Now in its seventh year, Taste of Tulalip is the annual opportunity for Tulalip Resort and Casino to flex its culinary muscles, and prove itself a player of note in the Pacific Northwest's food and dining scene. And this year's event, coming Friday, November 13 and Saturday November 14, looks like it will outdo itself, yet again. Here are our top reasons for making the drive north.
1) Wine. Lots of amazing wine. And it keeps flowing! The Grand Taste alone is nearly four hours, pouring over 100 wineries from around the world. Turley and Silver Oak will be there from California, and Figgins and Leonetti are among the top Washington producers. Will former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe be pouring his own Doubleback wines? Who cares, it's delicious either way.
2) Two Words: Magnum Party. Previous years have seen Opus One, Cristal, and Krug Clos du Mensil 2000 poured at this VIP event (included in the All-Access ticket). This year's event will be pouring 1999 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, 2002 Salon Blanc de Mesnil, Quilceda Creek, among others. Go early. Spit often, TASTE ALL THE THINGS!
3) Chris Cosentino, from San Francisco's Cockscomb and Boccalone, is this year's guest judge for Iron Chef-style, Rock -n- Roll Cooking Challenge. In the challenge, chefs from Tulalip's restaurants, plus Seattle-area chefs, team up with a sommelier to create the best dish and wine pairing. This year's lineup includes somms Dawn Smith from John Howie Steak, Kristin Young from Bastille Cafe and Bar, among others. Chefs include Toby Jensen from The Ruins, and Tulalip chefs Nikol Nakamura, John Jadamec and John Ponticelli.
4) Wine writer and educator Anthony Giglio returns to co-emcee the aforementioned Rock -n- Roll Cooking Challenge, along with hosting a Washington State AVA Smackdown wine tasting seminar pitting local favorites against global stalwarts. Giglio is half entertainer/half wine aficionado. At his seminar last year, Eater learned more about Rhone wines in an hour, than we could have learned after reading a half dozen books. This is a guy passionate about making you a better wine taster and consumer.
5) Food. The Tulalip chefs pull out all the stops to impress guests at this event (likely in hopes of luring them back more than once a year). Stations placed among the tasting tables during the Grand Taste feature small bites ranging from seasonal foods, and local seafood, to imported cheeses and Iberico ham sliced to order. There are often crazy, molecular experiments, like last year's peanut butter and foie gras "cotton candy" lollipops.
Grab tickets for Taste of Tulalip here.