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Food critic Ruth Reichl keynotes May 20 Premier Chefs Dinner

Thirteen renowned local chefs create a multi-course adventure to fund the next generation of scientific innovators at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

SEATTLE– May 4, 2012 – Author, food critic, and former Gourmet magazine editor Ruth Reichl will be featured as keynote speaker alongside 13 headliner chefs and seven vintners at the annual Premier Chefs Dinner on Sunday, May 20. The 21st annual fundraising event, a delectable five-course culinary adventure to propel a new generation of scientific leaders at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, will be held at Sodo Park by Herban Feast.

Participating local chefs include Eric Banh, Monsoon; Kurt Dammeier, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese; Renee Erickson, Boat Street Café; Ted Furst, Le Grand Bistro Americain; Matt Janke, Lecosho; Shaun McCrain, Book Bindery; Tyler Moritz and Aleks Dimitrijevic, La Bête; Donna Moodie, Marjorie; Kyle Nicholson, The Bluff; Tamas Ronyai, FareStart; Jason Stoneburner, Bastille Café & Bar; and Blaine Wetzel, Willows Inn.

Reichl, who has received six James Beard Foundation awards, served as food editor and restaurant critic for The New York Times and editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine. She is currently an editor-at-large for Random House and a judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” as well as the author of several bestselling cookbooks and memoirs.

Premier Chefs Dinner guests will enjoy an appetizer course prepared by Chef Wetzel, featuring Lummi Island sockeye salmon smoked with green alder wood.  First-course selections are by chefs Erickson and Furst: a stinging nettle soup and poached spot prawn with lemon peel and mint crème fraiche, and a petit bouillabaisse en coquille St. Jacques.  

For the second course, Chef Janke will serve house-made cavatelli pasta with roasted wild mushrooms, English peas, mint, and Pecorino Romano; while chefs Moritz and Dimitrijevic will create a rabbit terrine with foie gras and morels and a salad of English and snap peas with arugula and chive blossoms.

Main course selections include Chef McCrain’s pan-roasted halibut with a creamy brandade – served with pickled ramps and foraged mushrooms – and Chef Stoneburner’s braised beef cheeks with sweet pea lovage puree and a spring vegetable salad.

The cheese course will be prepared by Dammeier, featuring cheese sushi topped with Beecher’s Flagship Cheese and consisting of a bacon farro wild rice cake with cherry calvados, a cheese crust with apple pecan compote, and black rice with Thai chili paste. Chef Ronyai will create the dessert, a Bainbridge Island strawberry napoleon with rhubarb consommé and milk chocolate marshmallows.

Reception and dinner wineries include Barrage Cellars, Domaine Serene Winery, Firesteed Cellars Winery, Forgeron Cellars, Guardian Cellars, Martedi Winery and McCrea Cellars.

The Premier Chefs Dinner includes a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind culinary experiences, including an afternoon one-on-one with Ruth Reichl to explore her favorite haunts in New York City. The dinner is presented annually by the Premier Chefs Dinner Advisory Board and the Magnolia Guild. Tickets start at $250 per person; $350 VIP ticket includes an autographed book and exclusive reception with Ruth Reichl. All proceeds help fund the next generation of scientific leaders at the Hutchinson Center and vital research. More information is available at

Christi Ball Loso

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At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, our interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists and humanitarians work together to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Our researchers, including three Nobel laureates, bring a relentless pursuit and passion for health, knowledge and hope to their work and to the world. For more information, please visit