Bellingham Alive | NSLife August | September 2015

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Wine & Cheese from Washington State




Dan Ollis, Whidbey Coffee Family man Mud runner Coffee connoisseur

Each and every one of us is an original. Shaped by unique inuences that make us who we are today. Here at Heritage Bank, we think differences can build a better bank, too. That’s why we share the best ideas from across all of our branches and local communities with one goal in mind: to serve our customers better every day. By sharing our strengths, we’re able to offer customers like Dan Ollis—and you—more than a community bank. But rather, a community oƒ banks.

W H AT ’ S YO U R H E R I TAG E? | 800.455.6126

© 2015 Heritage Bank Member FDIC

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Drive the Porsche that saw the sky as the limit. Then broke it. Limits were meant to be broken. Built around a proven mid-engine design, its handling places it firmly atop the roadster class. And its technology ensures it stays there. Like the available Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK), which makes quick, seamless shifts, and Direct Fuel Injection (DFI), which creates even more efficient use of the increased horsepower. With such constant improvements, it's no surprise that the Boxster has made Car and Driver's 10Best list an impressive twelve times. Visit our showroom today and experience the Boxster that broke through barriers. Porsche. There is no substitute.

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“Music washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life.�

(Quote by Berthold Auerbach)

Positive. Uplifting. Encouraging.

Stream | Mobile |


entist Say Ahh...

Show off your canines.




Sehome Professional Center | 405 32nd Street, Suite 100 Bellingham | | 360.715.3333

Northwest Neutrals Fall Fashion This year for our fashion feature, we get back to nature with earth tones and neutrals at the lovely Lakedale Resort in Friday Harbor.


66 Power Couple: Wine and Cheese from Washington State We profile several Washington wines and local cheeses for this feature about the world’s great power couple — wine and cheese.







Necessities Wine & Cheese

78  Meet the Chef Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa

LIFESTYLE 17  Bravo 369 Flight Foundation 18  By the Numbers 19  Lasting Image

81  Dining Guide

36  Savvy Shopper Perfectly Paired

82  Review Over Easy 21  Calendar August | September


84  Sip Summer Wines

23  In the Know Renovations at the FIG 86  Mixing Tin Hendrick’s Cooler 23  Wonder Woman Christine Destry

39  Farmers Markets 87  Seven Great Tastes

24  In the Know Spice Hut GMO-Free



45  Sunnyland Attic Update 89  Featured Event Color Run 5k

25  In the Know Kona Bike Shop Opens

90  Around Town Marrowstone Music Festival

25  In the Know Washington Beer Awards

94  Out of Town Book-It Repertory Theatre

25  Apps We Love 26  Community Skookum Kids 27  Book Reviews

95  The Scene Beer & Jazz Festival



27  Who Knew 28  Five Faves Sparkling Wines

48  Into the Woods

30  Travel Swiftwater Cellars

66  Power Couple: Wine & Cheese

8  Editor’s Letter 10  Contributors 13  Letters to the Editor


14  Meet a Staffer Devin Winsby 96  Final Word

76  Cosmos Bistro

August | September 2015


NOTES On the Web

Be sure to check us out at: Submit your events on our new calendar! Do you have an event that you would like our readers to know about? now offers an events calendar where viewers can search by venue, event type or city. Go to and submit your event today. Once your event has been approved by our editorial staff it is live.

Online EXCLUSIVE Lakedale Resort Written by Frances Badgett

Join us on

Fall Fashion


Go green with a digital subscription.


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Furry Friends

Wine & Cheese of the NW



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NOTES Editor's Letter

“Wine and cheese are ageless companions, like aspirin and aches, or June and moon, or good people and noble ventures.” M. F. K. Fisher


e all met up on the way there, the ferry gliding over the water, islands floating past. The scene was something out of a dream, models and photographers, blankets and bagels, the stillness and anticipation of a big shoot. From Friday Harbor to Lakedale Resort, the road curves and undulates through pastureland and hillside until you reach the woods. The management at Lakedale greeted us with a huge breakfast that included omelets and coffee. Our photographers went into the woods and scouted for shots. It was a gorgeous day, slightly overcast giving way, at one point, to a gentle rain. The light was perfect. The air was slightly autumnal, which complemented the layers of neutrals that our models wore so well. The result is Into the Woods, this year’s fashion feature — three friends on a weekend retreat who know the perfect way to end the summer. Summer’s end also means harvest, and harvest means wine. Lots of wine. We brought together wine and cheese for this year’s feature — our own, proud Washington wines, and local cheeses. A visit to Samish Bay creamery takes you right into the refrigerated storage shed full of wheels of gouda, ladysmith, chevre, and more that are created by Suzanne and Roger Wechler. Ruth Appel at The Cheese Shop at Appel Farms greets everyone with the warmth of an old friend. And there’s the welcoming crew at Golden Glen, who also whip up artisan butter. Ted Seiffert at Seiffert and Jones guided us through our wine selections for our wine and cheese feature. And we would be remiss if we hadn’t included Perfectly Paired in our Shop section, whose lifeblood is pairing wine with passion, precision and knowledge. It’s hard to imagine on a day like this, the sun streaming in through the windows, the grass parched to dun, the soil dusty dry that summer will end soon. Soon, the rains will turn our culverts into streams, streams into rivers. Soon we’ll curl up in front of the fire with a glass of wine, a nibble of cheese, and enjoy the sound of the rain on the windows. Until then, let’s savor what’s left of the sunshine and shade, of warm days and shoreline breezes, of wine and friends — all of our ageless companions. Cheers,


Even Dorothy just wanted to find her way home. If only she’d had a really great real estate agent. Perhaps all the adventure of the munchkins and the yellow brick road, flying monkeys who were really scary when you think about it and the wicked witch of the west could have been avoided.

Don’t we all have a little bit of Dorothy in us? Running away from one thing hoping to find something better.

Welcome home to Semiahmoo–where

you start looking for a home and you end up with something much greater. From the Championship Arnold Palmer Golf Course to the Semiahmoo sandspit, you clearly know... you’re not in Kansas anymore. I’ve always known there was a better way to practice real estate. A better way to tell the story of the home and the magic of the place. I love this land and sharing its hidden secrets that draw you near and holds you fast. Glenda the good witch had it right all along...

There’s no place like home!


Whatcom County...Even when it rains, I shine! Managing Broker 360-815-4718


NOTES Contributors

Jennifer Adler Jennifer Adler M.S., C.N. is the author of Passionate Nutrition, A Guide to Using Food as Medicine from a Nutritionist Who Healed Herself from the Inside Out. Jennifer is also the owner of the company Passionate Nutrition, which offers nutrition counseling and online classes.  p. 39

every girls dream shoe closet ... and more!

Zacchoreli Frescobadli-Grimaldi

HOURS MON SAT 10-6pm SUN 11-4pm 1315 RAILROAD AVE Bellingham. WA

Zacchoreli grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and has lived in Bellingham with his partner of 17 years and their two zany dogs. He is a Cordon Bleu Chef, has a master’s degree in English Studies from Western Washington University, and is a grant writer for a non-profit organization. He and his partner enjoy wine, traveling and anything that has to do with the culinary arts.  p. 74

Lisa Dills Lisa Dills was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where she earned her teaching degree from WWU and taught for a number of years in Skagit County. She left teaching to homeschool her two sons and during that time began a photo a day blog project ( and has never looked back. Lisa continues to make time for her photography while hiking and has even been known to search for Bigfoot on occasion.  p. 19 360-540-0280

Kristoffer Arestol Kristoffer has worked as a photographer for about 10 years now. He has worked in portrait, landscape, food, wedding, and editorial photography. After living in central California for 3 years, he decided he belonged in Washington. Since moving back home he is always trying to spend time traveling to new places in the area and enjoying the simple things about the PNW. His two children Elin ( 4 years ) and Maddox ( 9 years ) keep him inspired and full of life.  p. 64


Bellingham COMING OCTOBER 2015

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

-Abraham Lincoln

nsl northsoundlife

PUBLICATIONS Bellingham Alive North Sound Life North End Metro


ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Babette Vickers | Tina Ruff

LEAD DESIGNER Kelsey Wilmore



WRITERS Kyla Rohde | Dan Radil

CONTRIBUTORS Jennifer Adler | Kristoffer Arestol Zacchoreli Frescobadli-Grimaldi


EDITORIAL ASSISTANTS Lisa Dills | Lynette Martinez | Marilyn Napier


2013 Clients Choice Awards




Focused On Your DUI Defense

1514 12th Street, Suite 100 • Bellingham • 360.306.8136

K & L Media, Inc. 909 Squalicum Way, Ste. 110 Bellingham, WA 98225

SNOHOMISH COUNTY OFFICE 6100 219th St. S.W., Ste. 480 Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043


Cover Image © Kristoffer Arestol


Down by the Sea

Letters to the Editor


The Sea to Storefront feature in the latest Bellingham Alive wasn’t just beautiful, it was very informative. I had no idea there were so many great options for dining on seafood in our area! Thank you, and keep up the good work! Bonnie, Bellingham


Trails and Tales


I hike. A lot. And your trails feature was really good. Even I made some discoveries in there, and it’s great to get an update on the Reconveyance.


Jim P., via email

Plus Great Trails & A Summer Fun Guide JUNE | JULY 2015 DISPLAY UNTIL JULY 31 $3.99 US • $4.99 CAN

Kids Northwest an Old Favorite

1506_BA-NSL_1_Cover.indd 1

5/20/15 9:33 AM

I’ve been shopping at Kids Northwest for more than a decade — first for my kids, then for my grandkids. It’s so great to see them recognized in your beautiful magazine. Mike and Janet are so hardworking and so kind! Lois R., via phone

North_half page_H.pdf



11:36 AM












Which Event Tickles Your Tastebuds?


August | September 2015


NOTES Meet a Staffer Every issue we highlight an employee ­­ of North Sound Life.

Devin Winsby Inside Sales, Marketing and Events Coordinator

What is your role at the magazine and how long have you been with North Sound Life? I’m relatively new — I started with North Sound Life in April. My officialtitle is the Inside Sales, Marketing and Events Coordinator — it’s a mouthful. Usually I just tell people I do a little bit of everything. I’m in charge of running our digital media, putting together our events, working along side our account executives, and much more! What is your background? I am originally from California but have lived in Washington most of my life. I moved to Bellingham to attend Western, and when I graduated in December, I just couldn’t leave. My degree is in marketing and I am thrilled that I get to use it every day. What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine? I have found my favorite part to be planning the fantastic events we put on. I love Meet the Chef, and I am so excited for our latest — Sips of the Season, coming in early August. I’ve also gained such an appreciation for this area by working for a lifestyle magazine. It’s entirely different than anywhere else I’ve traveled, it’s truly something special. Being able to explore and experience all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer is such a treat. 14

What are some of your hobbies and interests? I’m discovering a passion for cooking and baking, which I think has a lot to do with working for the magazine. We’re all total foodies here, as you might suspect! I love adventuring and being outdoors. You can find me outside anytime the sun’s out — and this summer has been fantastic for that. I also have a golden doodle, Truman, and we do agility; he absolutely loves it! 

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LIFESTYLE In The Know · Calendar · Spotlight Artist · 5 Faves



f your children grow up studying the dramatic U.S.-led mission to deliver planes to Russia through Alaska, you’ll have Whatcom residents Craig Lang and Jeff Geer to thank. In her remarks giving the Bravo 369 Flight Foundation Congressional recognition, U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene read into the record, “I want to recognize the efforts of the project’s co-founders, Craig Lang and Jeff Geer. Mr. Geer, who serves as the President and Chairman of the Bravo 369 Flight Foundation, will pilot his own plane as part of the project. I applaud their work to educate and inspire the next generation of aviation enthusiasts.” The project really begins in the battlefields of Russia in 1941. The United States had yet to enter World War II when Hitler engaged Operation Barbarossa, his failed, yet brutal, campaign to conquer Russia and creep ever-closer to our northernmost border in Alaska. President Roosevelt watched in horror as the war slogged on and …

continued on page 22

LIFESTYLE By the Numbers Jeff Geer and Craig Lang of the Bravo


flight foundation will recreate the Alaskan-Siberia ferrying route from Montana to Fairbanks. p. 22



Paired keeps

Today’s Variety While You Work!

kinds of cheese in stock during the


holidays. p.36

Brooklyn is wearing a

BB Dakota

jacket from Cheeks in our feature Into the Woods. p.49

We included a


Chanterelle Syrah in our Power Couple


wine and cheese feature. p.68

Chef Sullivan used U-

sized scallops at our Meet the Chef event in July. p.76

WHERE THE LOCAL WINES ARE BEST PAIRED WITH ADVENTURE. OPEN UP to Snohomish County. Just 30 minutes north of Seattle, there’s a treasure trove of adventure waiting for you to discover.


