99% Food, 1% Skin

Seattle Iron Chefs– Part I

Grateful for my fun and unique culinary experience at the Four Seasons Seattle hotel last night!

A little bit of Iron Chef mixed with fantastic cooking, great wines, fun and intimate setting, and ended up with complete indigestion!

The event was a 5-course meal dinner to celebrate the 5th year anniversary of the Seattle Four Seasons Hotel.

The executive chef of the Seattle Four Seasons Hotel, Kerry Sear invited 4 other west coast Four Seasons Hotel executive chefs for this event: Ned Bell from Vancouver BC, Alessandro Cartumini from Santa Barbra, Mark Richardson from San Francisco and Gilles Arzur from Beverley Wilshire.

The evening started with a cocktail gathering with ample champagne and their special cocktail, Lusty Lady, which looked exceptionally pretty but deadly strong.

I was happy from the cocktail already on an empty stomach especially being a light weight.

The ballroom was decorated colorfully with large balloons and stations where the chefs battled out on amuse-bouche.

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The 5 chef were given 10 minutes and the basic ingredients of Asian pear, flame grapes, micro greens, roasted beets and mixed peppers.

Then, each chef randomly drew 1 of the 5 secret ingredients to incorporate into their amuse-bouche.

We got to watch the chefs prepared the amuse-bouche live in front of our eyes and observed them work.

Chef Alessandro Cartumini got the smoked duck prosciutto as the secret ingredient.

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Chef Mark Richardson got the Dungeness crab.

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Chef Gilles Arzur received the goat cheese.

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Chef Kerry Sears got the croutons.

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Finally Chef Ned Bell got Cheese Whiz.

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The best part was to sample their fruits of labor.

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The smoked duck prosciutto (6 o’clock on the plate) was peppery with a nice smoky flavor.

It paired well with the sweetness of the flame grapes.

I wished there was a sauce or foam to tie all the ingredients together.

I did hear the chef asked his assistant for vinaigrette, but probably ran out of time.

The Dungeness crab (3 o’clock on the plate) was paired simply with slice of roasted beet, pear sliver and crispy micro green.

I took them all in one bite and the burst of fresh flavors of all the ingredient was just so refreshing,

It felt like the bite had flavors in all directions and really woke up my taste buds.

The goat cheese (9 o’clock) was in the shot glass with pomegranate, orange peel and balsamic vinegar added to the mix.

I particularly enjoyed the orange peel addition as it gave a zing to otherwise deep flavors of the goat cheese and balsamic vinegar.

The mini cocktails (12 o’clock) was a mix of grape, match sticks beet, microgreens, Asian pears and croutons with champagne.

I loved the different texture of the ingredients but it was a little too alcoholy and too much champagne in my opinion.

Chef Bell smartly coupled the Cheese Whiz with a horseradish/wasabi like sauce to lighten up the Cheese Whiz (2 o’clock).

Kudos to his creativity.

I am not a fan of Cheese Whiz, but the above combination paired with sweetness of the grape and pear, he managed to sell me the amuse-bouche.

After the amuse-bouche challenge, each course was prepared by one of the chefs.

Each of the chef had to incorporate yet another random secret ingredient into their already planned dish: marshmallow, fruit loops, gummy bears or pig’s ears, by the luck of draw.

Chef Kerry Sear had to add his secret ingredient based on audience’s vote among geoduck, cocoa puffs and salsify.

Throughout the dinner, we had sneak-peek of how the chefs worked in the kitchen via the cameraman who had been following their progress.

Kudos to the Sommelier as well for selecting the 3 super delicious wines which paired exceptionally well with the food.

Up next, details on the actual 5-course meal and dessert!

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