Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Winning restaurant family makes splash with Big Fish Grill in

Fresh, inviting, simply perfect!

Contact: Deba Wegner
Recipe for Success, Inc.
Contact: Susie Bauer
SLB Marketing Consultants
Polished casual dining experience debuts June 24th in thriving business district
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Woodinville, WA June 15th, 2011
Seasoned restaurateurs Kevin and Carrie Orrico have successfully operated the popular Big Fish Grill in Kirkland Washington since 2009. Their second Big Fish Grill location in downtown Woodinville is a freestanding building, adjacent to the southern perimeter of the Top Foods parking plaza. The soon to open polished casual restaurant and lounge seats 174 guests in rooms bathed in natural light from many large windows that outline the front and side of the 5000 sq. ft building. Interior appointments are in rich wood tones, a beautifully illuminated back bar and granite surfaces give the restaurant a contemporary, residential feel. Big Fish Grill - Woodinville was designed by Food and Beverage specialist, Sue Genty Interior Design, Inc., of Kirkland, WA and built by Chuck Cross of BCCI, LTD.
“We are thrilled with the robust welcome we have received from the Woodinville community, says Big Fish Grill co-owner Carrie Orrico, we chose this location because we feel our brand of fresh, contemporary cuisine is a perfect fit for the population living here and we are also eager to welcome tourists who flock to the Woodinville wine country. The prospect of highlighting wines and spirits produced in Woodinville is really exciting, to us at Big Fish Grill.”
Big Fish Grill-Woodinville, key personnel:
Kevin & Carrie Orrico
Joseph & Brianna Orrico Owners/Operators
Management Veteran restaurant operators, franchisees and concept developers. In 2009 after years with Pacific Restaurant Group and other ventures Kevin and Carrie took the opportunity to develop their own polished casual concept opening, the Big Fish Grill in Kirkland, WA. Building on that strong success, the second The Big Fish Grill Woodinville, is slated to open June 24.
Kevin and Carrie's adult children work in management positions at the Big Fish Grills.
Jim Giuntoli General Manager Seasoned manager/consultant formerly of Pnk Ultra Lounge, Angel of the Wings, Clear Water Creek ,Tulalip Casinos
Josh Taylor Executive Chef Formerly of the Sun Mountain Lodge, opening Executive Chef Citrus Seattle, Schooner Restaurant, Astoria , OR

Opening June 24th-Woodinville
13706 NE 175th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
across the street from Molbak’s
Big Fish Grill-Kirkland
Open since 1999
10426 NE Northup Way
Kirkland, WA 98033
Hours of operation:
Lunch, Happy Hour,  Dinner
Open 7 days a week
11 am-3 pm
Happy Hour:
Happy Hour 3-6pm 9-close

Monday, June 13, 2011

Resolute Foodie becomes Grocery Outlet Evangelist

High Quality, Unbeatable Prices, grocery basics and quirky selection of extras is a winning retail mix

Part #1: What is it, where are they and why should you care?