We profile the Color Run

K as our Agenda opener




Lasting Image


Lisa Dills Photography

"Love's the only thing in this world that is unequivocal. There are different kinds of love, certainly, but it's a you-do or you-don't proposition with them all." HARPER LEE, GO SET A WATCHMAN

August | September 2015 19



e of th






This is your chance to tell us who is your favorite in the Northwest!

Businesses from Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan Counties are eligible. Winners announced in our October/ November issue and on Kafe 104.1 starting October 1.


To vote online,

July 15–August 30

Presented by:






Subdued Stringband Jamboree Deming Log Show Fairgrounds August 6, 10 a.m.

Birch Bay Discovery Days Birch Bay Beachpark Property August 29, 10 a.m.

Classic Car Cruise-In San Juan Lanes Bar and Grill September 4, 6 p.m.





Lincoln Theatre's Brewfest on the Skagit Downtown Mount Vernon August 8, 4 p.m.

Greekfest St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church September 10–13, 11 a.m.





Prozac Mountain Boys Woodstock Farm August 16, 2 p.m.




The Shadies Bellewood Acres August 28, 6 p.m.

Bike-In Movie at the Pickford Pickford Film Center September 14, 7:30 p.m.


August | September 2015 21


Germans decimated the Russians. Almost 30 million Russians lost their lives in World War II. The Russian air defense was crippled within the first two weeks of the invasion. Not one to sit back and watch, FDR came up with a plan to aid the Russians — he would secretly send warplanes to Russia through Alaska to help them fend off the Germans. He created the Lend-Lease Act of 1941, which gave the U.S. permission to aid in the defense of our allies despite our role as isolationists. Given the rigors of flying over Alaska and Siberia in secret, the plan was audacious, and it would take special pilots to get the planes from the home base of Great Falls, Montana to Fairbanks. According to, it was one of the most brutal transportation projects of all time. It was known as ALSIB, or Alaskan-Siberian Air Route. Geer found the route after planning a trip to Alaska. “I read the Cannibal Queen about a retired aviator who bought a Boeing Stearman to do a flight around the lower 48 states with his son.” Geer initially thought he’d fly the lower 48 in a Cessna, but then he checked out on a Stearman. “And then I got interested in flying to Alaska.” As he researched different routes to Alaska, one route kept popping up — a route that followed the Alaska Highway. “We learned that 8000 planes flew that route to Alaska during World War II. Then we learned the Alaska Highway was built to support that route.” The two friends began researching the route and found the secret mission. They decided it needed to be a commemorative trip and an education project, not just a hobby trip. This all started eight years ago. “It’s all been a roller-coaster ride,” said Lang. Geer decided to fly in a lovingly restored and sturdier T-6 Texan. Since making that huge decision, many pieces fell into place for Geer and Lang. The flight has also increased U.S.-Russian diplomacy. Geer and Lang have attended events at the invitation of the Russian Ambassador to the U.S., and they are going to Moscow at the end of the flight to meet with Russian officials who will commemorate the event. World War II had such a profound effect on Russia, our diplomacy then, as now, is of great importance to Russian leaders. The historic route began with WASPS, or Women Airforce Service Pilots, who brought the planes from factories and bases to Great Falls, Montana. These brave women were trained like fighter pilots and lived on bases as regular fighter 22

pilots. They were flying enthusiasts, barnstormers, and daredevil queens, women who wanted to join the military, but were relegated to staying home because of gender restrictions of combat. Twenty-five thousand women applied to be in the WASP, and of those, only 1830 were accepted. 1074 passed the training. Washington State had several women participate in the WASP program, and Dorothy Kocher Olsen (pictured above at her recent 99th birthday celebration) participated in the secret mission to Siberia. Eleanor Roosevelt said, "We are in a war and we need to fight it with all our ability and every weapon possible. Women pilots, in this particular case, are a weapon waiting to be used." Between 1942 and 1944, the women of WASP delivered 12,650 aircraft, and they flew every make and type of WWII aircraft made. Thirty-eight WASP pilots lost their lives flying in missions. They were sent home without any military honors for civilian burial. In 2009, they were finally awarded the Congressional Medal of Gold. The WASP pilots handed off to the 7th Ferrying Squadron, men who flew the rest of the U.S.-portion of the ALSIB. They handed off to the Russians, in what Craig Lang calls, “The greatest relay race of all-time.” As Geer and Lang stand next to the Texan, polished and shining in the sun, it’s difficult to imagine the harsh conditions that the pilots of WWII had to endure. “Mechanics worked on the planes in -40 degree weather. The oil would be frozen, their fingers would be frozen — it was brutal.” Worse still, they had to keep it all a secret. The Japanese were in the Aleutians, and knowledge of the transports would have brought the war inland. The journey was fraught and dangerous, and these ferrying squadrons were not viewed as brave heroes at the time, because they weren’t combat pilots. But they proved their mettle, if only in secret. After the war, the contributions of those who ferried the planes were fogotten. The entire operation remained an obscure footnote in history. Geer and Lang will change all of that. The project is sponsored by, which runs one of the largest MMO war video games in the world. Their sponsorship has been key to the success of the mission. As with the WWII-era friendship of Russia and the U.S., none of this history would come to life now without the friendship of Lang and Geer. 

FIG Undergoing Renovations



he Family Interactive Gallery of the Lightcatcher Museum — one of the most prominent play spaces in our area — is undergoing renovations. The museum plans to keep the FIG open as much as possible during the renovations, but there has been a closure because of dust. The FIG is an interactive play space, with loads of handson activities all set around a theme of harmony with nature and environmental stewardship. The FIG has several regular programs for kids, including Art Adventures, Little Sprouts Learning, Toddler Art, the FIG Art Club, and the FIG Art Club Workshop. The FIG Art Club Workshop is an art workshop for kids 5 and older. The programs at the FIG complement STEAM learning, encourage artistic expression, and foster toddler exploration. Guests should check for updated information. All scheduled programs will continue as planned. The renovation means that some exhibitions will be rearranged, some will be replaced, and new ones will be introduced. The museum staff took public comment on what the community would like to see happen in the space, and they are incorporating as many of those ideas as possible into the new redesign. The renovation should be complete by the end of the summer. 

Christine Destry


he average lifespan for any development position in the non-profit world is about 17 months; Christine Destry has far surpassed the norm while in her eighth year as development director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County. Her seniority in the position says a lot about the kind of woman she is — passionate and determined. Destry admits that work in the nonprofit sector is not an easy responsibility to take on. She oversees all the development that serves the 6000 children in Whatcom County, raises money, develops community partnerships, engages donors, and the demanding other tasks that it takes to keep a non-profit organization funded and continuously improving. Her workload is that of several people, and she does it all. Her career path began in 1998 with AmeriCorps VISTA, a national program that focuses on education and training programs in underprivileged areas. “I realized I was fearless at asking for money and being a voice for kids in the community.” Her passion for kids is what drove her to the Boys & Girls Clubs. “When I did my year of VISTA service I got to see a lot of kids that didn’t have anything,”

she said. “It was really hard to watch as we as a society have these expectations of families and individuals but we don’t give them any resources and tools.” The Boys & Girls Clubs aim to support kids in academic success, good character, good citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. A network of volunteers mentor kids and help them create goals and achieve them. Her love for her job is evident. Destry is always trying to find ways for the clubs to serve kids better, whether it is providing them fresh food for dinner or teaching them how to advocate for themselves. “We do the right thing for the right reason every time, how can you not love that.” When asked what the best part of her job is, Destry answered without hesitation that it was the opportunity to say thank you to those who volunteer, donate money, and contribute in any way to the organization. “They don’t have to show up, but they do. I get to witness the best part of what happens when everyone shows up… being able to thank them and remind them of that is the best part of my job.” Destry wants to help people have a better understanding of why getting involved is important. She said having a clear and grounded expectation of nonprofits is a a lot to take on. “Our overhead won’t tell you the kids’ lives we are changing and who learned to read at the club, or the kids who don’t get dinner at home so they get dinner at the club,” she said. “Telling you what my overhead is doesn’t tell you about those kids, and I'd rather tell you about those kids.” It seems Destry is nowhere near the end of her time in non-profits. Her enthusiasm when talking about her work and the rewards that come with it appear to immensely outweigh any difficulties she may face in such a demanding position. “There is no room for anything other than what is best for the kids,” she said. “The stakes are high and the pressure is high but that is what I signed up for, I love it.”  August | September 2015 23




ne step in the door, and the aroma of anise, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and clove welcomes you. For eleven years, Spice Hut has been offering the best world spices and teas in the area. To add to their pedigree, they are renewing their GMO-free certification from the Non-GMO Project. “Getting Non-GMO certified is just as tough as it was the first time,” says President Mundir Sidhu. “Each ingredient has to be checked, the source of each ingredient has to be checked, and you have to have your own facility, or a facility that is acceptable.” That level of detail may seem daunting for retailers, but Sidhu said that it’s worth it. Her son, Spice Hut CEO Tanvir Sidhu agreed. “It’s so worth it. Just like organic certification, it’s important to our customers and to us.” Spice Hut recognizes that Bellingham consumers are discriminating about organic and certified GMO-free products. And though it hasn’t happened yet, there are few places on the market where the temptation to genetically modify products is greater than with spices. The price points can run from fairly moderate to saffron — one of the most expensive spices in the world. The promise of genetic modification is that it would bring these products to market in abundance and with ease, making them easier to source, 24

and, ultimately, cheaper. Additionally, Mundir pointed out that when you buy a spice that has been certified non-GMO, you are also getting the spice you’re paying for. “Producers collect other, cheaper flowers and claim they are saffron, and sell them as saffron, and they aren’t.” So being non-GMO certified also ensures the quality and purity of the products. Spice Hut’s products are also organic. There’s no added salt to the spice mixes. And most importantly, the Sidhus buy all of their spices whole. “I grind and blend everything in small batches,” said Mundir. This ensures freshness and quality. Their spices are of such quality, that area chefs have Spice Hut create their signature spice blends, which Spice Hut keeps proprietary. “We partner with twenty local restaurants,” said Tanvir. Being GMO-free allows them to bring a new level of reassurance to chefs and restaurant owners, who can then market their dishes as GMO-free to consumers. That kind of chain is very important to area consumers, and important to the Sidhus. So what’s next for Spice Hut? “All of our chais are organic,” said Mundir. “We’re going to get them certified GMO-free, too.” It’s a big project, but an important one for the Sidhus. 

The Kona Bike Shop [ APPS WE LOVE



ounded in 1988 by Dan Gerhard and Jacob Heilbron, Kona has become a well-known name in the biking world — and it all started here in Whatcom County. On June 20, the owners opened a massive 6600 square-foot retail store in Bellingham. Cory Blackwood, Sales Representative for Kona said, “Bellingham is home, we have been based out of Whatcom County the whole time.” Beyond the one small retail shop that Kona has in London, The Kona Bike Shop here in Bellingham is the first of its kind, said Blackwood. The amount of space at the Bellingham location has provided the company the opportunity to have every model they make available in-store. The London store doesn’t have the space. Kona is known for their mountain bikes, but their top-seller is a road bike. Store Manager Matt Hoffmeyer said, “Bellingham is becoming a biking destination.” Blackwood agreed and said, “With the new cycling lanes and with what is happening on Chuckanut we wanted to be here to help facilitate new things in the [biking] community.” The massive shop is a bike gallery — a wonderland for biking enthusiasts, with bikes in various colors, bikes hanging from the walls, and rows of parked bikes. Other than a bike retail store, they offer service repairs, community bike gatherings, and even hot dog roasts. “Letting people see who we are and being transparent is what we are all about.” 

