chef lucy2.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Chef Lucy and her assistant, David Gurewitz, are doing great things at TASTE.
At Grillaxin headquarters, we're just over-the-moon about the


Chef Lucy's Dirty Little Secret? She Loves Slurpees

chef lucy2.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Chef Lucy and her assistant, David Gurewitz, are doing great things at TASTE.
At Grillaxin headquarters, we're just over-the-moon about the goodies that come out of TASTE's kitchen thanks to pastry queen Lucy Damkoehler. She takes classic treats like Pop-Tarts and candy bars and gives them a creative spin. But they're not so fancy you don't want to stick your spoon in them and devour every last bite. (Especially of something like the Black and Tan ice-cream sandwich made with Pike stout.) Read part one of this week's Q&A for more.

Now let's get right to a very important, meaty subject:

SW: For pie crusts, lard or butter? Or both?

Damkoehler: Both. I love the flavor of lard, especially on a pie that has a large thick crust and a sweet filling. I think the lard helps balance off the sweetness of that pie filling. However, I also love to use butter. I tend to stick to butter if it is a pie like lemon meringue, something that you want to focus on the filling more than the crust. However, whenever I put a pie on the menu here at TASTE, I always use lard, because most people in this day and age have not gotten the opportunity to taste pie dough made out of lard. Since I can get awesome leaf lard from Skagit River Ranch, I love to share the excitement of what most people's grandmothers used to make.

Do you have a favorite trashy treat?

YES! I know they are so bad for me, but I can't help my love for Slurpees! I actually never had a Slurpee until three years ago! Where I grew up, in Bernardston, Mass., we did not have 7-Elevens. I still do not know where one is. It has to be at least 45 minutes away from my mom's house. As soon as I had that first sip, I was hooked! I usually like the fake cherry flavor or a coconut one. I don't like Coke Slurpees.

What's your favorite birthday cake?

Carrot cake. But I usually skip the cake and go straight for the ice cream.

Where do you like to go out to eat in Seattle?

Aww, man, this is always such a hard question to answer. I have so many favorite places. I like La Bete. I also like to get a drink after a long day at Fresh Bistro on my way home. I love Paseos on a lazy day off. My new favorite place when I don't feel like cooking is El Paisano in White Center. Molly Moon's ice cream (I would not be friends with someone who said they don't like Molly Moon's ice cream!). I always like checking out new places. Too many places to pick!!!

You were just in San Francisco. What are some of your favorite places there?

I love the Ferry Building! I dream about having a sweet pastry shop there. My favorite stand-out meal was breakfast at Tartine. I think it was a combination of the food and the company. My mom had just joined us in the middle of the trip. It was a perfect day out, and the food was awesome. I love how dark they take the bread. And the cinnamon bun was out of this world!

I also really enjoyed our day trip to Napa Valley. It was my first time there and I can't wait to go back for more.

My favorite thing about San Francisco is how many pastry shops and bakeries they have. Each neighborhood has at least one. It's great!

Let's end on a savory note. What's your favorite down-home comfort food? How about fancy food?

Favorite down-home food = mac and cheese with ham, chili, and mint chocolate chip ice cream. Fancy = pork belly, duck confit, and any dessert that someone spent time on, in terms of both creating and executing.

Check back for part three of this week's Grillaxin for a recipe from chef Lucy.

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