Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Monday, October 4, 2010

4 wits of brew

Part one:
Ben Hansen - Master brewer
John Christman - brew guru
Anthony Stabile - brewer to be
Jeremy Hansen - drinker of brew

Listening to MewithoutYou and The Raconteurs in a car of organized insanity with common-wise thinkers with passionate ideas we discuss politics to conspiracy to 2012 to Reptilian shape shifters to galactic Galaxy movement to free style walking (parkore), the conversation was open minded, mixed and intelligent. By following a trend unconsciously of many people around me. I see and meet many that are free thinkers in a perspective of philosophy and theorists who reflect and ponder the difficulties of the world with disquiet to mindfully develop solutions to the peoples problems by using there wit and intellect to develop a way of life that makes sense. With new ways of thinking and changing reality for the better each of us will grow on to progress as a species of human that will better the people around them. As we discuss ways to save the world we drive over 3000 miles with only one thing on our minds, beer.

Drinking and driving in Montana starts our morning off in a unscrupulous manner only to wonder why the hell it is legal in Montana. Starting off with Moose Drool from Big Sky Brewing and a Belgian white from Harvest Moon, the open road seemed nerve-racking just thinking of who else is on the road with an open container. "Pardon me lady I am trying to drink and drive hear," not to make fun but it is amusing to me that such enactments are contentious I myself do not condone this act of irresponsibility.

20 hours of driving with a 4 hour excursion to find brew master Ben's wallet left in a dumpster in Harding Wyoming. We finally make it to Aunt Diane's. With open arms and made beds we rest for 5 hours to eagerly awake and explore Denver and it's eminent beer culture. First stop Great Divide Brewery for the first tasting and fun with the locals. With a 50 barrel system and a great selection of craft brews we try the Wild Raspberry, Claymore Scottish Ale, Wood Aged IPA, Titan, Colette, Yeti, Old Ruffian and the Hibernation. All were very good especially the Hibernation, Claymore and the Colette. A full self motivated & guided tour some beers and friendly conversation with employees we decide this was going to be the first stop each day as our adventure persist and we did.

On a five mile rove through the beautiful mile high city the next brewery stops were Flying Dog but they moved then over to Blue Moon but private cool people only. Now we are hungry so a short trek to Wynkoop Brewing Co where we indulge in to the typical bar food situation but first nine tastings of their craft brews. Most notable was the Wixa Weiss and Patty's Chile beer that was odd for me but very aromatic and tasty won bronze in 2006 at the GABF. Next stop the Breckenridge Brewery for another 10 beers. Top three Vanilla Porter, Buddhas Hand Saison and the Lucky U IPA all were very delicious and well crafted. After trying about 25 beers already we hike to The Colorado Convention Center and shuffle to the end of the line and wait for 5:30.

The doors open and OH MY 450 breweries 2000 beers and a an amazing display of craft beers. 30 minutes in and another 45 beers tasted. When doing a tasting of wine I start to get palate fatigue after 11 but with beers the flavors and styles just kept my palate happy and thirsting for more. With 79 different styles I tried my best to try all with no avail but my favorites were the bourbon barrel stouts or wood and barrel aged, sour ale, schwarzbier, Scottish ale, Imperial Stout and the Barley wine style. For the next couple of hours it was a sip and dump unless something well crafted was in hand then a full 1 oz swallow was needed. We closed the show with another tasting of Odell Brewing Co. ( my favorite all time brewery) bourbon barrel aged stout and the Friek that were both my favorites of the show. After tasting about 300 flavor profiles with a few dozen styles I was purely satisfied. 1700 beers short of trying all we tasted from all regions. We noticed that the biggest lines where in the Pacific Northwest and the Rocky Mountain regions. Both regions have great water and an abundance of beer drinkers with great beer palates. my feeling is the brew culture of these regions have the same type of people. While being in Denver I felt like I could be in Spokane. The people are great and have a style about them that is humble and adventurous. Maybe it's the beer culture that is engulfing our regions. When all said and done there was definitely a few breweries that really stood out. You can really tell by tasting who has the passion and puts thought and effort into it and those who brew without. But the obvious separation was clear and in part two is a list of those I felt put the love that is necessary to be recognized as a great craft brewer or brewery.