Washington Beer Awards

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ellingham breweries recently swept the Washington Beer Awards, which included entries from 107 Washington breweries and 716 beers. The craft beer competition is designed to support and give recognition to Washington’s professional brewers, as well as constructive feedback for future entry decisions. The judging for the annual award is unbiased. The awards also give Washington craft beer state and national awareness. “It shows people the craft beer force that Bellingham is becoming,” co-owner of Bellingham Tap Trail Scott Pelton said. “We are becoming the beer town that so many towns want to be.” Beer winners include Belgian-Style Wit and Session Beers from Aslan, Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout and Wood & Barrel Aged Beer from Boundary, to name a few. Pelton said it is pretty amazing that every Bellingham Tap Trail brewery won an award this year. Beginning with Boundary Bay in 1995, breweries and beer have continued to grow in popularity in Bellingham. “Boundary laid the framework for what we know as a Northwest IPA,” Pelton said. “Chuckanut came along right after that and introduced a completely different spectrum of beer that people weren’t used to.” By February 2016, there will be 12 breweries in the area, meaning Bellingham will have more breweries per capita than Seattle. Stone’s Throw Brewery in Fairhaven is one of a few new breweries that are set to open sometime in the next year. “These breweries are instigators of culture and it’s pretty exciting,” Pelton said. The Washington Beer Awards are run by the longest running organizers of the largest beer competitions in the Northwest. Judges have their Master Judge certifications. Open registration for the competition is March 1st - March 31st. 

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August | September 2015 25



“There needs to be a facility like this in every county in the state.”


ll the best nonprofit stories start with a curious, concerned citizen walking into a public meeting and moving from curious or concerned to activism. In the case of Skookum Kids, a new non-profit in Whatcom County, founder Ray Deck III walked into a community meeting led by local preacher and neighborhood advocate Rick Qualls. The topic of the February 2013 meeting was how to handle the thorny situation on Squalicum Way. “I was at a table with Laurie Alexander of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and there was a speaker talking about a program that takes foster kids for 72 hours. She muttered under her breath, ‘We need that here.’ And I said, ‘I’ll do it.’” Though a bit skeptical at first, Alexander stayed in touch with Deck and introduced him to her contacts in the child welfare community. He organized a team and began working on a plan. Skookum is Chinook for strong, brave, forthright, hardworking, and tough. This seems like an appropriate way to describe both the emotional resilience and strength of foster children, for their child welfare advocates, and for the caretakers who provide homes for them. For foster children, the first 72 hours are critical — the fear, confusion, self-blame, and trauma of being taken from a family of origin and placed into a stranger’s care can lead to further trauma if not handled well. “Entry into foster care is very bumpy,” Deck said. And that’s where Skookum Kids comes in. Skookum serves as a triage from the home to foster care, easing the need for emergency care and lifting the burden of last-minute placements on foster parents and DSHS caseworkers. A foster parent himself, Deck knows the difficulty children face in the foster care system. “Our first placement had been 26

moved six times in one month.” He modeled his program on that of the speaker of the February meeting — Hand-in-Hand. An organization in Everett, Hand-in-Hand is the first facility in the state of this type. “We are very much standing on their shoulders,” Deck said. Hand-in-Hand worked closely with Deck to establish Skookum Kids, answering questions and offering resources. Hand-in-Hand has expanded their programs to include various types of emergency housing as well as child welfare support like school supplies, clothes, food, and basic necessities. “There needs to be a facility like this in every county in the state.” Skookum Kids is entirely volunteerrun, with the directors all still working regular day jobs and pitching in when they can. It takes a special kind of dedication to make that effort successful, and they have. The first big hurdle for Deck was finding a facility. Hillcrest Chapel had an empty parsonage, and they offered it to Skookum Kids free of rent for two years. “That enabled us to open quickly and efficiently.” Other churches and community leaders in child welfare have pitched in and supported Skookum Kids. “Foster care gets a lot of press as an abstract concept,” Deck said. “We hear about kids aging out, but no one talks about entry. If we get that part right, we’ll have fewer problems down the road.” The average foster child is moved three times in the first 72 hours. According to the Skookum Kids website (, foster children are three times more likely to suffer the effects of PTSD than a soldier returning from a war zone. Thanks to Deck and his team at Skookum Kids, our area’s most vulnerable children — and those who help them — will be much better off. 

Book Reviews


Pour a glass and enjoy these wine-inspired reads which will enhance and complement the tannins in your Syrah. True Taste: The Seven Essential Wine Words by Matt Kramer Cider Mill Press

From the author of Making Sense of Wine and columnist for Wine Spectator, this book aids writers and oenophiles alike in the way they describe wine. Every culture has a language, and for wine, the language can be a bit obtuse. What exactly is a wet stone finish, or a mossy mouthfeel? In his book True Taste: The Seven Essential Wine Words, Matt Kramer refines the approach to wine with words like harmony, layers, texture, finesse, and nuance. Will this book revolutionize the way people talk about wine? Probably not. But it’s still interesting to find new ways of exploring the complexity of one of our favorite beverages.

Uncorked: The Science of Champagne by Gérard LigerBelair Princeton University Press

Re-released in 2013 with a new forward by Hervé This, this classic is a must-read for anyone who shares Liger-Belair’s love of champagne. A physicist, Liger-Belair was savoring a beer one night, and became obsessed with the rise and pop of the bubbles. He began photographing bubbles, and studying the science behind bubbly drinks. This work led him on a natural path to studying one of the great bubbly drinks — champagne. Uncorked is a journey through the history, creation, and molecular gastronomy of champagne.

In the Know


August 31, 7 p.m. Open Mic with Laurel Leigh 1200 11th St. Bellingham, WA 98225 Grab a few of your best efforts, sign up, and join host Laurel Leigh in sharing your work in front of a supportive audience of fellow writers and readers. Poems and stories should be inspired by Whatcom County, but that’s not a requirement.

September 26–29, 11 a.m. Chanticleer Authors Conference & Awards Banquet Bellwether Hotel 1 Bellwether Way, Bellingham, Learn about book marketing, building a platform and engaging readers, distribution and sales, and more at the Chanticleer Authors Conference. Four days of information on the business end of books, this conference is open to both those who have published, and those who have not.

WHO KNEW? Local Fashion Does our area have a style? We think maybe. Texture Clothing has the drape and softness of bamboo combined with the need for performance in yoga, paddleboarding, yogapaddleboarding. We also have NuuMuu, performance dresses that are both boldly patterned and yet tough enough for the Ragnar.

Lummi Dress? Designer Julienne Weston created the Lummi Dress for Weston Wear, a label carried by fashion mavens Anthropologie. We’re not sure if it’s named for the island or the nation, but either way, it’s described as an “adventurous wink” and a “boho summer staple.” It does not, incidentally, look remotely tribal, nor does it incorporate a fleece vest at all, so we’re still puzzled about the name. It has been discontinued, probably because it didn’t really seem worth $158.

Lummi Dress Redux? A website called MonShowroom also has a dress named Lummi as well. The dress is short, casual, in heather gray with a nice tucked detail. We’re not sure where Ichi (the designer) got the name, but it certainly speaks more to a casual, relaxing weekend on Lummi Island, or a nice afternoon taking in the canoe races at Stommish than Weston Wear’s Lummi.

Actual Lummi Dress In his photo “Lummi Type,” Edwin Curtis captures a Lummi woman wearing a woolen cloak and a lovely star-patterned shirt or dress underneath. In a turnof-the-century photograph of a Lummi family in traditional dress, the patterns are bold and clear. Stars, war paddles, and other iconography of Lummi culture are visible.

August | September 2015 27




TREVERI CELLARS 79 GANGL ROAD, WAPATO, TREVERICELLARS.COM Moderately priced but exceptionally high quality, these sparkling wines created in the traditional MĂŠthode Champenoise style are served at every major event from White House receptions to the James Beard Awards gala. The Grieb family makes it their mission to put Washington sparkling wines on the map.




Garnering an impressive 88 points from Wine Spectator, the Michelle label from Washington powerhouse Chateau Ste. Michelle is universally excellent. The Luxe is perfect for that very special anniversary, whereas the award-winning Michelle Brut Rose is a great brunch sparkler.



The Good in Bed sparkling wine from those sassy upstarts at Hard Row to Hoe is a cheerful and delicious sparkler perfect for the night before or the morning after. Located near Lake Chelan, Hard Row named themselves for a water taxi driver who delivered ladies of the evening from Lucerne to Point Lovely in the 1930s. So yes, they’re professionals.



This brut rose is highly desirable and sought by wine collectors. A rich brut rose, its pure salmon color and fine bubbles make it worth the effort to hunt it down. 470 cases have been produced. The grapes are grown at Celilo, which has the perfect terroir for chardonnays and pinots.



Also working in the art of Methode Champenoise, but among the few to do so, is Karma Vineyards. Their fine sparkling wines are stored in a 3000 square foot cave. Their Blanc de Noir is a very special treat, with a rich, almost smoky flavor and creamy texture.

August | September 2015 29


Swiftwater Cellars WRITTEN BY DAN RADIL


estled in the heart of the Cascade foothills, Swiftwater Cellars offers stunning wines, access to nearby golf courses, fine dining, and a pristine production facility with capacity for large-scale banquets and weddings. Simply stated, in terms of Washington wineries, a visit to Swiftwater is unlike any other. Swiftwater Cellars is located less than five miles north of Interstate 90 off exit 80 near the town of Cle Elum. Although it’s a separate entity, the winery is situated in the middle of Suncadia Resort, a 6000 acre wonderland that boasts a lodge and spa, vacation homes and condos, and three golf courses. But wait, there’s more! The facility also includes capabilities for corporate functions, private parties, and a nearby 2500-seat amphitheater for outdoor concerts of any music genre. One might think that all of these amenities would dwarf the winery itself. But Swiftwater more than holds its own with a spacious sub-ground production facility and barrel room that’s climate controlled as finished wines mature prior to their release. While a standard winery tasting room usually consists of a tasting bar, limited seating and perhaps a few knickknacks or pre-packaged foods for purchase, Swiftwater, quite naturally, takes a different approach. The tasting room is adjacent to the Hoist House Restaurant, where lunch and dinner menu 30

items can be prepared and happily delivered to your table while you enjoy wines by the taste, glass, flight or bottle. (Try the Okanogon Steelhead, a mammoth 32-ounce salmon that’s cooked to perfection and served on a cedar plank with beurre blanc.) Or, if wine’s not your adult beverage of choice, there are rotating beer taps, martinis, and plenty of specialty cocktails on hand from which to choose. If you’d rather taste your wines in a more traditional manner, the semi-circular bar is available for “standup tasting,” while knowledgeable staff members are always on hand to advise you of all the specifics on what’s being served each day. Andrew Wisniewski heads up the winemaking duties at Swiftwater, where he’s been on staff for over two years. Despite his youthful appearance, Wisniewski has had plenty of experience, including five years as Cellarmaster at Stoller Family Estate in Dayton, Oregon. Wisniewski works with wine grapes sourced from some of Washington’s finest vineyards in the Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley, and Horse Heaven Hills Appellations. The winery also produces several pinot noirs that are primarily sourced from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Other current varietals include Semillon, Riesling, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot.


The winery features three distinct labels: The entry-level No. 9 (in reference to the site’s long-abandoned No. 9 coal mine), the mid-range Zephyr Ridge (denoting the Horse Heaven Hills’ Zephyr Ridge Vineyard), and the top-of-the-line Swiftwater label. Each label offers specific wines at different price ranges without a compromise in quality on any level. Recently, Bellingham Alive Food Columnist and Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Zacchoreli Frescobaldi-Grimaldi prepared a multi-course meal paired with Swiftwater Cellars wines at a private dinner at the resort. The chef had the opportunity to sample the wines in advance and plan the menu around each wine’s flavor profile accordingly.


pairing partner with creamy cheeses, such as the brie used in this course. Wine: Swiftwater 2010 Pinot Noir Food Pairing: Pate with Truffles and Caille d’ Oeufs de Mayonnaise An earthy flavor profile along with reserved fruits of black currant, dried plum and spicy accents make this an ideal Pinot Noir to serve with rich foods such as duck, salmon, or in this case, a beef liver paté.

Wine: No. 9 2013 Riesling (since sold out) Food Pairing: Coconut Prawns in Curry Sauce This extraordinary Riesling displays generous melon flavors and a sassy touch of orange zest. The wine’s acidity easily cut through the creamy curry sauce and a trace of sweetness contrasted perfectly with the slight spiciness of the food.

Wine: Swiftwater 2010 Proprietary Red Food Pairing: Breast of Duck with Berry Reduction Sauce, Almond Haricot Vert and Sautéed Mushrooms Toffee and caramel aromatics start you off on this five varietal blend, with intense dark fruit flavors and a slightly smoky finish. Grippy tannins suggest the wine could benefit even more with additional cellaring, or when aerated properly, it’s an excellent choice with braised duck, pork roast or anything beef. 

