Nostalgia Trip, With Beef

AsparagusLast Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend an event with some local food bloggers and other culinary types at Pike Place Market. For no particular reason, I haven’t been down to the Market in for-ever. I walked to the event after work, and it was a great time to be there—still bustling but not so crowded you couldn’t walk around easily.

ArcadeSign

Come to think of it, the crowds are the main reason I don’t go there often. Before we bought our house 10 years ago, we lived in Belltown, and used Pike Place Market as our supermarket, essentially. During the heights of tourist season, I find it hard to go there to shop when most people there just want to take pictures of flowers.

Flowers

Anyway, the “At The Kitchen Counter with Beef ” event was sponsored by the Washington State Beef Commission, and not only did it get me back to the Market, but it showed me a few things I’d never seen before, such as the meat locker at Don & Joes Meat.

Don&JoesSign

I love Don & Joes, and loved hearing how, until the late 1990s early 2000s or so, they used to receive whole sides of beef to hang in the locker. Why not anymore? Because those sides of beef come via 40-foot truck trailers, and it was getting a little bit sticky to back one of those puppies up into the Market.

Corn

We discussed beef cuts and aging (lots of opinions on how long to age!) and then went on a walk through the market while visiting chef Dave Zino shopped for the produce to go with the beef cuts he would be cooking up for us in the Market’s Atrium Kitchen.

BeefMenu

We started with a sample of three different beef appetizers, each paired with their own cocktail. Then Chef Dave cooked up a trio of beef dishes, accompanied by explanations of the best ways to cook different cuts. I now know what to do with a whole beef tenderloin, should I choose to ever buy one.

ChefDave

A small portion of beef with a heaping helping of veggies…just like I like it!

BeefSalad

BeefVeg

We also had an interesting discussion about local feeding practices with fellow dietitian Jackie Madill, director of consumer information for the Washington State Beef Commission, and Bridget Elliott Coon, director of digital strategies and blogger at Ranch Wife Life. I’m bummed that my schedule didn’t work out to go on the commission’s tour of a Washington beef ranch and slaughter house (I firmly believe that if you choose to eat meat you should be willing to see how that meat gets to your plate), but hopefully next year. In the meantime, I was glad to have been invited to this event, to meet some new people and to reconnect with a few food bloggers I met at the International Food Blogger Conference last fall in Seattle.