“The Taste Cooks!” Celebrates Local Chefs with Taste of Tacoma

Take a look inside a professional chef’s kitchen at The Taste Cooks!, presented by Albert Lee Appliance, on the weekend of June 21 through 23, 2019, at the Point Defiance Park!

Some of Tacoma’s best and most entertaining chefs are in the lineup to compete in high-energy mystery ingredient cook-offs and culinary demonstrations The Taste Cooks! showcases new chefs each day, with participants eager to show their delicious handpicked recipes and their quick-thinking in the cook-offs.

The Taste Cooks! features even more mystery cook-offs this year. Competing chefs will be given only half an hour to create a masterpiece from three mystery ingredients, a basic pantry, and a large selection of produce, kindly donated by Charlie’s Produce.

Members of the audience get a chance to participate also: three lucky guests will judge the chefs’ dishes on a criteria including their creative use of ingredients, presentation, tastiness, and overall entertainment. The winning chef will be announced live and will receive a $100 donation in their name towards the charity of their choice. Several charities benefited from last year’s winners, including the Ronald McDonald House, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the Emergency Food Network.

Return crowd favorites Jon Maley (ChūcH), Saffron Hodgson “The Aussie” (bushcooking.com), Hudson Slater (Asado Cucina), and Shawn Tibbitts (Tibbitts@FernHill) will be competing on The Taste Cooks! this year. New to the show are welcomed Jan Parker (Jan Parker Cookery), Brittany Erwin (Cooks Tavern), Kris Blondin (Devour), and more!

Another level of excitement and culinary expertise is brought to The Taste Cooks! through second-year emcee Chef Thierry Rautureau, a.k.a. “The Chef in The Hat.”

This event is free to attend, and guests are offered early-bird discounted food and beverage options to experience the best of the Taste of Tacoma®. Some options offered are the Experience Taste Package, which includes Craft Beer & Wine Tasting + Taste It! Food Tickets, and the new Taste It! Food Only Package. The weekend of June 21-23 is sure to be an exciting showcase of local chefs and fantastic food with the Taste of Tacoma®!

For the full line up of The Taste Cooks! demonstrations and cook-offs, or for other Taste of Tacoma® event details, head to www.tasteoftacoma.com.

MARTINA PRESTON

Ultimate Fall Getaway in Leavenworth

Ready for a midweek escape? Look no farther than Leavenworth, Washington, nestled on the east slope of the central Cascade Range. Fall’s cooler nights and shorter days mean the mountainous region comes alive with vibrant colors of orange, yellow and red, providing breathtaking views as you drive along the Cascade Loop Highway.

At an elevation of 1,200 feet, the Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth provides an excellent base for enjoying outdoor activities your family will love. There are over 800 miles of accessible trails for hiking and biking. You can play a round of lateseason golf or miniature golf. Take a walk along the Wenatchee River at Waterfront Park. Visit an orchard to pick apples or pears. Pack a picnic at the Cheesemonger’s on Front Street and enjoy all the sights and sounds of Leavenworth in autumn. If you enjoy the arts, check out the events lineup of music, opera, theater, dance, films and more at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.

While exploring the streets of downtown Leavenworth, you can imbibe in a little wine-tasting in any of 20 tasting rooms. Indulge in an afternoon of “retail therapy” in the shops, followed by some quiet time in Front Street Park. This beautifully landscaped park in the heart of downtown provides a welcoming respite after a busy day. It’s also the site for some of Leavenworth’s most exciting fall festivals and celebrations.

Stick around through the weekend to enjoy the Autumn Leaf Festival, Leavenworth’s original festival dating back to 1964. There’s also live music in the Gazebo, Art in the Park, Fall Wine Walk and Oktoberfest. Visitors from all over the country flock to scenic Leavenworth in September and October to indulge in traditional festivities, fantastic food and of course beer!

Take in a little sightseeing while immersing yourself in fabulous fall color. Head to Lake Wenatchee, located halfway between downtown Leavenworth and Stevens Pass. The 489-acre lake offers over 12,000 feet of waterfront with plenty of space to relax along the shore and take photos of the stunning fall scenery. The reflection of vibrant autumn colors on the lake is breathtaking.

Tumwater Canyon, located along the Stevens Pass highway, is one of the top fall-foliage viewing spots in the region. Along the way are multiple pull-off areas for incredible viewing—and photo opportunities—of the towering cliffs standing above the roaring Wenatchee River. Don’t forget your camera!

For information on places to stay and things to do in Leavenworth, visit leavenworth.org.

KELLY LENIHAN

Up Your Culinary Game With a Cooking Class

Have you thought about how many meals you prepare for your family each week? Or how you pull off preparing tasty, healthy meals week after week without any formal training? Whether you’re a novice or an experienced home cook, if you’ve dreamed about upping your culinary game, why not take a cooking class and impress the loved ones gathered around your table!

Bayview School of Cooking
Located at Bayview Thriftway, BSC offers a tantalizing array of culinary classes for adults and children. The emphasis is on the fresh flavors from the Pacific Northwest and other ethnic flavors from around the world. In addition to its own team of instructors, BSC invites regional chefs, cookbook authors and restaurateurs to guestteach. Its specialty, multicourse dinners with wine/beer pairings, are a real treat.
Bayview School of Cooking
516 West Fourth Ave, Olympia
360.754.1448
bayviewschoolofcooking.com

Metro Parks Tacoma STAR Center
Among other amenities, South Tacoma’s Activity and Recreation Center has kitchen facilites perfect for hands-on cooking classes. The focus is on teaching family-friendly recipes and techniques. Classes are usually limited to 15 attendees, and community members can receive a discount by purchasing a STAR pass.
Metro Parks Tacoma STAR Center
3873 South 66th St, Tacoma
253.305.1022
metroparkstacoma.org/cooking-nutrition

Toscanos Italian Grill
Chef Tom Pantley serves up a demonstration-style cooking class and dinner at Toscanos every other month or so. He covers a variety of cooking techniques and styles to help attendees acquire the skills to increase their enjoyment of cooking for friends and family. Cooking classes include a four course dinner, wine sample, recipes and instruction. Chef Tom has been staging these entertaining, informative classes for over 25 years.
Toscanos Italian Grill
437 29th St NE, Puyallup
253.864.8600
toscanospuyallup.com

Ready to add new recipes to your regular meal repertoire and learn how to prepare delicious foods for every occasion? Choose a class that meets your interests and let’s get cooking!

KELLY LENIHAN