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Executive changes.
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Northwest Notes

Bonjourno Vespolino

Jason Stratton is saying adios to his Union Street Spanish-style Aragona and bonjourno to Vespolino, a new concept destined for the same space across the driveway from Seattle’s Four Seasons Hotel. While he loved the Iberian theme, neighborhood guests crave Italian so borrowing from his Spinasse and Artusi on Capitol Hill, Stratton is creating a pasta focused menu. He is also looking behind the boarders of Italy’s Piedmonte region, crafting classics up and down “the boot” from Rome to the Alps. Aragona will be shuttered Sept. 6 following a celebration $65 tasting menu. The curtain will rise on Vespolino Sept. 8. Chef de Cusine is Carrie Mashaney.

Name change

Don’t get lost. Capitol Hill’s biergarten has changed its name from Von Trapp’s to Rhein Haus. Despite vetting the original name for trademark status, there was concern that folks might be confused between the Seattle Von Trapp’s and the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont.

Coffee Fest to PDX, leaves Seattle

Coffee Fest, a tradeshow for specialty coffee since 1992, will be holding this year’s final show in Portland, OR, at the Oregon Convention Center on October 17-19, 2014. After 21 years and 21 shows in Seattle, WA, Coffee Fest is moving onto Portland. When the City of Seattle contracted Coffee Fest’s biggest competitor, they decided to use it as an opportunity to bring their world-renowned show to Portland.

 “We have cherished our time in Seattle and all the people that were there since the start,” commented David Heilbrunn, show manager of Coffee Fest. “Hosting the end of the year show in Portland is a big step. We are excited to bring our show and love of coffee to this vibrant coffee community.” Coffee Fest strives to help the coffee community progress in whatever area they are in. They are confident by hosting the show in Portland it will help draw attention to the great coffeehouses and specialty coffee, gourmet tea and alternative beverages that are already present there. The team at Coffee Fest believes their presence in Portland will help the coffee community there to grow and develop.

Coffee Fest always works to exceed its customers’ expectations and moving to Portland they kept this in mind.  As Seattle has matured and grown over the years, Portland is now a more cost effective area for Coffee Fest attendees. “We always want to make our Coffee Fest something that can help the coffee community continue to grow.  The diverse nature of the city will help bring in new products and attendees that keep Coffee Fest remarkable. “

Attendees have flocked from all over to come to Coffee Fest shows in Seattle and with the cost-effectiveness of the new location, there will be a great turnout for the west coast show. Be sure to register soon for Coffee Fest Portland 2014 before tickets and exhibition space sell out! To learn more about Coffee Fest please visit

Columbia Crest Crowdsources Cab

Knowing that their supporters areknowledgeable and discerning Columbia Crest's head winemaker, Juan Muñoz Oca, has thrown down the gauntlet. He has challenged them to join in on viticulture, irrigation, harvest, blending and more in the first Crowdsourced Cabernet Sauvignon from vineyard to bottle.

Throughout the next 18 months will allow viewers to stear the direction of the process. Weather analytics, season-by-season data, past data and time-lapse camera shots down to the individual grape will give viewers facts to help determine their decisions. Columbia Crest's team will also be available to offer advice and answer questions.

The project centers on a single acre of reserve grapes in Columbia Crest's estate vineyard. Once bottled, about 1,000 cases of the Crowdsourced Cabernet 2014 vintage will be available for purchase online and in the Paterson tasting room.

Chefs Announced for Nicky USA Portland vs. Seattle Competition on September 7, 2014

The competition returns to Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge on Sept. 7, 2014 where chefs will compete in four different meat-based categories. Each dish is presented to a panel of regional food experts and attendees for judging. The roster is:

•Shaun McCrain of Book Bindery, Seattle

•Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s, Portland

•Josh Schofield of Toro Bravo, Portland

•Jin Soo Yang of Bamboo Sushi, Portland

•Jason French of Ned Ludd, Portland

•Shane Ryan of Matt’s in the Market, Seattle

•Jason Stoneburner of Bastille, Seattle

•Rob Sevcik of Loulay, Seattle

    Industry news of the Northwest for culinary professionals