The Cooking Demo Stage sponsored by PNW Co-op Specialty Foods, is a festival favorite, highlighting what our festival is all about, celebrating lentils! This stage is designed to help people learn all the delicious and easy ways to cook lentils in the comfort of their own home!
Friday night the Cooking Demo Stage sponsored by PNW Co-op Specialty Foods features “Ask the Experts” a segment with a panel of industry professionals. The panel discusses farming, cooking, eating, health benefits and more. This is a highly interactive segment and the audience is encouraged to ask questions.
Saturday the stage features live cooking demos, at noon, 1pm and 2pm.
Executive Chef Jamie Callison – School of Hospitality Business Management Washington State University
Jamie Callison became executive chef in the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management in 2006. He oversees the HBM student-run catering events, and creates and implements new menu concepts and recipes. He’s also an HBM instructor and co-leads summer institutes for the National Restaurant Association.
Callison builds relationships with local farmers and the WSU organic program to ensure the availability of local, sustainable products for university guests. He also coordinates the WSU food and wine program at the Apicius International School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy.
Callison is the author of “The Crimson Spoon: Plating Regional Cuisine on the Palouse” cookbook, which features signature recipes and WSU products.
Saturday at noon, Executive Chef Jamie Callison will feature Lentil Fritters with Tzatziki Sauce.
Chef Debi Smissen – Chef with Tom Douglas Restaurants
Debi began cooking professionally after high school and decided after a few years to get serious and attend culinary school. She graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and moved back to Seattle. She then went to work for the Kimpton Group at the Alexis Hotel. There she learned from amazing chefs Emily Moore and Tim Kelly at the Painted Table over the next six years.
As she moved up the ranks, she was exposed to the daily in and out of running a restaurant, food styling, and catering (including the James Beard Awards). Debi then moved on to work at Tom Douglas’s flagship restaurant the Dahlia Lounge. While there, she worked with culinary talents Eric Tanaka, Mark Fuller, and Matt Costello. Seventeen years and many restaurants later, she is proud to work for a company that promotes giving back to our community in such a generous way.
Saturday at 1pm, Chef Debi Smissen will demonstrate how to make Pedrosillano Chickpeas with Sumac & Labneh Cheese.
Chef Robin Leventhal – Top Chef Cheftestant, Culinary Arts Instructor, Artist & Auctioneer
Before becoming a chef, Robin was an artist. But it quickly became clear she had a passion for food. She formerly owned and operated “Crave” a popular Seattle bistro
serving up Contemporary Comfort Food on Capitol Hill. In 1999 she had a life-altering experience representing Seattle on the sixth season of Bravo TV’s “Top Chef,” where she finished fifth. She has since found an ideal balance in her life making art, teaching at Wine Country Culinary Institute in Walla Walla and catering. She keeps her knives sharp in kitchens for causes like “Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center” and “Bristol Bay.” Passionate about the future health of our food systems, she sits on the Seattle Slow Food Advisory Board, where they focus on raising community awareness and best practice methods.
Saturday at 2pm, Chef Robin Leventhal will feature Sprouted Lentil and Zucchini “Noodles” with Charred Tomato & Corn Vinaigrette.
Special thanks to the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management for their assistance and support of the Cooking Demonstrations!