Six Minutes with a Chef: John Howie
By Christina Dudley, contributing writer to Bellevue.com
This Week's Featured Chef at the Bellevue Farmers Market
No list of favorite Bellevue restaurants would be complete without John Howie's Seastar, and the Bellevue Farmers Market chef demo line-up wouldn't be the same without that chef's annual visit. I still count the Peppercorn-Crusted Maple Salmon I had at Seastar as the Best Salmon I Ever Tasted, and my husband and I have been known to drop in just for dessert. The restaurant even gets a mention in both of my novels. I'm a fan.
Although I haven't yet ventured over to John Howie Steak, it's certainly on the to-do list. (One of the most enjoyable parts of this Six Minutes with a Chef assignment has been gathering friends to hit up featured restaurants.) This week, in preparation for his Thursday demo, I hit John Howie with the questions.
Bellevue Farmers Market
Any idea what you will be demo-ing at the Bellevue Farmers Market?
I'm not sure yet because I like to go through the market and find interesting and unique things to make. I'm hoping to find some organic greens and heirloom melons, I may make a melon and heirloom tomato salad and possibly a mushroom and summer vegetable risotto.
How flexible are the menus at Seastar and John Howie Steak?
What use do you make of seasonal or local ingredients? The menus at John Howie Steak and Seastar are changing constantly, sometimes as much as 60% or as little as 20% of the menu will change depending on what's available. We always try to source locally and organically when possible.
Which dishes are most popular in the restaurants?
Well, Seastar's Sesame-Peppercorn Crusted Ahi with Ginger-Soy Reduction and Jasmine-Ginger Rice Cake, and the Cedar Plank Roasted Salmon and the Dungeness Crab and Sweet Corn Bisque, are our most popular items. Our two most popular seasonal dishes right now are the Tim's Potato Chip-crusted Halibut with Heirloom Tomato, Watermelon Radish and Lemon-Thyme Viniagrette, and the Applewood Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops with Watermelon Carpaccio, and Heirloom Melon-Arugula Salad with Honey Vinaigrette.
Some of the favorite items at John Howie Steak are the Tempura-Fried Kurobuta Bacon with Maple-Sambal Dipping Sauce and Mesquite-Grilled USDA Prime Filet Mignon. Our seafood and chicken dishes are always changing, but some of our current favorites include the Duck Prosciutto-wrapped Halibut with Melons and Arugula, the fresh Roasted Corn with Honey-Chipotle Butter, and the Fresh Red King Salmon Carpaccio.
Do you purchase any ingredients from Bellevue Farmers Market or other Markets? If yes, what, and from which farmers/vendors?
We work with several local (Bellevue market) vendors including Taylor Shellfish, Willie Greens and some of the guys bringing produce over from Eastern Washington.
Anything you would particularly like us to highlight in Bellevue.com or UrbanFarmJunkie?
Just that our restaurants are family-owned and -operated and we make decisions on what we are going to serve our guests based on what they ask us for. We are here to serve you our guests and love doing so!
Maybe a simple home-cook recipe for something in season? Garnishes or preparations for salmon or steak?
One of my favorite things in the summer is a quick Salsa Fresca and all items can be found at the Market.
- Heirloom Tomato (assorted colors) - diced 1/4' - 1 1/2 cups
- Sweet Onion - diced 1/8" - 1/2 cup
- Jalapeno Chili - seeded, minced - 1 tsp.
- Habenero Chili - seeded, minced - 1/4 tsp.
- Lime Juice - 1 Tbsp. + 1 1/2 tsp.
- Cilantro - chopped - 1/4 cup
- Sea Salt - 1 tsp.
Mix all ingredients together and old refrigerated until needed. This is great just with chips or on grilled chicken or white fish. Or a Carne Asada style steak.
Thank you for your time. Our mouths are watering in anticipation of your visit!
Chef John Howie at Bellevue Farmers Market - August 26, 2010
All photos © Bellevue.com
(Click any photo)
Published: August 2010
Local writer Christina Dudley blogs for the Bellevue Farmers Market as the Urban Farm Junkie and is the author of two novels, Mourning Becomes Cassandra and The Littlest Doubts. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.