I always love seeing the majestic and towering Mount Ranier when flying into Seattle. We had given a class at Tom Douglas' Summer Boot Camp four years ago and were invited back to teach a class at his new Hot Stove Society Cooking School located in the elegant Hotel Andra. After we checked into the hotel, we met with the organizers, Janet and Bridgett to go over the mis en place for our class and last minute updates. The evening began with dinner at the Rock Creek restaurant with my family who live in nearby Snohomish: Michael, Frances, and daughter Elyse Beranbaum. We all shared several entrees. Michael had been hearing wonderful things about the restaurant and happily it was located just across the street from the Book Larder where we were schedule afterwards to do a talk and book signing. One of Tom Douglas's chefs recommended the calamari which was truly exceptional. We also loved the veal cheeks and the sea bass. The desserts were a very pleasing rendition of a lime pie and an unusual version of s'mores. Elyse has become something of a baker. She and her high school cooking class were making 200 pies for Thanksgiving to give to charity. After dinner, we all went over the the Book Larder, which is an impressive new store dedicated to cookbooks. The staff had made the Molasses Cakelets and My Chocolate Chip Cookies from the new book. The Book Larder has a tradition of having guest lecturers sign a poster of their book covers. The following day, we discovered what an expanded presence Tom Douglas has in the Seattle area. We walked over to Via6 to begin our day with an interview on his Radio Show conducted by his producer Katie Okumara. She informed us that Tom Douglas has 17 restaurants in the area, which will grow to 20 by the end of next year. He also turned the hotel's second floor, which was mostly a storage area, into the Hot Stove Society's school, kitchen, and bar facility. Tom met me with a hug, a warm, welcoming introduction to the class attendees, and an apology for not being able to stay for the class due to a last minute meeting. Our class was from two recipes in the book, the Cadillac Café Milk Chocolate Bread Pudding and the Praline Pecan Meringue Cookies. Along with chairs and tables for attendees, several people can sit right at the demonstration kitchen island. We invited the class to ask questions as we demonstrated and were taken up on the offer big time. The first question was from a woman who had just posted that very same question on our blog that morning. It was a special moment actually meeting someone in person whom we had met only electronically! As we lectured and made the bread pudding and cookies, the desserts, which were made by several of the class members the day before, were passed out to the class. A wonderful book signing concluded the class, giving us the opportunity to have conversations with many of the attendees, and getting advice as to where to try out the best Kouign Amann (the pastry that graces The Baking Bible cover) in town. For our evening activity and last day in Seattle, stayed tuned for next week.
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