Indochine’s Creativity in Crisis

What do you do in a community crisis? If you’re Russel Brunton at Indochine in downtown Tacoma, you figure out how to prepare tasty meals for hungry local heroes and keep your staff on the job.

From the early days of the coronavirus challenge, Brunton joined several other restaurant owners to provide nutritious meals for medical personnel at local hospitals. They worked in collaboration with Hero Meals. Donors provided funds, and Downtown Tacoma Partnership ordered and delivered meals. Indochine has prepared some 30 delicious meals a week.

“It’s great to work with Downtown Tacoma Partnership,” Brunton said. J.D. Elquist is a fantastic coordinator. They promote online. He communicates daily, and people cooperate. Consistency is really important.”

“The shutdown has been an exercise in creativity,” Brunton explained. “We reduced our prices by 25 percent. The challenge has been to keep the food fresh and to keep the boxed orders straight.” Brunton found that fried rice, noodles and curry dishes travel especially well, but he tries to add something different to the menu every week.

During difficult weeks it hasn’t been just about the food or about community service. It’s been about individuals who need to work. Brunton says Indochine has been aggressive about keeping people employed. “It’s important to keep our group together, to keep everyone active, to keep their skills sharp,” he said. “Our business is skill-based and team-oriented.” 

“I think the most exciting thing to me is when we are able to bring staff members back to work,” Brunton said. “We have a lot of young people working at the restaurant, and when we can bring one back, it is a great feeling. They are excited to get back to the restaurant and get back to work.”

Most staff work in the kitchen to prepare the signature Indochine dishes. During the shutdown phase, three or four team members have worked in the front on every shift to distribute pickup orders. 

Cooperation, creativity and community service have been key to weathering the COVID-19 pandemic.

EMILY HAPPY

For more information: 

Indochine

www.indochinedowntown.com 

1924 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 

(253) 272-8200

Taste Washington Announces 2021 Programs

Washington is proud of its culinary environment, and Taste Washington is a large part of this community. Today, Taste Washington is proud to unveil its 2021 programming, a month-long celebration of Washington wine and food.

“While we look forward to a big in-person reunion in 2022, this year has given us the opportunity to make Taste Washington more inclusive and expansive for audiences across the nation,” Senior Vice President & CMO of Visit Seattle Ali Daniels said. “Lowering the barrier to entry has also created a platform to allow wineries and restaurants of any size or geographic location within the state to take part– from small pop-ups and brand-new wineries to longstanding wine and dining institutions, there is a place for all of them.”

Taste Washington 2021 is excited to introduce the brand new Taste Washington To Go, and Taste Washington At Home, along with unique winery and restaurant activations, hotel packages and more. 

For Taste Washington To Go, each week, famed chefs will create a special takeout pairing uniquely crafted for a specific theme. Wineries across the state will offer promotions highlighting the week’s featured variety, and local restaurants will offer their own spin on the theme. Subscribe to the Taste Washington weekly e-newsletter to get the scoop on the participating restaurants and the menus— limited quantities will be available from each restaurant, and meals are expected to sell out quickly!

Taste Washington At Home invites everyone into the kitchen to take part in Taste Washington. Each week, Whole Foods Market will share a different recipe and Washington wine pairing that follows the theme. This program was inspired by Taste Washington fans that are unable to travel this year or feel more comfortable preparing their own meals at home. 

“In a year that has been hard for so many, we hope this year’s Taste Washington will allow people to enjoy the best of Washington’s food and wine while supporting an industry that has been hurt the hardest,” Daniels said. “Throughout the month of March, treat yourself by booking a night at a hotel, ordering delicious take out and trying a new bottle of Washington wine.”

All programming details and weekly announcements can be found on the Taste Washington website.