Wine: Zephyr Ridge 2013 Chardonnay Food Pairing: Pea Soup with Grilled Brie Cheese Sandwiches A brighter, leaner Chardonnay than most, there’s still a good measure of baked apple and buttery oak to be a worthy

Swiftwater Cellars is open daily from 11:30 am to closing except during the winter season when it is closed Monday and Tuesday. Phone (509) 674-6555 or visit

August | September 2015 31

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TRAVERSE th September 19

WELLBEING Menu · Spa Review · Races & Runs · Beauty

Support the Bounty of Local Farmers Markets WRITTEN BY JENNIFER ADLER M.S., C.N.


eep burgundy cherries picked this morning, crisp rainbow chard, perky and welcoming; fresh eggs hand gathered from chickens with names — the display of colors, smells and sounds of a farmers market is a feast for all of the senses. The dizzying array of vegetables, fruit, and products proudly displayed is a refreshing reminder of life’s essentials. Tantalizing samples beckon your attention. However despite this gorgeous display of food, often in its most succulent and healthful form, I often hear dismay about the cost. Shoppers wonder, how could I possibly spend two dollars for an heirloom tomato? In our consumer-driven culture we expect food to be inexpensive. We enjoy one of the cheapest, most abundant food supplies in the world. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average proportion of household income that Americans spent on food in 2013 was under 13 percent for the middle income quintile, though the proportion was highest for those in the lowest income quintiles, reaching 36 continued on next page  …


percent. Still, the average allows for more than 60 percent of the American consumer’s disposable income to be spent on things other than food, such as housing, transportation, leisure, and recreation. Still when many of us buy food, we look at the register and sometimes feel like we are spending too much. However in comparison to many other countries, our food is still a bargain. Where we direct our resources often reflects what we value. While the relatively low prices for food could be good news for American consumers, it has not necessarily translated well to the producer. In our food system a fraction of what consumers spend on food goes to the people who grow it. Farmers receive less than half of what they used to get, on average 16 cents per food dollar, the remaining 84 cents departs the local economy and goes toward shipping, food processing, and marketing. Another reason why food is so cheap is that the U.S. subsidizes the major agricultural commodities through a system that favors large farming corporations. Between 1995 and 2004 the US government paid $144 billion in agricultural subsidies. Seventy-two percent of these subsidies were granted to just ten percent of U.S. farms. This suggests that big industrial farms received far more money than smaller operations. Buying food directly from the farmers who grow it not only ensures that your food is as fresh, nutritious and delicious as it can be. It also means that those farmers are receiving not sixteen cents on the consumer food dollar but the full dollar. That makes farming a far more viable means of earning a living. By supporting our local farmers it is helping to support these families in December by whatever they make in August. As noted author Barbara Kingsolver said, “They can’t put their unsold tomatoes in the bank.” There is an abundance of farmers markets in the Pacific Northwest and they are growing all around the U.S. More than 3700 markets registered with the USDA in 2004, which was more than double registered a decade earlier. In 2014, the national count of farmers markets topped 8200.




Besides the kudos for supporting local farmers and access to the freshest most healthful ingredients, farmers markets can enhance your health without even making a purchase. The life and vitality in the air is contagious. Energy generated at a farmers market by people coming together in community is also very nourishing. The festive atmosphere is far superior to the intense fluorescent lights of most grocery stores. The feeling of connection is invisible and yet very palatable. Joe Fulton, fiddle player of The Tall Boys — an old time string band that plays at the U-District and Ballard farmers markets — loves seeing people of all ages dance and smile among the bushels of kale and spicy radishes. He really feels like part of the farmers market community. He notices the same smiling faces week after week and talks to many visitors in addition to the farmers. Studies have shown that people who attend a farmers market have more social interactions than at a conventional grocery store. Visiting the farmers market can help lower blood pressure simply by being amidst the solace that it provides. I have clients who are devotees of farmers markets, not only because of their ideals but also because the number of social interactions that they have helps them feel calm and connected. It can be an oasis to break up the stress of the week. Farmers markets are social outlets for me. I meet with the farmers that I know by name and talk about the cows that also have names. We connect and relate getting outside of our social isolation that gets created by nuclear families with televisions and headphones on constantly, separating us from each other. We share our thoughts and perspectives and remember what is really important in life. It would be unusual for me to leave without contemplating a differing viewpoint or strategy. For example, how can George keep the birds of prey from pilfering his chickens? Entice your senses by visiting your nearest farmers market and get to know your local producers by name. Once you have a vine ripened heirloom tomato complete with riveting conversation, can you ever go back? 

August | September 2015


WELLBEING Special Advertising

Food for Thought: Nutrition and Brain Function WRITTEN BY TAAS KING, DO

You are what you eat. An oft-used phrase in today’s dietcrazy culture, but one that I’m increasingly convinced is significant — and true. As a physician who treats people with brain conditions, I’ve seen more and more compelling evidence that, while certainly not a cure-all, certain foods can maintain and enhance brain function, especially as we age. The term “antioxidants” has crept into the language of nutrition for good reason. Although oxygen is vital to the billions of brain cells in our bodies, too much of a good thing, even life-giving oxygen, can erode the structure of the cells. Antioxidants, found in certain foods, can help to protect brain cells from the damaging effect of oxygen. Antioxidants help beneficial oxygen reach the brain and combat the detrimental forms of oxygen called free radicals. Blame these free radicals on brain cell damage that causes hazy memory, slow learning, and loss of coordination that can trip us up as we get older. Fortunately, antioxidants that fight off free radicals in our brains are found in foods that are plentiful in the Skagit Valley: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. A quick trip to a local supermarket will yield more food items year-round that are high in antioxidants: avocados, red grapes and navel oranges. Fruit salad, guacamole, even a fresh berry pie (with a whole-wheat crust, of course) would be excellent choices to help maintain mental function. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish such as wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, and to a lesser extent, tuna and halibut, can help to ward off cognitive 42

decline and dementia. There is also some evidence to suggest that omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties. Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E, a vitamin that corresponds with less cognitive decline as you get older. Adding an ounce a day of walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, and unhydrogenated nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini is another easy and delicious way to help feed your brain. Whole grains, good for you in several ways, also play a role in brain health. They help to improve blood flow through the brain, which, in turn, improves brain power. More blood flow: more power. So order whole grain toast with your eggs tomorrow morning. And by the way, egg yolks are rich in choline, an essential nutrient to improve brain function. Hold the bacon, but enjoy a cup of regular coffee. That morning cup of caffeinated Joe has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia and other brain disorders. Coffee also contains antioxidants. The truth is, food that is good for your brain is generally the same food that’s good for your heart and other organs. It’s food that is real. It comes directly from the land or water, not a lab. It’s food that is colorful–dark green broccoli, bright red peppers and dark brown chocolate. It’s food that, as food expert Michael Pollan explains, typically can be found on the perimeter of a grocery store, not on one of the interior aisles. Think produce and dairy products, not canned peas and potato chips. We can’t avoid birthdays, but we can help to maintain a healthy brain well into old age by eating foods that help us to stay sharp and focused. Bon Appetit! Taas King, DO, is a neurologist with PeaceHealth Medical Group Neurology in Bellingham. She is board certified through the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry and has a special interest in treating patients with headaches and multiple sclerosis.

Get Healthy. Stay Healthy.


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Realtor | Windermere-Whatcom 360.393.5826

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HABITAT Home Remodel Tips and Tricks · Featured Home



ight and airy, with plenty of shelving and storage, this attic is a peaceful retreat. Using great design and clever solutions, their drafty attic apartment was transformed into a warm, bright space. The young Sunnyland couple wanted a little more room for their growing family. With bed, bath, and office space, this attic is freshened up with newly refinished floors and new cabinetry. The natural wood lends a sense of openness, as do the large windows. … continued on the next page

HABITAT Featured Home

The owners are of Scandanavian ancestry, and love clean lines and spare design. The low ceiling was vaulted to open up the space.

The exisiting attic apartment was reconfigured to create a functional, comfortable space.


Featured Home


Built-ins make the space more functional. Blackfin Designs created the black metal railings, conveying a spare Zen industrial aesthetic.

into the

woo Northwest

Photography Joe & Patience Photography | On Location Lakedale Resort | Models Brooklyn |Odeen | Connie

ods Neutrals


LEFT Left: BB Dakota shirt, Cheeks | Middle: BB Dakota sweater, Cheeks | Right: Entro tunic, Betty Be Good, $34.50 | Leggings H&M, $9.95

RIGHT BB Dakota shirt, Cheeks | Jeans, Cheeks | Bear Paw boots, Macy’s, $39

LEFT Tommy Hilfiger Cardigan, Macy’s, $77.70 | Jeans,Cheeks | 7 for all mankind Necklace, Cheeks $58

RIGHT Sweater, Three French Hens | Sailor mid-calf flared pants by 7 for all mankind, Cheeks $158 |Carla Wedge by Michael Kors $150

LEFT Green Jacket, Betty Be Good, $38 | Ivory Layered Blouse, Macy’s $50 | Natalie Jeans by Kut, Macy’s, $89 |Knot Necklace, Francesca’s, $32 | BB Dakota Dress, Cheeks $79| Cream Shrug, Francesca’s $34 | Lace Up Wedge Shoes, Betty Be Good $34.50 | Dayra Pants BB Dakota, Cheeks $68

RIGHT Open Circle Cuff, Francesca’s $22 | Mieko Vest BB Dakota, Cheeks $55 |Mesh Earrings Kenneth Cole, Macy’s, $30

LEFT Olive & Pique hat, Sojourn, $32 | BB Dakota Sweater (Jack), Cheeks | Carlson pants, Nordstrom, $59

RIGHT Miracle City sweater, Sojourn, $48 | Yala Bamboo shirt, Three French Hens, $62 | Natalie jeans, Macy’s, $84 | Bed Stu boots, Mi Shoes, $284

LEFT Ello Moss tunic, Gary’s, $228 | Brochu Walker skirt, Gary’s, $289 | Franco Sarto shoes, Macy’s, $109 | Bar III dress, Macy’s, $150 | Astr dress, Nordstrom, $26.50 | Glamorous jacket, Nordstrom, $108 | shoes Michael Kors Carl Wedge, $150

RIGHT Bar III dress, Macy’s, $49.99 | Cuff Macy’s, $26.50; Necklace, Macy’s $44.50, Earrings, Macy’s, $16.50

LEFT Shirt, Gary’s, $128 | Pure cardigan, Sound Styles, $147 | Handbag Republic purse, Betty Be Good, $44.50

TOP BB Dakota coat, Cheeks | BB Dakota jeans, Cheeks | Frye boots, Mi Shoes, $398, | Pure sweater, Sound Styles, $147 | Black Orchid jeans, Rogue, $134 | Carlos Boots, Macy’s, $68.95 | Joseph Ribboff jacket, Paul Richards, $290 |Renuar sweater, Paul Riachards, $69.50 | Mother Denim jeans, Gary’s $195

into the



PHOTOGRAPHY  Joe and Patience Photography, Joe and Patience Thompson MODELS  Odeen Phillips, Connie Steubel, Brooklyn Assink HAIR  Salon Belissima’s Nicci Lyn Troupe MAKEUP  Salon Belissima’s Sofia Martinell STYLING  Lisa Karlberg, Lynette Martinez, Kaity Teer CREATIVE DIRECTION  Kelly Slater and Kelsey Wilmore LOCATION PROVIDED BY  Lakedale Resort SPECIAL THANKS TO  H&M, Francesca’s, Sojourn, Gary’s, Blue Horizon, Three French Hens, Mi Shoes, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Rogue, Betty Be Good, Paul Richards, Sound Styles, Home Goods, and Cheeks.





Walla Walla











Walla Walla





Whatcom County



1. TRUST 2012 CABERNET FRANC Walla Walla If you like light red wines like Merlot and Pinot Noir, you might enjoy a dive into the deeper, bolder flavor of a Cabernet Franc. The makers of Trust Cabernet Franc describe it as having “refined tannins, spicy aromas, vanilla with peppery accents, violet nuances and an understated elegance of some serious red and black berry, blueberry, and plum flavor.” Basically, it’s a great red wine without being too heavy. Established by Cardinal Richlieu in France in the 17th century, Cabernet Franc is happiest in sandy, fast-draining soil and the grapes ripen earlier than other reds. According to DNA testing from the 1990s, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc are the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc is planted widely throughout Europe. The first Cabernet Franc was cultivated in the 1970s, and the first varietal was produced in 1990. Though it was slow to catch on, it is now the fourth most widely planted grape in Washington State.

