Beyond the Sea with Foodz

When industry leader Melissa Jurcan, the current ILEA President of the Seattle Chapter, called and asked us to cater this year’s Emerald City Applause Awards I was a bit hesitant.

We catered the event the previous year and I wanted to be sure no one else was being overlooked for the opportunity. Melissa assured me, she wanted US to do it. So, I said yes! I mean – its Melissa Jurcan asking! Once I joined this year’s team, I was excited to discover PJ Hummel & Co. was doing decor and Ileigh Reynolds of Animate Objects Physical Theater was doing entertainment.

Talk about an “A” team.

There would never have been any hesitation had I known! ANY chance I get to work with these superstars I am ‘All In’!

Plus, the event took place at one of my favorite venues Fremont Foundry and Cort Party Rentals — full sponsors. Then there was the whole list of amazing sponsors from Crimson Haze to Fun Frames Photobooth to Caren Morris Photography to BPM Entertainment. The stars aligned for a magnificent event. And, so it was! 

Catering an event for all your industry peers can be extra pressure, but I feel it is an opportunity for my Chef, Pieter Dijkstra, to shine. I wanted him to have an opportunity to “play” and show off new menu ideas, be out of the box, and enjoy the moment. This was not a situation where our sales team or client is driving the menu, so I thought, “why not?” I know that can be risky, try new things on industry peers, but not only do I trust him, I know if he is driving the menu that he is 110% behind its success.

Consequently, he immediately set to work on a menu and we went back and forth, did some drawings of dishes on whiteboards, and focused on “Food of the Future”. This menu concept was the only direction I gave Chef Pieter at the time. “Food of the Future” is a great current trend and something we have focused on recently. Essentially, this concept is based on food sustainability, for example, using ‘Ugly’ produce, coffee flour and plant-based dishes.

However, the first menu did not coincide with the theme of the event. It wasn’t until we had a team meeting at Fremont Foundry where I learned the theme was to resemble a cruise ship, under the sea styled event. So, we went back to the drawing board on some items. We did keep the general idea of ‘Food of the Future’ but also focused on ‘Under the Sea’ menu items.


Original Menu


Cornmeal Macaron with BBQ Jackfruit


Bone Broth Braised Organic Rainbow Carrots topped with Brown Sugar Croutons

Gratin of “Ugly” Portobello Mushrooms and Yukon Gold Potato

Sou Vide Lamb with “Ugly Red Onion” Marmalade and Fresh Herb Salad


Rhubarb Custard Tart, Basil Sable, Orange Blossom Meringue, Fennel Fond Caramel Sauce

Honey Chamomile Cake, Candied Pistachios, Bee Pollen, Rose Water Berry Honeycomb, Browned Butter Creme Anglaise


Ultimately, the final menu ended up being a collaboration between Chef Pieter and myself. I wanted to be sure we had enough vegan and gluten-free items for all the guests. Also, I added an hors d’oeuvre to the menu as Ileigh, of Animate Objects, created a new costume just for the event that would have a tray to serve food. The style of the tray was not a good fit for the items we had at the time. As a result, I added vegan sushi just for this purpose.

Lastly, I asked for a ‘fun’ way to serve the mini ice cream sandwiches we had planned. Our amazing Pastry Chef, Shannon Lewis, makes fantastic French macarons. Therefore, we decided to make ice cream sandwich macarons using our Anti-Griddle as an interactive element of the event.

Final Menu

Passed Hors D Oeuvres

 Vegan Sushi

 Sushi Rice | Avocado | Mango | Ginger Pickled Carrots | Cucumber | Sriracha Cashew Mayo


Vegan & GF

Mini Coffee Flour Cone

Maple Carrot Bacon | Micro Lettuce | Cured Tomato | Vegan Aioli


Calamari Fries

Dynamite Sauce



Brussel Sprout Slider

  A beautiful Roasted Brussel Sprout | Beyond Meat Slider Patty | Caramelized Onions | Pickled Mustard Seeds | Served as a Slider.                      Vegan & GF


Pre-Set at the Table

Sustainably Harvested Charcuterie of the Sea *

Tea Smoked Black Cod, Pickled  Mussels,

Pine Cured Salmon, Fresh Horseradish, Monkfish Foie Gras, Crispy Salmon Crackers

Emilio Cerrillo Photography

*Chef Pieter was super excited about this dish. He loves Charcuterie plates and making them in-house.


24 Hr Sous Vide Octopus*

 Thinly Sliced Octopus, Red Leaf Lettuce Cups, Herbs, Pickled Vegetables, Lemongrass Vinaigrette

* I really wanted and Octopus dish – I mean, what better to represent ‘under the sea!”


Emilio Cerillo Photography

Vegan “Charcuterie”

   Lemon Cashew “Ricotta”| Beet “Pastrami”|Carrot “Corned Beef”| GF Crackers

Vegan & GF

Family Style Dinner

Whole Roasted Fish

                             Whole Roasted Scarlet Snapper, Sea Beans, Shiitake, Furikake Rice                                                


    Whole Roasted Scarlet Snapper

Emilio Cerrillo Photography

Black Garlic Chicken

                       Fried and Roast Chicken | Fermented Black Garlic Sauce | Long Beans           



Emilio Cerrillo Photography

Pan Seared Palm ‘Scallop’

Ginger Carrot Puree | Crispy Leeks | Micro Arugula  

 Vegan & GF


Emilio Cerrillo Photography

Pea Salad

English Peas | Snap Pea | Pea Shoots | Hot and Sour Cucumber Ribbons | Burnt Chili Vinaigrette

Vegan & GF

Pea salad

Emilio Cerrillo Photography

Cauliflower Rice with Togarashi

 Vegan & GF

                                                  cauliflowerEmilio Cerrillo Photography


Chef’s Choice Dessert

Assorted Mini Desserts

Under the Sea Ice Cream Macaron Sandwiches

under the sea macaron



ECAA Awards 2018

Thank You, Sponsors!
Venue: Fremont Foundry
Catering: Foodz Catering
Decor: PJ Hummel & Co.
Rentals: CORT Party Rentals
Entertainment: Animate Objects
Graphics/Signage: Sunny Umbrella Design Company
Lighting: Crimson Haze
Master of Ceremonies: Wordspark with Jenni Butz
Shoe Shine: Old Style Shoe Shine
Printer: Print NW
Videography: Crews Creative
Audio Visual/Screens: GOBE Productions
DJ: BPM Entertainment
Photobooth: Fun Frames
Photography: Caren Morris Photography




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