Edmonds Restaurant News: Local eateries collect food for kids in need, plus Calypso takes shape

It’s hard to imagine that in a country with such wealth, a child in our community could leave school on Friday afternoon and not eat again until they arrive at school Monday morning. And yet, it happens.

The Edmonds School District is pretty large, but it’s heartbreaking to hear reports that within its ranks there are over 600 homeless students. What’s more, 36 percent of enrolled students qualify for free or reduced lunch under established poverty guidelines.

Get into the spirit of Thanksgiving with FeedMe Hospitality — better known to us as Salt & Iron, Bar Dojo and Mar•Ket. Owners Shubert and Mira Ho, and Andrew and Ciara Leckie, are sponsoring a canned and non-perishable food drive this November. FeedMe will match every item donated before Thanksgiving with an equivalent item, so your contribution will go even further. You can partner with them as they join with the Foundation for Edmonds School District’s Nourishing Network, where they’re working to insure food security, and to provide other aid for at-risk children in our community.

Since both Ciara Leckie and Mira Ho teach at the elementary level in the Edmonds School District, they’ve worked with some of these at-risk children every day.

If large class sizes and increasingly-limited resources make teaching (and learning) challenging, teaching hungry children must be nearly impossible.

“That’s one of the reasons we chose Nourishing Network as a charity we support,” Ho said. “Mira and Ciara have both seen the positive impact of this program. They also do a great job of helping people without drawing unwanted attention to them.”

I found myself getting into the Thanksgiving spirit after talking with Ho. I seem to buy clam chowder, tuna and chili every time I go to the store. There’s always extra boxes of pasta, tomato sauce, refried beens and chicken soup crowding the shelf. I think I can spare some for a good cause. Maybe you have a few things that you can pull out of your pantry too. Next time you’re grocery shopping, look for a sale — I noticed QFC had Progresso soup 10 for $10 yesterday. What’s one more 10-pack at Costco? No child around here should have to wonder where their next meal is coming from.

Examples of donated items.

You don’t have to break the bank to make an impact. Individual milk boxes (stable), SpaghettiOs, canned chicken, cereal, apple sauce, peanut butter and granola bars are also on their list — but no bulk items please.

Just drop your donations by any of FeedMe Hospitality’s restaurants. There are convenient donation boxes at each location.

For more information on the work Nourishing Network is engaged in, visit foundationesd.org

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Calypso Update:

From left: Calypso owners Michael Chambers and Jennifer Myatt, Salish Brewing Co. Brew Master/Owner Jeff Barnett and Calypso Chef Jason Orth. (Photo by Bob Chambers)

Michael Chambers and Jennifer Myatt have been busy. After taking possession of the space occupied by Café de Paris for decades, Calypso is beginning to take shape. The interior has been completely revamped from floor to ceiling. A great deal of effort has gone into their lighting and beautiful decorative walls. The tables and chairs are in. Finishing touches like glassware and potted plants are in evidence. It won’t be long now.

Chef Jason Orth stirring the Calypso IPA. (Photo by Bob Chambers)

When not overseeing the transformation of the space, Chambers and Myatt could be found at Salish Sea Brewing where, in consultation with Brew Master Jeff Barnett, they have begun brewing their very own signature Calypso IPA.

“We’ll be having a tasting party at Salish Sea on Nov. 19. We’ll be serving up samples of some of our menu items and unveiling our IPA,” said Myatt.

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Say cheese

Rachael Lucas listens patiently as James Spangler attempts to formulate a question. (Photo by Melissa Jamison)

There were no empty seats available as Rachael Lucas (certified cheese professional) held the first of her informative cheese classes at The Cheesemonger’s Table Tuesday.

Dubbed “Cheese 101,” Lucas led the class through the rudiments: the history of cheese, the six-step process required in the production of most cheeses, which rinds to eat and which are better left on the cheese board. She answered a couple of cheese etiquette questions I’d been pondering for a long time. There’s actually a good reason for not cutting the “nose” off of a cheese wedge.

Each student was presented with their own cheese board, replete with six hand-picked varieties of cheese for our culinary edification. The cheeses Lucas selected for us ran the gamut from a soft creamy Brie style Fromage de Meaux and an exceptional L’Amuse Gouda aged for two years, to the finale —  the most robust Roquefort I’ve ever bumped into. Since wines were paired with each cheese sample, the class became progressively more lively as we explored the various delectables. There were also some nice trays of charcuterie to compliment the cheese tasting.

I’m looking forward to Cheese 102. There’s even talk of a monthly cheese club if interest holds.

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Salish Sea Brewing celebrates 5 years

Where does the time go? Salish Sea Brewing will be celebrating five years in Edmonds on Sunday, Nov. 18. They’re planning food and beer specials, raffles for prizes, and new beer releases. Drop by any time between noon and 8:00 p.m., hoist a couple, graze from their small plate menu (I can personally vouch for the street tacos, soft pretzels and mac and beer cheese!) and congratulate them on their business milestone. The kitchen closes a half an hour before the bar, so don’t wait too long if you’re hungry.

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Support Veterans

This Veterans Day — Sunday, Nov. 11 — enjoy Sunday brunch, dinner or happy hour and 190 Sunset will donate 10 percent of your ticket to the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Post 8870. Kudos to 190 Sunset for supporting our local veterans!

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James Spangler— By James Spangler
The furthest thing from a finicky eater, James Spangler insisted on trying everything on the table from the earliest age. At 13, he prepared Baked Alaska for an entire classroom and has had an insatiable appetite for good food ever since. On his days off, he’s rather be in the kitchen cooking for the people he loves than doing just about anything. If you catch him reading a book at his bookstore on 4th Avenue in Edmonds, there’s a good chance it’ll  have something to do with food.

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