check back for part 2: brew tours, breweries, local breweries, beers. Peace...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4 Days, 4 cities, lots of food

Spokane - Walla Walla - Portland - Seaside - Seattle
4th of July 2010 ANNIVERSARY - YEAR 2

Chaps - If you have a craving for an apple fritter then this is your place. Most likely the best frittata I have ever eaten. Perfectly baked with moist fritterness and slight crispy texture and a delectable amount of glaze. On our way, excited we headed south on 195 to wine country. We took our goods to go. Goods to go: House-made blueberry french toast with a cinnamon roll icing that was not too sweet and just the right amount. This is a great option since most serve french toast with some kind of maple syrup. It came with bacon and rib baby red potatoes, completing the dish. Also, I had a bacon mushroom and cheddar scramble that was good and fluffy, served with baby reds again in a perfectly made biscuit and gravy. That was again well-balanced, seasoned and texture wise. Great for a perfectly baked biscuit- yum. Altogether a great experience in a thoughtful, beautifully decorated new bakery custom built into the already well-know Chaps restaurant in Spokane. The only thing wrong were the styrofoam to-go containers, but that's another blog. Either way that's not enough to keep me from keeping me coming back... see you soon Chaps.

The Palouse empire- on our way through the rolling wheat and an occasional cow, chicken, and horse, the drive was perfect with green rolling hills and deep blue sky, and an abundance of perfectly spaced white cumulus clouds. The road was up and down and slightly windy through Colfax, Dayton, Waitsburg, Dixie, and into Walla Walla.

Walla Walla - A small but classy town with unique boutique stores and a large variety of wine shops. Those who frequent Walla Walla enough to know the usuals for tasting and I suppose we hit a few of them except Cayuse. I really wanted to try their wine but it was sold out and leaves me to wait for the next vintage. After wandering the streets downtown, we discovered a new wine maker for a tasting, all reds had a pleasant nose and body to them and comes with a higher-end price tag. Worth it and we may have a few cases for Santé. In the dead center of town, we tasted Rotie, a newer winery as well with complex quality wines at great prices. We even featured them in our last 15 dinner. Again great wines, great wine maker, great view of the city streets, and by talking to Rotie they are excited for their new vintages. With a drive to the park to check it out, a breathtaking cruise through the vineyards during sunset and quick stops at PhoSho and Saffron, we decided with a culinary mind and with all the closures for the 4th of July in Walla Walla, to keep driving on to Portland.

Portland - We drove through our old stomping grounds of 5 years and made a stop at our favorite place, Kornblatt's on NW 23rd for a tasty treat of a Kosher breakfast serving latkes, matza balls, ginormous eclairs, and other tasty treats. I strongly recommend this style if ever waking in Portland. After a quick stop at Trader Joe's on NW 21st and Glisan for olive oil and balsamic, we eagerly head west to the coast to celebrate a special anniversary.

Seaside - For the fireworks show of a lifetime, Seaside Oregon's display of explosions, rockets, sparklers, smokebombs, m80's, fire fountains, bright lights, and high pitched screaming noises and the mortar bombs that blast into the air only to explode again a hundred times over. At least 3 hours of non-stop of 360 degree radius pure American culture. It was beautiful. While my beautiful bride and I snack on Santé charcuterie, french cheeses, mustards, fruit, and crispy baguettes, and satiated with cured meats and artisan food and seeing this spectacle all with a tasty glass of champagne was just amazing. The cracks and booms went off all through the night until morning and with sandy feet and blanket, we go back to our luckily found last room in town with an ocean view that we sleep only to wake to a peaceful drive to Seattle. Before we leave, we had to stop at our favorite breakfast place on the coast: McGowan's. Another must-eat breakfast spot, they offer a menu that is both fresh and tasty, the chef uses quality products and shows skill in cooking techniques. After a mimosa it was off to Seattle for more exploring and culture.

