Press Release

News Release
December 14, 2016

Media Contact:
Kauilani Robinson
(206) 461-5839
krobinson@visitseattle.org

Taste Washington Announces Top Chef Lineup for 20th Annual Grand Tasting

Celebrity Chefs Turn Up the Heat for Taste Washington’s 20th Anniversary Grand Tasting Event

SEATTLE – For its 20th anniversary, Taste Washington welcomes five award-winning chefs to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Chef’s Stage: Chef Kristen Kish, Chef Stephanie Izard, Chef Chad White, Chef Jason Stratton and Chef Gregory Gourdet.

Taste Washington, the nation’s single-largest food and wine event, celebrates its 20th anniversary March 23-26, 2017. Following two days of food and wine-devoted parties and farm tours – including the Red & White Party, The New Vintage and On The Farm – Taste Washington’s finale, the Grand Tasting, takes place March 25-26 at CenturyLink Field Event Center.

Guests can watch culinary mastery in action, get tips and ask questions at hourly chef demonstrations from 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Grand Tasting hours have been extended by a half hour for both days of this year’s event, and VIP ticket holders can show up early for an extra hour of tasting.

“The Grand Tasting showcases more than 225 wineries and 65 restaurants and is truly the centerpiece of Taste Washington. After getting better acquainted with the local food and wine industry at the Red & White Party, The New Vintage, and On the Farm, guests can watch how different celebrity chefs and winemakers bring everything together,” said Ali Daniels, Vice President of Marketing at Visit Seattle. “Being immersed in a chef’s cooking process and culinary vision isn’t just entertaining – it also gives everyone a greater appreciation for Pacific Northwest cuisine and our local resources.”

Chef Kristen Kish has become a household name in the Emerald City after winning Bravo’s Season 10 of “Top Chef” in Seattle. She has also appeared as a co-host of “36 Hours” on the Travel Channel. Born in South Korea and adopted into a family in Michigan, Kish’s culinary roots began early. She attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago and has worked as Chef de Cuisine in high-profile restaurants, including Chef Guy Martin’s Sensing and Chef Barbara Lynch’s Stir and Menton restaurants. Kish is now traveling the world and working on her cookbook.

Chef Stephanie Izard is the Executive Chef and Partner of three Chicago restaurants: Girl & the Goat, Little Goat and Duck Duck Goat. Izard became the first woman to win Bravo’s “Top Chef,” Season Four, where she also earned the title of “Fan Favorite.” Chef Izard was recognized as James Beard Best Chef: Lakes Region in 2013 and Best Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 2011. In addition, Girl & the Goat was a 2011 James Beard “Best New Restaurant” nominee.  Her newest establishment, Duck Duck Goat, opened in March 2016.

Nicknamed “The Seafood Maverick,” Chef Chad White of Sea Rocket Bistro has been recognized as one of San Diego’s best seafood chefs. Influenced by his love of Mexico, White has opened restaurants on both sides of the U.S. southern border: La Justina in Tijuana and Craft Pizza Company and Común Kitchen & Tavern in San Diego. He has appeared on the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern” and was also a contestant on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 13. In summer 2016, Chef White opened a ceviche bar Zona Blaca in his hometown of Spokane, Washington.

Chef Jason Stratton is General Manager at Mamnoon in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. He began his culinary career at Seattle’s Le Gourmand restaurant at the age of 16. In 2002, Stratton served as line cook and sous chef at Café Juanita, followed by a six-month sabbatical to Granada, Spain. After his return, Stratton served as co-chef at Poppy and then joined Spinasse in 2009, where he was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “10 Best New Chefs for 2010.” Chef Stratton opened Artusi and Aragona, a James Beard semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant” in 2014.

An aficionado of Asian cuisines and flavors, Chef Gregory Gourdet serves as Culinary Director for Departure Restaurants, with locations in Portland and Cherry Creek, Colorado. For his national efforts promoting Oregon bounty, Gourdet was named “Chef of the Year” by the Oregon Department of Agriculture in 2013. He was also semi-finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest 2015. Gourdet appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef” Season 12, where he was named runner-up for the title. With a health-oriented culinary mindset, Gourdet offers gluten free, vegan and paleo menus to guests at Departure.

To get everyone in the flavorful spirit, Taste Washington welcomes back Seattle’s Chef Thierry Rautureau of Luc and Loulay Kitchen and Bar as Emcee. Trademarked “Chef in the Hat,” Chef Rautureau has been featured on shows such as Bravo’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters.” For a taste of his foodie knowledge and enthusiasm, tune into the “Seattle Kitchen Show” on KIRO 97.3FM.

For the month of December only, get $20 off Sunday tickets to the 20th Anniversary of Taste Washington’s Grand Tasting event with the code 20TASTE. It’s also the time to be among the first to purchase “The Connoisseur” pass, brand new this year, which guarantees VIP access to all of the festival’s signature events.

Grand Tasting ticket prices are as follows: two-day VIP passes are $210 and two-day general admission passes are $145, single-day VIP passes are $164 and single-day general admission passes are $95. VIP passes also include an extra hour of tasting, a VIP swag bag and access to the VIP Barrel Room presented by Muckleshoot Casino. Get in some sightseeing before the Grand Tasting with a Taste & Savor Tour at Pike Place Market, priced at $75.

Taste Washington is produced by Visit Seattle in partnership with Washington State Wine. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and visit www.tastewashington.org for tickets and ongoing updates.

Images for Taste Washington can be found here: http://tastewashington.org/media/image-gallery/.

About Taste Washington:
Taste Washington is the largest single-region wine and food event in the United States, featuring more than 225 Washington State wineries and more than 65 Pacific Northwest restaurants. The 20th annual event will be held on March 23-26, 2017 at various locations in Seattle. The 2017 Taste Washington welcoming sponsor is Alaska Airlines and the premier sponsors are Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card, Albert Lee and Muckleshoot Casino. Taste Washington attracts more than 6,400 wine and food enthusiasts to the Seattle area. The Washington State Wine Commission launched Taste Washington in 1998 and is now produced by Visit Seattle. For more information, visit www.tastewashington.org.

About Visit Seattle:
Visit Seattle, a private, nonprofit marketing organization, has served as Seattle/King County’s official destination marketing organization (DMO) for more than 50 years. The goal of these marketing efforts is to enhance the employment opportunities and economic prosperity of the region. For more information, visit www.visitseattle.org.

About Washington State Wine:
Washington State Wine represents every licensed winery and wine grape grower in Washington State. Guided by an appointed board, WSW provides a marketing platform to raise positive awareness of the Washington State wine industry and generate greater demand for its wines. Funded almost entirely by the industry through assessments based on grape and wine sales, WSW is a state government agency, established by the legislature in 1987. To learn more, visit www.washingtonwine.org.

About Alaska:
Alaska Airlines, together with its regional partners, flies 32 million customers a year to more than 110 cities with an average of 970 daily flights throughout the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and soon Cuba. With Alaska’s global airline partners, customers can earn and redeem miles to more than 800 destinations worldwide. Onboard, customers are invited to make the most of their flight with amenities like power outlets at every seat, streaming entertainment direct to their device, Wi-Fi and an inspired food and beverage selection featured on most flights. Alaska Airlines ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” in the J.D. Power North American Airline Satisfaction Study for nine consecutive years from 2008 to 2016. Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan also ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Airline Loyalty Rewards Programs” in the J.D. Power Airline Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report for the last three consecutive years. Alaska Airlines is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK). Learn more on the airline’s newsroom, blog, alaskaair.com, @AlaskaAir, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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