Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Salmon-Chanted Evening – Pike Place Market, Seattle

Posted on: Monday 13 June 2011

Tom Douglas is the heart and soul of the Seattle restaurant community. His generosity was showcased at the Salmon-Chanted Evening held on Saturday. There’s been controversy about serving the dinner in Victor Steinbrueck Park – accusations of gentrification and widening the divide between haves and have-nots.

For me the fundamental point is that parks are for civic use – families picnicking, children playing, friends gathering, individuals reading, tourists resting. It costs tax money to maintain the facilities and the public space should be respected, to be shared. Events such as the Salmon-Chanted Evenings should be encouraged, to foster a neighbourhood spirit and to support worthwhile causes.

Pike Place Market was bustling on a warm Saturday. An a capella group entertained the crowd in Victor Steinbrueck Park with their pitch perfect harmonies, and cheerful volunteers served the buffet style dinner. The park was full of families and couples enjoying their meals in the late afternoon sunshine. The atmosphere was festive, the queue efficient.

Behind the buffet table was the grill manned by Tom Douglas. On the menu were wood grilled sockeye salmon and you can smell the smokiness in the gentle breeze. It permeated our clothes and we smelt it all the way home!

The grilled salmon fillet was served with tomato basil sauce, green beans, potato and collard salad, and corn on the cob. The fresh tomato basil sauce was a tasty match to the well cooked salmon, the acidity cuts through the natural oiliness of the fish. I loved the simplicity of the crisp green beans and similarly the corn on the cob was sweet and juicy.

We stayed on our wooden stools for a while, basking in the sun and watching the activities on Elliott Bay. We left full and happy, with two chewy Dahlia Bakery chocolate chip cookies for supper. 

Three more Salmon-Chanted Evenings are scheduled on 9 July, 13 August and 10 September. Here’s the blurb from the Tom Douglas website. 

Salmon-Chanted Evening is a hearty salmon dinner served among the splendor of Seattle’s Pike Place Market in Victor Steinbrueck Park from 5-7pm. Our goal of this event is to celebrate this historic area of our city and inspire a commitment to increased park security and generate consistent, positive community presence in the park. Guests pick up their food buffet style and then spread out on the grass in the park to enjoy dinner and the view. The dinner costs $15.00 per person and all proceeds will benefit the Seattle Parks Department.


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