2. LA CHANTERELLE 2012 SYRAH Bellingham Syrah (also known as Shiraz) is a rich, deep red wine that has lots of strong tannins and peppery notes. La Chanterelle creates a powerful Syrah with great balance. This charmer hails from Bellingham’s own Lettered Streets Neighborhood. Donatas Pocus and Lotte Freeman have created a distinctive red of superior quality. Their description of their Syrah: “La Chanterelle 2012 SYRAH is full-in-proportion Washington State red. The nose is filled with earth, wild flowers and a fruit labored palate. The back lingers with leather, red currants and tobacco tones that amuse your throat without you realizing what’s happened. It’s fresh. It’s naughty. Drink 2015-2024 possibly with some upside.” We like our wines naughty.

3. GRAMERCY CELLARS 2012 CABERNET SAUVIGNON “LOWER EAST” Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the great reds. Strong, complex, deep, a great Cabernet can make or break a good dinner. Because the tannins are strong, Cabs make excellent wines for collecting. Born in the 17th Century as a combination of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon Winemaker Greg Harrington passed the Master Sommelier test in 1996 at the age of 26, then went on to serve as the head of wine programs all over the country. In 2005, he founded Gramercy Cellars to create wines of depth and character. His Cabernet Sauvignon “Lower East” is certainly a lovely, complex wine.



4. LONG SHADOWS 2013 CHARDONNAY “DANCE” Walla Walla Chardonnay is one of the most popular wines in the U.S., and the primary component of champagne. It’s the most widely planted grape in the world, with an affinity for chalky soil, like its native Burgundy in France. It’s considered one of the easier wine grapes to cultivate, as it is relatively flexible about conditions. A fairly mutable grape, Chardonnay gets a lot of flavor from processing. When produced in steel, it’s a crisp, light wine. When aged in oak, it deepens and becomes richer, denser, creamier. Chardonnay Dance is a complex Chardonnay from the team at Long Shadows, a consortium of vintners in Walla Walla that was casked in 50 percent new, 50 percent year-old oak barrels to draw out the wine’s intrinsic complexity. The richer, deeper Chardonnay is bottled as “Dance,” while the lighter version is bottled as “Nine Hats.”

5. SAVAGE GRACE 2014 GRUNER VELTINER Walla Walla The winemakers at Savage Grace describe the Gruner Veltiner as: “Our first release of this Austrian varietal. This Grüner Veltliner is made from grapes grown at Underwood Mountain Vineyards, located alongside the Columbia River Gorge in WA. The grapes were whole cluster pressed and then fermented in a combination of neutral barrels and stainless steel, with 50 percent undergoing native fermentation to enhance complexity. This is a great food pairing wine, offering flavors of citrus fruit, honey, and wet stone.” Though we can’t vouch for the wet stone (it’s been a while since we’ve sucked on gravel) this is a warm, creamy white.

6. BUTY 2012 WHITE Walla Walla Valley White blends are on the ascendancy as winemakers sort through the right combination of grapes to make a truly fine wine. Buty’s 2012 White is a clean, crisp wine that has a great balance between acid and creamy tones. The winemaker describes says of it: “Sémillon dominates our classic white blend. The sand, silt-loam filled soils and cooler temperatures of Spring Creek Vineyard in the Yakima Valley nurture our sauvignon bringing bright acidity to the blend. Muscadelle from Lonesome Spring River Ranch is responsible for the florals in this verve-filled wine. A portion of the wine is lees aged in mature oak and the balance aged in a concrete tank. Forty barrels produced.” White blends used to be considered the leftover grapes from better wines, but they are gaining in both reputation and popularity.

August | September 2015 71


7. ATAVUS VINEYARD ANALEMMA SPARKLING BLANC DE NOIR Columbia Gorge Blanc de Noirs are white wines made from black grapes, and Blanc de Noir wines are made the same way champagne is created in France. So basically, they’re French champagne without actually being from the designated champagne region. And, as with their sister rosé, they are being taken seriously these days by contest judges, collectors, and consumers. This one also happens to have great tasting notes: “The nose has just a hint of strawberries, cherry blossoms, and citrus peel. The palate immediately fills your mouth with bubbles and has a smooth creamy texture. There are hints of almond flavors, along with toasty warm notes freshly baked biscuits.” Biscuits!

Rosé 8. TRANCHE 2014 PINK PAPE ROSÉ Walla Walla Don’t call it a comeback, rosé has been here for years. But it seems that with a little crafting and some focus and attention, rosé has gone from marginalized and ridiculed to the centerpiece of the wine industry. Pretty in pink, rosé has been mansplained at and condescended to for decades, but she is finding her voice and earning serious respect for her complexity. This particular rosé is a Chateauneuf de Pape blend that the winemakers describe as having “delicate aromas of rose petal, white peach and nectarine, with lifted notes of sweet pink grapefruit and lemon zest. The wine is fresh and lively upon entry, with bright mountain berry flavors complemented by wet river rock minerality. Driving acidity and citrus qualities provide focus and direction, drawing out the palate to a mouthwatering finish.” Vintners are getting serious about a wine when they mention stones and river rocks and moss. Well done, rosé.

Dessert 9. SAMSON ESTATES ORO Whatcom County Dessert wines can be overly sweet, cloying, overpowering, or just plain perfumy. Samson Estates managed to create a dessert wine that is worthy of sipping on its own, or poured over your favorite dessert. Oro is Italian for gold, and the experience of drinking the Samson Oro is that of sipping liquid gold. Bright, delicious, mellow, and balanced, the Oro complements fruits, cheeses, and chocolate in equal measure. It’s not a surprise that this nutty, rich wine has won so many awards.

10. LOST RIVER 2012 LAKE HARVEST SEMILLON Mazama As with Chardonnay, Semillon is relatively easy to cultivate, making it a popular introductory grape for wineries that are getting established. The Semillon is a key grape in making dessert wines like sauternes. Primarily grown in California to blend with Sauvignon to make Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon stands on its own as a slightly sweet dry dessert wine. According to the winemaker: “This wine exhibits notes of honey, blood orange and toasted oak. This is an excellent wine paired with mushroom appetizers and rich seafood like sea scallops and crab.”

SPECIAL THANKS We selected the wines for this feature with considerable counsel and aid from Seifert and Jones Wine Merchants in downtown Bellingham. All of the wines are from Washington State. We also sourced cheese from local individual creameries, including Appel Farms, Samish Bay, and Golden Glen Creamery. Many thanks to the creameries and to Ted Seifert at Seifert and Jones for their participation.

APPEL FARMS Whatcom County, Gouda, Smoked Gouda, Herbed Gouda, and Maasdammer Whatcom County has a lot of Gouda, as Ruth Appel, manager of the Appel Cheese Shop, will attest. The Raw Milk Aged Gouda is a hard cheese with a more delicate flavor than the smoked Gouda. The Garden Herb Gouda has a nice balance of herb and cheese. The Maasdammer is milder than Gouda, and has a texture more akin to Swiss Cheese.

SAMISH BAY CHEESE Skagit County, Ladysmith A delicate, semi-soft cheese, Ladysmith is their distinctive house blend, made with nasturtiums and arugula to create a beautiful, creamy, and delicate cheese. Perfect with a light white wine, this cheese is as delicious as it is beautiful.

River Cheddar Cheddar is often dismissed as a sandwich cheese, but this gorgeous, locally produced cheddar is full of warmth and depth.

ACME FARMS Whatcom County, Petit Brie This excellent Brie is creamy, buttery, and slightly nutty. A really lovely cheese that is a standout among local cheeses.

GOTHBERG FARMS Bow, WA, Chèvre Who doesn’t love goats? Chèvre is a must-have on any cheese plate. It is a flaky, light, but very complex cheese. This local variety is particularly smooth.

GOLDEN GLEN CREAMERY Clove, Caraway, and Cardamom Gouda Bow, WA, Beautifully veined with a deep herbal profile, this Gouda is excellent with fig, hazelnuts, or other rich, earthy flavors. An unusual, and yet wholly successful, combination of flavors create a distinctive cheese.

Tomme de Savoie

Smoked Gouda

Herbed Gouda Maasdammer

Caraway and Cardamom Gouda


Samish Bay Ladysmith

FRANCE Tomme de Savoie One of the most distinctive cheeses out there, Tomme de Savoie is both earthy and rich, yet light enough for appetizers and snacks. Each Tomme is named for the village in which it is produced. Savoie is a particularly tasty location.

ITALY Gorgonzola Piccante An artful Gorgonzola with lovely and striking veins of blue, this fine aged cheese is both strong and powerful. This baby blue is a perfect complement to the more delicate cheeses on your cheese plate.

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August | September 2015 75


7 Great Tastes · Dining Guide · Drink of the Month



osmos Bistro, located in the Herald Building, is destined to become one of Bellingham’s iconic restaurants. Recently opened by the restauranteur duo of Jamison Roganyan and Cinnamon Berg, Cosmos Bistro offers guests a relaxing venue filled with good vibes and out-of-this-world cuisine. Berg, the genius executive chef and culinary mastermind behind the menu’s eclectic breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus, has taken great care to produce fare made with fresh local ingredients. Dishes are prepared with finesse to promote the wonderful natural flavor of ingredients. The judicious use of herbs and spices make the dishes simply elegant. continued on next page


Roganyan and Berg have an extensive brunch menu that is certain to make it a sexy option. The Cosmos brunch is practically perfect for those lazy Saturday mornings when Friday night went a little too long, or an all-day Sunday alternative for those of us who wake up and wonder what happened to the weekend! Brunch options are perfectly priced and the generous portions satisfy the ravenous. Berg proves that the pig truly is a magical animal: The Bacon-Nation ($11) is a heaping plate of home fries cooked with bacon, and blended with beautifully caramelized onions and sweet red peppers. Two eggs, cooked any style, with smoked cheddar cheese crown this mound of bacon indulgence. Cosmos Bistro is different from some local eateries because the breads are house-made, as are the wonderful fresh fruit jams. The multi-grain bread is a light, flavorful and delicately textured, yet seed-filled bread. It’s absolutely perfect nearly naked, but dressed in jam it becomes an exquisite indulgence. And, don’t fret if multi-grain isn’t your thing! Try the Cosmos Breakfast Sandwich ($8), a fluffy house focaccia smothered in home fries, scrambled eggs, the aforementioned magical bacon, caramelized onions and a blend of melted cheeses: A gastronomic remedy for those Sunday morning blues!

Can’t wakeup in time for Saturday brunch? Dinner service begins at 5:00! Local micro brews and wine are available, but diners can also bring their own wine for a small corkage fee. Don’t ignore Berg’s small bites and entrée menu. The Small Bites menus has tasty morsels from $6-9, and include vegetarian options. The entrée menu prices range from $10-20, and includes old school favorites such as meatloaf, tournedo of beef, vegetarian tamales — seriously yummy — and roasted half chicken. Cosmos Bistro’s industrial-meets-retro-chic décor creates a relaxing environment in which to enjoy a meal, meet up and hang out with friends and enjoy great food and good vibes. With seating for 49 guests, diners may choose to dine on the main floor or in the loft area: either way one can’t go wrong. Berg creates masterful dishes in an impeccably clean, tiny kitchen that most chefs would fumble in, while Roganyan runs the front of the restaurant with the enthusiasm and exuberance of the ever-optimistic. In the end, they have successfully created an inclusive, warmly inviting little family restaurant that will charm and satisfy diners for a good long while. Cosmos Bistro has a Facebook page, but does not have a website; call 255-0244 for reservations. 

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Chef Greg Sullivan, Pastry Chef Danille Seimears, and Executive Chef Tom HULl from Silver Reef Casino Hotel Spa Presented in association with: Judd & Black Appliance, Mount Vernon WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY FRANCES BADGETT


n July 9th, K&L Media and Judd & Black Appliance teamed up for our regular bimonthly event, Meet the Chef at Judd & Black’s test kitchen in Mount Vernon. This time around, Chef Greg Sullivan, Pastry Chef Danielle Seimears, and Executive Chef Tom Hull from Silver Reef Casino Hotel Spa joined forces to create a five-star meal for the evening’s participants. The menu was classic — scallops with a frisee salad, beef wellington, and bananas flambé for dessert. As any talented chef, Sullivan had an easy, confident manner.