Seattle - 2 nights at a little boutique called Ace Hotel, placed in the heart of Belltown we slept in a corner room with windows on both sides, wide open. We focused on the memories of living in downtown Portland where the people of the streets interact with each other - sometimes good and sometimes bad. This night was not much of either but it was great to be back in the mix of it all again. We went off the beaten path to find the much acclaimed Salumi, which was closed for the week. Any place with a picture of Julia Child in their window is OK with me. After was a walk around the city street food (chicken on a stick- delicious) at the Pike Street Market, Mariners game, and drinks at the Cyclops with the largest Belltown Pizza slices ever, another great day in Seattle.

Day 2 in Seattle - coffee at Vivace on Captital Hill, window shopping and people watching to get the full effect of the streets were crowded with people, rainbows and signs that read 'come as you are.' What a great way to start your day. Next stop: University District. Where the culture is plentiful with a diverse selection of food, in the mood for thai food for lunch. We passed on a couple, and stopped at one that serves everything for $6.99. Called AppeThai, usually when you see play-off words on restaurants it is pretty damn good. This one was the usual American wanna-be Thai stuff - don't waste your Thyme. Anyway, the U District is a great place to shop for cheap quality second-hand clothes and an unusual keep-sake finds. Very cool for people-watching as well. A short hike and some sun on the top of the Sundial hill in Gas works park later, we travel back to the hotel to park for the evening and wandered over to our main destinations, a Bolivian restaurant on the second level of the Pike Market called 'Copacabanna' for cocktails and 'Le Pichet' for dinner in Belltown. A true french restaurant with traditional house-cured charcuterie featuring mostly paté's, rillettes, and salamis, not to mention house cheeses, we tried everything. My favorite was foie gras with a mousse like texture and lightly airy seasoning of fleur de sel. The tounge was impressive as were the house cheeses and ambiance. Another great weekend of food and year of marriage in the books with my wife. I know its september but I have been busy and still love to write and I'll do my best to keep it going so peace to all.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 2010 Santé Newsletter

Santé Restaurant & Charcuterie

Our Cuisine Seasonally evolves, and is made in-house whenever possible. Menu items are subject to change weekly, sometimes even daily depending on the contents of our daily deliveries from local farmers.

Our Wine Selection Features hard to find Washington and European labels.

Our Ambiance is Spokane’s premiere destination for fine-dining cuisine, bon voyages, and anniversaries. Ask about our customized menu service, perfect for celebrating monumental life moments.

What’s New:

5 words: white port ginger pear cocktails. Try one today!

Charcuterie: We are now offering small plates of our charcuterie items. Perfect for the table or lounging on the patio. Sopressata is becoming very popular! Bresaola is almost ready to try in-house and take away by the pound.

Fromage: We now have 3 styles of our own cheese made from Spokane Family Farm milk: smoked, herbed, and lemon champagne. Brie will be available in the coming weeks!

Pastry Chef Lynette has done it again! Our pastry case is looking better than ever, stop by to take a peek or try something from our new dessert menu. An entire section is devoted to gelato, ice cream, and sorbet!

Our linguini, papardelle noodles, and gnocchi are all made in house.

Coming Soon:

Robert Karl wine dinner! Stay tuned for further information.

Seafood cooking class July 18 and 19 from 5-9pm. Please select which day works best for you. Hands-on instruction, wine, a notebook with recipes, and a dinner at the end are all included in the price. $100 per person. Reservations and further information is available via Mail@SanteSpokane.com

Congratulations to chef/owner Jeremy Hansen, who was selected by the Inland Business Catalyst magazine as one of the 20 most influential businessmen under 40 in the Pacific Northwest. A celebration will take place July 8th at Caterina Winery.

Just For You:

Mention our newsletter during your next breakfast purchase and receive a free house latté! Valid July 2010, must be redeemed before 11am with a minimum purchase of $10.

Please call for further details on any of the information mentioned

We are grateful to the Spokane community for embracing our small business and local ‘farm-to-table’ philosophy. 

*Become a fan of us on Facebook to stay informed with events and last-minute specials*

Until Next time...

à Votre Santé

Hours of Operation

Brunch 7 days a week / 8am-5pm

Dinner Wednesday-Saturday / 5pm-Close

404 West Main Street / Spokane WA 99201



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Saturday, May 29, 2010


Its not in my nature to deconstruct food and reconstruct it in into another form but chefs do if every day in restaurants around the world. I have a passion for food like any other who has passion for their crafts. To me its a way of life. I believe food is not just nourishment but educational in many ways. Not only does it keep us alive but it teaches us structure, organization and community among others and most importantly culture. Food comes in many forms in many places in many layers.

