Organizers of an upcoming festival intended to draw music fans to Stanwood hope to persuade attendees that festival food doesn't have to be terrible.
Ed Beeson, who ran The Backstage in Ballard for more than a decade, is familiar with the Polish sausages and nachos typically sold at outdoor music venues. "This is an attempt to be a little bit above that," says Tom Bird, who partnered with Beeson to design next month's Slow Food Roots Music Festival at the Stanwood Camano Community Fairgrounds.
Beeson asked his restaurant's chef to put together a locally sourced menu for the multi-day event. Patrick Scot Moore of Blackbird Bistro is planning to serve smoked brisket, raw oysters, bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms, and, for dessert, "sweet chilled rice with a generous dollop of lemongrass yogurt and crushed berries."
"Most items will be under $10," Bird promises.
Despite its name, the festival is not an official Slow Food event, but Slow Food Port Susan has signed on as a sponsor of the for-profit affair. In addition to trying to elevate festival fare, organizers have planned a farmers market outside the entrance gate and arranged a series of food talks to coincide with the concerts. Presenters include food preservationist Susie Hymas and "The Galloping Gourmet," Graham Kerr.