

americascarmuseum.org/event/shinetime

2019 Summer Escapes

Get a head start on your summer and check into all the activities happening around Puget Sound all season long. With concert series, fireworks shows and a strawberry festival, summer 2019 is gearing up to be full of fun. Here are a few highlights.

LACEY

Summer in Lacey is jam-packed with festivals, concerts and other community events. On June 22–23, the Renaissance themed festival All’s Faire lets locals and tourists be Vikings, kings, queens, pirates and more. Lacey Days begins right after, running from June 24 through July 8. Events include a jazz festival, children’s entertainment series, ice cream social and the South Sound BBQ Festival. July 3 is the city’s biggest summer event: The Fireworks Spectacular and Freedom Concert. Festivalgoer sare invited to spread out chairs and blankets at Rainier Vista Community Park for the show.

OLYMPIA

Olympia is kicking off summer with the Strawberry Festival at South Bay Grange on June 15. The festival will have live music, crafts and, of course, all things strawberries. Summer celebrating will continue with Capital Lakefair beginning July 17. This five-day event includes food, entertainment, a carnival, basketball tournament and more. A stunning fireworks display will mark the end of the fair on July 21.

TACOMA

The Bash Music and Craft Beer Festival is on June 9 at America’s Car Museum. This is a first for Tacoma, but it’s not new to the U.S. The festival features over 100 craft beers and live music by Rancid, Pennywise and more. Tacoma’s Freedom Fair is Washington state’s largest Fourth of July event. Before the fireworks show, there’ll be entertainment and activities for the whole family, food, crafts vendors and a car show.

SUMNER

Rhubarb Days is an annual event and this year it is July 27–28. It’s a time for watching the pie eating contest or taking part in rhubarb racing. It also includes live music, kids’ activities and a vintage market. Every Friday in July, Sumner hosts Music Off Main, featuring several bands and celebrating music enjoyed outdoors. Fridays in August are Movies Off Main, for an evening watching a movie in the park. Sumner hosts the Classy Chassis Car Show on Aug. 11.

GIG HARBOR

Summer is full of family activities in Gig Harbor. The city hosts a Summer Concert Series and Family Movie Nights. Spend an evening dancing with your loved one or enjoying a family-friendly flick in the park. July 20–21 is the 35th Annual Summer Art Festival, featuring local artists, amateur and professionals alike.

JORDAN MARIE MCCAW

960 Degrees of Cool

Cocktails are making their mark in the South Sound. The craft cocktail scene is enjoying quick-pour growth, both in quantity and quality. Matriarch, En Rama and Devil’s Reef are just a few of the first-class, cocktail-first bars that have opened in the past year-plus. The latest addition to this superior party pack is Bar 960.

Inside Hotel Murano, this newest highlight opened in March. Bar 960 is a glowing, glass-art-themed bar to complement the Murano’s unique, colorful hotel experience. The newly designed bar was inspired by the tones and inflections of Murano glass. (The Venetian island of Murano has been an expert artisan glassmaking center for more than 700 years.) The bar is aptly named for the temperature of glass-cooling ovens.

Bar 960 opens to the hotel lobby’s expansive windows, giving guests a view of the radiant space as it shimmers and reflects onto the sidewalk outside. Inside, custom wall sconces and warm tones are complemented by a cozy fireplace. A leathered granite-top bar is the heart of the space. It is surrounded by upholstered leather sectionals to sink into with your favorite (or new favorite) cocktail and good conversation. Custom geometric wool rugs soften underfoot.

The menu features light-fare, must-try shareable plates. These include freshly shucked oysters and the 960 Burger made with wagyu beef. Top these off with a refreshing selection of microbrews and creative cocktails. The chai-infused Spiced Sidecar, for one, is a perfect partner for a craft cocktail adventure.

Hotel Murano is Tacoma’s most artistic lodging. It pairs comfortable guest rooms with a collection of glass art from around the world worthy of exhibition. The vibrant downtown location is close to museums, fine and family dining, and the waterfront. Relax after a long day of meetings or kick off a big night on the town with a stop at Bar 960.

EMILY HAPPY

For Additional Information

Hotel Murano
hotelmuranotacoma.com
253.238.8000

Getting Fresh with Farm-to-Table Dining

One of the best parts of dining out is reading through a menu full of delectable dishes. Each description makes you hungrier as you try to decide from an array of appetizing options. But do you ever wonder where that food comes from? Or if it’s fresh? Fortunately, many dining establishments are making a shift toward providing farm-to-table foods. When you see the terms farm-to-table, locally sourced, farm-fresh or farm-to-fork on a menu, you know the restaurant has a direct relationship with a farm. But what does this really mean?

Farm-to-table, at its heart, can be defined as a social movement in which restaurants source their ingredients from local farms without going through a store, market or distributor. Farm-to-table promotes “clean” eating that guarantees fresh, healthy food. Local organic farming, community support, seasonal eating and environmental sustainability are the greatest benefits of this booming movement.

Most recently, the farm-to-table movement has led chefs and restaurant owners to get increasingly involved in the growing of their ingredients, even buying their own farms. As the Wall Street Journal put it, a shift is underfoot from “simply sourcing to becoming the source.”

We are lucky to have a delicious array of restaurants featuring locally sourced, farm-fresh menus in the South Sound.

Here are a few of our favorites:

TACOMA

Art House Cafe
111 North Tacoma Ave
253.212.2011 | arthousecafe.com

Montamara Kitchen
2208 North 30th St
253.314.5892 | montamarakitchen.com

Primo Grill
2701 6th Ave
253.383.7000 | primogrilltacoma.com

Sel
229 St Helens Ave
253.327.1015

The Table
2715 6th Ave
253.327.1862 |thetabletacoma.com

STEILACOOM

De La Terre
1606 Lafayette St
253.584.0258 | restaurantdelaterre.com

OLYMPIA

Hart’s Mesa
111 Columbia St NW
360.878.8490 | facebook.com/hartsmesa

Iron Rabbit Restaurant & Bar
2103 Harrison Ave NW
360.956.3661 | ironrabbit.net

Our Table
406 4th Ave E
360.932.6030 | ourtableolympia.com

GIG HARBOR

Table 47
5268 Point Fosdick Dr NW
253.857.4777 | t47.com

The Green Turtle
2905 Harborview Dr
253.650.0490 | thegreenturtle.com

KELLY LENIHAN