During my brief time in the this world I have found a multitude of challenges that pair with many layers of skill. It takes years from beginner to expert never to become a true master but some do achieve expert status more quickly than others. Its the passion and dedication that leads to trial and error basis until perfection can be attained.

I have randomly photographed a 5 day mise en place for 15 course dinner along with normal everyday mise just to show how mirthful this life is. With enjoyment, creativity, passion, and an unending learning experience I achieve complete satisfaction, gratitude and respect for it all. This is why I feel deconstruction and reconstructing is a form of art and being creative with it builds another layer and adds to the repertoire of experience and knowledge.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We are what our food eats

I truly believe if people eat organic food they will live happier, healthier, stronger and longer lives. To know where your food is coming from is so important for our health; what we eat is what we are. Its not about what we eat, as its about what we eat eats or how it is grown. My wife calls herself a Santévore, when I met her she was a vegetarian and like most vegetarians it was an easy decision to make considering the way the conventional (USA style of feed / mass lot production) animals are raised and treated. Through all my attempts to share this juicy beautiful peace of meat that I was enjoying so much I never succeeded. Not because the meat didn't taste good but for the deep roots of disgust, shame, and embarrassment of what America is doing to our food. After a year or so of trying to convert my beautiful wife to a meat eater again I decided to try a different approach. This approach was still trying to get her to eat meat but a different kind of meat, meat that you couldnt buy in the stores, meat that is hormone, steroid and antibiotics free, meat that was naturally raised, grass fed, organic vegetable and grain fed, left to roam, mate, play and do all it wishes as its raised for nourishment. At first I thought she might not care about this humanely raised meat to eat but I was wrong she totally embraced the idea that if I could find this kind of meat she would try it. WOW it worked I brought home a locally farmed naturally raised Berkshire pork chop and cooked mid rare for us and she tried it. She liked it and decided if ever to eat meat it will be raised this way. OK I thought now I am on a journey to find some naturally raised meat purveyors, in Oregon this was easy but in Spokane where meat and potatoes are easy to find nobody had naturally raised beef or pork and if they did they would make it hard to get. So naturally I look to the local farmers and spent the next five years developing my philosophy. You may know it as Santé...

Click the links to view my inspiration for my brief rant......
Dan Barber, Fois Gras

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spokane/food 2010

 Spokane seems to be brewing up some great new ventures that are focusing on local food.  New and exciting eats are on the way that carry charisma and good community ethics. We have chefs starting underground food eateries that seem to be mobile and will feed people in unusual places. We will be seeing extensive high end wine dinners that feature food & wine within 50 miles. Cool food markets that feature only local food and other organics, custom butchering that will allow customers to place whole hog, steer, lamb or wild game orders in for a standard break-down to a more customized  meat spread; The Big Table dinners, cheese making using Spokane Family farm milk. And we can't forget the re opening of a steak house that Spokane has seen before. Check out  popupspokane.tumblr.comwhere you will find chef David Blaine's new venture of unique eats. And thewanderingtable.com where chef Adam Hegsted is playing with his creativity by bringing something cool and unique to Spokane with his fresh and local approach, chefs table. There are also other events happening, like '15,' a dinner shaped around local wineries and food. 15 courses of small bites paired with wine that will have a multitude of textures, flavors and creativity. Like many new things in Spokane the new comes and goes but great things stick around and both nomad food sharing ideas and butcher shops I think will last to be old news. So good luck chefs I at least will be watching and attending and I am stoked. Thanks for being creative and extraordinary.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in Prospective

Well it's been a while for a post, but not for rough drafts I have started.  I just cant seem to finish them. I will be posting more often while I finish my thoughts. First of all I would like to reflect on 2009 though I am 39 days slow.

Wow What a year! First of all I want to thank all of our fans and supporters who join us for food and drinks each day, thank you all so much. With out you it would not have been the year it was.
Menus I have written this year: 10 lunch & breakfast, 11 dinner, 12 first Friday menus with guest chefs, 18 other special event dinners including wine makers dinners and charity events as well as the first Big Table dinner. I am starting to see where all my time is going. 

