Monthly Archives: November 2013

Single Malt Scotch Tasting with ARCS Members

Single Malt Scotch Tasting with ARCS Members

The production of Scotch Whisky.

Last week I attended a Scotch tasting and dinner for women only at Jacque & Rick Doane’s beautiful Yarrow Point home that had been purchased at the Seattle Chapter of the ARCS Foundation Auction earlier this year.  It turned out to be the auction item which raised the most money because not only was there room for around 30 women to attend the tasting, there was also room for several husbands of ARCS members to step up and bid on being honorary bartenders.

Dean Thomas Baillie

A real Scotsman, University of Washington Dean of Pharmacy, Thomas Baillie, dressed in his kilt and full regalia led the scotch tasting.  We tasted single malt Scotch whisky (we learned no “e” in the word “whisky” produced in Scotland) from three primary areas of Scotland; the Highlands, the Lowlands and the Isle of Islay.

We tasted The Glenlivet from the Highlands, Auchentoshan from the Lowlands and Bowmore from the Isle of Islay.  My least favorite was the Auchentoshan which I thought had a bitter flavor and I couldn’t decide which I liked better between very smooth The Glenlivet and the heavier smoky and peat flavored Bowmore. We were served the whisky neat, but I found that I liked it much better with a splash of water and for me the flavor opened up more.

It was particularly fun for me to hear him telling about his childhood on the Isle of Islay when his father worked at the Bowmore distillery.  Many years ago in my previous life when I was still in the restaurant business, my then husband and I were

Dean Baillie with map of Scotland

wined and dined and stayed at the Bowmore Distillery.  Bowmore has a very distinctive flavor of smoky peat.  I can still remember running the bath water in our room and because it was water fed by springs which ran through the peat, the color of the water was exactly the same color as the Bowmore whisky!

The honorary bartender group was ably led by host Rick Doane and included Chap Alvord, Matt Rudolf, and Stan Barer. Some of the attending single malt Scotch aficionados included Lynn Thomsen, Susan Potts, Vicki Glant, Lee Brown, Alta Barer, Sandy Carlson, Lynn Mowe, Susan Adkins, Iris Wagner, Amy Rudolf, Kathy McQuaid, Zan Brookshire, Janet McNae, Jean Viereck and Margaret Breen.

SVP Fast Pitch Showdown

Wednesday night at McCaw Hall was the culmination of over 11 months work for ZINO Society in partnership with Social Venture Partners to produce their 3rd Annual SVP Fast Pitch Showdown.  There were literally thousands of details and decisions that were made over that space of time and hundreds of hours invested by entrepreneur innovators, volunteers and staff to present the final 14 pitches onstage in the Susan Brotman Auditorium at McCaw Hall.

In my opinion and from what I heard from many attendees that evening, this 2013 SVP Fast Pitch Showdown was by far the best to date.  Some of the challenges of the past couple of years which included leaky tents, unused assigned seating, an overly long program and registration and name tag snafus were all eliminated and 95% of the event went flawlessly.

The ZINO Society team members including Christine Gilbert, Meg Landies, Claire Dillow, Emma Landis and Ana Ongko, were on their game along with dozens of other volunteers and SVP team members!

Some of the best untold stories of challenges overcome this year were these which I thought you might enjoy . . .

SVP Executive Connector, Paul Shoemaker and SVP Fast Pitch Founder Will Poole did an excellent job of serving as co-emcees at the beginning of the evening.  As the program progressed, Paul’s role was to introduce each presenting Social Innovator onstage and hand them the slide advancer aka “clicker”.  Early in the evening, Paul accidentally dropped the slide advancer and it broke into several pieces with the battery rolling one direction and parts and pieces skittering about the stage.  Paul had to run around the stage finding the pieces and trying to put it back together which everyone saw.  Of course, the slide advancer didn’t work once it was reassembled.

When the slide advancer hit the stage floor, the part of the story that no one saw except a startled usher who told her she shouldn’t run in McCaw Hall was what ZINO Society Dealflow Manager, Meg Landies, who was managing the Innovators backstage, quickly did.  She dropped everything and ran at full speed from backstage all the way through the hallways, stairways and corridors of the bowels of backstage bursting out into the public spaces but still at the opposite side of McCaw Hall from the registration area where she needed to go.  When she arrived, she immediately retrieved the ZINO Society backup slide advancer from her bag and then sprinted all the way back to backstage in record time.  She said she told the usher it was an emergency and that she had to run.  Meg told me she hadn’t run that fast since high school and was nursing pulled muscles for the next two days afterwards.

When it was time for the Awards ceremony, ZINO Society Project Manager for the Fast Pitch event, Christine Gilbert, who had been involved in virtually every detail of the project had the oversize “photo op” checks in place at the raised platform along with the crystal awards that were to be handed out to each of the winners.When the first winner was announced by Paul Shoemaker and Will Poole, Christine stepped forward with the crystal award and promptly dropped it on the floor next to the stage where it immediately shattered.  The funny part was after the crystal award’s untimely demise, Christine just kept standing up straight, smiling holding the empty velvet case in which the award had been sitting and pretended that nothing had happened.  Finally, Bob O’Hara ran forward to pick up the broken crystal pieces while Christine continued to maintain her upright posture in absolute denial that anything untoward had happened.  After that, 2013 SVP Fast Pitch Chairman, Patricia Friel traded jobs with Christine and had Christine manage handing the unbreakable oversize checks to Will and Paul while Patricia handled the crystal awards disposition.  All the rest of the checks and crystal awards made it safely into the recipients’ hands.

