ACS Travelogue: Day 2

Yesterday’s food-filled first day in Seattle concluded with an all-you-can-eat seafood display on the waterfront. Good friends from around The States and Europe spent the evening catching up, filling each other in on cheese discoveries, and marveling at the view:

Cheese Nerds Assemble

Poor guys never had a chance

Sun Setting on the Olympic Mountains

And today, Thursday…what a day! We started bright and early with a keynote address and, of course, cheese:

Breakfast of Champions

7:15am…First cheese plate of the day.

After a quick meet-and-greet, our first class of the week: The Importance of Terroir in America. Our panel of experts included Ivan Lercher, Mateo Kehler and Janet Fletcher. I will not bore you with the details here, but please feel free to ask the next time you are in the shop. If you are into bacteria and enzymes and how they affect the flavor of cheese, it is really quite enthralling.

An hour later, I found myself back at Pike Place Market for lunch. In my two days here, I have noticed that the general culinary theme is simplicity. The land here yields large, fresh, flavorful fruit and vegetables, and its adjacency to the Pacific ensures the freshest possible sea food. Case in point: Market Grill. Even the name is simple.

Clam chowder was perfect:

But the real star was the blackened salmon sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion and rosemary mayo. Its all prepared right in front of you:

And all the ingredients shine, nothing is gratuitous. Served on fresh-baked bread, it is simply perfect:

A few cheese classes later and we were off to the Seattle Aquarium for the official opening ceremonies, sponsored by the Oregon Cheese Council. More cheese than fish, really, but everything tasty:

Carlos from Zingermans kindly modeled his clogs:

Emilio reacts accordingly

But, again, it was really all about the view:

We rounded out the night with cocktails at Zig Zag, tended to by Murray Stenson. Some local gin provided the perfect nightcap to another day of big eating.

More to come tomorrow…