COHO’s Chef Bill Messick

Chef Messick plans to “play with food” this summer as he takes the menu at COHO to the next level.

Chef Bill Messick at COHOLocated in a naturally occurring rain shadow, often referred to as the “banana belt,” the San Juan Islands average more than 250 days of sunshine a year. The effects are amazing. Beyond the obvious happy attitudes, all that good weather brings an abundant harvest.

The islands are home to some of the best crops in the Pacific Northwest. They’re alsosituated among the regions best fishing grounds. This incredible access to ingredients attracts innovative chefs hungry to flex their culinary muscles. Among these knife wielding, sauce simmering geniuses is COHO’s chef, Bill Messick.

To find out what makes him tick and get the inside scoop on what we can expect to eat (aka devour) at COHO this summer, I dropped by just before chef started his morning prep.  (more…)

2 Days in Victoria

History and elegance seem to tumble into the same sentence as “Victoria, British Columbia.” Though this quaint city has certainly transitioned into the 21st Century, it has retained its old world vibe. This provincial capitol is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. On a clear day, you can see stunning views of Washington State’s Olympic Mountains from its shore. A true walking city, there’s little need for a car during this Victoria weekend getaway. When a ride is needed, cab fare anywhere is typically $5 (except for the must see Butchart Gardens).

Friday

6:00 p.m. – Dinner at Barb’s Fish & Chips
After your flight, give those legs a stretch with a stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf as you head to Barb’s Fish & Chips. Opened in 1984, they’re the Wharf’s only floating restaurant. Waits can be long, but their pager system allows for minimal wandering around the dock. Don’t like seafood? This walkup food boat also has a selection of burgers and hotdogs. (310 Saint Lawrence St., Victoria, BC, 250-384-6515) (more…)

The Insides of a Kenmore Air Pilot’s Bag

Chuck Perry Kenmore Air Pilots Bag

When your office floats on the water and flies through the air, you need to be prepared for what the day is going to bring. You’re as likely to end up in Desolation Sound as you are to spend the afternoon soaring over Seattle. With so many potential destinations, a seasoned pilot knows a few items can make all the difference.

Kenmore Air’s chief pilot Chuck Perry is as seasoned as they come. That’s why he carries one of the most comprehensive pilot’s bags around. To get the inside scoop on the tools of the trade, I grabbed a cup of coffee with him before he hit the air for the day.

Here’s what’s in his bag.  (more…)

2 Days in Seattle

Seattle glows in pockets. While the bustling downtown shopping scene is a great place to find the latest sneakers, the real Seattle is tucked into its eccentric neighborhoods and scattered along its fringes. Parks nestle next to homes and against eateries big and small. Statues pop up across the city, resting next to bus stops, underneath bridges, and outside restaurants. Shorelines are speckled with beaches, docks, and views of ferries. Though the frequently drizzling climate might make you inclined to carry an umbrella, it’s hardly a reason to stay indoors. Simply don the Seattleite form of mittens – a strong cup of coffee – and take to the streets.

Friday

4:30 PM – Volunteer Park
Tucked among some of Seattle’s oldest homes, on the north end of Capitol Hill, is a conservatory packed with plants from across the globe. It’s hard to decide which is more beautiful – Volunteer Park’s idyllic setting or the view of the city, mountains, and water from the top of its brick water tower. (If you can pick, let me know.) This century old garden, built by the Olmsted Brothers, offers playgrounds for the tots and strolling for adults. Young adults can frequently be caught starting impromptu games of freeze tag and capture the flag. Warm your hands and your belly at the nearby Volunteer Park Café where they offer a daily selection of house made pastries and warm cups of caffeine.

Volunteer Park – 1247 15th Ave. E, Seattle 98122
Volunteer Park Café – 1501 17th Ave. E, Seattle 98122 (more…)

WaterWorks Gallery Turns 30

WaterWorks Gallery Friday Harbor

For 30 years, Ruth Offen’s Friday Harbor gallery has been showcasing the region’s best artists in a fun, accessible environment.

In 1985, Ruth Offen said goodbye to San Francisco’s fast paced city life. Leaving her big city gallery job, she moved to a place where people lived a bit slower. She came to San Juan Island – a droplet of island heaven where the roads were lined with fences (when they were lined at all) and the views from the shoreline were filled with Mother Nature’s beauty.

On a leap of faith, she opened WaterWorks Gallery in Friday Harbor. Thirty years later, her island gallery still showcases some of the best local and regional talent.

In an industry with a turnover rate that rivals restaurants, we wanted to find out what makes Ruth’s gallery so unique. So I stopped by for a visit and a chat on a lovely April afternoon. Here is a bit of what Ruth had to say.  (more…)