For many of us, it would seem like a daunting task: To plan an exceptional holiday dining experience for 240 people. But for Novelty Hill Januik’s Executive Chef Seth Fernald, it is a challenge he is eagerly taking on. Chef Seth is teaming up with guest Chef Justin Severino, James Beard Award-nominee and owner of Cure Restaurant in Pittsburgh, for a “Cure-ated” wine experience on Friday, December 1st. The culinary feast is part of the St. Nick’s Holiday Wine Weekend, a Woodinville tradition in which Chef Seth says he’s excited to be participating. “This is my first time being part of the St. Nick’s event and I wanted to create a truly special menu.”
So how do a pair of top rated chefs plan a truly memorable menu? “We truly find our inspiration from the ingredients themselves,” says Chef Seth. “It’s an accumulation of ideas and possibilities we get from the amazing products that our farmers and foragers provide us. We are truly fortunate to have so many supportive people to work with.”
The partnerships that Chef Seth has fostered with local farmers will literally come to fruition at this spectacular meal. One of the menu items – winter squash with mole, cotija and cilantro – is almost exclusive for St. Nick’s diners.
“I have been bugging my friends at Tonnemaker Farms about a squash called Jester, which I tried two years ago and really liked. The farmer there said that I was the only who liked the Jester squash as much as she did. To my surprise, they grew a whole bunch just for us and didn’t tell me till just a few weeks ago, so I had her set aside a couple hundred pounds. That should be plenty for the party!”
Another selection will feature an ingredient that will transport your tastebuds to Tuscany. The radicchio with apple, celery and walnut is sure to be popular. “We spent a day last week at the Local Roots Farm with Jason and his wife, Siri. We were just blown away by the beautiful radicchios they grow. They are just like what you might taste if you were lucky enough to try some from a farm in Italy,” said Chef Seth.
In addition to the farm-fresh produce creations available at the buffet, Chef Seth and Chef Justin will be preparing exceptional, main-course items at two stations where you can meet both in action.
Chef Seth says the event has his whole team energized and busy preparing. “This will be the start of the holiday party season for my crew and I, so we wanted to kick things off with a bash.”