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Photo by Mike Kane, Pike Place Market PDA

November 19, 2016 – September 10, 2017

Edible City: A Delicious Journey

In Seattle, food has always meant more than a meal. The city’s journey from the earliest oyster middens to the modern four-star restaurants is a reflection of Seattle’s geography, history, and people. Edible City: A Delicious Journey serves up the story of how people eat in Seattle, and how urban palates have developed over the years.

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For nearly two centuries, Seattle has been a region whose culinary traditions, like its people, are distinguished by the confluence of cultures, the wise use of natural resources, and the willingness (and oftentimes necessity) to try something new.

Discover the secret history of the Pacific Northwest’s favorite foods: learn the origins of the Rainier cherry, see treasures from the long history of Pike Place Market, get acquainted with the man behind the city’s first sushi bar, and debate Seattle’s signature dishes.

Curated by two-time James Beard Award winner Rebekah Denn, Edible City will be a main course on the city’s cultural buffet.

A Menu for a Delicious Journey

April 2017 is Edible City Month

Celebrate Seattle’s passion for food and culture with Edible City Month – April 1 -30 2017. Experience a month of culinary exploration in this citywide salute to Seattle’s innovative urban palate.

Learn More!

Culinary Roots

MOHAI, PEMCO Webster & Stevens Collection

Raw Ingredients

Raw ingredients from Puget Sound’s diverse geography are the building blocks of Seattle’s cuisine, and salmon is an important aspect of that food culture and economy. This ca. 1910 photo shows salmon fishermen unloading their nets into a boat.

MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection

Processing and Prepping

Dick Yoshimura (pictured here in 1984) founded the Mutual Fish Company in 1947 and is credited with the region’s first live seafood tanks and other innovations. Son Harry Yoshimura runs the business now, still a favorite of chefs as well as home cooks.

MOHAI, PEMCO Webster & Stevens Collection

To Market, To Market

Seattle is known for diverse places to purchase food, and Pike Place Market is world famous. For over 100 years the Market has provided residents—like the shoppers in this 1911 photo—with goods from fresh foods to other fun items.

Seattle PI

Bringing It Home

Puget Sound residents are invested in homegrown food, sustainability, and food equity. One of the few historically preserved farms in Seattle, Marra Farm is a four-acre oasis in the South Park neighborhood whose programs include community gardens, harvesting produce for local food banks, and educational projects.

Seattle PI

Cooking Tech-niques

Seattle high-tech jobs have made its residents look at cooking in a whole new way, leading to some groundbreaking food-tech endeavors. HomeGrocer.com trailblazed the way for online food shopping, and promised to do away with the drudgery of supermarket shopping as a luxurious option in the 1990s.

MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection

Serving It Up

Seattle is a national dining destination with its rich banquet of restaurants that have cultivated a unique Northwest cuisine. When Canlis opened in its Roland Terry modernist building overlooking Lake Union, it offered a rare bit of glamour in unpretentious Seattle.

Eating Around Puget Sound

Eating Up Seattle: How A City Found Its Own Cuisine

How do Seattle foods compare from earlier years to today? Delve into some of the surprising and delicious answers with Rebekah Denn, curator of Edible City: A Delicious Journey, and a panel of the city’s prominent chefs, restaurateurs, and producers.

Panelists included:

  • Ethan Stowell, Chef, Owner, Ethan Stowell Restaurants
  • Kristi Brown, Chef, Entrepreneur, Owner, That Brown Girl Cooks!
  • Jill Lightner, Food Writer, Former Editor of Edible Seattle and PCC Taste magazines
  • Mark Musick, Founding Member, Tilth Association
  • Jean Nakayama, Owner, Maneki Restaurant

Upcoming Events

Seattle's Signature Recipes

What is a Seattle food? Is it seafood, wild mushrooms, berries, or foraged foods? Try out some of Seattle’s signature recipes as tasted by Edible City curator, Rebekah Denn.

Dutch Baby

While the original Dutch Baby recipe invented by Manca’s Cafe is a secret, a version printed by Sunset magazine became one of its most popular recipes ever.

This version is by Sharon Kramis, a founding member of Seattle’s chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and her daughter, food consultant and stylist Julie Kramis Hearne.

Makes 2 servings

Dutch Baby
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 extra-large eggs
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup whole milk
Topping
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

To prepare the Dutch Baby, melt the butter in a 12-inch castiron skillet over low heat. Mix the eggs, flour, and milk in a blender on medium speed until just blended, 5 to 10 seconds. Pour the batter into the skillet with the melted butter.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the top puffs up and is lightly golden, about 25 minutes.

