Yes, Belgium chef Jelle Vandenbroucke – sous chef at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle – is holding what looks like a tube of toothpaste.
In fact it is filled with whipped Katz olive oil and boy, is it better than another other butter than, says, the Jean-Yves Bordier that a few places offer in France.
It was Yeller (that is how you pronounce his name) who came up with this, with the help of his English boss, renowned chef Kerry Sear. The two of them, in the hotel’s ART restaurant, are full of ideas.
Instead of canapés there are home-made crisps in a sealed brown paper bag, and breads are mini rosemary baguettes, from Macrina bakery, to go oh so well with the Katz oil.
My meal was sensational. I started with ART’s version of a caprese, namely about six grape-sized baby heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, and four toasted tomato sponge cake bits.
I then went on to a seared Indian-spiced salmon chunk, with a small citrus salad to one side, on a bed of broad beans.
Loved corner suite 701. I looked out, through all-glass walls in both bedroom and bathroom, straight down to Elliott Bay and Puget Sound. This two-year old hotel is a homage to the locale: rooms are airy and light, with American ash wood, stone-coloured walls and carpeting, and stunning original Pacific Northwest Art.
There are, indeed, over 100 valuable artworks throughout the 147-room hotel, and those in the main lobby complement a stone floor deliberately designed to emulate a river bed (lobby walls, flanking a working fireplace, are volcanic bricks). Another working fire is a firebowl on the 4th floor outdoor terrace, with a 12-metre infinity pool that seems cantilevered out over the water.
Others, possibly, indulge in the jewel-like chocolates laid out, piece-by-piece, in the hotel’s Fran’s designer store: President Obama especially likes Fran Bigelow’s own-made chocolate-covered caramels seasoned with grey salt or smoked salt. Ben Trodd is GM of the 147-room hotel, which has a Jaguar for hotel guests’ courtesy use, www.fourseasons.com/seattle.