Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

April 21, 2007 at 11:01pm

A Taste of inspiration at A Cook’s Tour

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Cookstourone A Cook’s Tour offered me a taste of a few of the things I love most: fabulous Tacoma architecture, great design, innovative decorating, and food, food food.  Thank you Junior League of Tacoma for such a fabulous event.

The tastes offered at each north Tacoma stop of the way weren’t enough to blow the diet, but they were enough to get a a feel for each of the eateries showcased.

Cookstourtwo Howie from the Pour at Four proved the closest thing to a Food Network chef, with a staged plate of lobster and caramelized onion ready and waiting in the stove; he encouraged us with the words, “a recipe is always a guideline, never a rule.”

Cookstourthree Architecturally, all the homes were equally impressive for their own reasons.  The McGovern Home was Hollywood-famous for being the home of Julia Stiles in “10 Things I Hate About You.”  Added to that, the house itself was stunning, with woodwork to die for and a diining table set up with classic decadence which included loads of white roses.

In the Pascoe house everything flowed, with a color scheme, white cabinetry set about three inches higher than standard, killer appliances, and a magnetic end-unit that I coveted.

The Brenner house impressed me mightily with its savvy use of space.  Also impressive was the south of the border by the sea table décor that juxtaposed succulents, rice, and robins-egg-blue seersucker to a very effective end; coupled with the ceviche from Masa, I was ready for the tequila, but it was time to move to the next stop.

The Heilesen home, with its gambrel-roof architecture and traditional décor, showed off an amazing redesign and remodel by MRF Construction; in this home the kitchen was completely remodeled and enlarged, leaving intact the original, fabulously ornate radiators that had been stripped and powder coated to great affectâ€"the use of red on the walls popped the white cabinetry and added up-to-the-minute warmth.

Lastly, we arrived at the Fast home, where the homeowners also happen to be the contractors of the home, and the owners of MRF Construction, Inc.

I loved the kitchen, loved the remodel, loved Gayle Orth’s Chocolate Decadence, loved the Pro Secco from Vin Infusion (ooooh,, a wine bar that delivers â€" how cool is that?!) loved the reading space by the view, loved the tablescaping with touches of radish and artichoke â€" there wasn’t anything about this house I didn’t love â€" but mostly, I was caffeine-buzzed about the chalk/magnetboard hanging on the wall.

Turns out, it wasn’t super-custom â€" it was Pottery Barn that they built around.  But Carolin Fast, design-savvy homeowner, told me how to make my own, with 3 to 4 coats of magnetic paint and chalkboard paint.  Tomorrow, you’ll see me at a paint store.  My kitchen can’t wait.

The individuals in the van with me had their own reasons for coming: one woman had just purchased a home and was gleaning ideas for a potential remodel, while another was in the midst of a remodel, and yet another was an interior design student interested in getting into staging homes.

We all walked away inspired and impressed, and pleased that we gained all our inspiration while supporting literacy for Tacoma, and supporting a group of hard-working women who outdid themselves with this event. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,
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