Process & Passion

Process & Passion.

By Mae Jacobson, WAC Associate Editor | Photos by Olivia Brent

Seattle’s a food city, there’s no doubt about it. With thousands of restaurants vying for your palate, where do you start? Here at the WAC, we want to make that choice easy. Step inside our bustling kitchens to taste the passion and unmask the process our team brings to the table every time you sit down. Bon appétit!

Fahrenheit 225!

Executive Chef Eric Floyd’s pastrami sandwich has humble beginnings—a hefty piece of beef from Market House Meats and, as Eric puts it, “a ton of black pepper.” Chef and his team massage fistfuls of coarsely ground pepper into the meat and then cure it for four days. Afterward, it’s straight to the smoker, where sweet hickory surrounds the pepper-encrusted beef at 225 degrees. Fourteen hours later, a cloud envelops Eric as he opens the smoker door and smiles his approval. The sharp bite of peppercorn softened perfectly in a billow of hickory, the WAC’s newest batch of homemade pastrami is ready to slice.

[See more photos and a behind-the-scenes video.]

The WAC pastrami sandwich

Chef Eric's pastrami sandwich with a beer.

Slow-smoked, melt-in-your-mouth pastrami topped by warm Swiss cheese and bracketed by crispy slices of grilled dark rye. Pair it with an ice-cold beer and the snap of a perfect pickle.

Club classic

Each batch of the WAC’s Signature Dungeness Crab Bisque begins with a slow roast of roughly 50 pounds of unshelled crab. The prolonged heat extracts sweetness and depth from the crustacean’s natural saline flavor, a pure taste of Northwest seas. The soup team, led today by Sous Chef Richard Delgado, then cracks each crab and fills a vast stockpot complete with diced celery, carrots and onions. Bay leaves, peppercorn, and whole lemons join the metal crock, lending bright and aromatic properties to the stock. To the side, Richard creates a roux, mixing flour into melted butter until it reaches a sandy dough-like consistency. Roux and stock, strained pure, then join with tomato paste, spices, and butter. Mouths water. A classic, born again.

Signature Dungeness Crab Bisque

A square bowl of WAC Signature Crab Bisque topped with Dungeness crab

A generous serving of fresh crabmeat and a sprinkling of chives top our Signature Dungeness Crab Bisque, adding texture and bite. Served in a square bowl, this WAC classic is comfort by the spoonful.

Pith & Peel

WAC Pastry Chef Lori Masaki has the ovens hot long before the sun rises. Today’s special—lemon meringue pie. Lori prepares the dough, methodically measuring and mixing butter, flour, and ice-cold water into speckled balls that get rolled out, pressed into small tart pans, and baked until just golden. Along the way, Lori juices the lemons, grates peel from pith, and whips up billowy clouds of white meringue. Bright tangy citrus contributes its pale yellow juice and zest to a mixture of eggs, sugar, and butter that bubbles and thickens over medium heat as a faultless curd forms. Next, the meringue and the flame, the beautiful flame.

Lemon meringue pie

Flaky crust, sweet and zesty curd, topped with a mouthful of marshmallow-like meringue toasted to a crackle by the blue butane of Loriís culinary torch. Itís citrus bliss on a fork.

As published in the May/June 2017 issue of WAC Magazine

—Posted May 1, 2017

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