November 2014

Where The Chefs Dine Out

Plus, the new crop of kitchen talent

From this Issue

Taylor Cheney

Pastry chef Laura Pyles was deep into planning and recipe testing for a Huxley Wallace–funded bakery venture when she was laid off in late 2013—and the project from the folks who brought us Westward and Quality Athletics was canceled. But as they say, when one door closes, another one opens.

When you think about what defines a hot chef, how do you gauge their temperature? Is it their success? Talent? Relevance? Accolades? Yes, yes, yes and yes. There is no formula for success, as long as diners leave with that “I just experienced something special” feeling.

Developers have been drooling over Kate Lichtenstein’s property.  Located in a neighborhood filled with small houses, many of which are being torn down, the lot includes her beloved one-story, one-bedroom 1920s bungalow and until recently, a small, dilapidated shed in the backyard.

“Wherever I’ve moved, I’ve always just sort of torn walls down,” says Evgenia Messenger.

They know food—and they don’t need to impress on their nights off—which means chefs have the skinny on the best drinks and dining in town.

At the groundbreaking ceremony for the 12th Avenue Arts building, on a gray day in February 2013, the ground was unavailable for breaking. The Capitol Hill property had been a police precinct parking lot for decades, and the pavement was impervious to ceremonial shovels.

For illustrator Jessica Rose, a 2013 move to the bucolic Methow Valley produced a highly productive form of cabin fever. “The beautiful wood lining in our cabin was so inspiring,” says the mother of two.

Tucked in above the entryway and check-in desk of the Hotel Ändra and en route to the Hot Stove Society cooking school, the Ändra Loft and Bar (Belltown, 2000 Fourth Ave.; 877.448.8600; is a charmingly cool nook of the Tom Douglas empire.

Jen Wood: Wilderness

With her first album since 2010, Jen Wood reveals a bolder, more layered sensibility. Her pretty voice shines over poppy piano riffs, anthemic guitars and smashing cymbals graced with electronica elements. The result feels like rushing forward into hope.

With a grand opening this month, Tacoma Art Museum’s new wing embodies the West in ways both historic and current.

So you’ve always wanted to be a clown. Or learn to tap dance. Or do improvisational theater. Like they say on reality-TV shows, it’s never too late to pursue your dream! Thanks to The Studios Center for Performing Arts (1801 Fifth Ave.; 206.582.3878;, you can hone that dream to a waking-life skill.

In fashion, it’s universally accepted that black is slimming and white adds volume, but that rule is primed to be broken when it comes to interior design. While the natural inclination is to paint a small, dark room a light, bright shade, color experts assert that a carefully chosen dark hue causes the walls to recede, tricking the eye into perceiving a larger space.

They look like decaying movie sets left over from some long-ago shoot. Across Capitol Hill, skeletal remnants of vintage brick buildings are propped up with girders and posts, while huge construction pits gape just behind.

In the days leading up to the Super Bowl last year, a class of University of Washington art history students took their own slant on the citywide fan frenzy—by seeking out the origins of the Seahawks logo.

When I’m hungry, my mind wanders to the sardines on toast ($12, $9 at happy hour) at Renee Erickson’s The Whale Wins. On the menu since the restaurant opened in 2012, this hearty open-faced sandwich of sorts makes a fine meal, especially when paired with crisp, dry white wine.

Another man’s junk is Fritz Rud’s treasure. For the past decade, the West Seattle–based graphic designer has made a hobby of repurposing found objects for his home furnishings, most recently for his 2-year-old line, In his hands, Korean War–era ammunition crates become tables (as seen in the employee lounges at Amazon headquarters).

Richard has lived in Seattle for 32 years. In 2001, he moved into a small, one-bedroom apartment on Capitol Hill, where rent was $650 a month. In 2013, new building owners made some general improvements and then began raising rents. His bill jumped to $1,000. Then $1,200.

White in a kid’s room sounds like a recipe for mystery stains and crayon-covered walls, but it was a color that homeowners Erica Sanders and Charles Dannaker picked for their nursery with zero reservations.

Peggy Piacenza has been dancing for more than 25 years, collaborating with prominent avant-garde choreographers such as Dayna Hanson, Pat Graney and Deborah Hay. Touch Me Here is her first full-length solo piece, a “movement memoir” informed in part by Lotan Baba (the “rolling saint” of India) and the Fellini film Nights of Cabiria.

Tucked away on a sliver of Third Avenue near Jackson Street in Pioneer Square is the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, where exhibits offer a quick course in how law enforcement has worked in Seattle since the first marshal was hired in the 1860s. You’ll see badges, uniforms, guns, nightsticks and the mustachioed faces of the men in Stetsons or blue helmets who kept order back in the day.

For too long we’ve thought of wine and beer like cats and dogs: that is, you are either a cat person or a dog person. As craft beer’s popularity and availability continues to rise and grocery store beer aisles offer more diversity, wine aficionados are discovering that beer affords a comparable tasting experience, with dozens of style categories and wild flavor variations within each.

It's been a year of superlatives–highest minimum wage! First Super Bowl championship! Biggest transportation boondoggle!–and behind each high point (and low ebb) are people turning the wheels of power or agitating at the grassroots. Ten years into Seattle magazine's Most Influential list, we present our picks for the movers and shakers of the year.

Where: Downtown Olympia. Why: To experience the thrill of the hunt at the city’s vintage and antique store circuit. What: Twenty-five eclectic shops, most of them located within walking distance of each other, offer everything from sassy vintage cocktail dresses to decorative knickknacks and historical collectors’ items.

No, it’s not a new dance craze.

1. King Street Supply Co. (666 S King St.; 206.650.2367; acts as the bricks-and-mortar showroom for owners Erick and Apryl Waldman’s thriving furniture brand, Plank & Grain.

Bainbridge Island

Emmy’s Vege House

It’s hard to imagine a truer window into an architect’s mind than wandering the rooms of his own home.

For Jennifer Porter, thinking inside the box led to inspiration: Two years ago, the mother of two elementary-age schoolchildren stashed a leftover box from a gingerbread decorating party in the trunk of her car, thinking to fill it with donations for area food banks.