When the Dutch Baby is done, drizzle the melted butter over the top, and then sprinkle with the lemon juice and dust with the powdered sugar.

Cut into six wedges and serve immediately.

Modernist Cuisine Caramelized Carrot Soup

The creative chefs in the Modernist Cuisine cooking laboratory use scientific tools to figure out the hows and whys of great food.

At lab dinners, a centrifuge is used to make this carrot soup, but a pressure cooker alone will work for this home version. The baking soda in the recipe helps caramelize the carrots.

Serves 6

  • 5 cups / 5 medium carrots, peeled (500 g)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (113 g)
  • ¹/8 cup water (30 g / 30mL)
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt (5 g)
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking soda (2.5 g)
  • 2½ cups fresh carrot juice (635 g / 690mL)
  • 3½ tablespoons Stove-Top Carotene Butter (see modernistcuisine.com) OR unsalted butter (40 g)
  • Salt, to taste

Core the carrots by quartering them lengthwise and slicing away any tough or fibrous cores. Cut the cored carrots into pieces 2 inches / 5 cm long.

Melt unsalted butter in the base of a pressure cooker over medium heat.

Stir water, salt and baking soda to combine, and then add with the carrots to the melted butter.

Pressure-cook at a gauge pressure of 1 bar / 15 psi for 20 minutes. Start timing when full pressure is reached. Depressurize the cooker quickly by running tepid water over the rim. Make sure you are familiar with safe operations for your pressure cooker before use.

Blend the mixture to a smooth puree. Pass the puree through a fine sieve into a pot.

Bring carrot juice to a boil in a separate pot, and then strain through a fine sieve. Stir into the carrot puree. Add water, if necessary, to thin the soup to the desired consistency.

Blend Stove-Top Carotene Butter (or additional unsalted butter) into the soup by using an immersion blender until the butter has just melted.

Season, and serve warm.

PCC Emerald City Salad

Healthful and colorful, this is one of the most popular salads in the PCC Natural Markets deli case—and one of the longest lived.

“I’ve been with PCC since the days of pencil and paper recipes and nobody seems to recall the first batch,” said deli merchandiser Leon Bloom. He thinks the mix of flavor and nutritional value is what made it such a hit: “You feel great after you eat it.”

Serves 8 to 10, as a side dish

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ bunch kale
  • ½ bunch chard
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
  • ½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped parsley

Bring 3 cups salted water to a boil; add rice. Bring back to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until the water is absorbed, 60 to 65 minutes; remove from the heat and let cool.

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. When rice is cool, toss with dressing.

Remove tough stems and ribs from greens, and chiffonade (cut into ribbons). Combine with peppers, fennel, green onions, and parsley.

Just before serving, toss veggies with dressed rice.

Beecher’s World’s Best Mac and Cheese

Kurt Beecher Dammeier has led a charge to make Washington cheeses as successful as Washington wines.

Dammeier’s own Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Pike Place Market has won top national awards and wows Market visitors with a close-up view of cheesemakers at work.

Serves 4 as a side dish

  • 6 ounces penne pasta
  • 2 cups Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Sauce (recipe follows)
  • 1 ounce cheddar, grated (¼ cup)
  • 1 ounce Gruyère cheese, grated (¼ cup)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Oil or butter an 8-inch baking dish.

Cook the penne 2 minutes less than package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Rinse pasta in cold water and set aside.

Combine cooked pasta and Flagship Sauce in a medium bowl and mix carefully but thoroughly. Scrape the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the cheeses and then the chile powder. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Note: If you double the recipe to make a main dish, bake in a 9-by-13-inch pan for 30 minutes.

Beecher’s Flagship Cheese Sauce

Makes about 4 cups, enough for a double batch

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 14 ounces semihard cheese, such as Beecher’s Flagship, grated (about 3½ cups)
  • 2 ounces grated semisoft cheese, such as Beecher’s Just Jack
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan over medium heat, and whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cooking for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, salt, chile powder, and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated, about 3 minutes. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Note: A single batch of sauce makes enough for a double recipe of macaroni and cheese.

Angelo Pellegrini’s Pasta al Burro and Pasta al Pesto

Sunset magazine’s first-ever pesto recipe came from Angelo Pellegrini in 1946.

Less a recipe than a loosely written narrative, it was the first time many readers had heard of the now-ubiquitous preparation. The version below is from his classic book, The Unprejudiced Palate.

