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Pacific Wine and Kitchen

Pacific Wine and Kitchen

At the age of eleven, Lindalee woke one morning determined to make pancakes for breakfast.  Her light and fluffy flapjacks hinted at her life-long passion for food. Throughout her childhood, she’d watched her father in the kitchen while he cooked his special pot roast, made birthday cakes and prepared school lunches for her and her three siblings. Lindalee, who’d grown up in a somewhat turbulent household, could always count on the dinner hour to bring the family together. Eating and enjoying home-made meals at the dining room table meant love, caring and closeness. Many years later, these early connections with food became the inspiration for Lindalee McCandlis’s decision to create her cooking school, Pacific Culinary Studio, and her retail shop, Pacific Wine and Kitchen.

Located in Everett, Washington, the studio and shop celebrates local artisans, the art of cooking and the pleasure of eating home-made and home-grown food.  Owned by Lindalee and her husband, Dewey McCandlis, Pacific Culinary Studio is more than a demonstration kitchen and cooking school; it is part of Pacific Wine and Kitchen, a retail store offering wine and kitchen equipment. “In 2003, Dewey and I opened this business as an extension of our combined love of the food and wine culture,” said Lindalee. Sharing new ways to nurture family and friends, and inspiring people to gather together around the family table are at the core of their mission.

I met Lindalee when I attended a cooking class at her studio last year. She introduced Leesa Sulivan, the guest chef for the evening. As if hosting a large dinner party, Lindalee made her guests feel comfortable as she turned the kitchen “stage” over to Leesa, and supported her by assisting when necessary, then plating and serving food to about 20 people.  The classroom was set up with long tables set with water, napkins, silverware and recipe packets. The 12’ by 3’ granite kitchen counter provides a spacious work area. Two ovens, a gas range, large refrigerator plus every kitchen gadget you’d ever want made this a dream kitchen. The chef’s every move is reflected in a mirror hanging above the counter. When the studio kitchen is not used for classes, Lindalee frequently invites friends to make dinner together. The studio is also used for special events such as corporate team building, DVD production (culinary videos) , bridal showers or book clubs.

At an early age, Lindalee discovered her interest in food and cooking, but I wanted to know how she had acquired her expertise as a chef and cooking instructor.

Lindalee McCandlis

Lindalee Teaching in her Studio Kitchen

With curly blond hair and blue eyes, Lindalee’s classic looks reminded me of a younger Meryl Streep. “When I grew up, I subscribed to Gourmet (magazine). I cooked most of their recipes. I also used the Gourmet cookbooks,” said Lindalee. She learned cooking techniques, hosted dinner parties about twice a month and tried new recipes. Instead of going to culinary school, she got additional training as an apprentice at Nick’s Italian Café. She discovered she had already learned many techniques on her own. “How did I know how to make a Beurre Blanc (white butter sauce)?” she laughed, “By reading Gourmet magazine.”

Lindalee’s passion for cooking is evident when you see her shop, Pacific Wine and Kitchen. The shop is not only well-stocked with kitchen gadgets, beautiful pottery, pots, pans, knives, linens and gourmet food items, it is well organized too. Lindalee’s knowledge adds to the shopping experience. Lindalee has an intuitive understanding for a cook’s needs and can share experience about cooking and entertaining.

Recently, I taught a class at Pacific Culinary Studio. The dessert I had made for class was topped with whipped cream made with a Whipped Cream Charger. It was fun to swirl cream on each plate, I knew I’d have to have one at home. After class, I made a bee-line to the shop to get one for my kitchen.

If you love food, wine, cooking or know someone who does, I encourage you to visit Pacific Wine and Kitchen. This is one of the best shops in the Everett area for food and wine aficionados. You can also sign up for a cooking class in June. Lindalee is teaching “Fresh, No Stress Entertaining,” and Rachel Duboff presents “The Italian Grill – Hands On”. Check out the full schedule here.

I think you will agree that Lindalee and Dewey, are accomplishing their goal  – sharing exciting new ideas and inspiring us to discover the joy food can bring to our friends and family. See where pancakes can lead.

 

Lindalee at Pacific Culinary Studio

Learning to Cook with Lindalee

 

 

 

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When I woke this morning, I was looking forward to driving to Kent – a suburb of Seattle – to visit a home and garden shop. About a week ago, my friend Crystel  visited a small shop, Bella Home and Garden. When Crystel discovered that the store was hosting an event called “The Sense of Lavender”, she told the sales clerk about my book “Discover Cooking with Lavender”. Then she emailed me telling me about the shop, their Open House and suggested I contact the shop owner. Crystel even gave me the phone number. 

Bella Open House Event

Invitation to "The Sense of Lavender"

 

I was pleased because I would not have found this shop without her email. I don’t live in that area and I rarely shop there. It’s about 25 miles from my home. Friends, like Crystel, are hard to find. 

