It was before the Internet really became popular and before the madness around food and the super attention you get when you open a restaurant. Through many years of travel and experience, I find myself always drawn back to a more old-fashioned, less modern style of food. Become a better cook instantly with this weekly report of our ten most helpful tips, tricks, and kitchen secrets. I was stunned when I first started buying the herring from Alaska. It won't be hours and hours of prep. Her eye for detail also comes through in names she chose for her businesses: an oyster bar called The Walrus and the Carpenter (named for characters in Lewis Carroll's "Through the Looking-Glass") and produce-focused restaurant The Whale Wins (named for a painting she owns of a giant blue whale.) We do the work for you. She said, “Steamed Dungeness crab with spiced butter”. Chefs do crazy things with nuts. In reality, the 42-year-old self-taught chef has been at work on the story since her mid-20s, when she opened Boat Street Cafe, the first of her four Seattle restaurants. I fell in love with restaurants — the environment, the people, the work. I couldn't believe that all of this fish was turning into fertilizer and dog food. Chef Renee Erickson has access to the best seafood anywhere; when it comes to sardines, she goes with Matiz sardines in olive oil. We started buying 1,000 pounds every 6 to 8 months. At home I don't have as much stuff, partially because I'm not there enough. When asked if she were to cook a dish for Moroccans using local ingredients, which NW dish would you cook? I thought she was crazy. When I had come back from Europe the second time, the owner kept bugging me to buy the restaurant. Q. You'll get our favorite seasonal recipe plus collections of our exclusive editors' picks. You also believe in keeping a well-stocked home pantry. Weighing down the salmon fillet with heavy cans as it cures will press excess liquid out of the flesh to ensure a firm texture. Connect with users and join the conversation at Epicurious. Perspective matters, and with spices it’s good to include them beyond traditional uses. I think they add richness to something without being a lot of extra work and if they're cold they will last almost a year or so in the fridge. Distinguishing characteristics seen also in her restaurant endeavors. A dead-simple shellfish dish that is pure Erickson: ocean-adoring, dairy-rich, fun to eat. Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20). Ingredients tell only one part of the recipe story. Cooking in a restaurant is great because you can be extremely creative and change things all the time. I planned on going back to college to get my master of fine arts and becoming a teacher. "I'm sure there are hundreds of books out there, but I wanted it to be special," says the chef, who describes herself as aesthetically "strong minded." Cut tomatoes in chunks, mix in a bowl olive oil, lemon juice, salt and Aleppo pepper. Erickson's personal take on food is on view in the book, beautifully photographed by Jim Henkens and illustrated by Jeffry Mitchell, both longtime friends of the chef. When I think about it, I think what a fool. Use the same crust to top summer berries, if you prefer. A. I have a painting and printmaking degree from University of Washington. Then I was like, let's see what happens. Cut watermelon into cubes, Mix Sumac, Urfa Biber, Dried Lime, and sea salt well and sprinkle over watermelon and mix well. Don't miss it! The restaurateur extraordinaire Renee Erickson (of Sea Creatures restaurant group, co-founder of The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Barnacle, Bar Melusine, Bateau, Rana e Rospo, and the new Deep Dive in the Amazon Spheres ) was gracious enough to share with us her favorite recipes using VJ spices during our recent lunch. My comfort is, for lack of a better word, farm food — something your grandmother would cook. Add the tomatoes, peaches and coat well. Renee’s kindness and determination to help and support her community moves beyond her relationship to food, to the very heart of her values, and who she is. BJ mixes Villa Jerada Sumac, Urfa Biber, Dried Lime and sea salt to season the salad. She made us a wonderful grilled peach and tomato salad with extra virgin olive oil from a farm we all stayed at in Marrakech and Aleppo pepper flakes grown in Turkey. A. The proverb home is where the heart is comes to mind when watching Renee cook in her kitchen. Believe us you won’t regret it. When I was in college, I started working at Boat Street Cafe in Seattle as a server and really hated it. The book includes more than 70 recipes the chef prepares for gatherings at home and profiles of family members, suppliers, colleagues, and customers from whom she draws inspiration. Q. Both the salmon and the artichokes are poached in spice-and herb-infused liquids, adding layers of subtle aromatic flavor. It’s with gratitude for all her love, support and influence in the Seattle food scene and for cooking us a lovely meal in her home that makes the launch of our 'Meet the Chef' series extra special. I started asking if I could help out in the kitchen. Top with feta and pumpkin seeds and garnish with cilantro. Interview was edited and condensed. The result is a delicate crackly crust unrivaled in the world of cobblers. She then adds the watermelon, feta cheese, toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro. Because of that, I have a big focus on seafood. I'm going to the market and seeing what's there, then going home and cooking it, which is normal for most people in the world. Her simple and elegant style exposes beauty throughout and her love of cooking, culture and ingredients, never hidden, for those too are tucked neatly in all the corners of her home. How I cook every day is pretty simple. How are the recipes in the book different from what you cook at the restaurants? Renee Erickson worked on the concept for "A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus: Menus and Stories" for a year before landing on the right approach, one that balances people, aesthetics, and her favorite seasonal menus from the Pacific Northwest. I'm an untrained cook. Sardines, anchovies, I'm a big proponent of smoked and cured fish. The restaurateur extraordinaire Renee Erickson (of Sea Creatures restaurant group, co-founder of The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Barnacle, Bar Melusine, Bateau, Rana e Rospo, and the new Deep Dive in the Amazon Spheres ) was gracious enough to share with us her favorite recipes using VJ spices during our recent lunch.