Serves 6

Pasta al Burro

The recipe for pasta al burro is exceedingly simple. While the pasta is draining, melt a third of a pound of butter (for six portions) in a large kettle. Keep it over a slow fire, and toss the pasta in it briskly until the butter is evenly distributed. During the tossing, throw in three or four spoonfuls of cheese. Add, if you like, some minced parsley. Serve very hot with plenty of cheese over each serving.

Pasta al Pesto

For pasta al pesto, proceed as above, adding to the melted butter the following herb sauce: For a pound and a half of pasta, mince four cloves of garlic and enough fresh basil to fill a cup. The traditional method is to reduce them to a paste in a mortar and pestle, with the addition of small quantities of olive oil as needed. I have never used these implements, but I have achieved, I am sure, the same results with a sharp, heavy, straight-edged knife. A bit of patience and a little time are required, for the mincing must be thorough.

Jon Rowley’s Strawberry Shortcake

Jon Rowley originally developed a version of this recipe for Anthony’s restaurants, finessing it with a team that included then-executive chef Sally McArthur.

When Sheila Lukins (co-founder of the famous Silver Palate cookbooks) visited Seattle, she ate Rowley’s shortcake on a strawberry-picking trip. She was so taken with it, she included a version of the recipe in her U.S.A. Cookbook as the best ever. Rowley recommends using Shuksan or Hood strawberries that have been picked the same day.

Serves 6

For Biscuits
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Rumford baking powder (no aluminum phosphate)*
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces (one stick) butter, chilled
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.

Stir all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Cut the stick of butter into small cubes, and work the cubes into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rough meal. Stir in the milk until the soft dough starts to pull away from the bowl.

Spoon the dough in six equal portions onto the baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with cream. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

*The aluminum phosphate used in most baking powders leaves a bitter, metallic aftertaste.

The Berries
  • 3 pints of ripe, local, June-bearing strawberries
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of sugar

Rinse and hull the berries. Set aside six small, whole berries for garnishing. Slice the berries into a bowl. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons of sugar, and let berries macerate for at least one hour.

Whipped Cream
  • 2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Using an electric mixer or wire whisk, whip the cream with sugar until it forms soft but slightly firm peaks.

Assembly

Slice a biscuit in half. Place the bottom half on a plate. Top with a layer of berries and their juice. Add a big spoonful of whipping cream. Cover with the top half of the biscuit. Then add another layer of berries and cream, in slightly smaller quantities than the first layer. Drizzle a tablespoon of juice over the whipped cream, and top with a small whole strawberry.

Exhibit Advisory Committee

Many thanks to all the individuals who advised and participated in the development of the Edible City: A Delicious Journey exhibit.

  • Armandino Batali and Gina Batali, Salumi
  • Kurt Beecher Dammeier, Sugar Mountain
  • Bettina Carey, Duke’s Chowder House
  • Kathy Casey, Kathy Casey Food Studios
  • Emily Crawford, Pike Place Market
  • Major Cohen, Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Chris Curtis, Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance
  • Judith Dern, Allrecipes
  • Linda Derschang, The Derschang Group
  • Matt Dillon, Matt Dillon Restaurants
  • Bob Donegan, Ivar’s Restaurants
  • Madeline Dow-Pennington, Tom Douglas Restaurants
  • Ben Franz-Knight, Pike Place Market
  • Matt Galvin, Pagliacci Pizza
  • Marcia Garrett, Washington State University
  • Lara Hamilton, Book Larder: A Community Cookbook Store
  • Elise Hebb, Madrona Venture Group
  • Josh Henderson, Huxley Wallace Collective
  • Stuart Holmes, Charlie’s Produce
  • Gayle Johnson, Northwest Harvest
  • Megan Karch, FareStart
  • Melissa Lukach, Modernist Cuisine
  • Denise Moriguchi, Uwajimaya
  • Duke Moscrip, Duke’s Chowder House
  • Erin Moyer, Laird Norton Wealth Management
  • Carol Munro, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
  • Brittany Pollard, Tom Douglas Restaurants
  • Jessica Price, Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center
  • Mike Repass, MOHAI Trustee
  • Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants
  • Sara Walsh, PCC Natural Markets
  • Tracey Wickersham, Visit Seattle
  • Sean Woody, Ellenos

Exhibit Supporters

Edible City: A Delicious Journey is presented by
Media support provided by
Promotional support provided by