Where’s Chef Howie?

Chef John Howie and Gene Sauers at Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Club - Photograph by AnneMarie Zarba

Monday, October 21, 2019

After an enjoyable week of vacation R&R (golf, sunshine and beaches), I am happy to be back! 

While I was away, our restaurant group hosted groups who purchased experiences we donated to Medical Teams International and Bellevue LifeSpring. I am proud to say we have donated more than $6 million to local charitable organizations since 2002, and I couldn’t do any of this without my big-hearted and hard-working team of managers, chefs and crew members.

For Medical Teams International, six auction winners were treated to a one-of-a-kind educational experience at Seastar Restaurant & Raw Bar that included a sushi-making class with Raw Bar Chef Wayne Taniguchi, complete with sake and ale. Guests were then treated to a specialty cocktail-making class with one of Seastar’s incredible mixologists, Mandy Wong. The evening concluded for this lucky group with a Chef Howie-designed three-course dinner in Seastar’s dining room. I hope it was a memorable evening for these wonderful supporters of a worthy organization. 

On Saturday evening, we planned a special evening for six people who purchased a five-course dinner at Bellevue LifeSpring’s auction. I personally created the menu, which included Japanese Wagyu Nigiri, Herb Crusted Seared Ahi with Black Truffle Vinaigrette, Sea Salt Crusted and Roasted Filet Mignon with Matrie’d Sauce, Flourless Chocolate Cake with Salted Warm Caramel and Vanilla Crème. In addition, our company sommelier and wine director, Erik Liedholm, selected the wines. A great time was had by all. 

This week begins tomorrow (Tuesday the 22nd) with a quick trip to Phoenix for a video shoot that will introduce my new line of products to be featured at Costco. Please keep an eye out for Chef John Howie’s Spicy African Chicken Soup and Tropical Fruit Chutney on your next Costco run. I can’t wait for you to try these items and will be eager to hear what you think (I’ll share more about this very soon!).

I will be back home tomorrow for my 59th birthday, but there is unfortunately no time to celebrate as I’ll be up bright and early Wednesday morning to appear on the Q13 Morning News to promote the Taste of the Seahawks event on Friday, November 1st at CenturyLink Field. This annual event benefits Food Lifeline and Ben’s Fund. I hope to see you there! 

Then, this Friday the 25th is the Special Olympics Tasting Room event at Fremont Studios. I will be there with many other great chefs and more than 400 guests to fundraise for Special Olympics. I plan to serve my Porcini Mushroom Soup with Black Truffle Crème and Garlic Seared Halibut served over Pesto Mashed Potatoes topped with Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Relish, Toasted Pine Nuts and Micro Basil.  

On Saturday the 26th, I will risk my palate to judge the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association’s Chili Cook-Off, with more than 42 entries including a category named “hottest but still edible”. I hope to not only survive but also enjoy the experience. All kidding aside, this event benefits another great organization: Domestic Abuse Women’s Network (DAWN), a group that holds a special place in my heart.    

This week, although packed with professional and charitable commitments, is not unusual for me because supporting our local community is important to me – and I enjoy doing it! I could never do all of this without you and want to thank you for your patronage and support. It is the reason we can give back!