Food tours and cooking classes are activities I enjoy whether near or far from home. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that I participated in a food tour and cooking class with Eat Seattle at Pike Place Market. Most outfits I’ve encountered in my travels keep the tour and cooking separate. However, Eat Seattle Classes and Tours has the good sense to combine the two. Plus, they partner with some fantastic chefs. I mean, who wouldn’t want to tour Seattle’s treasured public market and cook with Chef Wayne Johnson?
If touring one of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the U.S. while guided by a beloved chef doesn’t make you say “sign me up,” then consider Eat Seattle’s philosophy of supporting all things local – the local market, local ingredients, local chefs, and local wine. Sense a theme here? I remember when I first met Eat Seattle’s founder and owner, Liz McCune, and we struck up a casual conversation about how so many restaurateurs say they have this philosophy of supporting local purveyors, sometimes even including a love letter of sorts on the restaurant menu. Yet, when it comes to the wine list, there are often zero or very few local wine selections. That kind of contradiction can make a person wonder about what’s really going on.
Well, Eat Seattle Classes and Tours not only walks the talk, they have cultivated a relationship that is supporting the local wine economy and growing the next generation of local winemakers. Through a partnership with the Northwest Wine Academy, Eat Seattle is serving Washington wine, crafted at a local school, to guests who attend their market tours and cooking classes.
During the Eat Seattle class that I attended, the Northwest Wine Academy Chardonnay, Convocation Red, and Blaufrankisch were being poured. “Blau what?” many asked, which then creates an opportunity to learn about the vast number of grape varieties grown in Washington State.
Eat Seattle Classes and Tours also partners with other local wineries on occasion. On Saturday, December 3, 2016 the wines of EFESTE will be poured in a class with the Head Chef of Purple Seattle, Harry “Coach” Mills, along with Purple’s Wine Director, Chris Horn. Class participants will go shopping through Pike Place Market for local seasonal ingredients, and the duo will reveal how the food and wine selections were designed to complement each other. The 3 course menu will be using recipes from Coach Harry and Chris’s new cookbook called Cook+Cork: A Chef and Sommelier Spill the Secrets of Food and Wine Pairing.
When we last heard, only 6 spots were left in class. Never fear, if you miss out on that class, there are plenty of other cooking class options from which to choose. Check out the Eat Seattle Events Calendar. Whether you’re a Seattle local or a visitor from elsewhere, a tour with Eat Seattle is worthwhile. Go explore, and support Washington wine!
Disclosure: the author works at award winning Woodinville based winery, EFESTE.