For the first course, Chef Sullivan selected U-12 scallops and sliced them horizontally. Apart from making them a manageable size, the smaller surface area makes them cook more evenly. He recommends always using the freshest scallops available — live ones in the shell if possible. He also recommends starting with very dry scallops. For the sauté, he blended olive and canola oil together in a very hot pan. He worked clockwise in placing the scallops. “That way, I know which ones I’ve handled first and I don’t have to guess.” The plates were dabbed with pureed golden raisins and capers, and the frisee was garden-fresh and tender. Chef Sullivan recommended using a fish spatula, which has an openwork blade to keep the fish from sticking to it. We paired the scallops with a buttery, creamy Chardonnay from Coach House Cellars. It was fascinating to watch Chef Sullivan prep the main course. He began by laying out the prosciutto, on top of which he added the duxelle — a mushroom, shallot, and garlic mixture. And then he carefully rolled the beef in the prosciutto. He repeated this rolling technique with the puff pastry. He glazed the puff pastry with pure egg yolk to make the crust bright and golden, and then scored the outside (without piercing the pastry) in a crosshatch pattern. Sullivan served asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes and a fine demi-glace. For dessert, Chef Seimers made bananas flambé, which she served with chocolate-covered coffee beans and chocolate chips. It was a hugely successful finish to a great dinner. 

First Course Pan-seared scallops with frisee salad, warm bacon bits, and lemon vinaigrette

second Course Beef Wellington served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes, demi glace and asparagus

Serves 4-6



1 cup golden raisins 1/2 cup capers 1/4 cup caper brine 1/4 cup water

Heat all ingredients in a large saucepan until raisins are soft. Add all ingredients into blender and puree until smooth. Cool puree and pour into squeeze bottles.

PAN-SEARED SCALLOPS SEASONING • 1 part kosher salt • 1 part curry powder Cut scallops lengthwise to ensure even cooking. Pat dry with a paper towel to ensure they will sear and

not boil/steam in the pan. Lightly season one side with the seasoning, and add to pan clockwise starting at 12, seasoned side down. Season the opposite side of the scallops, and once you get back to 12, going around the edge of the pan, flip the scallop and brown. Let the scallops rest for a minute, then plate. Lardons Applewood Bacon Cube the bacon, then fry until crispy. Reserve bacon grease.

LEMON VINAIGRETTE 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/2 cup olive oil 1 Tbsp water 1 Tbsp sugar Whisk all ingredients together, and pour into squeeze bottle.

Clean and trim the beef tenderloin. Remove the large end of the beef tenderloin and reserve and flatten the sides. Take beef tenderloin and season with salt and pepper to taste, and sear in rondo or large skillet whole. At this point remove your puff pastry from the fridge/freezer and allow to come up to room temp on a cookie sheet. Once meat is browned, remove from heat and let rest. Brush the beef tenderloin with Dijon mustard and continue to let rest. Lay out your prosciutto so that each slice overlaps on plastic wrap, and looks like a blanket. Add the Duxelle to the top layer of the prosciutto and place the tenderloin in the center and roll. Make sure to roll the beef up tight, and twist the ends off once the wrapped. Put in fridge or freeze for 10-15 minutes until firmed up. Once the roll is firm, unwrap and place on the puff pastry sheet and roll tight. Remove any excess puff pastry and seal the edge with egg yolk. Wrap the ends and seal tightly also. Brush the top with egg yolk and decorate if desired. Sprinkle the top liberally with kosher salt and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until center temp is 125 degrees and puff pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.


1 1/4 pounds Yukon potatoes 1/4 cup Cream 1/4 cup Butter 6 cloves of garlic Salt and pepper to taste 1/4 cup Chives Garlic Puree

Cover garlic with olive oil in roasting pan, and cover with plastic and foil. Roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, remove cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes uncovered, or until slightly brown. Remove and reserve oil, and add garlic to food processor and blend until smooth. If puree is too thick, add some of the oil to get desired consistency. Method Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain the potatoes and mash with potato masher or mixer. Once mashed put potatoes back on the heat without any liquid added and cook for 2-3 minutes. This helps to dry out the potatoes and remove some of the water leftover from the pan. Add roasted Garlic Puree, melted butter and hot cream and mix to desired texture and season. Add chives at last minute and blend, and serve.

DUXELLE • 1 pound cremini mushrooms • 2 tablespoons minced garlic • 1/4 cup minced shallot Puree all ingredients into a food processor. Once well pureed, add to dry, hot pan and allow the water to cook out of the duxelle. Once the mixture is well cooked, remove from skillet and let cool.

Third Course Bananas flambé with vanilla ice cream

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS • • • • • •

½ cup unsalted butter 1 cup light brown sugar 8 bananas, ripe cup Kahlua Chocolate coffee beans, for garnish Vanilla ice cream

In a sauté pan, on medium heat melt the butter and brown sugar together until fully melted. Slice the bananas about ½” thick. Add the bananas in to the brown sugar mixture and stir to coat. Continue to cook the bananas and stirring constantly for about 1 minute longer. Add the Kahlua to banana mixture and then light it with a match or slightly tilt your pan in to the burner until lights on fire. Quickly spoon the banana mixture over each dish of vanilla cream and sprinkle the chocolate coffee beans on top. Serve immediately.

OUR NEXT MEET THE CHEF EVENT WILL BE ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10TH AT 6PM. Featuring Chef Dave Reera of The Table restaurant. Visit our Facebook page and for more details.


DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . . $30 or greater . . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner . . . . . . . . . Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating   . . . . . . . . . . Reservations   . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . New Review See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at


DOE BAY CAFE American 107 Doe Bay Rd., Orcas Island 360.376.8059, Whether you’re heading toward the San Juan Islands or don’t mind taking a trip for an unbelievable meal, be sure to make reservations at the ever-popular Doe Bay Cafe. The cafe is set in the Doe Bay garden, providing a beautiful view and the majority of the cafe’s organic ingredients. Owners Joe and Maureen Brotherton have stuck to their philosophy of taking good care of their visitors by providing world-class dishes made by Executive Chef Jon Chappelle. Choose from a selection of delicious dishes such as Huevos Rancheros with free range, organic over-easy eggs with black beans on griddled corn tortillas or the Pan Roasted Point King Salmon served with a carrot ginger sauce and smoky fried chickpeas and charmoula.

Dining Guide


last year and offers tables for dinner as well as a couple of couches for pre-dinner drinks. The meals here match the atmosphere: fresh and natural outside; sophisticated country kitchen feel inside. Appetizers include tender calamari with a light salad; twice baked corn soufflé with green chili lime cream and goat cheese; and house-smoked oysters with a cilantro almond pesto. A main course of Alaskan Weathervane Scallops with whipped potatoes and a blue cheese crema followed was followed by a Chocolate Panna Cotta paired perfectly with a pear liquor. Every bite offered freshness and flavor. The food was largely local and every dish was garnished with flowers from owner and executive chef Gretchen Allison’s own garden.

SKAGIT DUCK SOUP INN American 50 Duck Soup Ln., Friday Harbor 360.378.4878,


Sitting on the border of the woods at Duck Soup Inn is one of the most delightful dining experiences you’ll likely experience. The outside eating area of this restaurant — located almost midway between Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor on San Juan Island — opened

100 E. Montgomery St., Ste. 110, Mount Vernon 360.419.0674, Chef Alberto Candivi arrives at Il Granaio in downtown every morning to make the day’s pastas by hand, sculpting basic ingredients into the building blocks for lavish, rich Italian

1/2 price bottles of

wine on Wednesday’s.

August | September 2015 81



dishes served throughout the day. When the ingredients call for a lighter hand, his restaurant also turns out reserved, delicate dishes. Il Granaio is a practice in the intricacies of cuisine, displaying the best flavors Italian food has to offer. With more than 30 items on the entrée menu, the list can be quite daunting. Il Granaio’s dessert menu is just as lush as the entrée menu. The wine menu is expansive, and the beer menu features several local craft brews. Their grappa selection does the Italian cordial the justice it deserves.

SAKURA JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE Japanese 1830 S. Burlington Blvd., Burlington 360.588.4281,



et’s face it, Bellingham is big on breakfast. We are lucky to have so many excellent options, from upscale brunches to down-home diners. But, as with coffee shops, there’s always room for more, because each place shines a unique light on the landscape. And there’s where Over Easy fits right in. As with many Bellinghamsters, Over Easy is an Arizona transplant, and a welcome new neighbor. Bright and cheery, with bold, graphic posters on sunshine yellow and sky blue walls, Over Easy is a sunny way to start a weekend. Located next to Trader Joe’s on James St., the menu offers breakfast all day and some lunch plates after 11. Over Easy chain owners Brad and Aaron May, a father-son team, started this breakfast place in Phoenix. After being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, they expanded, with restaurants in Mesa, Scottsdale, and Gilbert — and then to Bellingham. Guests are greeted by a friendly staff who are under the cheerful guidance of local owners Jamie and Colleen Bohnett. Quick, efficient, and engaging service is a hallmark of Over Easy. Slide into a booth and take in the atmosphere while checking over the extensive offerings. The menu is large and enticing — eggs benedict, a breakfast burrito, and tons of entrees, including healthy choices. All available with a side of nostalgic and beloved tater tots. For breakfast, the Over Easy is an irresistible choice — spinach, eggs, and short strips of crunchy bacon on brioche, it’s a delicious combination. Chicken and waffles are all the rage in the breakfast world right now, and Over Easy’s version is golden and crisp. The chicken fried steak is perfectly crunchy, served with a creamy gravy. For the pancake enthusiasts, Reese’s Pancakes are golden and fluffy without being to “doughy.” They go great alone or with a side of eggs. For lunch, Over Easy has a shorter menu that is still packed with comfort food. The Reuben is a classic, and also served up with tater tots. The burgers are great just plain, or done up as one of their specialties. Any way you crack it, Over Easy is a wonderful new spot in town, and a welcome friendly neighbor.  2430 James St., Bellingham | 360.656.6585 82

Professional Teppan Yaki chefs take you on a journey of delicious and interactive dining at Burlington’s Sakura Japanese Steakhouse. Using the freshest ingredients and perfect seasonings, they stir-fry your meal right before your eyes, creating a fabulous feast. Choose from steak and chicken to salmon and shrimp; each meal is served with soup, salad, rice and vegetables. If it’s sushi you crave, they also offer a full sushi bar for even the most discriminating taste buds.

TRUMPETER PUBLIC HOUSE Gastropub 416 Myrtle St., Mt. Vernon 360.588.4515, The Trumpeter is an ideal combination of high-end, fine dining and English pub variety. Try traditional pub selections like shephard’s pie, fish and chips, or more unique choices like pork tenderloin complimented with an apricothoney glaze or crab mac and cheese with a creamy Gruyere sauce and wild-caught crab. Additionally, the Trumpeter looks to accommodate all tastes with gluten-free dishes, and the option to make any dish gluten free. Of course, a gastropub isn’t complete without beer and Trumpeter completes the dining experience with 18 taps of local and European brews. There’s also a fine selection of wines and drink choices.

WHATCOM CIAO THYME ON THE SIDE CAFE Lunch 207 Unity St., Bellingham 360.733.1267, For those who have experienced Ciao Thyme’s gourmet dinners and cooking classes, the new Ciao Thyme on the Side Café is a welcome addition to the delicious work of Jessica and Mataio Gillis, owners of Ciao Thyme catering. As with everything Ciao Thyme does, ingredients are fresh, local and in season. Choose soups, salads and sandwiches a la carte, or create a plate with a selection of all three for a hearty and satisfying lunch

TASTE OF INDIA Indian 3930 Meridian St., Ste. 107, Bellingham 360.647.1589

Your Financial Future: Will You Be Ready?

At Taste of India all the dishes are rich, delicious and truly feel authentic. Dishes come with your choice of pulao rice or the classic Indian bread naan. Taste of India offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, all with exquisite and well-developed flavors. There’s also a variety of flavors of naan, including garlic or spinach. For those unsure of what to order, or those who want to try multiple dishes at once, try the lunch buffet.

NY CS 7790428 BC006 01/14 GP10-01505P-N06/10

Susan Rice Financial Planning Specialist Financial Advisor 2200 Rimland Drive, Suite 105 Bellingham, WA 98226 360-788-7005 • 800-247-2884

© 2014 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.

JAKE’S WESTERN GRILL Southern 8114 Guide Meridian, Lynden 360.354.5588, In addition to outstanding barbecue, Jake’s also features a full line of fresh-cut salads, burgers, Southern sandwiches and a full-service bar. If you’re a true lover of Southern barbecue, you owe it to yourself to head north and give Jake’s Western Grill in Lynden a try.


