THE ALTRUIST FROM ANDALUCA Some successful chefs are self-absorbed Grinches, unwilling to give back to the very people who support their restaurants. Luckily, Wayne Johnson>"/>
THE ALTRUIST FROM ANDALUCA Some successful chefs are self-absorbed Grinches, unwilling to give back to the very people who support their restaurants. Luckily, Wayne Johnson of Andaluca is not a solipsistic chef. For the second year in a row, Johnson cooked holiday dinner for the hardworking firefighters of Seattle. "I did it because I think people don't thank the firefighters enough," says Johnson. "We tend to take them for granted until we need them." He prepared Mediterranean-style roasted chicken with apple and cranberry stuffing, traditional gravy, green beans, potato bread, hummus, and apple pie—at three Seattle stations over a period of nine days in a bighearted culinary tour that culminated in a waterfront meal at Station 5 on Dec. 20. We should all be so selfless. DOH! HOMERNOMICS 101 In one of the more perplexing culinary marketing strategies of 2002, Burger King—whose financial follies were no secret last year—aligned itself with Homer Simpson and family, creating a new signature burger, the Homer Simpson X-Treme Bacon & Cheese Whopper, and selling Simpsons watches. Is Homer really the sort of figure a foundering company should be identifying with publicly? Perhaps fortunately, the promotion was short-lived, ending on Dec. 31. But it seems Homer's not finished with the culinary world yet. And this time around, he's with the unlikeliest of allies: Sur La Table. Customers of the Seattle-based upscale kitchenware chain, who might normally turn their noses up at the sheer mention of, say, plastic beer mugs or canned bean dip, were crazy about the talking Homer Simpson bottle openers ($6.95) last month. They were flying off the Sur La Table shelves amid a flurry of champagne flute bouquets and stainless steel sauteuses. Imagine the master chef's delight when he found a chattering Homer in his stocking last week. POCKET YOUR BREAKFAST In his relentless determination to make every meal of the day not just tasty but portable, Peter J. Boyle of MiYi (pronounced "my eye") has come up with his own patented Aussie version of the Breakfast Jack: two varieties of MiYi Breakfast Pies. The pies, or pasties to you Yanks, come in two hearty varieties: the vegetarian (but not vegan) model is stuffed with eggs and Cheddar cheese along with roast potato, mushroom, caramelized onion, and scallions; the meaty model includes bacon as well. Both cost $3.50 and if they don't fill you up, Boyle has a dessert suggestion for you: his own spin on holiday stollen, with oozy marzipan blended with banana for the pinwheel filling. For $2.50 you get a cup of coffee on the side. The munching starts at 8:15 a.m. and the crumbs continue to fall until 8 p.m. daily at MiYi World Headquarters at 24th and N.W. Market in BALLARD. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at firstname.lastname@example.org.