Edmonds Waterfront Center celebrating Juneteenth this week

Edmonds Waterfront Center Operations Manager Robin Ullman, left, with Potlatch Bistro Head Chef Megan Honan. (Photo courtesy Edmonds Waterfront Center)

The Edmonds Waterfront Center will be celebrating Juneteenth June 13-17.

Featured all week at the Potlatch Bistro is an authentic soul food special: jambalaya, cornbread and a sweet potato tart prepared by guest chef Robin Ullman, operations manager at the EWC. In addition to her master’s degree in international community development, Ullman has a culinary arts degree from North Seattle College.

“My Creole parents were transplants from Baton Rouge and Shreveport, Louisiana to the Central Area of Seattle in the late 1940s,” Ullman said. “My childhood was filled with homecooked meals of the Creole cuisine. My mother was a trailblazer. She was a stay/work-at-home business owner and a fabulous cook. I loved to watch and help her in the kitchen. At age 9, I got to bake cornbread, stir roux or gravy on top of a hot stove (we ate gravy almost every day with rice-based meals).” Important ingredients, such as chopped onions, celery and peppers, also known as the “holy trinity,” were regularly incorporated, Ullman recalled.

“I loved being in the kitchen with my mother and making her proud,” she continued. “We were kindred spirits. We grew most of the vegetables we cooked. Summers were all about canning tomatoes and green beans, and all kinds of tree fruits we grew. Jambalaya was a staple food along with smothered chicken, shrimp creole, yams, greens, fried green tomatoes, and red beans and rice. Summers were always filled with large family barbecues and fried chicken picnics with the likes of blackberry and peach cobblers and homemade ice cream. And special occasions like New Year’s Day called for the granddaddy of Creole cuisine, Seafood Gumbo and for dessert, Red Velvet Cake.

“Cooking connects me to my roots, especially as I seek to learn more about this connection between me and my ancestry,” she concluded. “As an example, Jambalaya has a French and Creole American past, but it is very similar to the West African Rice Dish called Jolloff. Not coincidentally, the slave trade tie between West Africa and the U.S. South.”

As part of the Juneteenth celebration, D’Vonne Lewis, Limited Edition is performing in the community lounge during Monday’s lunch, and art pieces by Black visual artist Barry Johnson are on display in the second-floor gallery. The celebration is being sponsored by Virginia Mason Franciscan Health.

  1. Oh, Robin, this is fabulous of you to step away from the manager’s desk for a bit and put on the chef’s hat to commemorate Creole-style Juneteenth for our community. As the old folks in my family would say ‘fix me a plate, I’ll be there directly!’ Kudos to the Edmonds Waterfront Center and Potlach Bistro for an appetizing way to celebrate this new and important holiday!

    1. Thank you Donnie! All the best at Juneteenth Kind of Father’s Day Picnic on Sunday, June 19 at Esperance Park. May all who attend be blessed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.