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Taste of Tulalip hosts ‘Tweet-Up’
TULALIP — The Taste of Tulalip’s second annual “Tweet-Up” drew 31 Twitterers to the Orca Ballroom of the Tulalip Resort on Oct. 12, up from 26 last year, with a considerable wait-list of “foodies” who had hoped to sample sneak previews of the dishes that will be served at the third annual Taste of Tulalip on Nov. 11-12.
According to Lisa Severn, food and beverage director for the Tulalip Resort, this reflects the level of interest in the Taste of Tulalip itself, since all 400 seats at its Celebration Dinner have already sold out.
“Social media really generates strong interest,” said Allan Aquila, who’s conducting public relations for the event. “It feels like more of a personal conversation when people can follow these Twitter and Facebook accounts to get their impressions of the dishes.”
Although Aquila identified a boost in ticket sales for last year’s Taste of Tulalip, following that year’s Tweet-Up, he acknowledged that ticket sales for this year’s Taste of Tulalip were already ahead of where they’d been at the same time last year, before the Oct. 12 Tweet-Up.
“Everyone comes here already expecting to have a good time,” said Arleen Edward, director of catering and conference services for the Tulalip Resort. “It’s great to get their feedback on how well the food and wine came together, especially when some of them have flown in from out of state.”
Although they hail from relatively close by, Kevin Wu and Jason Chow of 604Foodtography.com are definitely from out of state. The Vancouver, B.C., duo came from Canada armed with cameras and smart-phones to take their first taste of Tulalip.
“I’ve never been to this resort before,” Wu said. “It was well worth the drive. I had to check out this menu for the seafood.”
“No, for the beef,” Chow disagreed, indicating the Wagyu New York strip that topped their table’s menu. “I mean, a chance to check out the American take on Kobe? Come on, man.”
Tulalip Resort Executive Chef Perry Mascitti explained that each of the five tables would be served a slightly different menu.
“Otherwise, you’d each be eating 24 different dishes,” said Mascitti, who praised his seven chefs and his roughly 140-member culinary team, which serves up 110,000 meals a month at the Tulalip Resort. “We want this to show our passion.”
Chef Brent Clarkson boasted of the Wagyu that it had a “6” on the marbling index, “the highest you can get,” and promised, “The meat melts in your mouth.”
At the same time that Chef David Buchanan presented glasses of Dungeness crab pot pie and Chef Dean Shinagawa served up braised oxtail, magnums of Cristal and Abacus were flowing freely.
“Unless you’re Bill Gates or some other computer millionaire, you’re not going to get a chance to sample wines like these again,” Taste of Tulalip Sommelier Tommy Thompson said. “We have all these wineries vying for space here, and Washington has some amazing wines, so it’s always a hard choice.”
Wu and Chow’s table-mate and fellow Vancouver native, Victoria Chemko of “Victoria’s Food Secrets,” had no complaints about the evening’s wines.
“It’s all been delicious,” said Chemko, who was also visiting the Tulalip Resort for the first time. “I’ve been on a bit of a break from wines lately, so reintroducing myself to them in this way is not a bad thing,” she laughed.
Chemko admitted to supporting the local economy by doing some shopping in the area as well.
While many attendees took the time to photograph their dishes before digging in, almost everyone paused to take pictures of Chef Nikol Nakamura making pistachio ice cream with liquid nitrogen, especially when the mix caused thick, cloudy vapors to billow out of her bowl like a horror movie fog.