JOB INFORMATION 7790428/602858172



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JALAPENOS MEXICAN GRILL Mexican 1007 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.656.6600 501 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.3099 2945 Newmarket Pl., Bellingham, 360.778.2041 Jalepenos Mexican Grill lures you in with promises of a cheap lunch special. But after looking at the menu, you’ll want so much more. You’ll find a masterpiece starting with the complimentary chips and salsa. Ask to see if they are featuring any types other than the normal red that day. The salsas exude freshness. A house favorite is the authentic “puffy tacos”. They’re messy, filled with shredded chicken, cheese and topped with guacamole, but worth the added effort of using a knife and fork. Of course, there’s a variety of flavored mojitos and margaritas, and Jalepenos doesn’t play around with their drinks. The glasses are huge, and the drink is good to the last drop.

MAGDALENAS Crêperie, European 1200 10th St., Ste. 103, Bellingham 360.483.8569, Paris, London, New York, Vancouver and Bellingham have them. Little shops where the aromas of sweet and savory crêpes, custom sandwiches and hot soup du jour fill the air. With a formidable selection of crêpes, it’ll take more than one trip to decide which is better, sweet or savory. But at this eatery, it is criminal to pass up the sweet little numbers filled with velvety smooth vanilla-flavored cream cheese, white chocolate and your choice of fresh fruit. A crêpe option for every crêpe crave.

• Slow-cooked BBQ ribs with our homemade BBQ sauce • Build Your Own Burger featuring our handcrafted USDA chuck patties and fresh baked buns • Micro Brew Steamed Mussels

360.332.2505 2615 South Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham Casual Friendly Atmosphere for Good Times and a Great Water View

August | September 2015 83


186`1 Van dyk Rd. Everson



S A beautiful summer wedding venue in the heart of the Nooksack Valley. Now booking for the 2016 season.

360 966 7787 4298 Mt. Baker HWY, Everson


12 - 5 PM In business over 3o years, Mount Baker Vineyards produces six varietals from our Estate Vineyard, as well as varietals from the Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley & Wahluke Slope AVA’S.


ummertime means chilled wine time; and nothing fits the bill better on a warm summer day than a chilled white wine or rosé. There are plenty of options available with these wines, so narrowing down the field with the best choices before you purchase and serve them will make your life easier and keep your guests happy. Start by selecting wines that are generally high in acidity, because these wines do best when properly chilled; not unlike a cold glass of lemonade. Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Gris make excellent white wine choices and rosés made from Sangiovese, Pinot Noir, and Grenache are also ideal when served after a few hours in the fridge. But be careful not to overchill these wines, because too much chilling has a tendency to mask the wine’s flavors and render it somewhat bland and tasteless. If this happens, the solution is simple: either set the bottle on the counter for about 30 to 60 minutes to allow it to warm up just a bit, or, after pouring, cup the wine glass in the palms of your hands and gently rock it back and forth a minute or two to take the extreme chill off the wine. And remember that just because it’s summertime doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon your red wines until autumn. Keep those on hand for outdoor barbequing, especially when preparing grilled meats such as steaks, burgers, bratwurst or ribs. Here are some white wine and rosé suggestions that are ideal for the summer season. Serve them before you move on to your full-bodied wines, perhaps with mild cheeses or a sliced baguette. Or simply enjoy them on their

own, lightly chilled, while sitting on the deck, patio, or enjoying the sunset after a warm summer day. Does it get any better than that? Sourced from Yakima Valley grapes, the San Juan Vineyards 2014 Riesling (about $17) is a stunning Washington riesling that excels with ample chilling. The flavor profile carries a decidedly tropical fruit twist, along with plenty of ripe apple and pear flavors. The finish contributes subtle spicy accents and a whisper of sweetness. If you’re unfamiliar with grapes originating from Eastern Europe, Newburg, Oregon’s Raptor Ridge Winery currently produces a very impressive 2014 Grüner Veltliner (about $20) that should be on your “must-try” list. There’s a nice, mineral-like quality to this wine, with understated accents of lemon zest on the palate. The finish is refreshingly clean, suggesting slate and wet stone to accompany the laser-sharp acidity. A pairing with oysters on the half-shell is practically mandatory. Also from Oregon, the Durant Vineyards at Red Ridge 2014 Pinot Gris (about $18) is another great choice for summertime sipping. This is a big pinot gris, with plenty of juicy green pear and citrus flavors to lead off. Bright acidity provides the wine with good structure and a tangy spritz of orange peel provides it with a memorable finish. If Kiwi winemakers were baseball players, then New Zealand’s Trinity Hill 2013 Sauvignon Blanc (about $17) would be a grand slam. This incredible white wine is packed with a mouthful of white peach and nectarine stone fruits that transition into tart, Granny

Dan Radil Wine Writer

Smith apple flavors. Finishing notes of green herb and lemongrass complete the package. Outstanding! The best descriptor for the Barnard Griffin Winery 2014 Rosé of Sangiovese (about $12) may simply be, “a subtle explosion of strawberry.” There’s much more to it than that, of course, including touches of watermelon and cranberry and the signature, vibrant acidity from the sangiovese grape. Another insanely underpriced wine from the perennial gold-winning Columbia Valley winery. Based in Sheridan, Oregon, John and Jody Wrigley of J Wrigley Vineyards are producing some stellar wines from their estate grown, McMinnville Appellation grapes. Here are a trio of choices that can be enjoyed year-round but are especially good during the summer months: The J Wrigley 2014 Pinot Gris (about $18) is “lean and mean,” with

vibrant green melon flavors, dazzling acidity, and a clean, linen-crisp finish. Try it with fresh shellfish or lobster with clarified butter sauce. Displaying a lovely salmon-pink hue, the 2014 Pinot Noir Rosé (about $20) was cold fermented using whole-cluster pressed grapes. Gentle strawberry and pie cherry flavors predominate, and a bright finish with great acidity makes this an outstanding wine when lightly chilled. Finally, the 2014 Riesling (about $20) opens with an aroma faintly similar to a fine Sauterne before yielding green apple flavors in more of a German-style white that suggest it may be appropriate for aging. The wine’s two-percent residual sugar content is hardly perceptible; impeccably balanced by brisk acidity and accentuated with a hint of spiciness on the extreme finish. 

Dan Radil has lived in Washington for more than 50 years and has been an avid follower of Pacific Northwest wines since the 1980s. As a freelance wine writer, his articles have been included in publications such as Wine Press Northwest, Whatcom Magazine, and the Bellingham Herald, where he wrote a weekly wine column for more than 15 years. He also teaches wine classes at Bellingham Technical College. An avid WSU alumnus, his sparetime activities include traveling with his spouse, Alex, gardening, and entertaining.

August | September 2015 85

MI MEXICO Mexican 241 Telegraph Rd., Bellingham 360.647.0073

The Loft at FortyEight Five’s

Hendrick’s Cooler

Mi Mexico’s reputation as one of the local favorites among Mexican food lovers is well deserved. The experience starts with a warm, friendly, professional waitstaff in an enjoyable, upbeat atmosphere. And from there, Mi Mexico separates itself from the competition with a choice of traditional and non-traditional Mexican dishes that few Mexican restaurants in the Pacific Northwest offer, all made with the freshest of ingredients available. From your first bite of Mi Mexico’s homemade salsa to the last bite of your main entree or dessert, you will already be planning your next visit.

Ingredients: Hendrick’s gin, St. Germain liqueur, cucumbers, mint Cost: $9

MYKONOS Greek 1650 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.715.3071


lame Pinterest — I’m a sucker for drinks served in mason jars — they have a magic way of being both nostalgic, and conveying a good quantity of liquid. And there is no more perfect time to savor something chilled in a mason jar than summer. Enter the Hendrick’s Cooler, a graceful, refreshing summer drink from the friendly folks at the Loft. The drink is a balance of sweet and tart — the juniper of the gin is balanced out by the smoothness of the St. Germain. The cucumber and mint in a Northwest muddle makes it lively and fresh. The Loft itself has great views of Squalicum Marina and the islands, and if this happens to be a date night, there are lots of walkways for strolling by the water. On the menu, ceviche would pair very nicely with the Cooler, as would the cilantro lime tacos. The combination would make for a refreshing, cooling meal on a warm evening. However you decide to enjoy your Hendrick’s Cooler, sit back and enjoy the seagulls and sea breezes.  The Loft at Latitude Forty Eight Five 1801 Roeder Ave., Bellingham 360.306.5668

Pita bread is pita bread, right? Not at Mykonos. If you order a starter of hummus, prepare your tastebuds for slices of pita bread heaven. If you consider yourself to be a connoisseur of Greek cuisine, try the traditional Greek salad as a litmus test. You won’t be disappointed. It is delightfully fresh and light and a meal by itself, with perhaps the best feta dressing west of Athens. Should you still be hungry, your main course options include the traditional Greek spin on veggie, lamb, chicken, steak and seafood prepared with rice or pasta. Mykonos offers excellent value for the price. Phidippides would be proud.

NORTH FORK BREWERY Brewpub 6186 Mount Baker Hwy., Deming 360.599.2337, Mount Baker Highway is home to a plethora of dining options, but at the North Fork Brewery you can get beer, pizza, tie the knot and visit the beer shrine all under the same roof. The brewery produces relatively small batches of beer, 109 gallons, keeping the beer fresh and the options changing. Their staple is the India Pale Ale. The opening taste is a strong citrus flavor, but is quickly dissolved by the aggressive bitterness, making it a quite enjoyable beer to accompany a slice of their homemade pizza. The pizza crust is made fresh daily with a hint of beer. The sauce is well-balanced with tomatoes and spices. Made with fresh vegetables, meats and cheeses, there is nothing not to like about this pizza.

ON RICE Thai 209 N. Samish Way, Bellingham 2200 Rimland Dr., Bellingham 1224 Harris Ave., Bellingham 360.714.9995 Ask any college student: On Rice is the place to go in Bellingham. With its affordable lunch specials and three locations around town, it’s easy to enjoy one of On Rice’s many flavorful Thai dishes. A classic Thai favorite, Pad Thai, is interpreted well here. It’s sweet, without being



overpowering, and has just enough spice to balance the dish out. All dishes are available with chicken, pork, beef, seafood or tofu and can be made as spicy as you want them to be, between one and four stars.


PEL’ MENI Russian


1211 N. State St., Bellingham 360.715.8324 Step off busy State Street after your late night festivities for an inexpensive and satisfying fill of plump dumplings. Stuffed with either meat or potatoes, these dumplings are piping hot and sprinkled with cumin, paprika and cilantro. Because they pair so well with tasty libations, Pel’ Meni manages to consistently have a line out the door as soon as the sun goes down. For $7, you’ll get a plastic, clam-shell container full of savory dumplings. Smother them with vinegar, sour cream and hot sauce for the full effect.



11th and Harris Ave., Bellingham 306 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.671.6111, With two locations, Rocket Donuts is an icon in Bellingham for its delectable donuts and sci-fi themed storefronts. The donuts are made fresh daily, giving them their fluffy, soft texture. Try the classic glazed or spice up your morning with maple-bacon bar. Rocket donuts is unique by offering vegan and gluten free options. Lift off your morning Rocket style.

SKYLARK’S HIDDEN CAFE Eclectic 1308 11th St., Bellingham 360.715.3642, Syklark’s Hidden Cafe in Fairhaven is worth seeking out. From decadent breakfast items such as Eggs Benedict and house specialty Banana Bread French Toast with Maple Walnut Topping to hearty dinner entrees such Halibut & Lobster Thermidor and New York Steak with Jack Daniels Herb Butter, the menu at Skylark’s is varied and every bite delicious. Come for the food and stay for the jazz on select evenings.

THE STEAK HOUSE AT SILVER REEF HOTEL ­CASINO SPA Steak/Seafood 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale 360.383.0777, This award-winning restaurant offers elegant dining and an intimate atmosphere. Primegrade steaks are broiled at 1,800 degrees to lock in the natural juices and finished with a special steak butter. The wine list is ample and recognized for its quality by Wine Spectator. This dining experiences rivals any of the bigtown steak houses in quality and service without the big-city price tag.

The following selections have made it past our taste bud test and into our top seven this issue. Step out and give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.

1 2 3

The Milhojas at Café Rumba is an amazing dessert. Think giant baklava on steroids, it’s caramel and honey soaked puff pastry dusted with powdered sugar. And it’s so good.

The halibut and chips at Fairhaven Fish and Chips is golden deliciousness. The little double-decker bus is a great attraction, too, and the seating looks tight from outside, but is surprisingly roomy once indoors.

Diamond Jim’s is famous for its breakfasts, but try the chicken pesto sandwich at lunch some time. It’s well balanced flavors aren’t too pesto-y. Great with a classic iced tea.