For details of who won which awards, please click HERE to read a blog posting by Deborah Drake.

The entire event can be described in one word:  AWESOME!


Hallowestival supporting Northwest Harvest!

Hallowestival supporting Northwest Harvest!

Our devilish hostess, Eliza

Eliza Flug is one of those people that know how to PLAN a party so that everyone has fun!  This year she also chose to make it a time to gather food for Northwest Harvest.

The evening started with a bump in the road when Curmudgeon Ken, refused to dress up for the Halloween Party so I suggested that he could just wear his regular clothes and go as a “Grumpy, Old Man”!  He groused and complained all the way to the party, but then when he got out of the car and got to walk through the spectacular arcade of Halloween decorations and luminarias leading into the house, his attitude began to change (for the better!).

First, I found a place for the canned food we had brought with us and then almost immediately upon our arrival, Jodi Franklin, one of Liffy’s good friends when they were growing up together, was there and she was so pleased to see Ken that she completely charmed him.

Andrew visits with Grumpa Ken

The party was for children and adults and Ken was thrilled to see his three grandsons shortly after we arrived at the party.  The older two, Jackson and Spencer, were not the least interested in seeing him or me because they were having so much fun running in a pack with all the other children at the party.  The children were entertained by a magician, running up and down the ladder to the playhouse and the huge dessert display with LOTS of decorated cupcakes and candy of all kinds.

Andrew with Alicia the Good Witch
Ken with Jody Foster

However, the youngest grandson, Andrew, dressed as a fireman, was happy to see his Grumpa and once I located seats for the two of them, sat next to Ken for a long time just taking in all the strange looking people while concentrating on eating a chocolate cupcake with lots of frosting.  His godmother,Betty Tong and her daughter, Caroline, stopped by to help him with his shoes and to wipe frosting off his face.  Mom Alicia, dressed as a beautiful witch, was definitely his favorite person at the party however and he was happiest when she held him.

Aaaargh!  Eve & Chap Alvord

Caroline & Betty Tong come to Andrew’s rescue

Chap & Eve Alvord were dressed as pirates and their grandchild was dressed as a parrot, Chris Coburn was also dressed as an oversize parrot, Lisa Hess was dressed as one of the characters from Despicable Me, Michael Hatch was a fireman, and Connie Blumenthal was a pirate’s wench.

The food included my favorite pizza from Veraci Pizza plus Nathan’s Hot Dog Stand and when I brought Ken a bratwurst dog with the works, Ken raved that it was the best hot dog that he had ever eaten and could I please bring him another glass of wine.

By the end of the evening, Ken’s attitude had totally changed and he had a GREAT time at the party! Thank you Eliza and Chris!  You really know how to make a party FUN!

A Spooktacular Party!

A Spooktacular Party!

All the witches, ghouls and devils along with cowboys, cowgirls, Indians, pirates, golfers, pimps and mob bosses gathered for a Spooktacular Dinner Party at the home of Arlene Wright.  From Hunt’s Point Road down through the driveway, front courtyard and into the house, every surface was decorated with spider’s webs, bats, pumpkins, witches, spiders, skulls or skeletons!  Though they probably really didn’t, it appeared that Arlene and her daughter, Crissey, must have worked for months just to decorate for the party!  I have never seen such a large collection of Halloween decorations!  What fun!!

Here is a photo gallery of some of the rogues and ghouls included.

Our beautiful hostess, Arlene

Carole the Cowgirl

Jan, the Spanish Lady & Susan, WHO Witch
Cowboy Bob & Penny, the Bee
Ken the Pimp, Gary the Mobster, & Doug, Old Man
Toni the Lamb & Penny the Bee
Mick the Pirate

Cowboy Bob and Indian Princess Kathie

Suzy, the masked one  & Diane as Octopussy
Food as Art (and Delicious too)

Food as Art (and Delicious too)

Gracious host and sommelier, Dan serves Ken

Last week Ken and I were delighted to be included in a dinner party that celebrated the beauty of the table and food as art, but with astonishing flavors too.

I have long been labelled a “chinaholic” and I was in heaven as course after small course of food was served on exquisite antique china with just the right size and shape for each course.  And the sterling silver was also perfectly in place for each as well.

The place setting when we sat down for dinner was exquisite.  And then the first course was a showstopper which was a scrambled duck egg served in the original shell with tiny caviar pearls on top.

It was an incredible menu entirely prepared by our hostess, Michele Heidt, who has incredible culinary skills, and ably assisted by her husband, Dan.  Not only was Dan the primary server, he also served as

Sommelier and dessert chef and didn’t even complain once!

Scrambled Duck Egg

Michele’s theme was “pearls” and luckily all of the women were wearing pearls and almost every food course came with a garnish of edible pearls of some type or another.  If you look closely at the photos, you will see the tiny

Fresh green pea soup with Wasabi Pearls

Tomato sorbet atop poached prawns

Creme Brulee with burnt sugar crust

garnishes.  I cannot remember all the types of pearls included but do remember that there were wasabi pearls and caviar pearls.

The other mesmerized and sated guests included Peggy & Michael Swistak and Lynn & Frank Lindsay.  It was truly a feast for all the senses!