Some of the Good people I have met this year: 
Paul Haeder, one of the most passionate people I have ever met. He has brought inspiration from all directions and has opened my mind to the realities of life in many different layers  
John Allen from Vino
Chef Peter Tobin
Chef David Blaine
Author/Greenpeace activist David Suzuki
   Urban Farmer Novella Carpinter
Author David Sedaris 
Winona La Duke
Antonio Banderas came every day he was in town
Cast and crew of  The Lion King
Gary From Rocky Ridge Ranch.
Jennifer Hall
Jim Sheehan & progressive dinners at his house, with guest Woodie Tasch
Senator Lisa Brown 
Mike Jones Owner Mazuna
Mike Wiley 
   Dominic C. Brogna, future chef

Miscellaneous endeavors:
Cooking Classes
New York CIA extended learning certificate for charcuterie.
Guest chefs: Peter Tobin, Al Kowitz, Nancy Locke, Tukcha Kim, Tofu Phil, Austin Rockeman(feat. Shilo & Dave)
Guest Artist for each month as well, a new show each month.
Cool events: Take a Bite out of Hunger, Sustainable September kick-off, Futurewise Feast With Friends, Movie & discussion of Food, Inc., Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Grill Off, Black Box Kitchen Challenge, Green Drinks, Class of 2009 INCA Graduates Dinner
Some of the most remembered events for the year:
Wine dinners: Lone Canary, Whitestone, Barrister, Marryhill, Townsend. Special thanks to Vino, John Allen, and all of the winemakers for all of their help and knowledge. 

Things I have learned: too many to list but the most important was teaching myself how to balance work life and real life. Instead of separating them I have realized this is a life as one and not work at all. It all flows with its self and makes sense by making it a way of life all together. I don't go to work, I just live my life and do my best to follow the path of balance and love.

Things that Have challenged me: Long hours, employee personality management, keeping the balance of life, not forgetting the true-ness of food, and keeping the standards high without compromise. 
2010 is already looking to be as busy and fun as the last. 

Thank you all again and have a great 2010!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Home Brew

So a very good friend convinced me to brew beer at the restaurant during off hours. At first I thought sure, that would be cool if we actually did it.  Then I thought, well I could use it for cooking and it would be great to further my knowledge in this simple but intricate process.  We talked it over and decided a few more consequential components of the brew fest were needed. 1-Time, 2-will, 3-ingredients, 4-guru (the most important), and five friends with $ & beer. After spending 80$ & 20 minutes at Jim's Home Brew the guru and I decided to take on an educational approach and take it one step at a time and start with the fundamentals. With 5 of us involved only one really knows the true methods of brewing. 1st stage in the rudiments is to achieve fermentation and a drinkable beer. We decided to use a hop extract, kicker to squeeze out another % or 2 of alcohol, English & an American Ale yeast and Irish moss to help coagulate protein and aid in purification. The guru says this is a fail proof method if sanitization is in use & procedures are correctly applied. This quick & simple process will help provide an awareness of brew procedures while learning the basic method. Next week we advance our method to a half mash by using a hop extract and whole grains and our third week we will try a full mash by using all grains.
Week 1: 11.25.09
English Amber Ale
American Amber Ale
Brew Guru: John Christman
Brewer: Jeremy L. Hansen
Brewer: Anthony Stabile
Brewer: Ben Hansen

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

1 big city 2 days 6 stars 17 courses

A long train ride from upstate NY (Hyde Park) to uptown (upper east Side) in Hostel Chocolat we live for another weekend. My love and I checked in to a small room with an unexpected roommate from Japan. After changing we ventured out for an 8 mile walk through Central Park straight for our favorite pizza (Bravo Pizza), deep dish love.  Today is a very special day for me especially because I get to cash in on my wife's birthday gift to our first three star Michelin rated restaurant experience.  My first choice is Daniel, second Jean~Georges and I got both, Daniel for dinner & JG for lunch. Six stars in one weekend. 

