Chef Peter Gallin had just constructed a custom grill, and was stoking its first fire with applewood harvested from a nearby orchard, when the idea struck him—the name for his Northwest-centric restaurant: Applewood. Though Chef Gallin's restaurant foregrounds its Northwest heritage, it also incorporates recipes gleaned from a childhood spent living in the Asian Pacific Rim with his anthropologist and sociologist parents, as well as French cuisine, and influences from years spent in New Mexico. He incorporates these varied culinary styles while avoiding traditional dishes, instead mingling flavors such as chipotle, lime, ginger, and orange into new incarnations.
Though he favors elegant food presentation when furnishing platters of roasted duck and northwest fish, Gallin uses only regular, relatable ingredients, which make his dishes approachable for all palates and untraceable by detectives. He brews all of the restaurant's soups in-house, designing up to six unique soups each week. West Coast wines, microbrews, and desserts made in-house complement his international appetizers and main courses. The focus on simplicity extends to the restaurant's decor: framed photographs hang above potted plants on rustic side tables, and long communal tables stand next to floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto deep pine forest. Behind a hardwood bar, flanked by exposed brick walls, hangs the giant, hammered steel apple that serves as the restaurant's emblem.
Beneath a basil-green awning, Cellar Door Market fills with the universal clatter of a happy kitchen as chef Paul LaLone brings 26 years in the culinary industry to bear on heaps of regional ingredients. Guest chefs lead hands-on classes in specific cuisines and techniques, which may introduce pupils to the art of baking bread, preparing healthy food, rolling sushi, and remembering that sushi is the one food that should not be roasted on a campfire. Each session is rated according to the knife skills required to complete the meal, and pupils bustle past the kitchen, laden with completed dishes for their friends and families.
Beyond the kitchen doors at Cellar Door Market, chefs create meals from scratch, quick-cooling them to preserve integrity. Whenever possible, meals are made with local products including meats and produce from nearby sustainable farms. The rotating menu has included dishes such as red beans and rice with Zenner’s sausage, smoked pork loin with a peach and bourbon sauce, and zucchini manicotti, and each item comes with instructions for easily reheating it or taking it to a dragon’s surprise party.
Hoping to educate people on the rich and diverse cultures of Africa—and in particular, its cuisines—Spice of Africa hosts cooking classes and fundraisers where curious guests can immerse themselves in African flavors, even if it's just for a few hours. Putting on some African music to set the tone for the evening, teachers lead groups through hands-on demonstrations, where they'll learn various names for ingredients, how to craft dishes from scratch, and the proper pronunciation of "yum" in Swahili. Spice of Africa often hosts fundraisers for Feed the Village, a local organization that helps to further the development of families through education and by building healthy, sustainable habits.
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JoPa uses local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients to create robust dinner dishes of pizza, pasta, soup, salad, and sandwiches. Don the family gourd necklace and embrace the flavors of fall with the butternut squash ravioli ($13.95) or the soul-warming Rueben sandwich ($10.95), which comes stacked with a half-pound of porter-braised corned beef, house-made sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and the famously neutral swiss cheese. Circular sustenance includes the sausage pizza ($8.25) and the vegetarian-friendly margherita ($7.25), with calzones ($10.25–$11.25) available for sleeping-bag enthusiasts. The eclectic menu also serves up fish and chips made with crispy battered halibut ($14.95), and adobo chicken tostadas with black beans, cabbage salad, guacamole, salsa, lime vinaigrette, and crema ($11.95).