Letter From Chef Thierry
Fall is here, and the harvest is in full swing!
The air is crisp and cool, leaves are falling, mushrooms are popping everywhere, quince are ripe ready to pick, and I am starting my jams and compote for Holiday gifts.
I recently did a trip to Bordeaux in France, visiting Chateau Lafite Rothschild, drinking Legende wines and harvesting grapes at Chateau Rieussec. Needless to say, that both Scot Smith our Beverage Director at Loulay and yours truly ate and drink way too much, however all of it was very delicious. We had a wonderful dinner at Garopapilles, visited the oldest bakery in Bordeaux with a 300 years old oven, stroll through the Marche, had a sunset boat ride in the Bay of Arcachon and ate many oysters and mussels along the way. We had the honor of watching a barrel maker build a barrel at Chateau Lafite and taste some very wonderful Barons de Rothschild Champagne, Chateau Lafite, Chateau Duhart-Millon, Chateau Rieussec and Legende wines. I recommend to anyone interested in wines to visit Bordeaux, a city that has changed for the better over the last 15 years.
Fall menus are also in full throttle at both restaurants. Chef Mike Landon at Loulay is braising boneless beef ribs with pickled vegetables for lunch sandwich and roasting black cod with green lentils, chard and guanciale. Chef Andrew Yanak at Luc has added duck breast, chanterelle mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, black currant-peppercorn reduction on the menu along with our traditional Boeuf Bourguignon, a crowd pleaser. He is also working hard on Seattle Restaurant Week our bi-annual local restaurants promotion.
This time of year, is also the time to remember those folks with less, left out in the cold. Don’t forget to give a hand or some of your fortune to those in need.
October is also the month when I launched our line of fragrances made with our fantastic, local artisanal perfumer, Molly Ray. “Working with Molly was such an incredible discovery and a fun way to compose a scent, I cannot wait to do more”, see below for our promotion.
We are slowly gearing up to the holiday season, Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, stay tune for more info coming in soon.
We truly appreciate your support, we cannot do this without you. We look forward seeing you in soon.
Thierry & Kathy
On October 1st, we welcomed guests to support the launch of Chef In The Hat Fragrances. Joined by our friends at Barons de Rothschild Champagne, Seattle Magazine and Remy Martin it was a lovely evening. I am especially grateful to my dear friends and the community of Seattle who supports me and my culinary and artistic visions.
Molly Ray and I would like to thank those of you who have followed this journey to launch. We are delighted to share our artisanal products with you. For the month of October use code: PUMPKIN at checkout to get 20% off as well as free shipping.
Nearly 600 guests gathered on October 4 for FareStart’s 23rd Annual Great Food, Better Lives Gala Auction at the Skybridge at the Washington State Convention Center.
A dream wine dinner sponsored by Chef in the Hat brought $23,000 for the cause. The donation was a custom multi-course feast for 10 created by Celebrity Chefs Thierry Rautureau and Tom Douglas paired with Opus One Wine. Previously to dinner a tasting of Bordeaux First growth along with Chateau Cheval Blanc and d’Yquem.
It was a grand evening bringing together FareStart’s Board of Directors, auction committee, event sponsors, hospitality partners, donors, guests and volunteers who helped raise more than $1.2 million to support FareStart’s culinary training programs for the homeless and disadvantaged.
Steamed Penn Cove Mussels and Fennel with Saffron
Penn Cove mussels from Whidbey Island are some of the best mussels available locally, and one of the trademark Northwest products.
4 shallots thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, halved, plus 1 pinch minced garlic
3 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs parsley
1 fresh bay leaf, partly torn
10 whole white or black peppercorns
2 cups dry vermouth
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons Pastis or another anisette liqueur
1 plum tomato halved
1 teaspoon saffron threads
1 1/2 pounds live Penn Cove mussels scrubbed and debearded
3 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Finely minced shallot
Green fennel fronds
Combine the shallots, halved garlic cloves, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan. Add the vermouth and wine, bring just to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
While the broth is reducing, trim the stalks from the fennel bulb and discard, reserving some of the tender fennel fronds for garnish. Halve the fennel bulb lengthwise and cut out the tough core. Separate the layers of fennel, trimming away any tough or browned portions, and cut the fennel, with the grain, into 1/8-inch slices. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, then add the olive oil. Add the fennel and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pinch of garlic with salt and pepper to taste, toss to mix, and continue cooking until the fennel is just barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Add the Pastis, very carefully light the alcohol with a long match, and flambé until the flames subside. Set aside until ready to serve.
When the broth is reduced, strain it into a large saucepan, pressing well on the solids to remove as much flavorful liquid as possible. Add the tomato and saffron to the broth, return to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mussels, cover the pan, and cook until the mussels have opened, shaking the pan gently once or twice, 3 to 5 minutes total. Begin checking for opened, cooked mussels after the first minute, scooping them out with a slotted spoon into a medium bowl; continue to check for and remove cooked mussels every 20 to 30 seconds. Discard any mussels that still aren’t open after 5 or 6 minutes of cooking.
Return the cooking liquid to a boil, adding back to the pan any accumulated juices from the bowl of mussels; cover the mussel bowl with foil to keep warm. Boil the cooking liquids to reduce by one-third, 5 to 7 minutes. Slip off the tomato skin and discard it.
Whisk the crème fraîche into the saffron broth and set aside to cool slightly. Transfer the broth mixture to a blender and process until smooth, working in batches if necessary (Blending hot liquids like this creates extra pressure within the blender container; it’s important to firmly hold down the lid while blending. A chef trick is to cover the blender with a kitchen towel, to catch any drips or splatters.) Add the butter to the blender with the final batch. Strain the broth through a fine sieve and return to the saucepan to keep warm over medium heat. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper to taste. Reheat the fennel over medium heat and remove the mussels from their shells.
To serve, spoon the sautéed fennel into the center of warmed shallow soup bowls. Arrange the mussels around the fennel. Ladle the hot broth over the mussels and scatter shallot and chives over the mussels. Top the fennel with a frond of green fennel and serve right away.
Makes 4 servings
Holiday Parties and Meetings Mezzanine
Friends of Loulay this holiday season we encourage you to book the mezzanine. This luxurious second floor space seats up to 32 guests and provides standing room for up to 40
Seated Dinner Capacity: 32 separate tables or 20 at one table board room style
Food and Beverage minimum Sunday – Thursday is $1,500
Food and Beverage minimum Saturday and Sunday is $2,500
*December is an additional $500 to the minimum, due to overall demand
Preset menus are required for all parties above 12 guests
Balcony is available for $1,000 extra and accomodates 25 additional guests – standing
Please email email@example.com to book or call (206) 402-4588
Social Gets Cozy
Luc and Loulay will focus on the current menus and offerings. Fragrance will highlight the various artisanal products, and Chef Thierry's account will be a lifestyle and chef tutorial page. This week we did a meringue how to; next up carmelized onions for the Autumn recipes!
We've implemented this change so you can engage in what pleases you the most as social has become a very crowded space.