Lunch at JG: Atmosphere was clean minus a couple details. Food was great showing skill & precision with flavors that punctuate with balance. Service was perfectly executed beyond expectation if you were blind. The five personnel who serviced us were polite, clean and noticed most details and had perfect timing but did it with a frown. They seemed to be almost demoralized by the upper management to the point where they did their best to express the least. Otherwise this lunch was my personal best ever.
What we ate:
Gulf Shrimp with Smoked Bacon, Papaya Mustard and Avocado
Sea Scallops, Caramelized Cauliflower, Caper-Raisin Emulsion
Skate with Château Chalon Sauce
Carmelized Sweetbreads, Candied Pumpkin, Liquorice and Sherry Emulsion
Beef Tenderloin and Crunchy Potatoes,Tomato Compote with Chilies and Garlic
JG's signature chocolate cake
Apple cider & pomegranate with Apple Ice Cream
Chef de Cuisine:Mark Lapico
Chef/Proprietor: Jean-Georges Vongerichten
For Dinner From Chocolat we crossed Central Park to Park Ave. and walked south a few blocks to Daniel. Chef Daniel Boulud is an all time favorite with lots of knowledge and passion for french influenced food. I have studied his passion and techniques for some years now and only now can I truly understand it. The restaurant has also graduated from a two star to a three which is now one of only six restaurants in the states to have been given this world wide recognition. We were ten minutes early and greeted with a coat check and a seat in a elegant lounge style waiting room. Within a minute we were provided gratis, champagne and hand made olive stuffed pretzels. An awe- inspired conversation with my wife for eight minutes and we were graciously seated at our table for the rest of the evening. With my wife the day has been perfect and the dinner has begun to remind us of other beautiful days in the big apple we have shared. 
First the water guru, somalier, server then somalier again. By using eye contact the floor personnel worked together in stride. After friendly & witty conversation with the staff we soon had our orders in and a trio of amuse bouche on the table for each of us. The show begins and the food is amazing followed by the impeccable service. Some courses paired with wine and some not. The portioning was scaled perfectly just to give you enough to appreciate it and keep you satiated and wishing you had another bite.  All courses were built with balance in mind using professional techniques with precision. It is truly amazing to see such respect for food and be able to appreciate it for the work that is put into it. But its not just about the food its about the combination of professionalism, service, food and the paying attention to details. Chef Daniel Buloud has been a chef icon for years careering two stars for a while and is definitely staying on top of the game. 
What we ate:
Pressed Duck and Foie Gras Terrine
Chimay Gelée, Chestnuts, Red Cabbage Chutney
Mosaic of Capon, Foie Gras, and Celery Root
Pickled Diakon, Satur Farms Mâche, Pear Confit
R, Haart Riesling "Piesport Kabinett", Mosel 1999
Olive Oil Poached Cod "En Salade"
Artichoke Purée, Anise Hysop Dressing, Lemon Zest
Duo of Hamachi
Lettuce Wrapped Tartare with North Star Caviar
Vodka Beet Cured with Walnut Pistou, Mâche Salad
Grüner Veltliner, "Freiheit", Nigk, Kremstal 2008
Handmade Spinach Tortelloni
Chanterells, Thomme de la Chataigneraie,Lomo, Black Garlic
Whole Grain Crusted Skate
Chanterells, Swiss Chard, Kamut Berries, Capers
Duo of Dry Aged Black Angus Beef
Red Wine Braised Short Rib with Parsnip~Potato Gratin
Seared Rib Eye with Black Trumpets, Gorgonzola Cream 
Foie Gras Stuffed Scottish Grouse
Celery, Caramelized Salsify, Beets, Walnut~Calvados Jus
Bosquet des papes "Couvée Grenache", Châteauneuf du Pape 2001
Duo of Fruit and Chocolate Desserts
A few more things that I would like to mention about Daniel. To prove my point about paying attention to detail our main server knew who we were and I'm sure he did some research as well. The details were watched and attended to- even a personalized menu of what we had to eat and drink was presented to us. The Duo of desserts were wonderful but the birthday dessert was a surprise as well as the silver platter of friandise, seven mini assorted house made chocolates,  madelines and others. The service details can make or break you; when your server drops off a plate and tells you what it is you're about to experience you should commend them for caring. This is a major detail that cannot be overlooked. It lets the customer know that all involved with dinner are dedicated and have respect for all aspects & efforts of service. Daniel covers all details and more.