FareStart with Hook & Plow – Food For Good

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I’m a HUGE fan of FareStart.

From their Guest Chef Dinners, to their special gala events full of local foodie fun and top chefs, and most of all their mission…

Great Food.  Better Lives.

What’s not to love about those 4 words?

But, to be exact, FareStart is a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. Over the past 20 years, FareStart has provided opportunities for nearly 6,000 people to transform their lives, while also serving over 5 million meals to disadvantaged men, women, and children.

If you eat in restaurants around Seattle, it’s quite possible someone in the kitchen participated in FareStart programs and with their help turned their life around.

Inspiring!

And if you go to the FareStart restaurant for one of their Guest Chef Nights and get lucky enough to sit through a graduation, well….

Bring tissues.  And if you go with me, bring extra.  I cry every time they get their set of professional chef knives and Encyclopedia of Food book.

TEARS!

Several weeks ago I made a reservation to go dine at FareStart and enjoy food from Chef Kevin Kacprzak from Hook & Plow in Downtown Seattle.  Chef Kevin was there to work with the chef’s in the program and help them learn culinary skills.  Every chef that comes to Guest Chef Night does the same.

Again, inspiring.

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Chef Kevin and the FareStart student chefs prepared a wonderful three course meal that started with a lovely beet salad.

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I’ve fallen in love with beets since moving to Seattle.  Actually, my beet crush first started at last year’s Outstanding in the Field meal in British Columbia.   I’ve eaten them regularly ever since, mostly in my favorite Trader Joe’s beet salad I have at least once a week.  A major topic of conversation at my table actually…

Mutual beet love.

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When this lovely beet salad was presented to us, we were quite exited to try it.

I’d trade in my Trader Joe’s salad for this any day (sorry TJ!).  The beets were fresh and presented with beautiful bold colors on the plate.

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Sweet and fresh, they made a nice contrast to the Seastack Cheese.

Did you know that Seastack Cheese receives a dusting of vegetable ash before ripening to enhance its earthy flavor and visual appeal?  I didn’t either!  But anything that enhances flavor AND visual appeal is a WIN WIN here on food{ie} coloring!

The arugula added a bit of texture to the soft cheese and beets and lemon vinaigrette added just the right amount of flavor and acid.  A delightful salad that resulted in two empty plates.

Happily refreshed by our salad, we were ready when the second course arrived.

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A tender and juicy braised beef rib with broccolini, tomato and potatoes.  A hearty, flavorful, comfort food dish!

The softness of the beef and potato was contrasted by the crunchy, salty goodness of a delicate “frosting” of fried onions.

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A delightfully tasting and COLORful dish!

Feeling full and satisfied by our “meat and potatoes”, we still had room for dessert thank goodness!

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I saw this delightful dish on the menu before arriving for dinner and was anxiously awaiting it!

Lavender….

Mint…

Chocolate…

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It looked even more beautiful than it sounded! I wish I’d taken a picture of the inside of the cake.

A warm, gooey, souffle like filling awaited as I cut into it.

Rich, dark, warm, soft and chewy chocolate.  Dessert doesn’t get much better than this!

Well….actually…

Maybe it does…

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When you add lavender chantilly cream.

I usually don’t eat cream.  Not my favorite dessert topping, but this one I had to try….

Soft, creamy and subtly flavored with beautiful lavender.  Like a puffy, dreamy cloud of taste bud dreams.

Don’t you just want to float on THAT for a while and daydream?

Paired with the chocolate cake…even more delightful.

Chocolate and lavender…

A PERFECT match.  A marriage of bold and feminine.

Add in the beautiful, shiny, fresh berries and the dish goes even further.

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A hint of tartness to balance the sweet.

I could totally live in a world where lavender cream clouds and shining berries filled the sky above.

Talk about always having your “head in the clouds!”  I’d never come down!!

Congrats to Chef Kevin and the FareStart student chefs for another wonderful and inspiring meal.  I’m always so happy to be a part of such a wonderful program and enjoy food….

For good!

Interested in checking out FareStart Guest Chef Night?

Check their Guest Chef Calendar online and make a reservation (they sell out!).

Here’s what you can look forward to for the next few months.

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Also check out the FareStart First Annual Guest Chef Spectacular, featuring 40 Seattle restaurants and wineries!

I’ve been to several FareStart events, large and small, and every one leaves me a satisfied foodie and an inspired supporter.  You won’t be disappointed!

Go.

Buy.

Eat.

Food.

For Good!

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Hook & Plow on Urbanspoon

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