Crystel - A thoughtful Friend

Crystel - A Thoughtful Friend

 

I drove out to Kent. The traffic was light and the cloudy drizzly day felt calming. I brought a few books along with me. I parked and walked towards the store. Tables full of small plants made the store look fresh and inviting. I spotted plenty of 4 inch lavender plants, Betty’s Blue was blooming. I walked into the store and was immediately greeted by an attractive blonde woman, whose name  I soon learned was Carol. Carol introduced me to the shop’s owner, Marci Wainhouse. 

Soon we were talking about cooking with lavender, lemonade, grandchildren and Girl Scouts.  “I brought a few copies of my book.”  I said. 

Carol began looking at it. “I love the cover.” 

Then Marci paged through it. “This is my granddaughter. And the little girl on the back is Charlotte Rose, daughter of Shelley Thomas and Brian Smale (the food stylist and photographer who gave my book its great look),” I commented. 

I was thrilled when Marci said, “We love the book. It fits perfectly with our shop. We’d love to carry it.” 

The conversation turned back to the Open House. “I can be here on Saturday, October 2nd from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Would you like me to demonstrate how to make and use lavender sugar? Also, I’d love to show your customers how easy it is to dry roast culinary lavender buds to create a whole new taste,” I offered. 

“Good, sounds wonderful,” Marci replied. 

With that settled, Marci asked, “Have you shopped at Martha E. Harris? She used to be near University Village? I used to work there many years ago.” 

What a coincidence, I thought. “Martha Harris is my favorite florist. Whenever I order flowers, I call Martha E. Harris.” 

Marci smiled, saying, “I thought I might have recognized your name. You should see if she wants to carry your book. It would do well there!” 

She went on to suggest several other places where she thought my book would be a fit. One was Purple Haze. Then the topic of food came into the picture. Marci raved about Purple Haze Lavender and Herbes de Provence Mustard. “It’s delicious on ham on French bread. I made a wilted salad with it and loved it,” she said. 

“I’d like to buy some and try it.” I said. 

Marci walked across the shop to the shelf where the mustard was displayed, picked up a jar and placed in a bag with the Bella logo. “This is on us. I hope you enjoy it,” she said. 

This is a story of how one kindness can open the door to more. Crystel, thanks for opening the door.   

p.s. By the way the mustard is delicious. We tried it this evening using Marci’s serving suggestion. Perfect! 

If you are in the Kent area on Friday(10-1) or Saturday(10-2) between 4  p.m. and 8 p.m., drop by Bella. Gourmet food tastings, special price for lavender and great gift ideas will be available. 

Ham on Mustard on Bread

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My Brownie Troop

My Brownie Troop

As a young girl, I joined Brownies. My mother was our troop leader, we met at our home. The troop was together about 5 years. During that time I learned how to make a bunsen burner, weave newspapers together to make a “sit-upon” and I made close friends. I also learned to sell Girl Scout cookies.

Now, it is my pleasure to participate in Girlfriends Weekend. This event, offered by the Girl Scouts, gives women the opportunity to spend a weekend at Camp River Ranch, a favorite camp near Carnation, Washington. Carnation is less than an hour drive from Seattle. 

Women, moms and daughters, sisters, friends and neighbors have been invited to a “pampered camping” weekend where they will enjoy gourmet food, yoga, massage and cooking demonstrations and more. The proceeds from the event will raise money to send girl scouts with financial need to camp next summer. 

A silent auction  will give the “pampered campers”   a chance to financially contribute to this cause plus snag some of the special items up for grabs.  

  • A holiday dinner with the Governor at the Governor’s Mansion (live auction)
  • Tickets to Teatro ZinZanni
  • Victoria Clipper vacation packages, including hotel accommodations
  • Tickets to 5th Ave Theatre
  • Gorgeous handmade quilts and other amazing artwork
  • Certificates to spas and salons, including Seven Salon
  • Chef cooking classes
  • Certificates to some of Washington’s best restaurants
  • Discover Lavender Culinary Basket

Lavender BasketI am thrilled to have been invited to attend as a presenter. I am hosting a cooking demonstration on Saturday, September 11th. There is nothing I enjoy more than sharing my passion for food, eating and, of course, lavender. My demonstration will include new ways to infuse the flavor of lavender into sugar, seasoning blends, and more. 

Yesterday, I delivered my donation for the silent auction. I created a basket of my favorite lavender food items along with an autographed copy of my book – “Discover Cooking with Lavender”. 

 The basket includes special culinary products that I picked up last weekend at Lavender Wind Farm on Whidbey Island.Lavender Treats I found a big basket and lined it with lavender tissue paper, then filled it with tempting treats, wrapped it all in cellophane tied it with a ribbon. 

Girl Scouts has taught me many things. Supporting girls and helping them to have many opportunities has been the most rewarding.

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