4 5 6 7

Dragon River came on the scene just a few years ago, and revolutionized the way Bellingham thinks of Chinese food. Fresh, delicious, and hearty, the Gong Pao Chicken is spicy, but not overpowering. The pancakes at The Little Cheerful Café are golden and delicious. Not too fluffy, not to flat, they’re just right.

Woods Coffee does some good coffee these days, but better still is the Mud Slide, a mixture of chocolate, coffee, marshmallows all blended to creamy, icy perfection.

The flatbread with arugula is incredible at Cosmos Bistro. Have it with one of their signature cocktails for a late afternoon treat.

August | September 2015 87

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Before the tour begins, please join us at one (or all!) of our gallery openings! Bellewood Acres & Distillery

Saturday, September 12th, 2:00pm - 4:00pm Show runs Sept. thru end of October (daily, 10am - 5pm)

Jansen Art Center

Thursday, October 1st, 6:00pm - 8:00pm Show runs October thru November (T-Sa, noon - 5pm; Th 9am - 7:30pm)

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Friday, October 2st, 6:00pm - 9:00pm (during the Gallery Walk) Show runs through October M-Sa, 9am - 6pm; Su, noon - 6pm

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Featured Events 路 Listings 路 The Scene 路 Final Word

The Color Run 5k Bellingham August 16, 8 a.m.


he Color Run is a 5k like none other. At the starting line, there will be music, dancing, giveaways and more. As a part of the 2015 Shine Tour, the run will be filled with sparkles and color doused on runners at each kilometer. The untimed run promotes healthy living and happiness. Make sure to wear white and stay for a party celebration at the finish line! The event will also be partnering with The Whatcom Family YMCA to give back to the community. Tickets: Team: $45/person, Individual: $49.50/person, Race Day: $60 Lee Memorial Park 210 Central Ave., Bellingham


CONCERTS JENNY LEWIS Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis has had a multi-faceted career working solo and with indie projects, including Jenny and Johnny and Rilo Kiley. She’s also acted in television and film, including Pleasantville and Talk to Me. She’s on tour for her current album, The Voyager, which is meditation on her own romantic heartbreak and the death of her father. Wild Buffalo House of Music 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.746.8733, PATTI LUPONE SEPTEMBER 25, 7:30

One of the great stage vocalists out there, LuPone will grace Mount Baker’s stage in Woulda’ Shoulda’ Coulda’ Played That Part, a handpicked program of her favorite pieces to perform, including selections from Hair, Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story, and more. Lively and engaging, LuPone will charm and delight you. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080,



Festival showcases 200 musicians from around the country who spend their summer at the acclaimed Marrowstone orchestral training program. Enjoy a powerful concert from Marrowstone’s two large orchestras including music from classics like Ravel and Rossini. The Main Stage, Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080,


Presented by Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Marrowstone Music 90

AUGUST 17–22, 9 A.M.

Grab your friends and family and truck out to the NW Washington Fair, where you can fill up on funnel cakes, ride a camel, and pet some yaks. The demolition derby is super fun, as are the amazing concerts. Oh, and the goat races. Don’t forget the goat races. 1775 Front St., Lynden 360.354.4111,




A carnival, a car show, animal races — the Skagit County Fair is a family-friendly fun event. Showcasing the rich agricultural culture and history of Skagit, the fair is a must-visit for folks from all over. Skagit County Fairgrounds 479 West Taylor St., Mount Vernon 360.336.9414,


This unique exhibition showcases the endless ways art can be created from a book. Featuring the work of 60 artists, experience art from a variety of book formats that express personal experiences, political statements, environmental

concerns and other interpretations. Book art often combines books with materials like plastic, crystals and twigs to create original and exquisite pieces of work. Whatcom Museum 121 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, HISTORY SUNSET CRUISES AUGUST 6, 13, 20, 27 5:30 P.M.

The history of Bellingham is linked to our bay. Don’t miss out on Whatcom Museum’s annual summertime Sunset History Cruises. Experience a different way to learn about history aboard the Island Caper. Listen to stories about the region’s history from historian Brian Griffin while enjoying historic points of Bellingham Bay. Island Mariner Cruises 2621 South Harbor Loop Dr., Bellingham 360.778.8930, history-sunset-cruise


No experience is required to join in on the fun with the Fourth Corner Folk Dancers. Dance to folk music with the occasional live music from a folk dance band. The nights are a place to step out of your comfort zone no matter what age you are! Fairhaven Library 1117 12th St., Bellingham 360.380.0456, bellinghampubliclibrary. org


Presented by the Mount Vernon Downtown Association, enjoy art by the local community, wine, chocolates, dinner, and more downtown. There will be a wide variety of different kinds of activities including gallery art walks, live music, and artist demonstrations. Spend the evening at this special community event to get a feel for original works in

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August | September 2015 91


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the area as a part of the Skagit Valley Art Escapes. Downtown Mount Vernon 1st St, Mt. Vernon, LOPEZ ISLAND ARTISTS STUDIO TOUR SEPTEMBER 5–6

Spend Labor Day Weekend exploring Lopez Island and viewing works of art from 42 artists and 28 local studios. On the self-guided tour, meet with artists to talk about their work and insights into their process, as well as purchase original artwork to support the local community. Enjoy shops, restaurants and places to stay in the area as well on this holiday weekend. Various studios around Lopez Island 888.468.3701, CHRIS MOENCH SEPTEMBER 19, 2 P.M.

Known for his nature-inspired prayer wheels, Chris Moench is a potter who creates intricate, personal work. His imagery is inspired by myth and folklore and the beauty of the world around us. Meet the artist in person at this reception, and bring a checkbook — his work is irresistible. Good Earth Pottery 1000 Harris Ave., Bellingham 360.671.3998,


Part of the Western Summer Theatre series, don’t miss out on this hilarious musical that is the winner of three TONY Awards, three Outer Critic’s Circle Awards and two Lucille Lortel Awards. Set in a city with a severe drought, the government has banned private toilets. One man decides to start a revolution to lead the citizens to freedom in this satire of capitalism, bureaucracy, and municipal politics. WWU Performing Arts Center 516 High St., Bellingham 360.650.3130,



An adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this hilarious play was written and composed by Eric Idle, and is set to be directed by Earl Reid. A retelling of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round, it’s a goofy romp through quick wits and belly laughs. 1600 H St., Bellingham 360.733.1811,


Celebrating its 14th year, come out to Orcas Island to participate in the annual Wooden Boat Rendezvous. The event includes all kind of wooden boats that will be available for public viewing at the Deer Harbor Marina. Other activities that will be held include a potluck, barbeque, breakfast, paddle and row races and an awards ceremony. Don’t miss out on a weekend on the water in one of the

Ferndale Street Festival August 28–29, 2015

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN FERNDALE ~Main Street~ Live Music • Kids Street • Kids Stage Car Show • Beer/Wine Tent Over

120 Food and Craft Vendors

best harbors in Western Washington!

MAY 9 - OCT 24 9 am to 2 pm


These unique one-week adventures include everything from a 3-day artistled painting workshop, to easy hikes with scenic views and local food at the best Bellingham restaurants. The trip will take you to Mt. Baker-National Forest, Artist Point, Bellingham Bay and more. Creative Life Adventures is the perfect way to get a feel for the area and the beautiful Northwest. Stay will be at Hotel Bellwether 1 Bellwether Way, Bellingham



August | September 2015 93



Based on the Raymond Carver classic What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, the play is an adaptation of Carver’s spare, devastating stories that depict the tensions and disparities of life with grace and, ultimately, redemption. Written in 1981, the short stories have been adapted for the stage as well as for the 2010 film, Everything Must Go. The Center Theatre 305 Harrison St., Seattle 206.216.0833, BUMBERSHOOT

She’s Come Undone


Bumbershoot is a Seattle classic, and the lineup this year will be sure not to disappoint. In its 45th year, the festival celebrates live music, comedy, theatre, film, visual arts and dance. Headliners include The Weeknd, Faith No More, Ellie Goulding and many more artists. Bumbershoot has something for the whole family with the “Youngershoot” kids zone as well as featured comedians and discussions for the adults. Seattle Center 305 Harrison St., Seattle 206.684.7200,


Come out for this family-friendly event and celebration of Latin culture and diversity. There will be an import market and outdoor stage with performances from a variety of different artists including Flamenco and Cuban Rueda. Latin Summer Fest will give you a taste of culture with its authentic food, arts and more. There will also be an area with activities for the kids to enjoy! Trout Lake Park 3350 Victoria Dr., Vancouver 604.593.2448,

The Scene


On Saturday, June 27, 9Restaurant and the North Bellingham Golf Course hosted the Beer & Jazz Festival to benefit the Center For Independence. CFI helps disabled people access and participate in their communities. Twenty-five breweries participated, and four live bands played. All participants received a souvenir glass and the good feeling that comes of helping a great cause.

August | September 2015 95


Final Word

A Little Help Here! Loretta exposes the FDA’s double standard WRITTEN BY LORETTA W. CLEESE


h, the irony. I was listening with one ear tuned to the evening national news a couple of months ago as I prepared dinner for my kids and did their laundry. I was mildly irritated at the mounds of clothes, most of which did not appear to be worn, however, all of which found their way magically into the laundry hamper shortly after I banished the kids to their bedrooms to clean. Clearly, I needed a new approach to discipline and household chores, one that was still a click or two inside of CPS showing up at my front door. I was not-so-seriously contemplating sending them naked to school, when my irritation was interrupted by a pre-commercial-break news “teaser” about the tentative approval of Flibanserin, the pink pill known as “female Viagra,” by the Food and Drug Administration. “Really,” I thought as I sat down, both ears now fully perked, on the couch to listen. “Until now, beer was my only drug of choice to make men look more attractive. This should be interesting; I love new options.” Much to my surprise, the first commercial during the break was one of the new Viagra commercials — you know the ones — that feature a hot, middle-aged woman with a sultry voice and a “I-know-you-want-me” look, explaining with great sympathy that ED strikes even the most manly of men. “It’s not your fault,” she said, pandering to the male ego, striking yet another provocative pose. I chuckled to myself and thought, “Pfizer Pharmaceutical is ingenuous. The commercial is the diagnosis. Any men who aren’t aroused after watching her seductive presentation need Viagra. Who needs to consult a physician?” The humor was short-lived, however, by the female Viagra news feature. For those who haven’t followed the “blue pill/pink pill” debate, the drug in Viagra and Cialis was approved by the FDA in one of the shortest time frames in FDA history. Why? The most common explanation is that the advisory panel and FDA decision-makers are predominantly male. Never mind that the side effects include blurred vision, blindness, chest pain, convulsions, loss of hearing, and the dreaded “four hour” warning. And never mind that the effect of the drug was only “discovered” inadvertently when patients who participated in a failed experiment to treat hypertension reported unwanted erections (like there is such a thing for males). 96

The FDA’s response? “No worries, men. Damn the side effects, let’s approve the drug immediately.” No doubt the FDA panel took the leftover samples home with them. By contrast, the “pink pill” was only recently tentatively approved by an advisory panel on the third try, after more than five years of testing, and even then the panel expressed continuing concerns over safety due to insufficient study — and awful, awful side effects like dizziness, nausea, and sleeplessness. Apparently, none of the FDA decision-makers have ever been pregnant. Hello, anyone home! Get some perspective! You wouldn’t have children if women didn’t readily accept these side effects as the initial sticker price for having a family. But the efficacy of the pink pill is unproven, the FDA says paternalistically, and women’s sexuality is so, so much more complex than males, which is amazing since, unlike males, we only have one brain. To this concern, I say, “It’s about time you noticed!” But why now — your timing is suspiciously suspicious, when foreplay typically involves a playful punch in the arm and the words, “Honey, are you awake?” Maybe hypoactive sexual drive disorder is real, maybe we are overworked and stressed with the multi-tasking demands of family life, or maybe we are just bored. Does it matter? Many men take the blue pill who have no “mechanical’ issues at all. If the goal is a healthier relationship, then a healthier sex drive, for any reason, is an important factor in a couple’s happiness. Of course, some critics suggest the placebo effect of the pink pill is not dramatically different from the drug’s effect despite that clinical tests show a statistically significant positive effect on women’s interest in sex. Again, hello! Who cares — unless you males are just worried about whether the plumber or landscaper may start to “crank our tractors.” So check your paternalism and male chivalry at the door, FDA. Women make calculated, educated decisions, weighing risks and rewards every day. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be married or in committed relationships. Ponder that, FDA, and maybe, just maybe, one of you will be on the receiving end of a playful punch in the arm in the middle of the night. 

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