In town last night, world famous James Beard Award-winning chef José Andrés was scant on details for the restaurant he will open in the Phillip Starck-designed luxury SLS Hotel coming to the new Fifth and Columbia Tower in 2017, but he had good reason. He and his team need to get to know the area better first to be properly inspired, and they are planning many a visit our way to do just that.
Andrés did provide that, not surprisingly, it will be the same Bazaar concept he has launched in Beverly Hills, South Beach, and Vegas, which plays out uniquely in each city. What maintains throughout these differently cultured restaurants is the spirit of a market, which he cited as being a historic meeting point for people, and a "pumping heart" in the host hotels.
While his ideas for our already market-rich city are just developing, he did imagine that we might see "a touch of Spain, a touch of Washington, a touch of the sea..." It seemed he could go on. Oysters seem highly probable, as he mentioned a trip to Taylor Shellfish earlier in the afternoon, and expressed enthusiasm for connecting with local farmers and oyster producers during his upcoming trips here. He has also been busy with a collaboration with Deschutes Brewery in Bend, OR, so the possibilities are many. Lastly he said that the design of the new hotel and restaurant will inform the cuisine and the overall experience. Considering that it will include the preservation of the historic Seattle First United Methodist Church, the outcome will be guaranteed impressive.
As a final note, though Andrés was speaking globally and not in direct relation to Seattle here, he communicated a "dream" that worldwide, we would see more diversification of food sources and see food brought closer to cities, where more people live, by way of "rooftop farms" and other urban agriculture. That spirit already prevails here, but still. What kind of imprint will this Spanish chef have on our city? It's already getting interesting.