Seattle Culinary Camp With Chef Tom Douglas Offers A Taste Of Washington State

seattle cooking classesIt’s a well-known fact amongst Seattleites that the sun always comes out for the summer starting on July 4. OK, that wasn’t true two years ago but on July 5, there it was. Anyway, it’s the official start of our summer and that means it’s also the start of the eating season. For farmers market goers and lovers of the grill and al fresco dining, July is kickoff time.

Perhaps that’s why Tom Douglas, the modern father of Pacific Northwest cooking (the late James Beard being the true granddaddy of PNW cuisine), chose July for his annual Culinary Camp. The award winning chef and restaurateur behind such Seattle landmarks as Dahlia Lounge, Palace Kitchen, Lola and Serious Pie has held a five-day culinary immersion program every July for the past six years.

Locals and visitors alike will get a taste of local ingredients such as geoduck clams, Dungeness crab, blueberries, salmon, wild mushrooms and cheese in hands-on cooking classes as well as demonstrations and tastings from Douglas – currently a finalist for the James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year award.

Additional educational opportunities will be available from other respected Seattle food and drink authorities; in the past, these have included Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce and The Corson Building, Mark Fuller of Spring Hill/Ma’ono, and Maria Hines of Tilth and The Golden Beetle. Former visiting experts have included acclaimed chef Nancy Oakes and her husband, sausage king Bruce Aidells and noted food writers/cookbook authors Rose Levy Beranbaum and James Peterson.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Space Needle, so citywide celebrations will make vitamin D-depleted Seattlites even more festive than usual. The Tom Douglas Culinary Camp will take place July 8-12 and tuition is $3,000. To learn more and reserve a spot, contact Robyn Wolfe at robynw@tomdouglas.com.

[Flickr Photo via cbcastro]

Top 5 Travel Attractions of Seattle, Washington

Needling replaces planking as the new meme in Seattle

Planking is so early 2011.

At least that’s the case in Seattle where locals and tourists have moved on to “needling,” i.e., posing like the Space Needle. Started about two weeks ago by a few bored PR folks who wanted to “disrupt Seattle’s weather doldrums with a little fun,” the needling meme now has its own Tumblr website Do the Needle, where anyone can submit needling photos. So far, Do the Needle has collected photos of people needling in front of Seattle landmarks, such as the, uh, Space Needle and Pike Place Market, and as far afield as Boston’s Fenway Park.

It’s easy to see how needling could catch some buzz, as it’s far more inventive than planking or the equally silly owling. But I wonder if this show of Seattle pride could lead to modified versions around the world? Maybe by this time next month, we’ll bring you news of people posing like the Burj Khalifa, the CN Tower, or the Washington Monument.

What famous landmark would you like to see turned into a meme? Tell us in the comments below.

[Photo credit: Do the Needle]

Galley Gossip: Seattle – places to stay & things to do (with a 13 year-old boy)

Are you familiar with downtown Seattle? My 13 year-old son and I are going there for 5 nights in late August. What do you think is the coolest downtown hotel? We are looking at Hotel 100 and The W but can’t decide. We are open to all suggestions as well as any other hints you may have – Carole

I’m not sure what the “coolest” hotel in Seattle is, but I do know I’ve always wanted to stay at The Inn At The Market ever since my mother, who is also a flight attendant, told me about the place after having stayed there a few years ago. When I asked her if she thought it might be a nice hotel for a mother-son team, she said, “Well….the rooms are a little old lady-ish, but nice and clean.”

Old lady-ish? That doesn’t sound good. And something tells me this is not what a thirteen year-old boy has in mind when he’s on summer vacation. So I asked my mother to elaborate.

“I think the thing that may have made it seem old lady-ish was the flowered comforter,” she said.

That’s easy enough to fix. Just pull it off the bed and throw it on the floor! (Trust me, you don’t want to use that thing anyway.)

My mother also had this to say, “The view out the window of the Puget Sound was incredible. From the hotel we could look right down on the market. I literally stepped out the door, turned to the right, and within a few steps I was at Pike’s Market (pictured below). The hotel has an outside patio area where you can sit and watch the sun go down at dusk. Off in the distance you can see the ferry lights. It’s beautiful. “

I don’t know about you, Carole, but location, for me, is everything, regardless of a floral comforter! And I can’t think of a better place to be in Seattle than right next to Pike’s Market. Yeah, it’s touristy, but so what! I love that place. All flight attendants do. It’s always a big part of our layover routine.

If you’re determined to keep it cool, a few people I know suggested these hotels:

Hotel Max & Hotel 100: “Both are hip and cool,” said Shannon

Sheraton : “For best location, rooftop pool, and Chihuly glass throughout,” said Scott Laird. (I can second that!)

Hotel Andra: “It’s quite nice – and Lola (one of Tom Douglass’ restaurants) is on the 1st floor. Mmmm!” said Geraldine

The Edgewater: “It’s right on Puget Sound, amazing views, walk to aquarium and Pike’s Place,” said Allison Carter.

As for things to do with your son, take him on the underground tour of downtown Seattle or have the hotel arrange a tour of the Boeing plant. Take the ferry to Bainbridge Island and have lunch. The scenery on the ride over is just breathtaking. Ride the monorail to the Space Needle. Or just walk around. There are so many things to do and see. A pilot on my last trip went hiking. I’m not sure where, exactly, but I bet the hotel can direct you if you’re interested. There’s a little red trolley you can hop on and off for a quick tour of the city. This might be a good way to familiarize yourself on your first day. Of course you can’t leave Seattle without eating clam chowder out of a bread bowl at Anthony’s. Again, touristy, but I do it on every single layover!

Check out my other Seattle post about Seattle- it’s all about kids, trains, and food!

As well as these other Gadling posts…

10 places to eat in Seattle

Budget Vacations from Seattle: Puget Sound and San Juan Islands

Budget Vacations from Seattle: Bainbridge Island

Photo of the day (8-20-09)

My family and I are currently on vacation in Seattle. So how could I pass up this picture of the Space Needle for today’s photo of the day. Not to mention it was the scene of my first date with my (now) wife back when we were in high school.

This photo by AnBok captures the iconic symbol from the perfect vantage point – just behind Lake Union.

Well done AnBok!

Are you a Flickr user who’d like to share a travel related picture or two for our consideration? Submit it to Gadling’s Flickr group right now! We just might use it for our Photo of the Day!

America from above – can you guess the view?

Skyscrapers and towers in The United States may have been overtaken in height by ambitious cities like Dubai, but the country is still home to some of the most awesome views you’ll find anywhere in the world.

Think you know your stuff? Take the quiz (posted after the jump) and prove it! Five towers, five photos – its up to you to guess where the photo was taken.