            Sweet Mexican yellow pear tomatoes, organic blue cheese, Cabot butter, Black Forest ham, Scharffenberger chocolate, marcona almonds, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Aquastar Tilapia Filets, Harris Ranch Beef, Aidell’s Sausage, Foster Farm chicken, Riedel Glassware, wine and beer, organic health and beauty aids, vitamins: top of the line brands and products, this is a small sampling of the products that friends and I have bought at Seattle area Grocery Outlets since the chain entered our market six years ago.
            I am a fairly, recent convert, I first ambled into the Kenmore, WA location in summer of 2010. I had passed the original Kenmore location for years and was under the impression that only canned and packaged food were being sold there. The new location’s colorful orange and red logo caught my eye behind the free standing Starbucks on SR 522, east of the Kenmore Safeway. I entered and couldn’t believe my eyes, that first day I spent over an hour in the store going down every aisle looking at everything.
            Grocery Outlet is the nation’s largest grocery extreme-value retailer. Grocery Outlet offers brand name products at 40% to 60% below traditional retailers. Headquartered in Berkeley, California, Grocery Outlet currently encompasses 150+ independently operated stores in 6 Western States. Grocery Outlets are located in cities large and small and serve all kinds of neighborhoods. Most stores are independently operated by locally-based families. At this time there are 40 stores in Washington state.
           Grocery Outlet is like nothing I had seen before, there are products you will find at main stream grocery stores: dairy, fresh fruits, vegetable and meats, cheese, frozen foods, health and beauty and the list goes on. Additionally, there are also products and brands you won’t see anywhere else and that is what excites me every week when I go there. Expect the unexpected. I have always been an adventuresome consumer. I was an early adopter of sample shops, and Craig’s List. I go with a general list, but then depending on what is new or seasonal, I put together a menu or a meal plan once I am in the store.
            Don’t go trying to find mustard, especially Dijon, or unbleached flour, I have never seen it. I have also never seen fresh fish, wouldn’t expect to. However, I do, buy individually frozen Tilapia filets from Seattle based Aquastar. I find very high quality, beauty and hair care products, and when I do, I buy multiple jars or cans: tomorrow it might not be there. Early on, I saw a very well dressed women load 14-gallon jugs of 100% Ocean Spray Grapefruit juice into the back of her Lexus. Around Super Bowl this year, I saw a long haired chap with an overflowing cart of Pabst Blue Ribbon at the checkout. In addition, I admit that my pantry holds cases of artichoke spread, jarred red cabbage from a famous maker in Germany, a couple cases of my favorite Duck Pond Pinot Gris and tomato puree in heavy paper pouches from Italy that is truly amazing.
            I have calculated that my saving in the last year has been between 25% – 30 % on my entire grocery bill compared to the year before.  I augment certain items by going to mainstream grocers, but my trips to Costco and Trader Joe’s have also diminished, dramatically. For the record, we are a two person household with very high standards who, these days, cook or have meals stockpiled so that we can eat easily at home 5-6 nights a week. We are doing this for health reasons and economics. We also majorly  entertain friends and family at home at least 3 times a month.
Coming Next:
Part #2 Interview with Madrona (Seattle) Grocery Outlet owner Steve Mullen 
Part #3 Grocery Outlet Dinner-Step by step photos and recipe for a fast, affordable and stunning family meal for 6! 
Herb Brined Foster Farms Chicken w/summer Vegetables a la Grocery Outlet

Monday, June 6, 2011

River Valley Cheese (Update)-images from a cheese making class

June 4th 2011
The woman standing before me was model tall, with flowing ginger colored hair, so beautifully dressed. Offering me her hand, she said, “I’m Julie Steil from River Valley Ranch Cheese, great to meet you!”
I was at an event in Fall City where the farm is located and I stopped dead in my tracks. “This lady is a farmer?” I asked myself.
No doubt, a common refrain for many people who know the cheese, before the woman. Standing in front of Julie, you feel that she is a force of nature: If she can visualize it, it’s going to happen, just you wait and see. In fact, she went from Southern Belle to highly successful corporate executive and since 2005 she and her family are living out her greatest passion: life as cheese producers and farm ownership.
Soon afterwards, I made it a point to go visit Julie in her natural habitat, River Valley Ranch, where she lives with her husband Rob, their blended families and goats, cows, yaks and a temperamental water buffalo. What started as an extreme love of cooking and sourcing the very best ingredients for baking her killer cheesecake, for example: resulted in her and her family trading in their comfortable suburban existence for life on a farm 26 miles east of Seattle. Her intent was originally not to own livestock, but buying raw milk was cost prohibitive in the long run, so the menagerie became necessary.
Visiting River Valley Ranch is possible and encouraged, (so much fun!) River Valley gives tours to school kids, and other interested groups. They present monthly, weekend classes in the art of making cheese, the way Julie puts it: “We learned by trial and (lots of) error, our classes are a great way for us to impart our love of making cheese and our hard won understanding of the process.”
gouda aged 3-4 months
The classes always sell out. I am finally attending a class on June 4th, for which there is still availability, as of this writing. In this class, attendees will be making mozzarella & gouda at a cost of $125 a person. There are a number of future dates, which feature Camembert, one of my all time favorite cheeses. November 19th, for example focuses on holiday cheeses. You can also purchase the cheese at Whole Foods and PCC.
Wearing rubber boots and a jacket will be in order, no matter what the weather brings, the farm and its out buildings are muddy, wet and cool. In addition, with cheeses with names like Naughty Nellie, Valley Girl, Silly Billy, that reflect an acute sense of humor, students are in for a fun, educational and tasty four hours for these Saturdays on the River Valley Ranch .
Note: Julia is going to Itlay for 3 weeks, on July 9th she will be giving a class teaching the cheeses she has learned during her visit....River Valley Class schedule.
Hobby cheesemaker, Karen Bergevin getting ready to make mozzarella.