FareStart had its annual party last night; the Guest Chef Spectacular. We went over a bit about the event a few months ago, as well as the mission of FareStart. Last night, at the spectacular, we partook in all of the food and frivolity that we could get our hands on. Here are some observations and highlights from the evening.
-Announcement of FareStart's new space - Earlier in the week, the press release came through that FareStart had signed a lease for 10,000 square feet of space in the Pacific Tower at the top of Beacon Hill (you know, the building that is lit up at night that looks like it's from Gotham City). At intermission, FareStart's CEO, Megan Karch, stated that with this additional space, FareStart would be able to strive for higher goals to benefit the groups they serve and provide even more meals to those in need. With this extra space, they'll be able to serve more communities and individuals, and expand their programs further. This expansion will work in tandem with FareStart's 7th & Virginia restaurant's lunch program and Guest Chef Night.
-Volume of people - At any food and wine event, the crowds will be massive. What was great about the Guest Chef Spectacular was that it was to support a great organization. So what if it felt like we were packed like sardines inside of Showbox Sodo (which, by the way, it was refreshing to see with the houselights turned on as it's a very nice event space). It made for a cozy atmosphere and plenty of polite Seattle 'excuse me' and 'sorry' from and to passers-by as you angled for a pour or bite to eat. The team working the event from the volunteers to the staff of the restaurants and wineries were in a festive mood as well.
-Good food. Good drinks - There were dozens of restaurants, distilleries, wineries, and breweries. Some of my favorite bites of the evening; the ouzo-braised lamb ribs from Lola, the strawberry gazpacho from Aragona, FareStart's lamb meatball with quinoa and harissa, the corned beef pretzel sandwiches from Hook & Plow, Trellis' housemade cow's milk cheese studded with blueberry and basil, and the Loco Moco from the Jolly Roger Taproom. On the beverage front, it was great to see Sleight of Hand, Pike Brewing, Treveri Cellars, and Five Star Cellars, as I've been a fan of their offerings. I also enjoyed the wines from Sonoris Cellars, as winemaker Hillary Sjolund has produced great wines in past ventures.
Celebrations are always a good thing and when it comes to an organization like FareStart, celebrating their Guest Chef Spectacular was a great thing.